September 6, 2011
BMW Developing Laser Headlights
BMW said recently that it is experimenting with laser headlights a thousand times greater than conventional LEDs.
The automaker said the headlights are "the next logical step in the development of vehicle headlight technology."
BMW said laser lighting is a "coherent" light source, which means that its waves have a constant phase difference. This means laser lighting can produce a near-parallel beam with an intensity a thousand times greater than conventional LEDs.
The company said these characteristics can be used to implement entirely new functions, and could be more efficient in a vehicle's energy consumption.
The size of the laser light would also be unconventional, and BMW said this could open up possibilities for headlight positioning and body styling.
"LED lighting generates only around 100 lumens (a photometric unit of light output) per watt, laser lighting generates approximately 170 lumens," the company said in a press release. "With statistics like this, it is not surprising that BMW is also planning to take advantage of laser lighting technology to increase the efficiency of the overall vehicle."
BMW will release the first laser light technology in its i8 Concept vehicle.
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