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Be in the know…

As I always tell my crew – “Knowledge is Power!” and we wanted to share the wealth. I hope this Be In The Know on SAE Testing will be an informative and helpful tool to explain what is involved in getting Auer products certified. Be on the lookout for more information to come as we want to keep YOU, our customer IN THE KNOW! Tom Silverblatt - Owner


Auer Automotive Fog Lights and Daytime Running Lights (DRL) are all SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) certificated! The SAE works with State and Federal agencies like the DOT (Department of Transportation), FMVSS (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard), OVSC (Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance) and other Government Agencies to set the rules, laws and guidelines for the design, quality, function, placement, and performance of almost every part on a motor vehicle. The following explains what is needed to receive SAE certification for the quality requirements of fog lights and DRLs, as described in FMVSS 108 which covers “lamps, reflective devices and associated equipment.”

SAE International is a global association of engineers and technical experts in the aerospace, automotive and commercial-vehicle industries. One of SAE's core capabilities is the ability to develop a voluntary agreement of standards. SAE technical reports, which include SAE standards, SAE recommended practices, SAE Information Reports and SAE Aerospace Material Specifications are developed by SAE's technical committees. These consist of technical experts from government, industry, regulatory agencies and academia. SAE technical committees are responsible for the preparation, development and maintenance of all relevant technical reports within their scope. A designated sponsor for these reports serves as the focal point within the committee for activities associated with the development of the technical report. This includes preparing drafts and resolving all comments received during the approval process. For these technical reports to be approved, the sponsor submits a draft to SAE. Committee members vote and provide feedback to the sponsor - who will then attempt to resolve all concerns the members may have had. The report then goes to the governing body of the initiating committee for a process level review. Once approved by this governing body, SAE will publish the technical report.

The tests as they pertain to Fog Lights and Daytime Running Lights (DRL) include:

Photometric Test Color Test

Vibration Test Corrosion Test

Moisture Test Dust Test

Internal Heat Test Humidity Test


Photometry is the scientific measurement of light, in terms of its perceived brightness to the human eye. With regard to fog lights and daytime running lights, the manufacturers must have each lamp tested to guarantee compliance with the specific performance requirements as set forth by SAE. Typical Photometric Tests include testing for luminous flux, lamp efficacy, color rendering index (CRI), correlated color temperature (CCT), spectral distribution measurements, luminance measurements, Lamp Lumen Maintenance Factor (LLMF), UV content (e.g. of sun tanning equipment), Photobiological safety of lamps and lamp systems (according to IEC 62471 or AORD), Laser classification (according to IEC 60825) and Reflection and transmission measurements. After being exposed to the elements, if any of the previously mentioned occurs, the test would be considered a failure.


Front fog lamps provide a wide, bar-shaped beam of light with a sharp cutoff at the top, and are generally aimed and mounted low. They may produce white or selective yellow light, and are intended for use at low speed to increase the illumination directed towards the road surface and verges in conditions of poor visibility due to rain, fog, dust or snow. This procedure describes a method of measuring the resistance to wet color transfer of dyed, printed, or otherwise colored textile yarns and composites thereof and is usually conducted through either the Visual Method, the Tristimulus Method, or both. The purpose is to establish a means of ranking the relative resistance to wet staining of composites which contain dyed or colored textile fibers. If the lamp results show nonresistance to the staining, then it was deemed a failure.


This SAE Recommended Practice was designed to be an accelerated vibration test that subjects bulbs to critical vibration/shock loading (at a rate of 750 ± 25 cpm) - typically observed in normal vehicle service and can be employed for conformance of production (COP) testing. After completion of the test, the lamp is visually and manually inspected for evidence of material physical weakness, lens or reflector rotation, and displacement or rupture of parts (except bulb failures). If evidence is found for any of the previously listed items, it will be considered a test failure. In case of lens and/or reflector rotation, the lamp will be considered not to have failed if subsequent photometry testing indicates compliant performance with the photometric requirements for the device despite such rotation.


