Which to choose? A Replacement/Upgrade guide to Fog Lights for your Gen 3 Raptor…

Specialtyperformanceparts

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Introduction-

When Ford introduced the Gen 3 Raptor (2021+) in late 2021, they included a Rigid Fog light kit with certain packages. The current 801A Package, as well as the 800A with the Torsen Package Add On for $695.

Trim Levels-

As far as trim levels go, the Previous Gen 2 version had an 800A Base, 801A Mid and 802A Premium trim levels. The Gen 3 however was simplified by removing the mid package, and simplifying it with a Base 800A and a Premium 801A, where the 801A essentially replaced the 802A of the Gen 2.

So now we have the basics. You get the OEM “Rigid Fog Light Kit” with the 801A or the 800A Package with the Torsen Package ONLY. So the real question is, what are you getting with those OEM Fog lights? Well, one thing is certain. If the Torsen Diff Package is $695, and it includes the fog lights and the Torsen Differential Upgrade, then how much money is invested in those lights?

OEM Rigid Lights Pre Installed-

So the most important factor here is to understand this. The fact that they say “Rigid” on them, does NOT reflect that they are the same performance standard you would expect from Rigid Industries lights on a grand scale. The lights in that kit were designed specifically for the Raptor to Ford’s required specifications. When an auto manufacturer produces a vehicle, they must meet extreme levels of qualifications set in place by the federal government. These requirements begin with things such as emissions requirements. Which there are currently 3… Brown State (Also know as 49 State, or Federal Emission Standards) and Green State (Also know as California Emissions). Last is call 50 State Emissions, which essentially passes both. From there, you have requirements for noise. So Exhausts, engines, etc must all be quiet enough to pass. You have weight restrictions that must be met. You crash tests and safety standard requirements. You have many other things, but you also have our main topic here… DOT/SAE certified lighting. So to pass those requirements, Ford had to make sure the lights they used met those requirements to sell them on the trucks NEW from the beginning. So to be clear, these are NOT the same level as you would expect for your truck when buying Rigid Industries lighting after the fact. Or any light for that matter.

SAE/DOT vs Offroad Lights-

When you purchase lights from ANY vendor or manufacturer, you basically can break them down to 2 categories. You have SAE/DOT approved, and then you have everything else, which is considered “Offroad Use”. SAE stands for “Standard of Automotive Excellence” and DOT stands for Department Of Transportation. Essentially, they pretty much are accepted the same, though they are 2 different certifications. Most of the time the time DOT certifications are only seen on NEW production vehicles, where SAE is generally done for aftermarket lighting and accepted one in the same in all states as compliant for use on the street and in traffic. There are several things that go into compliance with either of those. Anything from light output, beam angle, etc. We don’t have a full list of certification requirements for you here, but one of the biggest ones has to do with what’s called a “Hot Spot”. Lights that have a clear lens and you can look directly at the LED inside it where the light comes from is a hot spot. You will notice that most SAE lights have a wavy lens that diffuses you looking directly at that point the light starts. That’s one, and the biggest probably of the certification requirements for an SAE light.

So the question is, can you use an offroad light (Non SAE/DOT) on your truck? We are not attorneys, and we cannot give legal advice. So the following statements are not advice. Simply discussion based on personal experience.

Most states do not have a problem with people having non DOT lights on their vehicle. Most states, from my experience don’t target anyone with non SAE/DOT lights. There are a few like PA that require you to have plastic snap on covers on any light installed that isn’t DOT/SAE certified. Aside from that, in probably 2 or 3 states, it doesn’t seem to be one of those things anyone needs to worry about. As far as use of non SAE/DOT lights, (and again, this isn’t legal advice, only observation) People all over the country use them without issue when using common sense. In other words. Since they are generally a lot brighter than SAE/DOT lights most often, you wouldn’t use them in oncoming traffic. For those that live in areas of the country that are not in the city, such as wooded areas or near fields. Having those bright lights can be the difference between hitting a deer, or other animals. So to summarize, without telling anyone to break any laws or worry anyone. Most people buy offroad lights for their vehicles and don’t have any issues aside from being told in a few states they require covers for them. A guess is that 90% or more of the aftermarket lights you see on trucks these days are NOT SAE/DOT certified. It’s always a safe bet to check your local laws.

