Laser-powered headlights – a brilliant solution to a dangerous problemFriday 03 February 2023
One of the first exciting lighting innovations of 2023 has arrived, with the opportunity to revolutionise automotive lighting.
The world’s first laser-based headlight modules will be available to car manufacturers soon. These modules use laser technology to improve the visibility of vehicles in treacherous conditions, such as severe snow, rain and especially fog. Standard headlight modules are notoriously poor in foggy conditions, as the beams emitted immediately diffuse and reflect when they hit thick fog, which can actually blind the driver. Fog lights only provide a small benefit today, and are more for the benefit of other road users, rather than drivers.
The laser-based alternatives developed by KYOCERA SLD Laser claim to provide greater safety to both drivers and other vehicles on the road, while also minimising glare and being vision-safe. They claim to avoid the same level of diffusion and reflection present in Halogen head lighting and other LED headlights. Moreover, the design is ultracompact, at less than half an inch in height. Despite this, its light emission is rated at both high brightness and high efficiency.
While some may be initially fearful of laser-based technologies in headlighting, due to the well-known dangers of high-powered lasers on human eyes, these headlight modules are specifically designed to protect human users. It appears that human vision was a main concern for the design team, as the technology behind the light-sources has been rated as eye-safe since 2018.
These headlight modules will be available to all transport industries in the near future, and are expected to drive headlight technology forward to a significant extent, as the benefits to safety will be immediately apparent. But these are not the only industries that they expect to alter.
Security, safety, search & rescue and portable lighting applications all expect to benefit from laser-based modules in the coming years. It seems that wherever lighting provides a direct impact to safety, that KYOCERA will be seeking to make an impact on the market.
It will be exciting to see how these laser-based technologies come to affect the wider lighting industry in the next few years. Only time will tell just how effective their wider applications are, but after impressive technical demonstrations at CES 2023, we think the future is bright for anyone using this impressive new technology.
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