BMW‘s laser lighting will get its first airing in the BMW i8 concept.
In the past decade, LEDs have become increasingly popular for use on cars, mainly for use as turn signals, brake and park lights, and daytime running lamps, but more recently, also for use in headlights. Now BMW has revealed it is taking the next step in the development of vehicle headlight technology by working on the introduction of laser light headlights. The company says that laser light not only offers energy – and therefore fuel – savings, but could also enable entirely new design possibilities and light functions on vehicles to improve safety. It aims to have the technology ready for series production “within a few years.”
While the prospect of cruising down the highway, arming the lasers and blasting obstacles to oblivion might sound appealing to some drivers, BMW says the originally bluish laser light beam isn’t emitted directly, but is first converted by means of a fluorescent phosphor material inside the headlight into a pure white light that is suitable for use in road traffic. Therefore, the intensity of the laser light wouldn’t pose any risk to humans, animals or wildlife and the emitted light would also be very bright and white, making it more comfortable to the eye.
Because it is a “coherent” light source, meaning its waves have a constant phase difference, BMW says that laser lighting can produce a near-parallel beam with an intensity that is a thousand times greater than LEDs. Additionally, laser lighting boasts less than half the energy consumption of LED headlights, which BMW points out would lead to fuel savings. Whereas LED lighting generates around 100 lumens per watt, laser lighting generates around 170 lumens.
Bookmark this page for “laser headlights” and check back regularly as these articles update on a very frequent basis. The view is set to “news”. Try clicking on “video” and “2” for more articles.