Depending upon the applications, automotive lights are getting redefined in automotives.
The automotive lighting market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 7.22 per cent from 2016 to 2021and reach $29.53 billion by 2021, driven by increasing vehicle production, technological advancements and partly by stringent regulations. The automotive lighting market has been segmented by region, technology, vehicle type, position, two-wheeler and adaptive lighting. LED is the fastest growing technology in automotive lighting market. It is energy efficient, lightweight and takes less space. These attributes are responsible for the fast growth of this technology. Halogen will dominate the market owing to its low cost. LED is the fastest growing technology for automotive lighting. LED lights are energy efficient, lightweight and take less space than conventional lighting systems. Given the advantages of LED, they are being increasingly adopted in vehicles across the globe. The growth for xenon lights will be average due the fact that the ultra-bright light dazzles oncoming traffic.
The automotive lighting market ecosystem consists of manufacturers such as HELLA (Germany), Osram (Germany), Magneti Marelli (Italy), Koito (Japan) and Stanley Electric (Japan) and OEMs such as Volkswagen Group (Germany), Mercedes-Benz (Germany), Ford (USA), Hyundai (South Korea), Toyota (Japan), Tata (India), Mahindra and Mahindra (India). Equipment manufacturers associations such as The Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA), Japan Lighting Manufacturers Association, European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) and The Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers' Association, among others are also part of this system.
The essence of exterior lights is to provide high degree of visibility to the driver of the vehicle and the surrounding vehicles, during day and night; variety of climatic conditions like rain or fog or snow and traffic conditions.
Glare from the headlights, especially high beams of oncoming vehicles, causes significant stress and distraction at best and temporary blindness at worst. Trucks and other vehicles with headlights at high positions are the worst offenders. Although, glare is not often reported as a cause of accidents, hundreds of fatal night crashes attribute glare as a contributing factor every year. Glare is especially problematic for the elderly whom take eight times longer to recover from glare as compared to a 16-year old. Although high beams are a nuisance to other drivers, they are beneficial on narrow, curvy, and poorly lit roads, especially in rural areas where wildlife routinely jumps onto the road. Similarly, glare from the tail lights and turn indicator lights also irritates the drivers in the vehicles behind.
Introduction of day time running lights and control systems like auto dipping, auto increase in light intensity of head lights by sensing the surrounding lights and headlight beams of oncoming vehicles has led to smart programmable logic controls operating the lights has become a standard feature in most high end vehicles and is finding acceptance in low value vehicle segment as well.
A few years back, Audi introduced a patented, very stylishly contoured and sophisticated LED day running lights in their A4 model in India. Many others followed the same concept by introducing their own versions of LED daylights, initially as optional and later as standard fitment. Even the aftermarket responded by offering retrofit kits for almost
On the rear end of a vehicle, the style trends and preventing glare without compromising visibility are the norms of the day. Every vehicle on the road, irrespective of the segment commencing from passenger cars to heavy trucks, is presenting signature designs of rear lights and turn indicators in almost every new models introduced to the market. In fact the style varies from country to country to maintain differentiation.
While discussing exterior lights, the applications are extending beyond the statuettes. Most door mounted rear view mirrors have integrated turn indicators, front wheel arches or toneos carry highly contoured turn indicator lights and bottom panels below the doors are decorated with illuminated car logos.
Multi-functional multi-mood interior lights
Interior lights in a vehicle have moved many steps ahead of the traditional function of illuminating the interior during boarding or alighting through door operated switches or manually operated interior lights for emergency use or reading etc. To begin with, small LED lamps illuminate the locations of all operating switches in the dark for doors and window controls and infotainment systems. The more sophisticated versions include mood lighting in various colour schemes in light blue, green, flashy orange and bright red. Depending upon the mood, a passenger can select the option of starry nights, or discotheque or any other theme in the selection menu. This trend is very popular with the gen nexts.
Similarly, the instrument clusters, infotainment panel and internal rear view mirrors are illuminated with designer lighting for providing visibility, and comfort and excitement to the drivers.
Auto light for brand promotion
Going a few steps ahead in brand promotion, many rear view mirrors are equipped with projector lamps which project the brand logo on the ground while some high-end cars and motorbikes project welcome lights on the ground, for approaching passengers or while parked. Other areas like car rear and front grills are also illuminated with hues for decorative purposes.
Learning from the positive business results achieved by providing innovative lights and their brand promotion value, most auto majors and light manufacturers are making high investment towards research and development in this aspect of automotives. It is believed that some companies have state-of-the-art light testing tunnel for their vehicles wherein they create all possible climatic and driving conditions to test the efficacy of the innovative and stylishly creative light designs.
As such, lights illuminate their surroundings and their future in turn is very bright. The prospective buyers can expect every new vehicle with new concepts in auto lights in the future.