BMW Laserlights to hit streets in autumn 2014

April 11, 2014 // By Paul Buckley
BMW has confirmed that BMW Laserlights will receive a world premiere in autumn 2014 and the efficient light source will be hitting our roads in a production car for the first time to provide the high beam in the BMW i8 headlight.

BMW will become the first automotive company to supply Laserlights in headlights.

BMW Laserlights claim to deliver a luminous intensity 10 times greater than that of traditional light sources, such as halogen, xenon or LED.  The high beam range of up to 600 metres is double that of conventional headlights.

The space-saving light, requires a small reflector which translates to weight-saving potential, is capable of a 30 per cent reduction in energy consumption. The light-emitting surface area of a laser diode is one hundred times smaller than that of a conventional LED, which measures one square millimetre.

Consequently, a far smaller reflector is needed for laser light. In the case of the BMW i8, a diameter of less than 30 millimetres is sufficient, saving valuable installation space in the vehicle and opening up the potential for significant weight savings, too. By way of comparison: xenon light requires a reflector/lens diameter of around 70 millimetres and halogen light 120 millimetres in order to achieve an adequate light output and range for the respective lighting technology. Another highly beneficial characteristic is the laser light’s excellent efficiency, with a reduction in energy consumption of some 30 per cent. Laser light therefore helps to improve the vehicle’s overall efficiency as well as lowering CO2 emissions. Moreover, the compact construction also opens up new scope in terms of design, while the flat form lends itself to optimum vehicle aerodynamics.

The BMW i8 headlight was co-developed by Osram.

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