Prepare to turn on the Headlights, Scotty

Prepare to turn on the Headlights, Scotty

Lasers can do some amazing things.  They are being used today to read DVDs and CDs, correct blurry vision and even for transporting Star Trek crew.  Now you can add this to the list, “replacing car headlamps.” That’s right; vehicle headlights are getting beamed up.

BMW, one of the first automakers to adopt the technology, says that lasers have an illuminating power 1,000 times more powerful than LEDs — which up until just recently provided the greatest power of all the bulb technologies out there. BMW explains that laser technology has some compelling advantages over standard illumination system, for example: laser automobile lights can be much smaller than conventional lighting systems, they can use much less energy than incandescent lights to operate, and they look pretty darn cool, too.

I know what you are thinking, can’t lasers burn your eyes out?  Sounds like a major disadvantage in the grand scheme of things.  Not a problem says BMW, because of the way the beam energy is directed and then ultimately displayed out of the headlight housing, you can’t accidentally injure your eyes.  This is not like “looking into a laser”, they explain. What happens with each headlight is that three blue lasers positioned at the rear of the assembly fire onto a set of mirrors closer to the front. Those mirrors focus the laser energy into a lens filled with yellow phosphorus. The yellow phosphorus, when excited by the blue laser, emits an intense white light. That white light shines backward, onto a reflector then the reflector bounces the more diffused white light forward to illuminate the road. No direct laser beams exit the assembly.

Because laser-powered headlight systems can be much smaller than standard headlights, they open up a new world for automotive designers.  They now have a larger palate to use when crafted the front of new automobiles. They have more flexibility to make more aerodynamic shapes or just to fit more stuff into the engine compartment with the freed-up space.

BMW, the developer and so far frontrunner on this technology, hasn’t yet said when laser-powered headlights will be a regular option on its production cars and SUVs. Neither have other companies? Given the “arms-race” nature of the auto business, it’s probably a safe bet that other manufacturers are already trying to figure out how to produce their own laser-augmented lighting systems.  We will likely be seeing a great deal more about automotive laser illumination systems in coming years.

Source: BMW of Rockville

Related posts

Pioneer DJM-2000 Pro DJ Mixer with multi-touch screen

Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. Professional Sound and Visual Division, is again front and center of the DJ scene as a technology leader with the introduction of the DJM-2000 professional mixer providing new generation digital DJs the ability to creatively produce outstanding performances at an...

Dell releases 29-inch ultra wide monitor

Following LG to market the US computer giant Dell has launched a new ultra wide 29-inch monitor known as UltraSharp U2913WM. The monitor bets on an IPS display and works at 2560 x 1080 pixel resolution. It also offers LED backlighting, 21:9 ratio, a 99 per cent...

Verbatim Announces Penny-thin TUFF-’N’-TINY Line of USB Drives

Verbatim Americas, LLC, announced today its new TUFF-’N’-TINY™ family of ultra-portable USB drives with capacities of 2GB orange, 4GB in emerald green and 8GB in royal purple. The new TUFF-’N’-TINY drives measure about 1-inch long, one-half inch wide and are the thickness of a...

Leave a comment