KC Flex Era Fog Lights: 3 Options To Choose From

Fog Lights For Hybrid Bumpers, Ditch Lights & More!

KC Lights offers a large line in their catalog. One of the newest offerings is their Flex Era 3 SAE. They launched this fog after the success of their full-power triangle-shaped Flex Era 3, also referred to as the “FE3” for short. They also offer a Flex Era 1, or “FE1” for short. Don’t let the single portion fool you though, the FE1 packs just as much output as the FE3 full power. FE3 and FE1 offer two output options; a backlight and a full power mode. The SAE version also offers two output options, one is for street use and the other for off-road applications.

We decided to install the Flex Era line on our True North hybrid front bumper. After testing these three options for the last 6 months, I have a much better understanding of beam patterns, bezel color options, lens options, build quality, and most importantly the output from each option.

FE3 With Amber Backlight

FE3 (non-SAE) mounted as ditch and middle on the hybrid bumper

Find it online: 

Features and Specs: 

  • Clear Lenses (2) (pre-installed)
  • Amber Lenses (2)
  • Mode 1: Main Power
  • Mode 2: Amber Backlight
  • Secondary: Built For Off-road Performance
  • Product Application: Fog, Ditch, Reverse, Rack, etc
  • Candela: 49,800 cd (Combo) / 126,000 cd (Spot)
  • Lumens: 4,383 lm
  • Lux: 498 lx (Combo) / 1,260 lx (Spot)
  • Beam Distance: 223 m (Combo) / 355 m (Spot)
  • Wattage Per: 60W (White) / 2.16W (Amber)
  • Total Wattage: 120W (White) / 4.32W (Amber)
  • Voltage: 9V-16V
  • Amp Draw: 4.94 a (White) / 0.18 a (Amber)
  • Beam Pattern Options: Combo, Spot, Flood
  • Temperature: 5000K
  • DOT Compliant: No
  • SAE/ECE: No
  • IP rating: IP68

Overview & Application

FE3 (Non-SAE) ditch lights full power

Full Power:

The KC FE3 delivers impressive efficiency and power in a compact triangular design, housing three high-powered LEDs. Each housing pushes out 4,383 lumens for hard-to-reach places, making it an ideal candidate for many applications; fog, ditch, reverse, rack, etc.

Backlight:

Featuring an amber backlight, the FE3 enhances visibility at night or foggy mornings with a touch of style. I leave the backlight on almost all the time. It’s minimal light output but the look is wildly impressive. When the backlight shines through the amber caps, it’s something you need to see in person to believe. This is one of my favorite options in this line-up.

Beam Patterns & Caps: 

With the FE3, you can choose from Spot, Combo, and SAE Fog which KC has dropping soon. With all these options for beam patterns, you can customize your setup according to your specific needs and preferences. In addition to patterns, you can also choose between clear, amber, or solid black KC cover caps. I usually go with the combo amber lens for my FE3s. You can mount the housing upside down or right side up, just know that the beam pattern will be upside down if you have the combo lens on. For the spot and flood, it doesn’t really matter.

Bezel Options:

The FLEX ERA 3 offers interchangeable bezels, allowing color-matched customization. KC offers KC yellow, red, blue, or black however you can buy any color and powdercoat them or paint them to match your build.

FE3 SAE (Dual Mode – Street Legal)

Flex Era 3 SAE is pictured on the hybrid bumper with high-beams and low-beams on. 

Find it online: 

Features and Specs: 

  • SAE Clear Lenses (2) (pre-installed)
  • SAE Selective Yellow Lenses (2)
  • On-road legal SAE Fog
  • Secondary: Built For Off-road Performance
  • Candela: 9,440 cd / 19,984 cd
  • Lumens: 3,682 lm / 5,949 lm
  • Lux: 94.4 lx / 199.8 lx
  • Beam Distance: 84 m / 124.6 m
  • Total Wattage: 70W / 110W
  • Voltage: 9V-36V
  • Amp Draw: 5.83 a / 9.17a
  • Beam Pattern: Combo
  • Temperature: 5000K
  • DOT Compliant: Yes
  • SAE/ECE: Yes
  • IP rating: IP65

Overview & Application

Flex Era 3 SAE mounted as primary fog lights

Full Power:

The FE3 Dual Mode SAE fog lights offer an intense on-road SAE J583 fog beam and an off-road mode combining the fog beam with a high-output spot beam. You can run both lights at the same time. The SAE is best suited as your primary fog light towards the center of your bumper positioned like an OEM fog light. They make plug-and-play kits for the Bronco in addition to tripe light setups as well. KC has a 6th Gen Bronco and they’ve been prototyping products for some time now.

