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Old 09-06-2011, 04:52 PM   #15
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: SF Bay Area
2011 328i 6MT


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.
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Last edited by Len; 09-06-2011 at 05:03 PM.
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