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13 02, 2016

Car Headlights

By Team WayWheels | Founder | February 13th, 2016 | Self | 0 Comments

Whenever people talk about cars, various topics crop up in the conversations – the models, prices, design, speed, mileage and features; but one thing that people do not talk about is the headlights. All cars have headlights and no one really pays them much heed unless they fail or are shaped in a particularly ugly manner. Let’s take a look at some of the different kinds of headlights –

1) Incandescent or Halogen – These bulb types are the very oldest around, and are effectively just heavy-duty versions of the incandescent light bulbs in your house. They use a tungsten filament suspended in a vacuum; electricity passes through the wire, causes it to heat up and glow, and the vacuum in the bulb keeps the wire from instantly oxidizing and breaking. You can see them in old classic cars.

Halogen bulbs are an improvement on the standard incandescent, in that they use halogen gas instead of a vacuum inside the tube. In point of fact, the functional part of a halogen bulb (the filament) is no bigger than that of a sealed beam headlight, but it uses a much smaller gas tube and a smaller volume of gas to contain the heat. Halogens are the most common type of bulb in use today, and they work quite well for most applications. They’re cheap, bright, fairly long lasting and dimmable. They’re also small and easy to replace — unlike those huge old sealed beams, with their integrated lenses and reflectors.
On the downside, the light they cast is slightly yellowish in color, so it doesn’t cast as far down the road given the bulb’s brightness and power consumption.

2) HID, ( "Xenon," "Plasma" Or "Arc") Headlights – These lights debuted on the BMW 7 Series in 1991, and unlike halogens and sealed-beam lights, HID bulbs don’t use a filament of any kind. Because the light from these lamps is so intense, it offers a lot of versatility in terms of focusing. It can be focused down to a very narrow beam extending way out in front of the car, or broadened to fill the area directly ahead.
These bulbs very efficiently produce huge amounts of light in the blue-white spectrum and so offer great potential for vision well down the road, and great definition directly ahead of the car. Arc lights are the best because they have no filament to burn out, arc lights will also usually last a lot longer than halogens.
But there are several downsides. First, these lights take several seconds to strike a spark, warm up and come to full brightness. So they’re slow to come on, and can’t be flashes on and off quickly. And the fact that they do put out huge quantities of highly focused blue- white light makes them more than a little irritating to other drivers and light in this spectrum kills a person’s night vision faster than any other.
In terms of raw performance, as instruments of pure lighting, it’s hard to beat HID headlights. If all you care about is seeing everything there is to see as far away as you can see it, xenon’s will deliver.

3) LED lights – LEDs are compact, extremely energy efficient, and can turn on and off almost instantly and most cars already use scores of LED lights in dashboards and control indicators.
While LEDs themselves run very cool), these headlights as a whole do have heating issues. Because of the high resistance inside the light itself, the base of the emitter chip gets very hot. This means the LED requires some kind of heat sink to keep the diode from melting, and usually a cooling can of some sort, that adds cost.
But despite the cooling issues and not-insignificant buy-in cost, LEDs offer some really impressive potential as lighting solutions.
First, they’re tiny, so manufacturers don’t need to build massive headlight buckets to house them. Actually, they don’t need "headlights" at all, since you could just as easily and subtly incorporate LEDs into a car’s bodywork and it does give stylists more flexibility when it comes to head- and taillight shapes, and the positioning of turn signals, reverse lights, parking lights and third brake.
LEDs can be made to put out light in any color spectrum. And they’re so energy efficient, they can put out loads of light without relying on blue-white wavelengths to project down the road and back. So they’re just as capable of sending piercing beams of light a mile down the road, without blinding anyone.

4) Laser Light – Laser system uses a triad of blue laser beams directed into a small chamber containing yellow phosphorus gas and produce {1,000 times} the light using half or two-thirds of the energy of an LED. So, even as small as LEDs can be, a laser headlight can be infinitesimally smaller and the single largest component of the system would be the lens used to focus the light — to almost 2,000 feet away. These lights burn in the 6,500 Kelvin range, or about the same as LEDs and natural daylight. They can flash on and off as quickly as LEDs, and are just as adaptable in terms of dynamic lighting.

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