More cars to get LED lights as standard equipment

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LED lights

Formerly a party piece for Audi cars, LED lights are appearing on a growing number of cars. Photo Credit: Thermos/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA

Not long ago, LED headlights were reserved only for high-end cars as standard equipment, though there are certainly plenty of aftermarket suppliers. However, more cars are going to have LED lights as standard equipment.

The diode is cast

Light bulbs are basically light bulbs, no matter the application. The same basic technology is at work in lamps, flashlights and in headlamps in cars. Most headlights are basically modern versions of the same bulb invented by Thomas Edison and also that other guy who came up with the same design at the time but lost the race to the patent office.

Just as with light bulbs, headlamps are switching to new ways of emitting light, among which are LED lights. LED, or light-emitting diodes, differ from traditional bulbs as they use a smaller volume of electricity to create light, accomplished by use of semi-conductor circuitry rather than by activating a gas, like in fluorescent bulbs, or by heating a filament like a traditional incandescent bulbs.

Currently, anyone can go into numerous stores and buy LED bulbs for home use. However, use in cars has been somewhat limited until recently.

Audi sight

One of the most prominent uses of LED headlights is in the accent lighting on Audi cars. For instance, the trail of lights accenting the headlamps on the Audi R8 were quite famous and Audi later highlighted the brightness of the LED lamps in a Super Bowl commercial featuring the 2012 S7, according to the Huffington Post.

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In fact, according to AutoGuide, they weren’t standard on any production car until five years ago, when Lexus put only LED bulbs in the LS600h. A recent JD Power and Associates survey found LED headlights were also the most desired new technology for new car buyers; 70 percent of respondents were willing to spend more to have them. Though LED lights were normally the domain of BMW, Audi and Lexus, cars like the Nissan Altima, Honda Accord and Kia Rio can now be had with the lights. More cars will be getting them in the future.

Should have switched long ago

Just as with the lights in the house, there are good reasons to switch to LED lights. They use up to 80 percent less power and also last longer than normal incandescent bulbs. They also emit a stronger, whiter light, which makes driving at night safer, easier and also lessens battery draw. This leads to a longer battery life, at an all-time premium with greater amounts of power-sapping gizmos in cars.

Not only that, but there is a distinct benefit for electric car owners. According to Engadget, equipping an EV with LED lamps rather than headlights can mean a longer range. Sylvania, the light bulb maker, found one of the company’s LED headlights drew only 56 watts with the high-beams engaged, compared to 240 watts for a regular bulb. Though the company has an obvious commercial interest, Sylvania estimates an EV can get six additional miles on a charge using LED bulbs.

Sources

AutoGuide

Huffington Post

Engadget

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