Back in 2003, Audi presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show which would be the germ of the Audi R8. In addition to the spectacular design, they highlighted LED headlights that equipped a technological advance that gradually has been extended and is now a highly valued option in high – end cars.
I pick up the glove that gave me the user DB9 during the last part of our test of the Audi A6 hybrid, which called for a review of LED headlamps that equipped our test unit. Let’s see what they are and how these lights work, in addition to reviewing the models that currently offer this type of headlights as an option or standard.
What Is A LED?
I will not get into depth to explain what is a LED, but I think it ‘s always good to know how the basic component of these types of headlights. LED stands for Light-Emitting Diode, light emitting diode in Castilian. As its name, and he tells us roughly what a LED. These light diodes are the top high intensity bulbs to buy.
The diodes are electronic parts made of semiconductor materials whose basic property useful for electronics is to conduct electricity when the current is applied in one direction, blocking current when it is applied in the opposite direction. The LED in addition to this basic property, which a priori is not very helpful in giving light, they have the ability to emit light when current flows through them.
Applying The LED Headlights
LEDs have two characteristics that make them desirable when part of a lighthouse. On one side we have the LED light have just inertia, ie, the time between the LED begins to light and is emitting light at 100% capacity is very low, indeed virtually nil. This time is insignificant when compared with the light inertia halogen lamps or xenon.
On the other hand we have that feature LED consume very little energy in relation to the amount of light emitted. Being very simple electrical components, where light does not come from an incandescent filament or an arc, just energy is lost as heat, transforming much of the electricity that runs through the diode light and limited heating.
For the lighting car quite powerful source of light is needed. The problem with LEDs is that despite being very efficient, emit usually small amount of light, so automotive groups LED greatest power is used but avoiding larger than normally additionally require systems cooling heat sinks.
Another problem of the LED is that there are nothing but experimental LEDs that emit white light that is desired in the automotive industry. They are used LED with yellow phosphors that convert ultraviolet or blue LED light in white light, such as fluorescent or light bulbs in our homes. This makes LED headlamps have any noticeable bluish tint in color, although light is predominantly white.
The point of light generated by a LED is a very small, so they are encapsulated in a small clear plastic cover or other colors, which serve to protect the electronic component from bumps and foreign materials. The problem is that these capsules cause light not exactly direct, is diffuse, making a special work in optics is needed to direct the light to where you want to send, that is, on the road.
LED headlamps have a built electronic management system that is responsible for controlling the functions and power of the lighthouse. There are several types of LED headlamps, but the most common are the multi farro reflectors and projectors. The first type uses several small reflectors, each equipped with a LED that can go facing the road (LED seen) or to the reflector (hidden LED).
Appropriate alignment these reflectors and lighting LED groups together is obtained as various types of the beam, as short, long or fog. Even there are manufacturers who apply this system to develop adaptive lighting systems by turning off or turning on the various reflectors Lighthouse. These types of headlights are those used for example in the Audi (such as the A6 hybrid ) or the Seat ( as in the Seat León ). These reflectors sometimes lead crystal dispersion covering them to better distribute light.
The other LED headlamps that there are those of ellipsoidal projector. These lead LED groups on the inside, behind a lens that is in charge of directing the light emitted by the LEDs that are within the lighthouse. This type of projector headlights with the use manufacturers such as BMW, Mercedes or Lexus, although in some cases using combined reflector and projector systems.
The white light, a light practically nonexistent inertia, a lifespan that exceeds the car itself and consuming very low power, these are the most notable and noticeable LED headlight features. Against him, it is that currently the cost of these advanced headlamps is still quite high.
Other LED Lights In The Car
We will add around for an educational point of the article to discuss the rear LED pilots and other LED lights fitted to cars. In the lights are not the headlights do not need to focus light in a specific direction. This facilitates the implementation of the diodes, as they require complex lenses or reflective surfaces.
Increasingly is becoming more popular to use LED indicators, daytime running lights, side turn signals and generally in different lights taillights, many cars offer them as standard and many others as an option. Have a huge advantage, which we mentioned earlier, a lifespan that is theoretically superior to the life of the car, no need never change, but like all things, can be damaged.
We leave you with a list of cars that can be equipped or equipped as standard LED headlights that have shaped this article.
Cars That Lead Or May Lead LED Headlights
- Audi A6
- Audi A7
- Audi A8
- Audi R8
- BMW Serie 6
- BMW Serie 7
- BMW X5M
- BMW X6
- Cadillac Escalade
- Lexus GS
- Lexus LS
- Lexus RX
- Mercedes CLS
- Mercedes Class E
- Mercedes GLK
- Nissan Leaf
- Seat León
- Toyota Prius
- Toyota Prius+
If we have forgotten anyone, I appreciate that we advise in comments to complete the list.