Audi A8 with LEDs from OSRAM Opto Semiconductors

In the new version of the Audi A8, light emitting diodes from OSRAM Opto Semiconductors are responsible for the dipped and full beams as well as for other specific lighting functions. Apart from their efficiency, an excellent argument for LEDs is their long life, which exceeds that of the vehicle. Plus, with light similar to daylight they improve motorists’ safety.

Striking features of Audi’s current vehicles are the LED daytime running lights installed in the headlamps. In the new top-of-the-range A8 OSRAM LEDs now take on further lighting functions in the headlamps – not only dipped and full beams are based on the energy-saving LEDs from the Ostar headlamp product platform. Special lighting functions such as motorway beams, cornering lights and all-weather lights are handled by LEDs. The technological progress is readily identifiable – the individual light sources are visible in the headlamps. That distinguishes the Audi noticeably from other automobiles at night.

“LEDs have left the niche market of limited edition and luxury vehicles and have arrived successfully in volume production”, says Peter Knittl, LED automotive director at OSRAM Opto Semiconductors. “As they already meet all the requirements of modern car lighting and set new standards in many respects, LEDs are perfectly suited to mass market use.”

LED headlamps at night – OSRAM LEDs take on all the headlamp functions in the new Audi A8. Photo: AUDI AG

Better light – for the car’s life

LEDs offer carmakers like Audi significant advantages compared with conventional lighting solutions. With their energy efficiency, LEDs provide major energy savings, which are ultimately reflected in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions as well. Besides, they have outstanding advantages in terms of maintenance – the life of LED solutions is as long as that of the vehicle, which makes lamp replacements unnecessary and means savings for car owners.

The use of diodes also increases driver safety. The Ostar headlamp LEDs fitted in the A8 illuminate the road surface with perfect definition, without glare, and they produce a light similar to daylight, which enhances perceptions of contrast. In the peripheral field of vision especially, i.e. where pedestrians, animals or poorly lit vehicles may suddenly appear at night, it is easier to recognize objects with white LED light. But even potholes, obstructions and worn road markings are much more visible thanks to the attributes of LED lighting. Another benefit is that the color temperature is close to that of sunlight, so a driver’s eyes will not tire so quickly. Essentially, this technology has the potential to prevent numerous accidents caused at night.

OSRAM LED light points for dipped beam in the Audi A8. Photo: AUDI AG

The future of vehicle lighting

The Ostar headlamp is available as a new product platform with up to five LED chips. An innovative conversion process provides a seamless white colour impression at maximum brightness levels. Typical light values achieved for each LED chip are 160lm at 700mA. Depending on the variant and operating current, values between 125lm and 1100lm are achievable. With its scalable brightness, the Ostar headlamp is perfectly suited to all headlamp functions such as full and dipped beams, cornering lights, fog-lamps and even for use in daytime running lights.

LED technology makes it possible: The elaborate mechanism with actuators, which is required for cornering lights with conventional lamps, for example, can be replaced by appropriately aligned LEDs. Headlamps are therefore evolving from a mechanical type of component to an electronic module, which can operate linked to the vehicle’s electronic system. For an innovative glare-free full beam, for example, data from the navigation system and information from a light-based driver assistance system are combined. Thus, the lighting system can by itself illuminate only the required parts of the road when cornering or in oncoming traffic. LED arrays play a particular role here in future – depending on the lighting function, individual LED pixels can be switched on or off, which enables light to adjust perfectly to various conditions.

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