BMW working on frickin' laser beams for headlights
4 September 2011
Are you bored with the recent rash of LED headlights, tailights and daytime running lamps? BMW might just have something for you, then, because it's working on a new way to illuminate your commute.
We're talking about lasers here people... the future is (almost) now! BMW believes that, just as halogen beget LED, LED begets laser lights.
If true, laser technology will allow its cars to utilize lighting systems that are more efficient than current setups while also allowing for light patterns that are more consistent and brighter. In addition to the greater illumination possibilities, the diodes used would be significantly smaller than LED units.
The first vehicle to wear laser eyes? The new BMW i8 concept vehicle.
A further advantage of laser lighting technology, and one which the BMW engineers intend to use to full effect, is its high inherent efficiency. A single statistic will make this clear: whereas LED lighting generates only around 100 lumens (a photometric unit of light output) per watt, laser lighting generates approximately 170 lumens. With statistics like this, it is not surprising that BMW is also planning to take advantage of laser lighting technology to increase the efficiency of the overall vehicle. And appropriately enough it is in a concept vehicle from the new BMW i sub-brand, the BMW i8 Concept, that laser lighting will get its first airing. After all, BMW i stands for a new premium concept that is strongly oriented towards sustainability.