It’s been more than 100 years we have been using low-beam headlights on automobiles. Today, as the time changes and preference of vehicle owners, engineers are scrambling to develop a new generation of smart aftermarket car headlights that will soon make traditional products as obsolete as kerosene lanterns. The goal is not to prove the traditional headlights useless, but to create something that reacts to the road environment and enhance the drivers’ safety.
The highly advanced headlights help better illuminate the road; signs and lanes, reduce glares, spotlight obstacles, and increase visibility in fog too. With the great inventions and changing preferences of vehicle owners, the future of headlights seems to be brighter than ever with multiple options available in the market.
Also known as high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlights, the halogen lights are prepared with xenon gas to create a precisely focused, bluish-white arc of the light. These light bulbs are pricey enough that they remain optional even in the premium segment. It was in 1997 when BMW first used the HID headlights in the E32 7-series and the Lincoln Mark VIII became the first American car with HIDs. These headlight bulbs are yet so effective that the mainstream automakers can’t fully abandon them.
Nearly every vehicle you see driving on the road has the HID bulbs. They are available between $10 and $30 per bulb from leading online stores like Parts avatar Canada. Since they have standardized plastic sockets and run straight off the car’s battery, they are easy to replace.
Earlier used in film production as they illuminate sections and shade, the LED matrix headlights are currently illegal in the U.S. while the NHTSA is supposed to approve the technology next year, which there’s no formal proposal has been issued in this regards as part of the rulemaking process, which may delay the rollout. The better LED matrix headlights are already on the way and the leading car manufacturing companies like Audi is likely to use 1024 individual LED pixels on the single chip. These high-definition headlights are able to activate specific LEDs to illuminate pedestrians, if coupled with the more sensitive infrared cameras, while blacking out their faces or brightening reflective sign boards without flooding someone’s living room. They are just like the LED TVs, the higher pixel means improved sharpness and clarity, but only so far.
As far as the technology and the benefits are concerned, the Laser Headlights may be the next step of lighting the way of commuters at the international level. The BMW i8 has already started using the laser diodes that beam blue light through a ceramic phosphor platelet. This specially designed technology allows the vehicle to convert the beams to a single white point source able to project light up to 1969 feet. The light produced is nearly 10 times the luminance than an LED headlight. What matters is where you purchase the product from. Platforms like Parts avatar Ontario are relatively safer option.
Light-Emitting Diode (LED)
According to Osram Sylvania, the future of LED headlights is bright and the world will see the Led lights installed in 20 of all new cars. Following a great ability to reduce energy consumption, the LED headlights are likely to play a key role in increasing vehicle efficiency. And the reasons are obvious as they draw between 15 and 18 watts of power, versus 55 to 65 watts from a halogen light bulbs. Their ‘rise-tie’ is just one millisecond, which is 250 times faster than the incandescent bulb, which makes LEDs especially advantageous for brake lights.
LED lights are much brighter with 3000 lumens at low beam versus 800 lumens for halogen and output light at a color temperature closer to daylight.
While the LED lights are great to be used, but the biggest drawback is the higher production cost. Every LED headlight requires custom printed circuit board with custom aluminum heat sinks, more than 130 components, and custom resolution. And that’s all before they’re mounted into a finished, custom headlight assembly.
Lighting manufacturers can’t beat the expenses of retooling large-scale assembly lines as the automakers refresh their models every three to six years
The future of automotive headlights seems to be bright, but the great change is going to take some time and the immediate future is not as “smart” as that of other verticals. The reason here for the slow progress is the regulations that are simply not prepared to handle the newest technologies. While some technologies are rising at a great pace in some countries, they are not even able to survive in other locations. For example, LED matrix headlights are currently illegal in the U.S. Similarly adaptive headlights are already rising in popularity in Europe while the states have not yet taken any positive decision into bringing that technology into the fold.
The LED headlights use unbelievably lower power in comparison to the other types of bulbs available. The reason that the LED uses less power may be understood easily, with just a little information. This means that the LEDs become more affordable and get designed into vehicles from the original manufacturers. With the laser headlights allowing engineers great flexibility and capability to modify the beam as a spotlight, the best headlights may use a combination of laser and LED matrix technology. And the higher cost of premium quality headlight designs is likely to keep the buyers in a relatively darker place.