OEM Ford/Rigid Fog Lights vs Upgrades for the Gen 3 Raptor-

So as we have been discussing, the OEM lights that come in the Gen 3 Raptor are not up to par for most people. They are low power and really just focus to a small rectangular area at the nose of the truck. For most people, they just don’t perform to their standards.

That said, we have spoken to many customers about their concerns and what is most important to them. Some say they really don’t care about fog lights at all and really it was most important for them just to have those pockets closed. Others say having those pockets closed and the look of the plastic housings was important, however, they wanted a way to upgrade the lights within. Last, several people have said they don’t care about the plastic housings at all and they simply want as much light as possible. Well, we here at SPVparts have addressed all of those concerns in an array of ways.

OEM Housings with Upgraded Lighting-

First, we have created a set of mounts to install into the OEM plastic housings of the vehicles that did come with the OEM kit. While there are some one off options, such as a Baja Designs Branded S2 Light replacement kit. We designed mounting and plug n play adapters to allow you to install ANY 2 pairs of Baja Designs S2 Sport or Pro light you choose, as well as ONE or TWO pairs of Rigid SR-M Lights in Driving, Spot or Flood Pro series lights. So you can choose to keep ONE pair of the DOT original lights in the housings, and simply replace the second pair with a higher powered version that looks the same. The housings also allow installation of the Diode Dynamics SSC2 lights with amber backlights. This application allows the best of both worlds. The stock housings, but with light upgrades.

OEM Fog Options2.jpg

Triple Fog Light Kit Upgrade/Replacements-

Next, we created our new triple fog light kits. Our triple fog light brackets allow you to install 3 pairs of full size pod lights into your Gen 3 Raptor. You can pick and choose between Rigid D-Series, Radiance or Scene lights. Baja Designs Squadron Sport or Pro lights. Or, Diode Dynamics SSC3 Lights. Our brackets, which we spent a lot of time perfecting are the most advanced we think you will find for a couple of reasons. The first, is adjustability and positioning. We designed them and created the mounting areas and slots on them SPECIFICALLY using Rigid, Baja Designs and Diode Dynamics lights to lay out the mounting areas and slots to be able to position them in the cleanest, most balanced and evenly spaced locations. From there, we have lots of extra space to move and position those, or other light models. The second comes from ease of install and peace of mind. One thing we have learned over the years, is that it is one thing to produce a backet with lots of adjustment. It’s another to be the one installing it and just trying to find the best mounting location, spacing, or even getting your lights straight facing forward. Typically on installs, positioning takes the longest to do.

We eliminated that by providing a paper template marked for each light. You can simply cut it out. Line it up on the bracket. Mark the indicated locations. The you simply line up your lights to the marked location and they are perfectly lined up and positioned every time! From there, you just bolt them in. You won’t find an easier solution ANYWHERE!

With Rigid Industries, Baja Designs and Diode Dynamics, all 3 have SAE light pods available. So for those who are worried about having an SAE light, you can choose 1 Pair of SAE, and the other 2 in a brighter offroad version. You can also choose all 3 in SAE, but for most, that won’t make sense. The point of having 3 pairs in those fog pockets comes down to diversity. SAE lights are generally a certain light pattern, and having 3 of the same pattern isn’t as useful as more broad coverage when you need it. By having a mix, you can have your SAE lights for traffic and others for more coverage at other times.

For those of you who live in more rural areas, you may want all 3 to be offroad lights or to be the brightest possible. We will cover more on the light patterns in a bit, and how to pick out the patterns or lights that best suit your needs.

3 fog compare.jpg

The In-Betweens-

For those of you that purchased your Raptor with the OEM fog lights, and you want to go all out with the most power and variety, you may feel slighted, or having felt like you paid for a light kit you didn’t like and have no use for it once it is removed. For this, for a limited time, we have come up with a program to allow you to trade in your OEM fog lights with their plastic bezels and covers for a cash rebate/refund toward the purchase of a new triple fog kit. In turn, we recycle, clean, inspect, test and re-box those housings, and combine them with our custom plug n play harness and hardware for use in other Gen 3 Raptors that didn’t have any fog kits, and people simply want to fill that space. Or, they can utilize the take off kits with our upgrade kits.