On-Road (SAE):

The on-road SAE J583 fog beam meets DOT/SAE compliance and provides great output for everyday on-road use.

Beam Patterns:

The dual-mode functionality allows users to switch between on-road SAE J583 fog beam (low beam) and high-output spot (high beam) for off-road use. The SAE is limited to its cap offering. Whille the standard FE3 offers combo, spot, and flood options, the SAE only offers one lense option. The SAE cap comes in white or amber and then the optics handle the output pattern; high beam or low beam.

Bezel Options:

Like the FE3, the SAE can run the same color-matched bezels; red, blue, black, or the standard gold/yellow. This allows for customization to match your vehicle’s aesthetics or personal style.

Lens Caps:

Included with the lights are both clear and selective yellow lenses. Clear lenses maximize brightness for the purest version of the FLEX ERA 3 Dual Mode SAEs, while yellow lenses enhance penetration through heavy rain, fog, snow, and dust.

FE1 (Compact Yet Powerful)

Flex Era 1 mounted on the hybrid bumper in backlight mode.

Find it online: 

Features and Specs: 

  • Off-Road Fog
  • Secondary: Amber Halo Backlight
  • Product Application: Fog, Ditch, Scene, Reverse, Spot, Rack, etc.
  • Beam Pattern: Flood, Spead, Spot
  • Candela: 4510 cd (flood) / 16200 cd (spread) / 31000 cd (spot)
  • Lumens: 2430 lm
  • Lux: 45.1 lx (flood) / 162 lx (spread) / 310 lx (spot)
  • Beam Distance: 67.2 m flood / 127.3 m spread / 176.1 m spot
  • Wattage Per: 5W / 23W
  • Total Wattage:10W / 46W
  • Voltage: 9V-36V
  • Amp Draw: 0.83 a / 3.83 a
  • Temperature: 5000K
  • DOT Compliant: No
  • SAE/ECE: No
  • Lens Color: Clear
  • Color: Amber / White
  • IP rating: IP68

Overview & Application

Flex Era 1 mounted on the hybrid bumper in full power mode. 

Full Power:

The FE1 is a powerhouse compact housing! The master kit comes with two lights, all three beam pattern lenses, spare o-rings, black and yellow KC logo covers, and a complete wiring kit. With 2,430 lumens of power in a compact package, the FE1 is ideal for all short-range robust lighting applications, from bumper and ditch lights to dust, and scene/work lights.

Backlight:

FE1 features two power modes; full power off-road light and the amber LED backlight for added style and on-road visibility.

Beam Patterns:

KC offers all the lens options you would need; spot, spread, or flood. The clocked lens sits behind the changeable colored bezels which allows for quick switching between spot, spread, and flood beam patterns. The FE1 also features a series of intricate heat sink fins for better heat dissipation and comes in a compact size (2.6″ x 2.72″).  Because of its unique size, you can mount the light in various orientations, including right side up, upside-down, or sideways.

Bezel Options:

The bezels come standard in gold but are also available in red, rich blue, or gloss black to suit individual preferences.

Final Thoughts

FE3 SAE full power, FE3 Ditch backlight, FE1 backlight. 

So which one is best for you?

Flex Era 3: The FE3 features multiple beam pattern options, a ton of customization, the highest lumen rating, a backlight, and can be mounted pretty much anywhere; rack, ditch, or bumper.

Flex Era 3 SAE: The FE3 SAE is designed to meet street legal standards while also catering to off-road use. This is a great option if you’re only looking to get one light for your daily driver.

Check out the differences between the FE3 vs. FE3 SAE here.

Flex Era 1: The FE1 is a smaller, more universal light designed for various applications, including fog, ditch, reverse, scene, rack, and more. It provides a ton of versatility with its compact size, making it suitable for a wide range of mounting locations. While it may not offer as much output as the Flex Era 3, the Flex Era 1 still delivers impressive performance for a compact light.

Check out the KC FE1 unboxing here.

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