Welcome to the North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club Thursday October 23, 2014
Home Forums WikiNASIOC Products Store Modifications Upgrade Garage
NASIOC
Here you can view your subscribed threads, work with private messages and edit your profile and preferences Home Registration is free! Visit the NASIOC Store NASIOC Rules Search Find other members Frequently Asked Questions Calendar Archive NASIOC Upgrade Garage Logout
Go Back   NASIOC > NASIOC General > News & Rumors > Non-Subaru News & Rumors

Welcome to NASIOC - The world's largest online community for Subaru enthusiasts!
Welcome to the NASIOC.com Subaru forum.

You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community, free of charge, you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is free, fast and simple, so please join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us.
* Registered users of the site do not see these ads.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-06-2011, 01:28 PM   #1
AVANTI R5
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 73805
Join Date: Nov 2004
Default BMW tests '1,000 times brighter' laser headlights




Quote:
BMW is experimenting with laser headlights. The automaker calls them "the next logical step" after LEDs and all the other advancements made in lights lately.Laser lights would have some huge advantages over current headlight technology and no, the biggest wouldn't be the ability to vaporize the guy coming at you when he won't turn down his high beams. In the real world, lasers produce virtually parallel light beams with an intensity that's about 1,000 greater than conventional LEDs, according to BMW. Lasers use less energy and save fuel.

The intensity of laser light poses no possible risks to humans, animals or wildlife when used in car lighting, BMW says reassuringly. The automaker says that's because the laser light is first converted for use in road traffic, a bright, white that "is very pleasant to the eye."

Maybe your eyes, but we're not sure about everyone else's. Did we mention laser headlights are 1,000 brighter than LEDs. Oh yeah. We did.
BMW is trying to stay out in front of lighting issues. That BMW 6 Series, shown above, has a feature called "Anti-dazzle High- Beam Assistant." It also has a feature with another odd name, "Dynamic Light Spot," aimed at making it easier to illuminate pedestrians before you're in danger of running them down.

Of course, if you had headlights that were 1,000 times brighter ...
* Registered users of the site do not see these ads.
AVANTI R5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2011, 01:44 PM   #2
Len
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 39937
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: SF Bay Area
Vehicle:
2011 328i 6MT
LMB

Default

Apart from having no idea why using laser would be beneficial for regular lighting purposes, I have to question the idea that brighter headlight is always better.

If we could have headlights as bright as daylight, but with a necessary sharp cutoff to avoid blinding the oncoming traffic, would that be an improvement? As our eyes adjust to the brightness, we will get to see everything inside the zone of illumination, and NOTHING outside. I don't think I want that.

I suspect this is all just a marketing BS.
Len is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2011, 01:48 PM   #3
justincredible
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 83633
Join Date: Mar 2005
Chapter/Region: RMIC
Location: The Mountains
Vehicle:
2012 bright green
box

Default

I already get blinded by several vehicles on my morning commute. I don't need this making it worse.
justincredible is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2011, 01:50 PM   #4
Godmal
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 4934
Join Date: Mar 2001
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: LITH, IL
Vehicle:
2007 White STI LTD
Grey Mazda 5

Default

Well it is a "fuel saving" technology.
Godmal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2011, 01:53 PM   #5
todeswalzer
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 191495
Join Date: Oct 2008
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Lowell MA
Vehicle:
'05 WRB GTX3071R
JDM V8 EJ207 USDM 6MT

Default

What happens when I put lasers in my 93 civics halogen reflectors??????
todeswalzer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2011, 01:53 PM   #6
ChiWRX
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 140955
Join Date: Feb 2007
Chapter/Region: International
Location: Mikado
Vehicle:
Just trying to be
productive here.

Default

Projectors that are aimed wrong are already annoying at night time.


I assume the A8's LEDs are bright judging by MB's LED fog lights being quite bright.


I'll pass on being blinded by a ****ing laser.
ChiWRX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2011, 01:53 PM   #7
ChiWRX
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 140955
Join Date: Feb 2007
Chapter/Region: International
Location: Mikado
Vehicle:
Just trying to be
productive here.

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by todeswalzer View Post
What happens when I put lasers in my 93 civics halogen reflectors??????

