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BMW Developing Laser Vehicle Headlights

The next step in vehicle headlight technology will see the addition of laser technology.

Nestor Bailly, PSFK
Nestor Bailly, PSFK on September 9, 2011. @NKBailly

BMW has developed a prototype laser vehicle headlight. Included in the new i8 Concept Car, BMW claims laser lights are the next logical step in automobile lighting after LEDs.

Using 10-micron long laser diodes (100 times smaller than LEDs) that have far lower power requirements and put out 170 lumens per watt, nearly double that of LEDs, the automaker hopes to increase the efficiency of both conventional and electric vehicles.

The light from the new design is reportedly very white and bright, but pleasant to the eye. Laser headlights allow highly directional illumination on the road, getting light where drivers need it and out of the eyes of oncoming vehicles.

No word yet on price, but on some luxury cars the now apparently obsolete LED and Xenon headlights can tack as much as $1,000 in costs.

BMW i8

 

 

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