The purpose of a Corrosion Test is to provide a means to evaluate and compare the corrosiveness of insulation materials. The rationale behind it is that the corrosion of steel should not be greater for the insulated materials than for the inert fibrous materials. To test this theory, the lamp is subjected to two 24 hour cycles of concentrated salt solution exposure with 1 hour drying time after each cycle. Immediately after the test is completed the lamp is washed with warm tap water and then evaluated for any visible evidence of corrosion that could affect the proper functioning of the lamp. If there is any doubt concerning test outcome, the lamp will then be subjected to a Photometric Test to determine if the Corrosion Test has impaired the proper functioning of the lamp.


The relevance of a Moisture Test is to conclude whether or not a lamp, when exposed to water, would create vapor concentration within the lamp. To determine this, the lamp is subjected to a precipitation of 0.1 in. of water per minute for 12 hours. Upon completion of the 12-hour test period, the lamp is allowed to drain for 1 hour – while keeping it in its original test position. After the 1-hour drain period, the lamp is removed from the testing chamber while remaining accumulated water is collected in a graduated vessel. If the accumulated moisture measures in excess of 2 cc. or any moisture remains visible in the sealed reflex unit of the lamp, the test constitutes being a failure.


The Dust Test is performed to determine if the lamp’s electronic components can function under extreme environmental conditions. At intervals of 15 minutes during a test period of 5 hours, the lamp is subjected to 2 second blasts of agitated dust (compressed or fan blower air) where the dust is completely and uniformly diffused throughout the entire test cube and allowed to settle. Once completed, the lamp’s exterior surface is cleaned with a dry soft cloth and inspected for dust on its interior surfaces. If any is found, the lamp is exposed to a photometric test to determine if maximum candlepower (cp) is within 10% of that recorded prior to the dust test. A loss of more than 10% in cp at the point of maximum cp will be considered a failure.


The purpose of an Internal Heat Test is to determine whether a lamp will show evidence of delamination, fractures, seal fractures, deterioration of bonding material, color bleeding, warp or deforming when in contact with severe heat exposure. To test its resistance, the lamp is uniformly sprayed with a mixture of dust and water (or other materials) to reduce the photometric output of the lens. Thereafter the lamp is soaked at a temperature of 35º + 4° -0º C for 1 hour and then energized for 1 hour in a still air condition, allowing the temperature to rise from the soak temperature. At the end of the hour the lamp is returned to a room ambient temperature of 23° + 4° -0º C and a relative humidity of 30%±10% and allowed to stabilize to the room ambient temperature. The lens is then cleaned and inspected to determine if any of the above mentioned resulted. If so, the test was a failure.


Like the Moisture Test, the purpose behind the Humidity Test is to determine if the lamp would have any moisture buildup only this time when exposed to severe temperatures. In the same way the lamp is placed in a controlled environment at a temperature of 100°+7°-0º F (38º+4º-0° C) with a relative humidity of not less than 90%. It would be subjected to 24 consecutive 3-hour test cycles where in each cycle, the amp is energized for 1 hour at design voltage with the highest combination of filament wattages that are intended to be used, and then de-energized for 2 hours. After the hour, the lamp is removed and inspected for moisture. If any evidence of interior delamination or moisture, fogging or condensation visible without magnification exists, the test is considered a failure.


Once approved, the SAE certification must be imprinted directly onto the Fog Light or DRL and be clearly visible once mounted to the vehicle. All Auer products confidently carries this certification as they meet or exceed every SAE requirement along with all State and Federal Laws for Fog Light and DRL operations. With every Auer purchase, you are guaranteed a quality product – like hardened glass, high-end German bulbs for brightness and long life, highly reflective lenses for stronger output and perfect light patterns to ensure peace of mind on the road.


SAE International Website at
U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Laboratory Test Procedure for FMVSS 108 (Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment)
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