According to the president of Hella Corporate Center USA, converting from halogen to LED automotive lighting will enable carmakers to significantly enhance nighttime visibility and integrate advanced features into their vehicles, while saving valuable energy.
One of the potential lighting innovations made possible by LEDs is the ability to project navigation instructions directly onto the roadway ahead, being able to decrease glare for drivers of oncoming vehicles, and even enabling vehicles change lighting colors to help other drivers see better.
Steve Lietaert, who has been with Hella for 16 years, including the last two as president of its U.S. operations, said that the industry’s conversion from halogen headlamps to LED-based systems is underway, but will quickly grow at the end of this decade. Vehicle power is said to be the huge reason.
A usual halogen headlight utilizes 55 watts of power to generate 350 lumens of light, while an LED-headlight system draws around 17 watts to generate 600 lumens of light.
LED lighting is already making a strong impact inside the vehicle. Carmakers are utilizing LED interior lights to enable consumers to change interior lighting colors as they wish. Lietaert said that work is progressing that would utilize interior lighting to augment audible warnings to alert motorists of potential risks.
Moreover, LED headlights have great potential to enhance vehicle safety by enhancing driver visibility at night. Banks of LEDs such as the 84-LED stack utilized in the newest Mercedes Benz E-class headlights can be inpidually turned on and off to eliminate glare shining into the eyes of oncoming motorists. The great thing about them is that they can increase illumination in areas that would be dark under conventional lighting systems.
Compared to conventional halogen bulbs, LEDs have extreme durability and the light source outlives the vehicle.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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