This has bothered me for some time. From what I have always known and read, fog lights are usually a more concentrated beam than your regular headlights. That, and they usually point straight forward to "cut" through the fog... which is why they are usually mounted on the lower bumper (as not to blind oncoming traffic). The main reason is to penetrate through the fog and extend your sight in such conditions.
I had the displeasure of having both my headlights blow out mid-winter. After the second set of Silverstars died, I tried to put off replacing my headlights until I could straighten things out with Sylvania and figured I could get by with just my fog lights. Not even close. The light from the fog lights disperses a very short distance from the front of the car. In fact, I had noticed that turning them on when I had my low-beams working only seemed to add light to the area between the front of my car and where my headlights already were.
Believing they were the stock fog light bulbs, I replaced them with Piaa Ion Crystals, which are amber (read: better for fog lights). I also ordered them after reading on a WRX forum about someone purchasing them and loving them. What he described them doing for his car was EXACTLY what I thought fog lights should do. Basically, he claimed that signs that were just barely visible or not visible at all because they were at the end of his headlight range became lit up when he used the fog lights.
So I installed mine... and noticed no difference from the stock bulbs other than the yellow color. For shits & giggles last night I went out and took pictures. I then got the idea to pull the fuses for my lowbeams to see what the fog lights did for me on their own. I went down the street (towards a dead end) with just my fog lights on and it was reminiscent of the days when I had my Silverstars blow out. I couldn't see jack. The light dispersed about a couple of car lengths in front of me. If anything, I could seen more light on the ground from my bumper outward up to the point where it dissapeared. With my regular lights on, why in the world would I need this lit up?
So am I wrong in believing that the 6's fog lights (integrated ones with the sport package, at least) are little more than decorative and more powerful parking lights? Is it maybe some sort of lens filtering the light to behave this way inside the fog lights assembly?
BTW - For any of you who are wonedring about the Piaas - they ARE yellow, but not nearly as much as I had thought/hoped. They are nothing like ones you see on stock Lexus's are are actually just the right tinge of yellow to "infect" my Philips Vision Plus bulbs which I had believed were pretty white before. Now, they look yellowish, probably from the flush of being so close to the fogs. I'm just guessing that if they were more yellow, it would cause more of a contrast making my Philips appear more white - but that's just a theory out of my ass.
I believe one of the gentlemen in the local 6 club here still has functional Silverstars. He must be a lotto winner. Next time we meet, we will compare the whiteness of the bulbs to see if my Philips really are that yellow or if it's due to these PIAA fog lights.