High-tech at the service OF NIGHT DRIVING
As a driver, you know that at night, better lighting not only allows you to be more relaxed and less tired, but also to detect potential dangers sooner.
Technologies used in headlights are evolving at full speed with traditional halogen and xenon headlights gradually being replaced. An abbreviation of the term ‘light emitting diode’, the acronym LED stands for lighting produced by several small individual diodes. Today, this technology is widely used in car lighting, including in indicators, daytime running lights and headlights.
LEDs have many advantages: they provide more powerful lighting than traditional systems and produce a uniform colour that resembles daylight. They result is homogeneous and offers a vision closer to normal human sight. Light-emitting diodes, combined with night-time driver assist technology, provide superior illumination: for example, a dynamic adaptive high beam assist dims main-beam headlights in good time for oncoming or preceding traffic. The distribution of the light they emit is also advantageous when compared to more expensive laser technology which also allows the driver to see up to a distance of 650 meters. LED lighting permits the driver to be steered even more precisely to the side of the road thanks to the different software-controllable diodes. Pedestrians can be detected more quickly and accurately. LEDs are moreover characterised by fast powering up: they are fully illuminated in less than 0.1 seconds.
Another advantage is their long service life: manufacturers are looking to manufacture LEDs that have the same lifespan as the vehicle, although this is not always the case for now. It is also worth noting that light-emitting diode technology consumes less energy. This has a positive impact on fuel consumption and therefore on CO2 emissions because your vehicle's lighting system has to produce less energy.
The diodes consume a quarter of the energy required for traditional halogen lamps, which corresponds, depending on the vehicle, to fuel savings of about 0.2 litres per 100 km. Thanks to their small size, the diodes ultimately allow the integration of compact blocks, giving rise to new possibilities in terms of design. This is an important aspect, as headlights and tail lights are now often used as distinguishing features that allow a model to stand out from the others. Their high price is a disadvantage: in case of failure, the diodes cannot be replaced, and the entire headlight unit must be changed, which is very expensive. If the vehicle does not have a high beam assistant, the glare effect may also be stronger for pedestrians and cars in front, as the LEDs produce less scattered light: their beam is unidirectional.
In the end, given the advantages mentioned above, and the fact that the diodes allow for flexible beam use and steering, there is every reason to believe that the LED technology will continue to spread to every light source on vehicles. Whatever technical features LED technology inspires car manufacturers to dream up, we will definitely keep you updated!