Q&A - Difference Between Off Road & Driving Lights

Q&A ImageI have been trying to find specifics on what is the difference between a offroad light and a driving light. All I can see is the indicator of SAE-Y on the lens, is this the only difference? Anywhere I could find what lumens or candle power specs are involved with the difference? Any info would be great.



The Motor Vehicle Act Regulations considers all lights that it does not specifically allow to be off road lights:

"off-road lamp" means a lamp designed for any use other than those specified in Division 4 of these regulations;

Auxiliary Driving Lights are identified by the SAE-Y marking and the Regs say this about them:

Auxiliary driving lamps

4.09  (1) A motor vehicle may be equipped with 2 auxiliary driving lamps, mounted on the front of the vehicle at a height of not less than 40 cm and not more than 1.06 m, that are capable of displaying onlywhite light.

(2) An auxiliary driving lamp must be directed so that the high intensity portion of the beam is, at a distance of 8 m from the lamp, at least 12 cm below the height of the lamp and, at a distance of 25 m from the lamp, not higher than 1.06 m from the road surface.

(3) An auxiliary driving lamp must operate so that it is illuminated only when the upper beam of a multiple beam headlamp is illuminated.

As to lumens or candlepower, we need to go to the Superintendent's Standards, which is the inspection manual used by Designated Inspection Facilities. The guide document used by inspectors at the DIF says this:

Examine the headlight bulbs.

Are they marked with a single wattage rating such as “55w” on a bulb with one filament, or a double wattage rating such as “60/55w” on a bulb with two filaments?

Yes: Continue with this test.
No: The vehicle fails.

Is any bulb marked with a wattage rating higher than 65w on a vehicle with a 6- or 12-volt system, or 75w on a vehicle with a 24-volt system?

Yes: The vehicle fails.
No: The halogen bulbs are valid. Proceed to the next test.

Bulb wattages for fog and driving lights are the same as for headlights.

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Driving lights

So then this makes me ask the question"why is there never any enforcement of the laws which are already in place".I get the issue that police are way to busy to deal with lighting issues,but I think at some point it deserves some proper attention.Maybe ICBC could do a campaign educating drivers about the effects and pitfalls to other motorist's, that are in play with the constant escalation of forward lighting.People drive with there driving lights,which are now wired to work on the lowbeam circuit,with no regard for the other cars on the road.Maybe an enforcement campaign would be one way of educating people regarding this issue.

Should not be possible in BC

People drive with there driving lights,which are now wired to work on the lowbeam circuit,

I'm not saying that it doesn't happen, but if those lights are aimed any higher than the low beams on the car, then they're illegal.

Probably Not Driving Lights

I think you are referring to fog lights. They have become very popular to put on vehicles and are often used (legally) as daytime running lights by the manufacturers. These are run in conjunction with low beam headlights.

My complaint about them is that on our CR-V and other vehicles, you cannot shut off the low beams and illuminate the fog lights, which is how they are supposed to be used when it is foggy.

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