|Projected global LED penetration in vehicle production. Source: OSRAM Sylvania. Click to enlarge.|
The automotive market is inevitably trending to LED lighting for reasons of reliability, appearance, functionality and efficiency, says OSRAM SYLVANIA. OSRAM SYLVANIA, together with OSRAM GmbH (owned by Siemens), is the world leader in automotive lighting for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and the aftermarket. LED signal lighting is well-established in all 3 major market regions, and LED forward lighting (FWL) is about to explode, the company says.
A 2008 paper by a team at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) concluded that an all-LED system employing the then current generation of LEDs would result in general power savings of about 50% (nighttime) to about 75% (daytime) over a traditional system. The effect on long-term savings for the LED system depended upon the type of vehicle in use (gasoline-powered vs. electric). While the long-term fuel cost savings (dollars) were higher for the gasoline-powered vehicle, long-term distance savings (range) favored the electric vehicle.
|OSRAM JOULE LED forward lighting unit. Click to enlarge.|
Jonathan Dunlap, an automotive lighting engineer and product marketing manager with OSRAM, says that in internal testing with a Nissan LEAF, the company has found that use of an LED exterior lighting system provides an extra 9 km of range at night (4-5% range extension). (The LEAF currently uses an LED system from Valeo and its partner in Japan, Ichikoh, unveiled as a world premier on the LEAF.)
OSRAM also believes that micro-hybrids or mild hybrids which feature engine stop/start mechanisms to boost the efficiency of conventional vehicles, will benefit greatly from LED lighting by reducing power draw and battery drain, as well as increasing light output during low power mode and startups.
OSRAM notes that using energy-efficient LED technology in the 2010 Ford Mustang reduces rear lighting power consumption by 87% compared to standard incandescent bulbs. Lower lighting power consumption reduces the load on the alternator, which directly correlates to fuel efficiency gains and reduced CO2 emissions. This translates into an annual savings of 10.5 gallons of gasoline, and 205 fewer pounds of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere.
Even with conventional vehicles, a 28 watt LED system emits only 196 grams of carbon dioxide per 100 kilometers compared to 768 grams of carbon dioxide per 100 kilometers from conventional 110 watt H7 halogen bulbs. “Whether the goal is reduced fuel consumption or reduced carbon emissions, LED lighting is the best technology available,” says David Hulick, marketing director for Automotive Solid State Lighting for OSRAM SYLVANIA.
We see the trend in LED lighting moving from the interior to the exterior of the car, first in the rear, now moving to the front of the vehicle, with rapid increases in technology. We have engineered a modular plug-and-play [lighting] puck, meant to be the next generation. The premise of the JOULE product line is that while LEDS are more efficient and more compact, they are not as easy to use as traditional light sources. They require different thermal management, different optic prescriptions...we want to make a standardized package, a plug-in piece, to simplify this [for OEMs].—Jonathan Dunlap
The JOULE system. JOULE is OSRAM’s trademark for Plug&Play LED solutions for automotive signal and applications, first introduced in the mid-2000s. OSRAM subsequently developed a forward lighting portfolio to meet different requirements; Volkswagen featured the use of OSRAM LED forward lighting for low beams in the L1 concept, and OSRAM says that its first high-volume project is under development.
OSRAM has begun series production of the new JOULE JFL2 second generation 50mm - LED light source for headlights. The applications include lighting functions such as high and low beams, fog lights, daytime running lights and other applications that can be configured by the vehicle manufacturers. The JFL2S draws 14 watts of power.
Schoettle, B., Sivak, M., Fujiyama, Y. (2008) LEDs and power consumption of exterior automotive lighting: Implications for gasoline and electric vehicles (UMTRI-2008-48