+500whp
ChiWRX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2011, 02:27 PM   #8
monovich
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 8124
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Denver, Colorado
Vehicle:
1998 Old Grey Mule
Regacy Rype R

Default

I think lasers would bring an entirely new meaning to being "blinded" by oncoming headlights wouldn't they? As-in: permanently?
monovich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2011, 03:45 PM   #9
HipToBeSquare
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 119958
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: (IA) flyover cornfield country
Vehicle:
1992 SVX LS-L

Default

So much misconception here it is insane.

any light can blind. some do it faster than others, but a laser-based headlight would not necessarily blind, or even be any higher risk than halogen, HIR, HID, or LED.

Lumens are lumens.

A laser of equal electrical input may indeed provide 1000 times the light of an LED or LED array. That is only a flat comparison with no context.

LEDs are not the brightest light source, but for what light they do output, they are electrically efficient by not generating as much heat until they are pushed pretty hard, towards 10 or more watts per emitter. They start to behave more and more like other light sources, that generate significant amounts of heat per watt of electrical input.

Conversely, A Laser that puts out the same light output as an LED, or LED array. may use hundreds of times less wattage.

math works both ways, and making a laser-based headlight that puts out enough lumens to be effective, and not 1000 times more light than what is effective, is conversely more energy efficient, and possibly less heat intensive.

The issue with LEDs is putting out enough lumens, with far enough down-range throw, in an LED array that is small enough to fit in a headlight housing, and not over-heat themselves, and reduce their functional lifespan. high intensity LEDS, especially arrays of dozens of them, are expensive. Far more expensive than a HID ballast and arc bulb, let alone an auto-parts-store halogen bulb. But LEDs last far longer, if they don't thermally degrade by being pushed too hard.

Plus there is the whole issue of optics. LEDs have narrow emitter angles, which can be somewhat widened by optics, but each emitter has to have them, and a single emitter is not the brightest source of light, so there have to be many emitters clustered together. That isn't bad, but it isn't a single light source throwing light further down-range.

A laser has almost inverse issues as a halogen or HID bulb. arcs and filaments radiate photons in a 360 degree spherical pattern. Lasers emit a coherent beam by definition, in one direction.

A bulb has to have reflectors and lenses to corral and direct the light in one general direction with prescribed vertical and horizontal pattern angles.

A Laser would actually need to be spread by a lens, to defray a tight beam into that same pattern, but would be more efficient at it, as almost none of the light would be wasted in directions not directed through the de-focusing lens.

With cutoff shields and lens optics, the pattern would be just as efficient or even more so, than the best HID projector headlights, and waste less light output, and waste less electrical energy as heat output, as well.

And lens adjustment could also provide beam adjustment more precisely, as well, making a laser-source headlight possibly even more versatile than a steerable halogen/hid projector, or an adaptive LED array which would have to house more emitters to be able to differentially select active emitters, and have enough of them active at any given time to have the appropriate amount of lumen output.
HipToBeSquare is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2011, 03:57 PM   #10
MrSaabaru
NASIOC Supporter
 
Member#: 74709
Join Date: Nov 2004
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Fort Wayne-ish
Vehicle:
2007 Solstice
05 Yamaha R6 & 04 Saab 93

Default

^^^But the question is 'why' not how.
Quote:
Originally Posted by todeswalzer View Post
What happens when I put lasers in my 93 civics halogen reflectors??????
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiWRX View Post
+500whp
In new civics, the Vtech dashboard light never turns off.
MrSaabaru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2011, 03:57 PM   #11
Derbagger
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 32113
Join Date: Jan 2003
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Trollhatten, Japan
Vehicle:
05 Saabaru
Satin Grey

Default

All I want is a shark-nosed car....with fricken laser beams attached to their heads!
Derbagger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2011, 03:58 PM   #12
GDB FAN
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 105814
Join Date: Jan 2006
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Vehicle:
two V8's..
'murica

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derbagger View Post
All I want is a shark-nosed car....with fricken laser beams attached to their heads!
Came in here to post this.
GDB FAN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2011, 04:03 PM   #13
HipToBeSquare
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 119958
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: (IA) flyover cornfield country
Vehicle:
1992 SVX LS-L

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSaabaru View Post
^^^But the question is 'why' not how.
Why is because a laser source would provide just as many lumens as you could need in a smaller, more versatile, lower-heat, lower energy-demand package, with more focus versatility, that is not as hard to package as an LED array with enough emitters to be equally bright, with each individual LED emitter having to be optically focused, and the whole array cooled.

