Originally Posted by HipToBeSquare
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.