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LED Headlights To Light Up The Horizon
- Mar 19, 2018 -

The majority of car owners everywhere take whatever lights that come with the car without complaint. And why not? Today's OEM headlights are a far cry from the feeble incandescent sealed beams that passed for headlights in 50s and 60s. Nowadays, the very minimum lighting that can be found in cars are halogen-type bulbs, with high output HID lights standard in luxury and sporting cars.


At the bleeding edge of automotive headlight development are the LED headlights introduced by luxury German manufacturer Audi for their R8 sports car. Where filament type headlights generate only five percent of the power input as light, LEDs offer much more. The heat you feel from incandescent and halogen bulbs is energy that is being wasted. In contrast, LEDs run cooler and being more efficient, use up less power to generate the same light output. But as with any new technology, cost is a prohibiting factor for early and widespread adaptation. Audi has offered these headlights as an option for selected models, but the owner has to fork out 5,000 dollars to enjoy the benefits of LED headlights.


For manufacturers who have begun to share platforms with partner automakers, LEDs also offer a critical advantage. For decades, designers have had to design the front ends of their new cars with round or rectangular lights in mind. In fact, if you look at car designs from the 40s to the 60s, the round headlight was a constant design element that designers were powerless to modify. Now, LEDs can be arranged into less restrictive shapes, freeing designers to style the front ends of their cars in newer and more visually exciting ways.


Owners of older cars don't have much of an option when it comes to upgrading to LED headlights. There is an American company that has introduced replacement LED lights but reviews have been mixed, and the shape of the lights are limited to the round and rectangular headlights that have been a standard design for decades. Still, development is continuing and any issues and technical challenges that have appeared will undoubtedly be addressed. But even without this option, many aftermarket lighting systems are available to the car owner who wants to modify his or her car's lighting system. Halogen and HID systems have proven themselves to be proven and reliable alternatives, and with the technology well-known, are available for price far below the thousands that OEM LED options charge.


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