So as you see. When it comes to fog kits and light options for the 2021+ Raptor. We have EVERYONE covered. Don’t just stop there though. We have everyone covered with all their other light needs as well. Such as plug n play rear lights, light bars, and A-Pillar/Ditch lights.


Choosing the right light patterns-

When selecting your 2 or 3 pairs of lights. The most confusing thing can be figuring out which ones are best. It’s important to know, there isn’t really a right or wrong answer. It really comes down to what suits your needs the best. So here, I will lay out the various patterns and some suggestions for those patterns.

In the Rigid Industries D-Series Pro, you have Flood, Spot, Driving and SAE. Flood is a medium width and a medium distance. Spot is long and narrow. Driving is a little bit in-between. It reaches a little further than the flood, but it’s a slight bit more narrow. The point of the “Driving” pattern, is that it has higher speed driving in mind. So when you are driving down the road, you can see what is coming up with relative ease. A driving pattern is generally an optimal selection for one of your light pairs.

Spot, being long and narrow is really a purpose built light. Because it is long and narrow, you don’t see much in your up close surroundings. It is designed for winding roads, wooded areas and driving toward things that are coming up in your path.

SAE which we covered earlier is a street legal version. The SAE with it’s wavy lens is designed more as a close up surrounding light. In general a fog light patterns. It is closer than the flood, and wider than the flood. So a good mix in general is One SAE, One Driving, and One Spot or Flood as the 3rd option.

If you didn’t care about a traffic/SAE option. You could select One Driving, One Spot and One Flood.

You can also get the flood or driving with a diffused lens (basically think of frosted glass). This simply scatters the light close and around.

In Baja Designs, you have a Spot, Driving Combo (which is where ½ the lens is a spot and ½ the lens is a driving pattern), a wide cornering (which is similar to a flood), and a scene (which is sort of like a diffused flood). Then you of course have your SAE street legal.

With Baja Designs though, you have 2 basic power levels. A Sport and a Pro. Both are bright, but the pro is 30% brighter than the sport.

So some common combinations for most people might be an SAE, Driving Combo and a Wide Cornering. When you consider that the Driving Combo is already half a Spot and half a Driving, you are already getting 2 patterns right there. So that combination is similar to having 4 light pairs.

For those that want the most output, since the SAE’s in either case will be lower power than the offroad lights, you could choose 2 pairs of Driving Combo’s, and one pair of wide cornering. Again, keeping in mind that 4 halves make 2 Spot and 2 Driving lights.

Those combinations really tend to be the best for maximum coverage.

Amber/Selective Yellow vs Amber Backlight and Amber Covers-

Now, we need to discuss Amber/Selective Yellow lights. You can get of the above patterns in an Amber or Selective Yellow light. Selective yellow means the glass or lens is yellow. The light passes through the lens and then the surroundings illuminate yellow. An Amber LED is where the actual glass is clear, but the LED temperature lights up in a yellow color. Both have the same effect. They light up the surroundings in a yellow light.

For those that want an amber light, it is important to understand it’s general purpose in driving. When it snows, or it’s foggy and you have very bright lights shining into that snow, fog or heavy rain it tends to reflect BACK off that shiny surface into your eyes. The one thing people often miss, is that if you are up against fog or snow, the main reason it reflects back is because it’s thick. This means you can only see so far ahead anyway. So getting an amber spot light isn’t a lot of help. You would be better with an amber flood. Some may argue that it’s easier to see with yellow light? That is personal preference. Personally, if it's clear. I prefer a white light.

So if you live in areas that have a lot of fog or snow, the best single option for that would be a flood with Rigid, or a Wide Cornering with Baja Designs for that secondary option. However, if you have the occasional fog/snow and don’ want to waste a light pair with amber. We also have amber snap on lenses for Rigid Industries and Baja Designs. With snap on covers, you can have the best of both worlds. The snap on covers are available for all models, including the small SR-M models from the factory.