Take a look at the hardware that goes into an R8 5.2 LED headlight. There is all kinds of air cooling management, because they are driving a relative few headlight-beam LED emitters pretty hard, and they generate a significant amount of heat. If not managed, they will degrade under that heat load.

With laser, there may be only one or two emitters per headlight, not dozens to even over 100 LED emitters for equivalent performance.

And a solid-state electrical laser emitter would theoretically be as vibration resistant, and lifetime-of-the-car durable as LEDs, and less heat and easier to focus than a HID source.

It may be expensive, but economies of scale will reduce that, and not having to replace it regularly will also mitigate some of that.

Last edited by HipToBeSquare; 09-06-2011 at 04:08 PM.
HipToBeSquare is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2011, 04:43 PM   #14
MSMStannyl
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 267225
Join Date: Dec 2010
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Baltimore, MD
Vehicle:
2011 WRX Limited 4DR
Satin White Pearl

Default

Can't wait until they start selling plug & play laser headlight kits for everyone to put in their halogen headlight housings! It's gonna be great!

That being said, I don't understand why people are asking "why"? Why not!?! It's the next step in the evolution of lighting technology. Why did we need HID's when we had halogens? Why did we need LED screens when we had LCD screens? Why send exploration sattelites to Mars when we've already put a man on the moon? It's human nature to expand on what we have and make things better!!

Because we want to make things better, more energy effecient, more reliable, etc. Who knows, soon you might have a laser TV in your living room...

We can't settle for "good enough"!
MSMStannyl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2011, 04:52 PM   #15
Len
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 39937
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: SF Bay Area
Vehicle:
2011 328i 6MT
LMB

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by HipToBeSquare View Post
any light can blind. some do it faster than others, but a laser-based headlight would not necessarily blind, or even be any higher risk than halogen, HIR, HID, or LED.
When working properly, yes. But while it's fundamentally impossible to focus regular light source in a way that it will stay as a narrow beam over a long distance, (Liouville's theorem) high intensity laser is a serious hazard when left undiffused. Granted, it's not easy to imagine a scenario where the laser source would be exposed and still running, but it is at least an added safety concern.

EDIT: Also, I disagree with the idea that laser is the "logical" next step in automobile lighting technology. An ideal lighting for humans would be diffused white light, with full spectrum of visible light (although really you just need RGB) and little directionality. Laser is the EXACT OPPOSITE of what we would consider a natural light. I get that the auto headlamps cannot be fully natural due to the need to avoid blinding the oncoming traffic, but I fail to see how the least natural light source we have is the LOGICAL next step in this field, apart from the fact that the word laser sounds really cool in your PR material.

I'll repeat what I said earlier. Given that we have this concern about not blinding other cars, having a brighter beam likely requires an even sharper cutoff, a combination that makes it more difficult to see anything outside the zone of illumination. I'm not sure if this is really a good thing, and consequently I'm not convinced that brighter is always better.

If this is just about energy efficiency, then fine. Given the cost of laser, I find it hard to believe that this could be cost effective, but who knows.

Last edited by Len; 09-06-2011 at 05:03 PM.
Len is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2011, 05:00 PM   #16
bubbly Bullseye
*** Banned ***
 
Member#: 292390
Join Date: Aug 2011
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: South eastern seaboard
Vehicle:
2001

Default

How do lasers save fuel?
bubbly Bullseye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2011, 05:07 PM   #17
Len
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 39937
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: SF Bay Area
Vehicle:
2011 328i 6MT
LMB

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bubbly Bullseye View Post
How do lasers save fuel?
To the extent that your mileage differs depending on whether you have your headlights on or off.
Len is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2011, 05:21 PM   #18
Ysidro
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 197418
Join Date: Dec 2008
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: New England
Vehicle:
07 WRX Ltd
The Mighty Evo;Fun CRZ

Default

Is there a youtube video demonstrating this laser headlight? I wont comment until I see a demo.
Ysidro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2011, 05:53 PM   #19
MSMStannyl
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 267225
Join Date: Dec 2010
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Baltimore, MD
Vehicle:
2011 WRX Limited 4DR
Satin White Pearl

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Len View Post
When working properly, yes. But while it's fundamentally impossible to focus regular light source in a way that it will stay as a narrow beam over a long distance, (Liouville's theorem) high intensity laser is a serious hazard when left undiffused. Granted, it's not easy to imagine a scenario where the laser source would be exposed and still running, but it is at least an added safety concern.

