Visteon Corp. claims to have one of the industry’s first “road-worthy beam pattern” applications of LED front lighting, a capability it demonstrated on the Cadillac STS SAE 100 Technology Integration Vehicle at the SAE World Congress earlier this month.
LED front lighting provides unique styling opportunities while delivering a durable light with extended life, reduced power consumption and reduced space requirements, according to Todd Sheppelman, Visteon's vice president and general manager of the General Motors customer business group. Since LED lights use several sources rather than a single light source to achieve the required beam pattern, designers can arrange light sources to provide a unique differentiating appearance; for example, creating different daytime and nighttime "faces" for a vehicle.
Visteon currently produces LED rear signal lights, but moving LED technology to the front of the vehicle is challenging, Sheppelman said, “because of the many light sources that must be arranged and focused to provide necessary nighttime and inclement-weather visibility.”
Visteon's approach includes unique optics and a new method of light source placement to direct the white light into a beam pattern that meets federal requirements for automotive front lighting.
Sheppelman said that Visteon also had to overcome engineering challenges related to thermal management, for heat dissipation to withstand engine-compartment temperatures, and precise electronic current control. Visteon's LED front lighting demonstration lamps are based entirely on LED technology. Sheppelman said LED front lights are up to 55% thinner than their non-LED counterparts, thus opening up space in the engine compartment or in the grille to add styling options.