Automotive optics: types of lighting devices, their advantages and disadvantages

Modern automotive optics is improving so rapidly that buyers simply do not have time to follow the new technologies. Let’s try to study the main features of modern automotive lighting in more detail.  Well, if your car doesn’t have any optics because it’s turned into junk, recycle it:

Halogen optics

The first halogen lamps were developed more than 50 years ago, but they are widely used even today. Structurally, such lamps in many ways resemble the usual household incandescent lamps. In this case, electrodes with a tungsten filament are installed in a hermetically sealed glass bulb.

The high heating of the latter severely limits the service life of the halogen bulb. To increase the service life, manufacturers pump a special gas mixture into the bulb, which reduces the evaporation of tungsten. Such a constructive move made it possible to increase the service life of the lamps and increase the brightness of their luminescence.

According to experts, the halogen optics will be used in production cars for quite a long time. It has a low cost, to compete with which today can not be any analogue.

Gas discharge xenon first appeared on cars in 1991. The main advantage of such lamps can be considered an effective glow. In addition, they consume less energy and last much longer. The operating cycle of halogen lamps is about 800 hours, but the xenon works up to 3 thousand hours.

There is a number of disadvantages with such optics, the main of which is considered the need to install paired lamps. During their operation they change color of the luminescence and when replacing only one lamp, the luminous flux will be different. In addition, xenon optics requires installation of expensive ignition units, and when the headlights are dirty the diffused light disturbs the drivers of oncoming ve


Correct this situation can only be done with the help of an automatic corrector and headlight cleaning system.

LED optics

Initially, LEDs were only used in the rear lights, but today they have become available and on the head optics. The Lexus LS 600h crossover launched on the market in 2007 was the first to receive LED optics. In the past few years, LEDs have been installed almost everywhere. They are distinguished by a solid lifespan, fast response and low consumption of energy resources.

The main disadvantage of LED headlights is considered low efficiency. The limited space in the headlights simply does not allow placing the required nu

mber of LEDs. Such optics provides an average of 1700 lumens, which is equivalent to using a standard H7 lamp.

Xenon optics

If you place xenon in the headlights, the light will be even brighter. LED optics is quite expensive, pay extra for it motorists have at least one thousand dollars. But this does not mean that the money is wasted.

The first serial automobile with a laser source of headlights will be BMW i8. The main feature of such optics is a very high range of light, exceeding the range of modern LED headlights almost two times.

The technology itself is based on the use of laser light-emitting diodes, distinguished by their small size and high power. It allows saving useful space inside the headlights and increasing the reflection surface.

Laser optics

However, the laser beams are very small and immediately after they are received they have to be passed through a special phosphorus substance. Due to this the outgoing light is very bright, there is simply no point in comparing it with xenon, halogen lamps or LEDs. The only disadvantage of laser optics is the need for a complex control system.

From my personal experience of operating cars with halogen and xenon lights I will definitely speak in favor of xenon. Driving with it is much more comfortable, and the system of automatic light control and side space illumination in tight turns and cause only positive emotions. Read also about fog lights…

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