While we are still arguing over whether xenon headlamps should be legal or not, the whole world has moved on with the latest in automotive lighting technology – LEDs. Some cars already have LED tail lamps – the most affordable one locally bein the Perodua Myvi. But Audi has been pioneering the use of LEDs for frontal lighting.
Audi has already made LED lighting a daytime running light option for some of it’s cars – the R8, A5, S5, S6 and the A8. LEDs can also be used as turn signals, but something new is clusters of LED lights used for low beam and high beam lights.
An LED headlamp from Audi uses a cluster of 54 LED light sources grouped together as a single light source. A single LED head lamp assembly consists of a few modules. The low-beam headlight module uses an array of four LEDs for each of the upper and lower reflector shells with range and light/dark boundary via the plastic lens from three arrays of two LEDs.
The high-beam headlight reflectors use one array of four LEDs per reflector shell, the turn signals use 8 yellow high-performance LEDs, and finally the daytime running light strips: 24 white Advanced Power TopLEDs with optical fibers for homogeneous illumination. The headlamps also have two cooling fans built into them, but they are not to cool the LEDs, instead they push the heat from the LED forwards to melt ice or snow stuck onto the lense.
Advantages that LED technology has over halogen or xenon bulbs are smaller size, increased durability, increased lifespan and low energy consumption. LEDs are also more flexible in the sense that the arrays can be configured in such a way that the classic headlamp shape is no longer necessary, thus giving the designers abit more room for creativity. Audi is confident that LED lighting will take over as the primary light source in vehicles in the future.