The future of automotive lighting is bright (no pun intended), thanks to the advanced technology we have at work. It is disconcerting to see drivers driving through with inadequate light from their headlights or none at all. This doesn’t just endanger the driver, it puts other road users at risk. So, it is important that before the idea of smart traffic management materializes, we have to see what the future holds for automotive lighting.
This article will go into detail on the existing technology in the market and will also delineate some of the attributes we expect to see in emerging products.
LED and OLED Advantages and Challenges
Even though OLEDs are surface lights and LEDs act as point light sources, they both find application in the automotive industry. Compared to traditional light sources, these lamps are considerably smaller, and they can even last longer than the vehicle itself. It also has a flexible illumination pattern, such that the lighting can suit the driving conditions.
OLEDs, on the other hand, are semi-organic conductive layers and they illuminate once current passes through them. This means that the light source can produce a number of shapes and curves. OLEDs are also being used by some car manufacturers to inform other road users of the intention of the driver.
LED Lighting for Automotive Application
Research has shown that ever since the LED lighting was introduced to automotive applications, road safety has drastically increased. This is because the road is well-lit by LED headlights, thereby causing drivers to feel safer.
Apart from the sense of security that is being instilled in the mind of drivers, there are other distinct features of the LED that makes it worthwhile.
Features of LED Lighting
- LED lights have a longer lifespan.
- Their performance is better compared to others.
- The power consumption is lower.
- Their light output is very high and their heat dissipation is low.
These features and more make LED lights the perfect solution for automotive lighting.
The New Wave of Lighting
Traditional halogen and xenon bulbs are slowly being phased out and LED is taking over. Technologies such as adaptive front-lighting system (AFS) and adaptive driving beam (ADB) are also taking center stage with smart cars and these developments herald a much-anticipated shift. For example, at crossroads, AFS will illuminate the chosen direction of travel, either left or right.
Some features of the automotive lighting of the future are the high resolution and programmability; giving us headlamps that can swivel, headlights with high-capacity sensors, and the use of programmable controllers even further improve the
Some Exciting Technologies We Expect to Take Center Stage
Laser technology has been used in a number of applications and recently, this exciting technology was applied to automotive lighting. The first set of vehicles produced with laser headlights are the BMW i8 and the Audi R8 LMX and the time of their announcement was almost similar. The lighting trend is one that provides car users with a plethora of opportunities, greatly improving the design and performance.
Adaptive Forward Lighting Systems (µAFS) LED Headlights
Even though LED headlights have been around for many years now, this new technology is a significant upgrade; providing the option of analyzing the weather while the car is in use. This technology aptly defines the concept of adaptive forward lighting and will be pivotal towards the realization of the smart car revolution.
Bend Lighting Headlamps
Before now, headlights required mechanical parts that had to move in order for light to reach certain parts of the road. However, this dynamic bend lighting technology means that light doesn’t travel in the conventional manner any longer.
Bend Lighting Headlamp
Summary of the Future of Automotive Lighting
- With cameras that are able to detect the road structure, ADB will become an integral part of cars.
- Autonomous cars will fuel the growth of smart lighting systems.
- The styling of automotive lights will also come into play.
- Low cost LED technology will become ubiquitous, ensuring widespread adoption.
- Recycling of parts of automotive lights will also become more popular.
LED lights for cars have superb qualities that make them stand out. In fact, one of the major reasons is energy efficiency, such that cars produce fewer carbon emissions simply because efficient lighting technology is being used. It also lasts for longer and it helps the driver to save more eventually.