Innovative LED Headlight Designs at AMPA 2015

Taiwanese and Chinese LED automotive makers were displaying a lot more types of LED headlights at the 31st Taipei International Auto Parts and Accessories Show (Taipei AMPA), which ran from April 8-11, 2015 at TWTC Nangang Exhibition Hall and TWTC Exhibition Hall 1 Area A in Taiwan.

A few years ago, most Taiwanese automotive lighting manufacturers were focused on the LED taillight market. The headlight market was difficult to enter because of demanding thermal dissipation, lifetime and reliability requirements that posed significant technology barriers. Over competition in the LED taillight market, maturing LED technology, and shift of LED headlight applications from high-end car models to more affordable mid-class car range in the last five years has spurred manufacturers to enter the headlight market. 

The types of LED headlights seen at the show for aftermarket applications included sedans, luxury cars, trucks, motorcycles and niche market applications, such as jeeps and 4X4 off road vehicles.

Depo will be launching color tunable LED headlights that can change colors in accordance to car speed. (LEDinside)

Depo to launch smart LED headlight designs

One of the leading Taiwanese LED automotive lighting manufacturers, Depo Auto Parts, showcased a prototype smart LED headlight or taillight that can change colors according to car speed. Depo engineers designed the Bluetooth connected smartphone and tablet Apps for the lighting system, said Michael Hu, Executive Vice General Manager, Depo Auto Parts. The most difficult part in the design was the amount of man power invested in patent research to avoid patent infringements, he added. In addition, smart LED lights are very costly to develop with a lot of data know how, and negotiating with original automotive makers for computer data or code authorization was also a very difficult process, said Hu.

Top and bottom: Depo's headlights will be controllable via a smartphone and tablet software app that the company developed in-house. (LEDinside)

Elegantly integrated LED headlights

 Sammoon Lighting's truck light (center) integrates low/high beam lights, position lights, and daylight running lamps. (LEDinside) 

In terms of LED headlight designs, a couple manufacturers were incorporating low and high beam lights, position lights, and daylight running lights (DRL) into a single LED headlamp module, observed Sky Sun, Sales Engineer, Sammoon Lighting and Electrical. Sammoon is a Chinese LED automotive lighting maker that was founded in 2008. The company started off in HID automotive lighting business for two to three years before transferring to LED technology. According to Sun the company’s three-in-one LED headlamp that integrates low/high beam lights, daytime running lamps for trucks and off road vehicles was the most popular among visitors.

Niken LED headlights for 4X4 off-road vehicles. (LEDinside)

Similar headlight designs were also found in Taiwanese LED manufacturer Niken’s LED headlights for 4X4 off-roadvehicles. The company incorporated four lights, the position,low/high beam lights, and fog lamp into the headlight. The patent protected headlight relies on reflective design for better illumination, and thermal dissipation was also improved by placing the LED lights at the center of the luminaire instead of the top, said the company’s Marketing Manager Eric Shih. The company’s LED bar lights also used special reflective designs to conceal the LED light source to give it a more aesthetic and simple appearance, said Shih. 

Top: Niken's LED Driving Lamp. Bottom: LED bar lights. Both light designs conceal the LED light source. (LEDinside)

Sirius LED headlights for trucks incorporated in-built reflective designs as well for its 5”, 7” and 9” models. The two high power LEDs used in the lights were concealed at the top with in-built reflective designs, said Kathleen Tsai, Sales Vice Manager, Sirius Light Technology.

Sirius LED headlights for trucks has a unique reflective design. (LEDinside)

Integrated designs were also found in motorcycle headlights, TYC Brother Industrial (TYC) had integrated position lights, turn signal lights and low/high beam lights into Ducati’s new Diavel headlights. Aside for the OEM product they made for Ducati, TYC also displayed old halogen headlights for BMW R nineT motorcycle, which was a special retro model launched in 2014 to celebrate the 90th anniversary of BMW Mottard. Another product displayed was a special prototype LED truck light the company built for Optimus Prime, for Transformers: The Age of Extinction. “Most of the products showcased at Taipei AMPA display the company’s technology strengths,” said Carlos Ting, Senior Vice-president, Sales, TYC. 

 Ducati’s new Diavel LED headlights use an integrated design. (LEDinside)
BMW R nineT motorcycle uses halogen headlamps made by TYC. (LEDinside)
Last three photos are LED truck lights developed by TYC for Optimus Prime in Transformers. (LEDinside)

Trending use of guide lights for more aesthetic styling

Eagle Eyes booth highlighted two LED headlight models that used guide lights. (LEDinside)

There has been growing usage of guide lights over the last two years, said Dennis Dai, Sales Representative, Chuang Hsiang Technology. Eagle Eyes, a Taiwanese LED manufacturer that has a comprehensive in-house design and manufacturing capacity in Taiwan was using more guide light and LED light bar designs this year. The advantages of using guide light or LED light bar design in car headlights are usually for aesthetic reasons, such as styling the car lights, but it can also improve driving safety. LED guide lights and light bars offer more uniform lighting, while reducing a driver’s visual dead corners, especially when turning the vehicle, explained Gary Lin, Assistant Vice President, Eagle Eyes. The company is offering LED guide light and bar light options to Honda CR-V3 car models, and Hyndai Elantra car models this year.

Top: Eagle Eyes LED headlights for Mitsubishi Outlander. Bottom: Hyundai Elantra LED headlights. (LEDinside)

Another Taiwanese LED automotive lighting manufacturer Reliable Auto-Parts was featuring their patented LED light tube, 3D Angel Eyes. The LED light tube especially designed for BMW F series has a uniform lighting design that has a good reflective angle, introduced Julia Teng, Manager, Reliable Auto-Parts. Despite its seven centimeter thickness, the brightness of the LED light tube were unaffected and there was no shadowing. The series is also available for Honda N-Box in the U.S. market. According to Teng, the product is already patent protected in Taiwan and the company will be filing patents in other international market.

Top: Honda N-Box model incorporating Reliable Car Parts 3D Angel Eyes. Center: Reliable Car Parts 3D Angel Eyes. Bottom: Reliable Car Parts 3D Angel Eyes found in BMW F series and other car models. (LEDinside)

To sum up, some of the trends witnessed at AMPA include Taiwanese manufacturers focus on original designs, filing patents to protect product design, or making sure their products meet Emark, U.S. SAE or European ECE standards. Most of the manufacturers introduced in this article had their products certified by these organizations. Another common feature shared among LED headlight makers was the usage of Cree, Osram, Nichia or Lumileds LED chips, which manufacturers said were more reliable and capable of delivering brightness to meet U.S. or European market requirements. Another common feature shared among LED headlight makers was the usage of Cree, Osram, Nichia or Lumileds LED chips, which manufacturers said were more reliable and capable of delivering brightness to meet U.S. or European market requirements.

(Author: Judy Lin, Chief Editor, LEDinside)

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