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It's What's Inside That Counts

20 December 2011

How LED is completely redefining the vehicle interior. They are small, efficient, inconspicuous. Light-emitting diodes, or LEDs for short, rarely stand out. And yet for several years, these light sources have made for a proper revolution on the lighting market.

Those who once had halogen spotlights at home use LED spots today. Whereas old mushroom lamps once characterized the cityscape, today there are modern and high-efficient LED lights. The low energy consumption and the simultaneously increasing light yield, the longevity and falling CO2 emissions also make the LED a particularly "green" light source. It is also no longer possible to imagine automotive exterior lighting without LEDs. LED combination rear lights or daytime running lights (see Safety DayLights™) are meanwhile almost a standard – and that's a good thing.

Because LED combination rear lights signal a brake manoeuvre to following traffic more quickly due to their fast response characteristic, LED daytime running lights (see Safety DayLights™) are an economical solution to being seen during the day.


There are also aesthetic aspects, since the use of LEDs offers new design possibilities and therefore significantly promotes an increase in vehicle individualisation.

In this context, however, it is not only the "external appearance" of a vehicle that counts, but also increasingly the "inner value." The trend away from pure functionality toward appealing aesthetics does not lead back to new technologies like fibre optics or light curtains in the end. They transform the LED spotlight into elongated luminous bands, glowing bodies, or even flat luminous surfaces.

Hella interior lighting systems with a place of business in the southern German city of Wembach is leading in this area and represents a centre of competence for interior lighting within the Hella company. Approximately 80 development engineers work on new technologies, new solutions. An innovation vehicle shows how lighting could look in the future.


"Soon it will not only be possible for the driver to individually adjust brightness and colour of the atmosphere, but also to program both the interior light corresponding to the environment, as well as driving habits. The technology we use is based here on small multi-coloured LEDs – also called RGB-LEDs, where RGB stands for red, green, and blue," says development Engineer Dr. Herbert Wambsganss, giving a small insight into current research topics.

"These are individually activated by electronics specially developed by HELLA and are therefore capable of producing certain lighting situations and effects. The driver can create the atmosphere entirely in his/her own ambience, from a dimmed feel-good atmosphere to fresh, coloured accents." If one gives credence to Wambsganss' words, the wishes of the vehicle owner in the future are virtually limitless.

To view the full range of Hella LED Interior Lamps see Interior/Exterior Lighting.