EDIT: Also, I disagree with the idea that laser is the "logical" next step in automobile lighting technology. An ideal lighting for humans would be diffused white light, with full spectrum of visible light (although really you just need RGB) and little directionality. Laser is the EXACT OPPOSITE of what we would consider a natural light. I get that the auto headlamps cannot be fully natural due to the need to avoid blinding the oncoming traffic, but I fail to see how the least natural light source we have is the LOGICAL next step in this field, apart from the fact that the word laser sounds really cool in your PR material.

I'll repeat what I said earlier. Given that we have this concern about not blinding other cars, having a brighter beam likely requires an even sharper cutoff, a combination that makes it more difficult to see anything outside the zone of illumination. I'm not sure if this is really a good thing, and consequently I'm not convinced that brighter is always better.

If this is just about energy efficiency, then fine. Given the cost of laser, I find it hard to believe that this could be cost effective, but who knows.
Sorry, I should have clarified. My point was not that Lasers specifically are the next step. I simply meant that we are always improving things or trying something different that may work out to be better in the long run, etc. There is always an evolution going on. In this case, being as I haven't heard of any other crazy new lighting technology (except for "LEP" - Light Emitting Plasma), the laser is the next step, logical or not.
MSMStannyl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2011, 06:12 PM   #20
Len
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 39937
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: SF Bay Area
Vehicle:
2011 328i 6MT
LMB

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MSMStannyl View Post
Sorry, I should have clarified. My point was not that Lasers specifically are the next step. I simply meant that we are always improving things or trying something different that may work out to be better in the long run, etc. There is always an evolution going on. In this case, being as I haven't heard of any other crazy new lighting technology (except for "LEP" - Light Emitting Plasma), the laser is the next step, logical or not.
Oh no, I wasn't criticizing your post. If you look at the original article, it says

Quote:
The automaker calls them "the next logical step" after LEDs "
That's what I was talking about.
Len is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2011, 06:38 PM   #21
HipToBeSquare
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 119958
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: (IA) flyover cornfield country
Vehicle:
1992 SVX LS-L

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Len View Post
When working properly, yes. But while it's fundamentally impossible to focus regular light source in a way that it will stay as a narrow beam over a long distance, (Liouville's theorem) high intensity laser is a serious hazard when left undiffused. Granted, it's not easy to imagine a scenario where the laser source would be exposed and still running, but it is at least an added safety concern.
I highly doubt a laser emitter would be so dis-associated with it's diffusion lens, that it would be left as a raw laser emitter without the diffusion lens after some sort of damage condition. A failure like that would probably disable the emitter, as well, or trigger a failure mode that shuts it down.

A HID high/low beam projector with the low-beam cutoff-shield down, and the projector lens absent, would probably blind people as well.

We don't know that a laser emitter would be outputting more lumens than that. But at equal light output, the laser is probably far more efficient, cooler, and with less electrical draw.

We don't know that BMW is trying to make the lights' net output onto the road to be significantly higher, just that they are using a more efficient laser emitter source for it, rather than LEDs.

I love LEDs. I think everything else on the car should be LED lit, except the headlights that seem to push the requirements beyond what LEDs can easily do, in a confined, enclosed headlight unit sort of space with a given net output and pattern focus.

HIDs are great... but they still require high voltage startup, and don't react particularly well to rapid start and stop, like high beam demands often require.

Halogens have been a workhorse, but we are seeing that both HID and solid-state have significant improvements over thermally inefficient halogen bulbs.

We don't know how "high-intensity" these laser emitters would need to be to match the net output of today's better headlight technologies. To match the total output of the light unit, one laser emitter would probably match dozens or hundreds of LED emitters, and exceed a single HID source. Higher efficiency per emitter doesn't necessarily equate to tremendously higher net output.

Quote:
EDIT: Also, I disagree with the idea that laser is the "logical" next step in automobile lighting technology. An ideal lighting for humans would be diffused white light, with full spectrum of visible light (although really you just need RGB) and little directionality. Laser is the EXACT OPPOSITE of what we would consider a natural light. I get that the auto headlamps cannot be fully natural due to the need to avoid blinding the oncoming traffic, but I fail to see how the least natural light source we have is the LOGICAL next step in this field, apart from the fact that the word laser sounds really cool in your PR material.
The article mentions outputting white light. No artificial light source is natural, it is just a matter of how well they can approximate natural light.

