Osram: The Regulation on Daytime Running Light (DRL) in Europe to Bring Immense Growth Opportunities for LED Automobile Lighting Applications — LEDforum 2009 Report (5)

To increase road safety, the European Commission has recently proposed the regulation on Daytime Running Light (DRL) for all new motor vehicles. The regulation, which is planned to go into effect from 2011, could bring immense growth opportunity for the market of LEDs for automotive lighting applications, said Huang Ziyuan, marketing manager of Osram’s Asia-Pacific Area at the LEDforum 2009. The LED lighting application in automobile field has expanded from the brake lights, turn signals, courtesy lamps to the DRL, Li said, and the next application to get substantially developed will be LED headlight, he projects.

The LED automobile lighting application is now growing steadily, noted Mr Huang, a veteran with 10 years of experience in the LED industry, and the LED headlight, though has not been widely adopted by the majority of auto models, is likely to be the market trend in the future, he said. He is also optimistic about the future development of LED DRL, LED Center High Mounted Stop Lamps, etc.

In relevant energy-saving regulations on vehicles, the European Commission requires the automobile to reduce the carbon emission by 278kg for per hundred miles. The Osram JOULE LED system, Huang pointed out, could reduce the carbon emission of a medium-size vehicle by as much as 400kg during its 9.7 year life span, assuming a 200-hour braking operation, a 220-hour taillight running and a 75-hour turn signal running. 

As to Day Running Light (DRL) for automobiles, the European Commission is planning to require all the motor vehicles in the European Union to use DRL in order to increase road safety. In the draft regulation, all new small vehicles and light trucks will be required to use DRL from February, 2011, and all heavy trucks and buses will also have to begin using DRL from August, 2012.

The European Union’s ECE R87 Regulation, if get passed, will be of significant benefit for the growth of LED automobile lighting market. For DRL is switched on all the time during the day, the vehicle will consume much more power than before if adopting the traditional lighting source, which is running counter to requirement of reducing carbon emission. As a result, the LED DRL will obviously be a practical option, bringing much benefit to the LED manufacturers if the automakers all use LED as light source for DRLs.

Besides, the electrical vehicle (EV) has been capturing increasing attention under push of environment protecting concerns and policies, and this new type of vehicle is also expected to adopt LED as the main source of lighting, which further promises the LED trend in the automobile lighting market. Mr. Huang noted that with issues such as LED standards and the cost got solved in the future, the LED manufacturers will tightly cooperate with the automakers to provide the LED automobile lighting solutions to meet the market demand.

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