OSRAM SYLVANIA, Studies Shed New Light on High-Intensity Discharge (HID) Automotive Lighting

November 6, 2009

HILLSBORO, N.H., Nov. 6 /PRNewswire/ — We all “fell back” an hour on Sunday, Nov. 1, through Daylight Savings Time. For many of America’s 100-plus million commuters this means several months of driving to and from work in the dark. This places even more importance on a vehicle’s lighting system where better visibility equals increased safety.

High Intensity Discharge (HID) or Xenon headlamps offer the best and brightest solution. There has been a lot of interest in the topic of HID and its impact on America’s roadways. The experts are finally weighing in, informing America on the truths behind the technology.

OSRAM SYLVANIA, America’s leading manufacturer of automotive lighting, announces the release of a comprehensive HID fact sheet designed to help educate the media and the public on the truths behind HID automotive lighting. The fact sheet is available for download in PDF format on the OSRAM Web site at: http://www.sylvania.com/ConsumerProducts/AutomotiveLighting/Products/HID/default.htm

“This new fact sheet should reinforce the fact that the pluses of HID lighting greatly outweigh any minuses,” said Sharon Ernest, product manager for OSRAM SYLVANIA. “Along with offering a brighter, safer beam pattern, OSRAM Xenon automotive lighting is energy efficient, using up to 65 percent less energy and lasts three times longer than standard halogen lights, nearly the life of the vehicle. OSRAM HID lamps also are good for the environment. They’re Mercury-free and the increased efficiency helps reduce vehicle CO2 emissions by approximately 2.1 g/mile.”

Along with pertinent details and other interesting information, the “Facts About HID” document features briefs on recent studies proving that HID headlamps provide visual benefits that may lead to greater nighttime driving safety for people — and animals — alike.

HID Lighting Helps Reduce Deer/Vehicle Collisions

Approximately 1.5 million deer/vehicle collisions occur each year in the U.S., resulting in $1.1 billion in damage, injuries to occupants and loss of individual animals according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

A recent study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture tested the effects of halogen and HID headlights on the flight-initiation distance (FID) of free-range deer. Flight-initiation distance is defined as the distance at which the deer sees the vehicle as runs from the roadway. The study hypothesized that a vehicle lighting system that better complemented the visual capabilities of deer at night would increase the distance that deer perceived an oncoming vehicle, giving them more time to leave the roadway, potentially reducing the number of deer/vehicle collisions.

The results of the eight-month study proved the premise to be true. White-tailed deer were more sensitive to a vehicle equipped with HID lighting, taking flight up to 20 meters sooner than they did when exposed to a vehicle equipped with halogen lamps.

“We suggest,” state study authors Bradley F. Blackwell and Thomas W. Seamans, “that deer flight-initiation distance can be increased by combining currently available tungsten halogen and HID lamps, or use of HID lamps alone, to enhance deer detection of an approaching vehicle at night.”

HID Lighting Improves Peripheral Vision During Night Driving

A scientific study by the Transportation Lighting Group, Lighting Research Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute compared HID and halogen lighting systems for visual performance during night time driving situations with an emphasis on peripheral vision. The study states that along with adequate forward vision, good peripheral vision, or the ability to spot objects at the edge of or off the edge of the road, is crucial to driving safety.

Results proved conclusively that HID headlamps greatly increase visual awareness of objects in the driver’s peripheral vision.

“Because HID lamps produce a wider beam, drivers can see better along the sides of the road,” said John D. Bullough, a senior research scientist at RPI in a recent RPI release. “That wider beam allows drivers to see pedestrians or animals that may not quite be on the road, but might be approaching it. So there are some potential benefits in terms of safety for the drivers who have these lamps.”

That benefit would extend to people walking along the roadway as well.

Additionally, researchers discovered that the spectral power distribution (SPD) or physical makeup of the HID light beam makes it easier for the human eye to see objects in low-light conditions.

Brief synopses and links to the full studies can be found on the HID Fact Sheet.


OSRAM SYLVANIA, together with OSRAM GmbH, is the world leader in automotive lighting for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and the aftermarket. The company’s global automotive lighting division has its principal North American operations in Hillsboro, N.H., with nearly 700 employees. In addition to TS 16949, this facility has also achieved ISO 9001 and 14001 certifications. Automotive Lighting designs, develops, manufactures and markets state-of-the-art automotive light sources, including auxiliary, advanced halogen, LED and high-intensity discharge lighting for interior, exterior and forward lighting applications. Over 400 lamp types are produced for cars, trucks, and electronics in facilities throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Automotive applications for OEMs are marketed under the OSRAM brand while products for the aftermarket are sold under the SYLVANIA brand.

OSRAM Opto Semiconductors and OSRAM Automotive Lighting work together to offer a complete line of cutting-edge, award-winning, light emitting diode (LED) products and system solutions for the automotive industry from individual LED components to Joulea Standardized Automotive LED Systems. OSRAM LED products enable the automotive industry to take advantage of the functionality, durability, energy-savings, and styling potential LEDs provide.

OSRAM SYLVANIA is a leader in lighting solutions and specialty products that feature innovative design and energy saving technology. The company sells products for homes, businesses and vehicles primarily under the SYLVANIA brand name, and also under the OSRAM brand. Headquartered in Danvers, Mass., OSRAM SYLVANIA is the North American operation of OSRAM GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of Siemens AG. For more information, visit www.sylvania.com.


Source: newswire

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