LED lamps begin lighting the way on Japanese cars

By: Greg Worrall


While most of the transport industry has embraced LED technology for signal lamps and clearance lights, Japanese luxury car manufacturer

While most of the transport industry has embraced LED technology for signal lamps and clearance lights, Japanese luxury car manufacturer has gone one step further, by using them for headlights.

Developed in-house by Lexus, the new lights offer a ‘near-daylight’ beam quality, as well as minimal power consumption, and are at full power within one tenth of a second.

While they are only in use on a single model at the moment, there are numerous precedents for these cars to be proving grounds, before the technology ‘trickles down’ to more common models.

Prime examples of this ‘trickle down’ are airbags and ABS brakes, which debuted on high end models, but are now found in virtually every car and truck sold in this country.

Lexus says the new LED lights offer long lasting performance, with the company guaranteeing them for the life of the car.

The new lights use two rows of LED lamps, an upper and a lower, concentrated through different reflectors, to provide a controlled spread for drivers.

The upper row has three LED lamps that focus high-intensity illumination directly ahead, via an overlapping array of three projector lenses.

The other lamp is a twin-chip, downward-oriented LED lamp with a shielded parabolic cylinder to create wide-angle light projection with a sharp horizontal cut-off to obviate glare to oncoming vehicles.

The company says the combination of the two offers good vision across to the opposite side of the road, without inconveniencing oncoming drivers.

While a Lexus spokesman was unable to confirm the actual cost of the light, it is believed to be ‘significant’, however economies of scale are likely to reduce the cost as production continues.

Unlike bi-xenon lights, which are popular in other ‘top shelf’ cars, LED lamps do not suffer reduced performance if the lamp surface becomes dirty, making them a better proposition for long distance use.

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