LED retrofitting for headlights: How your car makes the street brighter

Lighting technology in the car

LED retrofitting for headlights: How your car makes the street brighter

LED retrofitting for headlights: How your car makes the street brighter-retrofitting
VW LED headlights are now almost standard in many vehicle classes

  • Site author Stefan Grundhoff

The light on the car has long been more than a headlight cone that illuminates the night. Over the years, front and rear headlights have become one of the most important driver assistance systems. Now you can even be yours "old box" retrofit with LED light.

In particular, German premium manufacturers have made a corresponding name in the area of lighting technology in the past decades. The breakthrough came at the end of the 1980s with the BMW 750i, which introduced the bright xenon light and duped the competition from home and abroad. Xenon light has long been cold coffee, because LED and laser light systems are now the measure of all light things. Hundreds of meters in front of the vehicle, lighten the area in front of the vehicle and even shady oncoming traffic by integrating intelligent camera systems.

LED headlights make the night a day

Things in the United States look a little different, because many lighting systems that have long established themselves in Europe are still released in the USA. This applies especially to laser headlights, with which, for example, BMW or Audi, at least optionally equip their vehicles. The laser is a strongly bundled light beam with which you can drive all sorts of shingles. But in everyday automotive life, he can also mime a completely harmless all -purpose weapon. For example, the street almost perfectly and illuminate Taghell.

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LED retrofitting for headlights: How your car makes the street brighter-street

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With delays, the LED lights have prevailed, which with great emphasis illuminates the luminous body almost every new vehicle. The Mercedes S-Class of Generation W 222 had no light bulbs on board years ago as the first car worldwide. The small LED lamps make it possible-white brightly bright and extremely economical. Xenon light, once adopted as the brightest light innovation from the expensive aircraft technology, has long been a dark story, LED lamps, especially en Vogue and if you want to show something innovative, you rely on laser light or in special variants of LED modules.

LED retrofitting for headlights: How your car makes the street brighter-street
Daimler AG Slights today are high-tech products

The bluish shimmering laser light gets its white color through a phosphorus leaves and is distributed as desired. The reflector of a laser headlight is only as large as a 20 cent piece. Nevertheless, the laser light is far lighter than LED headlights and to be controlled again more precisely. In addition, more and more manufacturers are focusing on the further development of the LED technology, the OLEDs. The organic luminous diodes consume even less electricity and are just 1.4 millimeters thick. One advantage of the OLEDs is the flexibility of the- compared to the conventional LED- large area and the associated possibility of controlling individual segments.

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LED retrofitting for headlights: How your car makes the street brighter-street

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OLEDs are the next step

Due to this characteristic, the OLEDs are particularly suitable for the taillights that have always been used as design elements. But LED pig launchers have long been crossed by intelligent light islands. The lighting technology ensures that the consumption is reduced, because LEDs used significantly less energy than halogen pears or xenon burners. "The advantages of digital OLED are in addition to a perfect contrast, high homogeneity and minimal segmental areas," explains Stephan Berlitz, Head of Development Innovations Light at Audi, "Digital OLED is therefore the perfect technology to present personalized lighting design with high precision and great variability. There are still many options in the further development of this technology."

LED retrofitting for headlights: How your car makes the street brighter-your
Audi AG Setting up an LED rear lamp

The new Mercedes EQS offers a lane change assistant that leads the driver to the right track in connection with digital light. "For us, the headlight has long since become a driver assistance system," explains Mathias Thamm, Head of Innovations and Technologies at VW, "We use information from GPS data, front camera, radar, steering and speed to illuminate the lights to illuminate to be able to adapt perfectly.“You can see the success in the evening at first glance. Depending on the pace, road guide and the vehicle in front, the light concrete adapts variably and lights the road to lightly light. The switched-on high beam of the new LED front lift also brings a range of reach from around 100 to just under 550 meters. In an SUV such as the VW Touareg, in addition to functions such as city and country road light, encounter lighting or highway rear lights, there is even a static and particularly wide off-road light in order to be able to illuminate the area in front of the vehicle at an angle of 90 degrees- everything automatically. Only the fog light must be switched individually by the driver. "There are currently hardly any sensors that can measure whether it is fog, maybe just a snow reflection or something else," says Mathias Thamm.

