Car lights are evolving at a lightning fast pace. It was only in the last few years that LED headlights became an option for car buyers as OEM parts. LED lights for cars are still only offered by a handful of automakers, and in most cases, they must be purchased as an option, rather than coming as a standard automotive lighting feature. But, even as LED headlights are only now becoming popular, it seems there is a whole new type of headlight on its way–laser lights!
What Are Laser Headlights?
Laser headlights are car lights that use laser diodes to generate light instead of conventional car bulbs. The diode is 100 times smaller than the emitters used in LED lights (see https://www.pmlit.com). When the laser diodes generate light, it emerges as blue light, which is then passed through a phosphor converter, which turns that blue light into the standard white light that we’re used to seeing emitted from car lights. Although laser lights can be very hot, the headlights are safety controlled to ensure full safety.
Benefits of Laser Headlights
Compared to xenon and LED lights for cars, laser headlights have many advantages, including:
– Brighter Illumination. A laser headlight is capable of producing illumination that is 1000 times more intense than what an LED headlight can emit.
– More Energy Efficient. Laser headlights require half as much power as an LED headlight.
– New Design Opportunities. Because laser diodes are so small, laser headlights will take up less space inside the front end of a vehicle, making it possible for automakers to create innovative new designs with the extra space.
– Room for Modifications. Laser lights can be combined with other auto lighting technologies, such as auto dimming.
How Close Are Laser Headlights?
BMW was the first to introduce designs for laser headlights back in 2011, and has included them on concept cars since then. In 2014, the limited edition 2015 Audi R8 LMX debuted with laser headlights; however, the lights were not approved for use on U.S. vehicles. Historically, the NHTSA has been slow to adopt new automotive lighting technologies, so it’s likely that even when laser headlights become mainstream, American drivers will have to wait longer to experience them.