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Glowing appeal: In car design, energy use, LEDs add 'cool factor'

Old 02-18-2008, 03:31 AM
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Default Glowing appeal: In car design, energy use, LEDs add 'cool factor'

http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll...802180320/1148

Two earliest memories of LED's, Father's TI calc and my Star Wars watch. Nice. I remember about a year ago one of the finance shows was hyping up LED mfgrs. Later I saw an article about LCD projectors starting to use LED's as the light source (more affordable than incandescent and last longer). Probably wouldn't be a bad thing to have a prominent innovator in the LED industry in one's portfolio....

[quote]Glowing appeal: In car design, energy use, LEDs add 'cool factor'
Scott Burgess / The Detroit News

Bright little lights, known as Light Emitting Diodes, are changing the face of autos, inside and out, designers and engineers say.

Once a beacon for the plush interiors of Lexus, Mercedes and Cadillac, LEDs have made their way into daily drivers such as the Ford Focus and Chevy Malibu, and certainly will make their way into more. Interior and exterior designers love the little light bulbs and are finding new ways to use them.

Recent advances in LED technology and continued price drops mean LEDs will play a more important role in future designs. Consumers will reap the benefits, finding more extravagant light shows inside future vehicles and flashier exteriors as the luxury lighting source goes mainstream.

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"Lighting is not an afterthought during the design process," said Gordon Platto, a designer for Ford Motor Co.'s Lincoln brand. "When we put pen to paper, we are thinking about how it's going to be lit. We're designing way up front for it."

John Manoogian, General Motors Corp.'s design director for Cadillac, has been at GM for more than 30 years. "When I started, you had 6-inch round, 8-inch round, small rectangular and large rectangular lights," he recalls. "You designed the front end around that. Now, we don't face those limitations."

Cadillac uses LEDs throughout the much-acclaimed CTS sedan, and announced in January that it would begin using the first headlight with LED high- and low-beams on the Escalade Platinum.

"Cadillac's vertical tail lamps have been distinctive since 1948, and the LEDs add to that look," Manoogian said.

And now, LEDs may change the look of Cadillac's front.

"The development of these lights has just started," said Burkhard Hesse, director of engineering for Hella KGaA Hueck & Co., which developed high-beam headlamps for the Cadillac Escalade Platinum. "Over the next five and 10 years, you're going to see a lot more development of LEDs."

The possibilities are nearly limitless, Manoogian said. "It really comes down to what we can think up."

Designers have capitalized on the distinctive pin-point look LEDs offer, weaving them both inside and outside cars.

Audi AG, Volkswagen's premium brand, designed a line of LEDs into its R8 sports car. The feature cuts a bright line along the edge of the headlight, leaving a distinctive and recognizable look that was featured in the company's recent Super Bowl commercial. "The front of the car is its face, its most important part and the LEDs are a specific design feature we are taking advantage of," said Audi spokesman Wolfgang Hoffmann. "They are precise and look very high-tech."

They are also very versatile, which makes designers glow with appreciation.

"LEDs give you a lot more freedom," said Brian Nielander, senior manager for advanced exterior design at Chrysler. "It allows you to sculpt surfaces around the lighting."

They fit into small nooks and crannies that traditional incandescent lights could not.

Nielander sprinkled the 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 with LEDs: in the second-row foot wells, cup holders and around the dash, the stereo and gauges.

"It's just a matter of time before it comes very standard," he said. "The cost is coming down the more people use them and they free you up to do some new and interesting things."

Lenzy Petty, automotive interior mark
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Old 02-18-2008, 06:14 AM
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Default RE: Glowing appeal: In car design, energy use, LEDs add 'cool factor'

Here was a previous article I posted on LED's:

http://www.dodgechallenger.com/forums/fb.asp?m=20178


Probably wouldn't be a bad thing to have a prominent innovator in the LED industry in one's portfolio....
I have actually owned CREE stock for a number of years and of course HP but then they sold it off and it became AVAGO.

HP used to also have a relationship with Philips Lumileds until they sold the LED division off. Philips has won the automotive supplier of the year award.

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Old 02-18-2008, 11:36 AM
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Default RE: Glowing appeal: In car design, energy use, LEDs add 'cool factor'

They certainly look pretty high tech. If they cost less than great. Best of both worlds.
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