Focus on Modern Headlight

- Dec 06, 2017 -

Focus on Modern Headlight

LED headlights are another totally different technology; we’ll investigate what those differences are in this segment.  The main issue with LED headlights was always cost compared to light generated. Over the past 10-15 years LED bulbs themselves have become much less expensive and spurred a great amount of research and development into more uses for LED bulbs.

Initially LED headlamps were used only in high-end luxury cars but they have been making their way into more common cars.  Led headlights are common in hybrid automobiles because of their decreased power consumption. LED headlamps may be the new vogue headlight for cars they are currently mostly used as parking, side and brake lights.  LED bulbs are most efficient in emitting bright light that need not shine long distances as needed in a headlamp.

Another drawback to LED headlights is that they generate a lot of heat.  Unlike standard headlight bulbs that give off heat on the bulb side of things LED bulbs give off heat on the back side.  This adds to the cost of these LED headlight systems as they need heat management systems (heat sinks, etc.) to keep the sensitive electrical components from being damaged.

The LED bulbs work differently than HID (xenon) bulbs or halogen bulbs as they do not make use of filaments or use gas as a medium for the light source. They actually use a semiconductor material that allows the electrons to move and create the light.  This creates a bulb that offers thousands of hours longer lifetime compared to halogen or xenon bulbs.

At this time LED headlamps are still in their infancy and will need more R&D to allow them to become more common in mainstream automobiles.  The good thing is that many automakers are devoting significant resources into the technology because they see the promise in them.  Other issues like cold weather performance issues will be a great hindrance to acceptance of LED headlights.