Osram spotlights brightest LED for car headlights

October 14, 2014 // By Paul Buckley
Osram Opto Semiconductors will be showcasing at the Vision Congress in Paris (October 14 and 15, 2014) a LED for car headlights which has a luminance three times that of existing versions.

The technology enables a single LED to be used to provide a complete low beam. Several LED chips have always been needed in the past depending on the design and the type of LEDs used. The brightness is the result of a combination of UX:3 chip technology, ceramic conversion technology and high-current technology used in projection applications. In future it will be possible to design much smaller headlights – with every lighting function smaller than a box of matches.

A low beam unit measuring only 30 mm x 50 mm generating 1400 lumen from a single LED chip as its light source could be reality in only a few years. At 200 megacandelas per m², the LED has three times the luminance of existing light emitting diodes for these applications and loses less than ten percent of its intensity even at high operating temperatures of 85°C.

"In developing the LED we applied our extensive experience in projection applications to combine the high-current technology used in such applications with UX:3 chip technology and ceramic conversion technology which is standard practice for white headlight LEDs," said Stefan Grötsch, Senior Key Expert at Osram Opto Semiconductors. Even the special mounting technology based on the Osram Ostar platform was transferred from projection to this automotive application. This involves soldering the chip directly to the copper. The large amounts of heat produced as a result of the high output can be dissipated much more easily, which in turn greatly improves the thermal connection.

The high brightness values were measured in the laboratory but they should be achieved soon also by series production LEDs. The results of research and development work will be gradually flowing into product development at Osram Opto Semiconductors next year. Together with the use of laser technology which produces very high luminance, a series LED could lead to extremely compact headlight solutions, expanding the Osram product portfolio in this sector. Headlights may