Last, lets talk about the Rigid Radiance/Scene models. These are often confused and called amber lights. These lights have an amber background light, which is similar to a parking light or the marker lights in your grille. So you can have that low power amber glow, and then turn on your main lights and they are white to see or drive with. These lights only come in ONE pattern, which Rigid classifies as “Scene”, but it isn’t the same as what Baja Designs classifies as their “Scene” pattern. In general, I would say it’s a little wider than Rigids Flood, and still plenty long to drive with and see quite a distance. The downside is you can’t mix patterns. The upside is, it’s a good coverage area and you have the benefit of the amber backlight. Which can be plugged into our harnesses with our plug n play marker adapter and then be tied into the parking/marker lights circuit. More on harnesses ahead. The final decision on the Radiance vs Scene model, comes down to this. The Radiance produces 900 lumens. Not a lot, but they are still more than adequate. The Scene version produces 2,970 lumens. So more than 3 times as much. In general, the Scene model is $100 more per pair than the Standard Radiance. The Standard Radiance are at a more competitive price point than most other options and give you the amber backlight features. The Scene give you the same amber backlight, with a lot more light. For street driving, we have had several customers tell us they chose one Standard Radiance pair, with 2 Scene pairs, and use the Standard Radiance in traffic situations, and Scene when not in traffic. This is because the Standard Radiance are not OVERLY bright and obvious, where the Scene models would be.

Harnesses and Adapters-

When it comes to electrical connections and wiring for your Raptor and other vehicles, we have you covered as well. We like to be a little different and go that extra mile. While you may have several choices in where you buy products. We try to make sure we are the best choice for all the solutions you may have. One reason we are different is because we aren’t just a vendor for other manufacturers. We are also a manufacturer ourselves. We work with the best in the industry, such as Rigid, Baja Designs, Diode Dynamics, KC-Hilites and more. Then we come up with the best plug n play solutions for your vehicle. So while the brackets we mentioned earlier are an important factor. So are your wiring options. So we have developed and filed for patent, the first ever plug n play full harness system. The harness system comprises of various harnesses for different applications, such as fog lights, light bars, ditch lights and rear lights. Then also includes a variety of connectors and adapters that can simply plug into those. The adapters include parking light circuit, and reverse triggers access to your Raptor and other vehicles, as well as splitters, relays and adapter connectors that can all plug in and interconnect. So when you buy a harness from our harness system, it will work and plug into (with various plug in adapters) virtually any light make, model or brand. It can also work with virtually any vehicle. You can then combine harnesses with our splitter connectors, and even add fuses and relays with a quick plug in.

So, when it comes to fog lights on the Raptor, there are several things to consider. If you get the OEM upgrades and re-use the OEM housings, you will receive 4 plug in adapters that simply connect to the lights and then to the connectors in the bumper. One is your Aux 1 switch, the other is the fog switch in the headlight dial. Very simple.

If you get the triple fog kit, you have 2 connections on each side, but you need 3. Again, the Aux 1 switch is down there, but the other 5 Aux switch wires are at the top by the battery. So one option is this. You can use the 4 adapters for the first 2 pairs, and you can use one of our single pair fog harnesses to run from the third fog pair to the other 5 Aux wires by the battery. Then simply connect it.

A second option using the plug in adapters is with a splitter. In this case we have a 2 way splitter that you plug into an adapter. This easily allows connecting 2 pairs lights to one switch and one pair to the other. This is a very simple solution. However, some lights such as the Baja Designs Squadron Pro when 2 pairs are combined, will draw more than the 10 amp max on that one switch and blow the fuse. So in that case, you can either use the single pair harness as mentioned above, or the next solution. However, for a quick plug in solution with the Squadron Sport, or Rigid Spot or Flood, you can use the 10 amp connections with splitters for all 4.

The 3rd option is to get our relocation harness which is a small harness that plugs into the 4 connectors in the bumper and bring those out to the other 5 switch wires. This way you have all 7 connections in one location and you can pick and choose which switch wires you want to use. With the connectors we supply with our harnesses, you can plug into and unplug and move any harness to any switch wire any time.

In summary, each of these 3 options allow for virtually a plug n play solution for any desired result. The only exception is simply installing the included connectors on your switch wires that come as bare wires from Ford that first time which is very simple.