LEDs are not full-spectrum, either, and in order to create white light combine blue-frequency emitters with yellow phosphors to mix the two into varying color temperatures of white. They don't even add red frequency, usually.

Quote:
I'll repeat what I said earlier. Given that we have this concern about not blinding other cars, having a brighter beam likely requires an even sharper cutoff, a combination that makes it more difficult to see anything outside the zone of illumination. I'm not sure if this is really a good thing, and consequently I'm not convinced that brighter is always better.

If this is just about energy efficiency, then fine. Given the cost of laser, I find it hard to believe that this could be cost effective, but who knows.
Again, output per emitter, and net output of the light fixture are two different things.

Per emitter, one laser emitter is significantly different than one LED emitter.

One laser emitter need not be putting out many times more lumens than an array of hundreds of LEDs to do the same job.

And one laser emitter takes up far less space, and creates less heat than 100+ 10Watt Cree or other high-output LED emitters in close proximity to each other in a housing.
HipToBeSquare is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2011, 06:39 PM   #22
aschen
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 30733
Join Date: Dec 2002
Chapter/Region: TXIC
Location: Houston texas
Vehicle:
2007 tiny car
striped

Default

Wait I thought solid state lasers were LEDs? What is the elictrical efficency of an LED vs and Laser diode? I thought a laser diode was roughly equivelant to an LED but with coherence and intensity, versus difuse and scatered for LED?
aschen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2011, 07:10 PM   #23
Len
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 39937
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: SF Bay Area
Vehicle:
2011 328i 6MT
LMB

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by HipToBeSquare View Post

The article mentions outputting white light. No artificial light source is natural, it is just a matter of how well they can approximate natural light.

LEDs are not full-spectrum, either, and in order to create white light combine blue-frequency emitters with yellow phosphors to mix the two into varying color temperatures of white. They don't even add red frequency, usually.



Again, output per emitter, and net output of the light fixture are two different things.

Per emitter, one laser emitter is significantly different than one LED emitter.

One laser emitter need not be putting out many times more lumens than an array of hundreds of LEDs to do the same job.

And one laser emitter takes up far less space, and creates less heat than 100+ 10Watt Cree or other high-output LED emitters in close proximity to each other in a housing.
Sure, they don't HAVE to make this any brighter than the current HID, but when someone says laser, two things pop into my head. Monochromatic, and collimated. The former is clearly NOT a benefit when it comes to automobile lighting, and the latter suggests to me that they might try to increase brightness by taking advantage of the potentially much sharper cutoff. This is purely my guess of course, and that's why at the end I said if this is all about efficiency, then I didn't really have any problem with it.

At the end, of course I don't know much about this subject at the engineering level, so I'm sure they might have something amazing up their sleeves. But frankly, when I see a PR release like this with very little technical details and a lot of cool sounding words, I tend to be skeptical, at least the extent to which it is a viable technology.

I did not know that they mix only blue and yellow LED to make whitish light. Thanks for the info.
Len is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2011, 09:21 PM   #24
shikataganai
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 92634
Join Date: Aug 2005
Chapter/Region: RMIC
Vehicle:
2007 Land Cruiser
2013 LEAF

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Len View Post
To the extent that your mileage differs depending on whether you have your headlights on or off.
I back-of-napkined this a few years ago and it's really a negligible effect for vehicles getting typical mpgs.
shikataganai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2011, 10:22 PM   #25
FuzzyNips
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 16686
Join Date: Mar 2002
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Warrenville, IL
Vehicle:
2010 Mazda 3s GT 5dr
Black Mica

Default

Will these new headlights cause my radar detector to go off nonstop?
FuzzyNips is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
FS : 2003.5 BMW M3 21,000 obo intercoolerontop SWIC Private Classifieds 9 01-19-2011 01:25 AM
BMW Recalls 200,000 vehicles MidnightSti05 Off-Topic 14 08-13-2008 06:12 PM
VA: 2003 BMW 330i 42,000 miles great condition $24,500 cbbwrx Private Vehicle 'For Sale' Classifieds 0 08-06-2006 07:08 PM
2000 Bmw Z3 $18,000 jr4jc Private Vehicle 'For Sale' Classifieds 0 01-06-2005 12:10 AM
For the 1,000,000 time swarker Interior & Exterior Modification 6 08-14-2002 03:25 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:19 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Powered by Searchlight © 2014 Axivo Inc.
Copyright ©1999 - 2014, North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club, Inc.