If you know anything about lighting, you know that LED is the future. You can save some serious amounts of money by changing all the lights in your home to LED‘s, while also improving the lighting. LED‘s are brighter and you can regulate their colour pretty easily. But what about cars?
Inevitably, cars can benefit greatly from LED technology as well and because of the same reasons. There is no doubt about cars needing to be energy-efficient. LED’s allow saving energy, because they are less powerful and yet brighter. Furthermore, visibility can be improved dramatically and LED’s are much more durable. The first car to feature LED’s in headlights came out in 2007. A couple of years later there was a car with all-LED headlights, daytime running lights and turn indicators. The latest generation Mercedes-Benz S-Klass doesn’t even have conventional light bulbs. But now LED technology is not limited to luxury cars anymore.
Now you can find LED headlights even in relatively inexpensive cars. This is due to the fact that technology itself is getting cheaper and cheaper all the time. It is not a luxury anymore. This is quite an achievement, having in mind that just 10 years ago LED came to the car headlights for the first time ever. LED headlights can last up to 22 yeas – astonishing improvement over both halogen and xenon lights. You probably will never have to replace them. They also use much less power, because they convert 80 per cent of the energy they use directly into light, wasting only 20 %, compared to the 40 % wasted by xenons and 80 % wasted by halogens. It generally means that the car will use a little bit less fuel – a small improvement, but improvement nevertheless.
LED headlights are more illuminating and provide more contrast, which allows drivers to see different details better, which makes travelling at night much safer. Furthermore, LED technology is so advanced it can actually illuminate different parts of the road differently. For example, matrix LED lights can dim when oncoming or preceding cars come into range, but continue to cast their full high beam light on the zones either side of them. That is possible because each headlight is composed from a number of individual LED’s. Still sounds like an expensive, luxurious piece of technology? Well, Hyundai is implementing LED headlights and it won’t be long for them to reach simple, affordable city cars.
LED’s are much more expensive, but last significantly longer, making servicing costs smaller. Furthermore, they consume much less energy, which should provide a marginal improvement in fuel economy. Now we just have to wait and see how long it will take for them to reach the cheapest, most affordable city cars on the market – we bet it’s not going to take more than three years.
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