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7 April 2008


EU mandate to drive use of LEDs in daytime running lamps

Philips Lumileds of San Jose, CA, USA reckons that its Luxeon power LEDs are poised to rapidly increase their presence in front-of-vehicle applications due to anticipated European Union regulations mandating daytime running lamps (DRLs) on new cars beginning in 2011. A major factor driving use will be the dramatic reduction in DRL power consumption (of the order of 80%) compared to incandescent or halogen bulbs, the firm claims.

Audi and VW currently offer Luxeon-based DRLs, and several other car makers are preparing to release vehicles with Luxeon-based DRLs over the next 12-18 months as part of a movement to improve road safety by increasing vehicle visibility during daylight hours.

Luxeon LEDs are currently being used as a DRL light source for the styling possibilities that they offer. However, with the new EU regulations in place, cutting DRL power consumption will be the most important factor for LED adoption. The energy savings is critical, says the firm, because DRLs built with conventional bulbs consume more power than any other exterior lighting application due to their always-on daylight use.

A typical DRL solution with incandescent or halogen bulbs uses 40-80W of power. Philips Lumileds says that Luxeon-based DRLs consume 10W or less because of the technology’s low power demands and energy efficiency.

Any new regulation requiring DRLs is therefore expected to drive broader Luxeon adoption for DRLs as well as other forward automotive lighting applications. Luxeon technology is already being used in the world’s first all-LED headlight on the Audi R8 supercar.

“Today LED DRLs are used on fewer than 1% of vehicles, in part because daytime running lamps are not required in most countries,” says Scott Kern, Philips Lumileds’ VP automotive sales. “If the new regulation by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe moves ahead as expected, it will increase that number dramatically because of the low power usage, longevity and design flexibility of LEDs compared to conventional light sources,” he adds.

Philips Lumileds claims that, over the years, it has pioneered many automotive exterior lighting applications with its Luxeon, SuperFlux and SnapLED products. In addition to driving the first all-LED daytime running lamp and all-LED headlamp, Philips Lumileds’ solid-state lighting technology has enabled the world’s first all-LED rear combination lamp, first single-LED stop-tail lamp, and first LED front-, rear- and side-mirror turn signals.

See related items:

Top 3 automotive LED makers have over 50% of market

Automotive LED market to double in 10 years

Automotive demand to drive LED market

Search: Philips Lumileds Automotive LEDs Daytime running lamps