Fog and snow remain a problem

There are also xenon and LED headlights in the United States, but they can do far less than the European versions. Models such as an Audi A3 or a Mercedes S-Class must therefore reduce your complete light package and some functions are blocked according to the requirements of the US authorities. According to the requirements of the US authorities, there are only two variants here: driving light or high beam-on or off. Laser light, laser led lights that adapt to the surroundings and hide oncoming traffic-all known, but not permitted, where a guideline from 1968 or better the light still specifies the tone.

LED retrofitting for headlights: How your car makes the street brighter-street
Daimler AG The headlights shine the road variably today – thanks to LED technology

According to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard Number 108, there is only light or light – and nothing in between. A few years ago, it looked like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would change the 1967 regulation on pressure from manufacturers from Asia and Europe – nothing has happened so far. The reasons are diverse and hardly anything else than advanced. One of the main reasons is the national industry, because the domestic car manufacturers drove after the lighting technology and their own suppliers had no corresponding expertise.

Retrofit LED headlights? That works now

The situation is quite different on the retrofit market, because those who were traveling in the mountain regions of Colorado or Montana will see countless off-road vehicles of each year of construction with gigantic LED radiators that could illuminate half the state. Here the regulation is lax and almost everything is allowed. It looks very different in a country like Germany. LED retrospectively solutions for two handful of young people used by young people have only been allowed here for two years. The light of the retrofit solution from Osram is up to three times brighter than prescribes the minimum legal requirements and comparable with daylight, since the lamp brings strong contrasts and a large reach into the car. Thanks to LED technology, it shines twice as strongly and up to five times longer than a comparable halogen variant, must be exchanged accordingly and also consumes less energy.

You can carry out the conversion yourself

Particularly practical: The lamp change from halogen to the OSRAM LED can be carried out without conversion measures with manageable specialist knowledge itself. In contrast to the surcharge of the factory solution, the LED system per vehicle with almost 130 euros is comparatively cheap; Admittedly, however, costs a multiple of a halogen bulb that is compensated for around 15 to 30 euros. An entry in the vehicle documents is not necessary. It is sufficient to keep Osram’s general operating license for any control.

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4 thoughts on “LED retrofitting for headlights: How your car makes the street brighter”

  1. I am a light fan
    But with LED it gets absolutely exaggerated ! Normal LED daytime running lights are already as bright as … Normal halogen high beam. Best example of this of the Ford Transit.With Xenon you needed headlight washing system but not with LED despite much higher luminous flux. Then this matrix headlights absolute madness. Although you are hidden, the stray light is still enough for an immense glare. I always help myself with my fog lamp. Absolutely incomprehensible for me that such light has received approval. Background, the assistance systems do not address the normal halogen immediately. Even the normal LED return lights are much brighter than fog lights. I will probably not be able to drive a car at night at night. Thanks, auto industry !

  2. Sometimes research Site !
    Laser Light from BMW is definitely approved. Every 7er, X7 and i8 has that! By the way, looked at my neighbor again at the door. Xenon and LED are significantly brighter and are not subject to any regulation. The Old Tesla Model S are almost twice as strong as the EU variant. LED that is controlled and a matrix "Light" is also approved. Just not the matrix. But don’t do anything if I write down a 2000W LED light output on my F150 and make the night a day … Best regards from San Diego, CA, USA

  3. High Tech – High Costs
    For a driver who lives in the (large) city and is rarely traveling longer distances on unlit roads, this great lighting technique actually means only one thing: high acquisition costs. And since this technique plays into the hands of the designers, there is hardly a possibility of choosing; Another factor, which is why European cars are becoming more and more expensive. Even with an assumed perfect illumination without any glare of other road users, 400+ meter range of a headlight seems absurd and unnecessary – at the latest the expected speed limit will make this obsolete. The American legislature protects its domestic suppliers, but maybe he has not lost sight of the requirements for the domestic market.

  4. Curse or blessing?
    LED lamps are certainly a big blessing in some areas because they save a lot of electricity. If the LEDs are installed in motor vehicles, there is an unsightly problem. If a single LED fails, you have to dispose of the entire light unit right away. With a headlight, this can then be up to 1.000,-€. In theory, one could release a single LED, but the lamp units are usually glued and therefore not to be repaired. Everything has to look very stylish. What makes it sense if the front certificate almost pulls over the entire fender and the rear lights up to the roof? Functional, practical and inexpensive to repair it is very different!


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