Harnesses & Splitters2.jpg

Final Decision Between the Small OEM Upgrade Lights and the Full Triple Fog Kits-

It’s important to understand the difference between function and appearance. While all of these lighting options are of the utmost quality. The Rigid, Baja Designs and Diode Dynamics lights have impeccable reputations and excellent warranties of 10 years to limited lifetime. When you choose the OEM housing replacements over the full size triple lights. You are selecting lights that are one half the size and equivalently one half the output. So, to be more clear, 2 Baja S2 lights are exactly 1 Squadron light. That is exactly what an S2 is. 2 Rigid SR-M lights are 1 Rigid D-Series Lights. They are one HALF of a D-Series light. So when doing the math, if you have 4 half lights in the fog pockets, you have the equivalent on ONE PAIR of the comparable brands lights. So 3 pairs (6 lights) with a full size light kit is 3 times the light output you would get in the OEM upgrades.

Light Size.jpg

Brackets2.jpg

So there isn’t a right or wrong answer. We produce kits for each and every application here. It simply comes down to understanding your options so you can make an informed decision on what is MOST important to you. In any case, we have you covered for fog lights and for other lights and accessories as well.

Visit us at SPVparts.com and feel free to call or email us with questions. We are always glad to help.

John- SPVparts
317-934-6778
 
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LF LandShark 2818

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Unbelievably well done and thought out write up @Specialtyperformanceparts ! Thank you for all that info and for taking the time to do that. That harness system you made is next up on my list to tie in all the lights I’ve already got from you. As much as I’m confident in my ability to solder and make harnesses, the one I have from you for my Rigid SR-M backup kit is by far the cleanest and most professional looking one on my truck.
 
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Specialtyperformanceparts

Specialtyperformanceparts

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Unbelievably well done and thought out write up @Specialtyperformanceparts ! Thank you for all that info and for taking the time to do that. That harness system you made is next up on my list to tie in all the lights I’ve already got from you. As much as I’m confident in my ability to solder and make harnesses, the one I have from you for my Rigid SR-M backup kit is by far the cleanest and most professional looking one on my truck.
Thanks! Yeah, it took several hours. LOL. I just added some photos I hadn't had time to add yet.

John
 

MDJAK

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A truly epic post. While all the lighting vendors here are excellent, and I’ve dealt with a few, John is an engineer and it shows through he loves what he does.
 

maxr

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One of the best written posts ever. I am very familiar with these lights and installation. I worked with John when I purchased my BD front and rear kit from him and have been very satisfied with the lights, SPVs harnesses and the over-the-phone help to answer a couple "best install technique" questions.
 

stoppard stop

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Can confirm, i bought the triple fog light kit from John and he answered my texts during install to guide me when i had a question. Great product and great service!
 

GreatAvalon

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Great post, really helpful with a ton of information packed in.

As the others have said, I went with John's SPV Parts Triple Fog light kit with triple Baja Designs lights, lower grille mount with Baja bar, and the rear S1 Baja kit. All the harnesses, hardware, and brackets were top notch - better than Baja Designs stuff to be honest. Pair that with before-sale help /guidance, after-sale help/guidance, and mid-install help/guidance, and it becomes clear I made the right choice by going with @Specialtyperformanceparts . Keep up the great work
 
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Specialtyperformanceparts

Specialtyperformanceparts

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Great post, really helpful with a ton of information packed in.

As the others have said, I went with John's SPV Parts Triple Fog light kit with triple Baja Designs lights, lower grille mount with Baja bar, and the rear S1 Baja kit. All the harnesses, hardware, and brackets were top notch - better than Baja Designs stuff to be honest. Pair that with before-sale help /guidance, after-sale help/guidance, and mid-install help/guidance, and it becomes clear I made the right choice by going with @Specialtyperformanceparts . Keep up the great work
Thanks as always.
I do try to always offer the most unbiased information, with pros and cons so people can make a clear decision on what works best for them. One solution isn't always the best fore everyone.

That said, I do truly believe (and you can see testimonials from lots of people on here, including you! LOL) that our Patent Pending Harness system which offers plug n play for everything, and our brackets which we spend a lot of time on to get the best possible fitment and usable adjustment (usable is the key thing) are the absolute best on the market. When coupled with the top 3 brands, Rigid, Baja Designs and Diode Dynamics... You have a combination of components to be reckoned with! LOL
It's just a matter of understanding your options and what fits your needs. As far as availability. We have probably $1 million or so in those three brands of lights in stock. So that isn't an issue either.

Just let me know what questions anyone may have!

John
 
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