In celebration of headlights technology through the years, Mercedes-Benz has put out a simplified infograph detailing its milestones in vehicular lighting, dating back to 1886. Believe it or not, like horse-drawn carriages of its time, the motor car was lit purely with candlelight lanterns!

In subsequent years, candles were replaced with petroleum and carbide lamps, and it wasn’t until 1910 when the first battery-powered headlights were introduced. A little over a decade later came a switching function which alternates between main and dipped beam, but this was purely mechanical – a ring had to be manually actuated over the bulb, so as to not dazzle pedestrians and the like.

Then, in 1971, the R107 Mercedes SL debuted with H4 bulbs in its cars, and the halogen bulb was the first of its kind to feature dipped and main beam, and immediately doubled visibility. In 1995, the W210 E-Class came with xenon lights which tripled light emissions. As you would know, xenon bulbs lasted much longer and consumed less power, and it didn’t take long for bi-xenon lights to be developed from there on.

More recently, LED lighting, which was once considered a premium feature, increasingly became standard in mainstream cars, down to the likes of the Perodua Myvi. LED, which is expensive from the outset, offers far less energy consumption compared to xenon lights, plus instant illumination and with greater light intensity.


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To that end, the W222 S-Class became the first car in the world to feature solely LED lights as standard, with not a single bulb used in the car. Then came the marque’s Multibeam LED lights, first with 24 individual LED module per headlight, and now up to 84 high-performance LEDs per headlight (first fitted to the W213 E-Class). Even the latest A-Class gets Multibeam lighting technology now, albeit with only 18 LEDs per side.

Earlier this year at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the Vision EQS electric concept, featuring a bedazzling digital front grille with a staggering amount of 940 individual LEDs arranged in a three-dimensional fashion. It also gets Digital Light headlamps with a total of four holographic lens modules (two per side), which apparently allow the car to communicate with other road users, either by way of text or graphical displays.

Speaking of which, the veiled vehicle here may in fact be a working prototype of the EQS, or even a production version of it, sources say. Whether it be the EQS or EQA, one thing is for sure, it will be debuting with an innovative new headlight technology. Perhaps we’ll get a proper glimpse of it at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show, eh?