SOURCE: Automotive Lighting

August 27, 2007 09:00 ET

A New Era in Lighting Technology Begins

Automotive Lighting Presents the World's First Full-LED Headlamp in Series Production

REUTLINGEN, GERMANY--(Marketwire - August 27, 2007) - The Audi R8 is the first vehicle in which all lighting functions of the headlamp are realized with LED technology, i.e. low beam, high beam, turn signal, daytime running light and position light. With this development AL, a full subsidiary of Magneti Marelli Group, once again emphasizes its innovative leadership in lighting technology and provides a preview of the central topics of the future: design, technology and energy consumption.

Headlamps are the eyes of a car. And hardly any other topic has been as consistently present in the studies and show cars at the automobile salons of the past for several years like the topic of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in headlamps. In the process the LEDs open up entirely new possibilities for the designers. Unusual contours can be realized and the new appearances also offer the car manufacturers further potential for presenting their brands and their corporate identity. They're attractive and characteristic both during the day and at night.

The design wing of the daytime running light (DRL) in the full-LED headlamp of the Audi R8 plays a special role. It delicately emphasizes the curved lower contour of the headlamp and presents itself as an unmistakable, attention-getting element of style. The wing contour is illuminated when the ignition is switched on, as DRL or as position lamp with reduced light performance. Twenty-four closely spaced white Advanced Power Top LEDs provide for the homogeneous appearance. The light band of the DRL in combination with the LED turn signal frames the headlamp and forms an as yet unique three-dimensional illuminated sculpture. The design of the low beam module is modeled on Nature and is reminiscent of an opening pinecone. The new design possibilities are convincingly illustrated with this example.

Over 20 innovations have been integrated in this first full-LED headlamp. The basic light distribution is produced from two half-shell free-form reflectors, which are supplied by LED arrays (modules consisting of several light-emitting diodes) with four white LEDs each. The spot is positioned centrally between them. The range of the low beam is generated with the high-performance lens system with three additional 2-LED arrays. Directly next to these, the high beam with two four-LED arrays shines out of the two shell-shaped high-beam chambers. The R8 headlamp is equipped with customized electronics and offers Xenon performance for the low beam and high beam from the very start. The predicted increase in output with the LED light sources has been taken into account in the design and opens up further potential for performance.

The greatest advantage of the white LEDs lies in their light color, which is also called the color temperature. With approx. 6,000 Kelvin, this is nearly equal to the quality of daylight. The human eye perceives the road and the edge of the lane at night in their natural colors and differentiates contrasts considerably better. In addition, the average lifetime of the light-emitting diodes in all functions is longer than that of vehicles. On the one hand, this increases the resistance to failure at night and, on the other hand, eliminates the need for complicated bulb changes in the future.

The first full-LED headlamp not only provides convincing arguments with its design and the intelligent technology used, it also already points the way to the future today with regard to the reducing fuel consumption and avoiding CO2 emissions. The LED DRL makes a major contribution to a good energy balance, as approximately 75% of the total driving distance worldwide is covered during the day. In specific terms, this means that an LED DRL makes due with an energy consumption of 14 W (0.36 g CO2/km) per vehicle. If the low beams are switched on in the vehicle during the day, then 300 W (7.86g CO2/km) are consumed. That means a 20 times higher consumption compared to the LED solution. As early as 2012 the individual and worldwide energy consumption for vehicle lighting could be reduced by up to 60%, provided that all functions are equipped with LEDs. The car manufacturers can use this potential and reduce carbon dioxide emissions for new vehicles. The focus will increasingly be on CO2 emission values of the vehicle when buying a car.

LED technology in the external vehicle lighting is now in its infancy. Automotive Lighting still sees a broad field of action for intelligent further developments and future innovations here -- especially in conjunction with adaptive lighting systems and for the optimization of energy consumption.

Remark: Pictures are available for download.

Picture 1: AUDI R8 Full-LED headlamp, Turn indicator and daytime running light switched on http://www.directnewsroom.de/servlets/LoadBinaryServlet/2074316/Audi_R8_DRL_TUI.jpg

Picture 2: AUDI R8 Full-LED headlamp, all light functions (position light instead of DRL) on http://www.directnewsroom.de/servlets/LoadBinaryServlet/2074329/Audi_R8_LED_LOW_POS_TUI.jpg

Automotive Lighting is innovation leader and a top-3 supplier for automotive exterior lighting worldwide. AL business is focused on development, production and sales of automotive lighting products and integrated applications for all major OEMs in the world. The group has more than 10.000 employees, 20 plants and expects for 2006 a turnover of 1.4 Bn EUR.

Automotive Lighting is a full subsidiary of Magneti Marelli Group, Italy.

For more information please refer to: www.al-lighting.com

Contact Information

  • Press contact:
    Renate Walz-Krönke
    +49 (0)7121-35-4132
    e-mail: Email Contact