Cars+LEDs... What took so long?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by TheMonarch, Mar 13, 2007.

  1. TheMonarch macrumors 65816

    TheMonarch

    Joined:
    May 6, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #1
    So recently, LED tail lights have been slowly introduced into cars. But we've had LED lights everywhere else for a long, long time now. For example, the Accord. It wasn't till the '06 came out that LED tail lights were introduced.

    My question is... _What_took_so_long_

    LEDs are supposed to be cheaper, last a _long_ time, and use less energy. And we've known about that forever.

    Anybody know? :confused:
     
  2. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Location:
    Bookshop!
    #2
    because theres more money to be made in the bulb-type lamps...?
     
  3. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #3
    Cars have had LED lights in them for ages. Sure, not the full rear treatment but they were definitely present on the mirror-mounted indicator lights on Mercedes Benz E-class etc. that came out many years ago.

    The class of LED required for safety regulations compliance were probably expensive and not worth the extra expense until now.
     
  4. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #4
    LEDs may not have been bright enough until recently to make it feasible.
     
  5. R.Youden macrumors 68020

    R.Youden

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2005
    #5
    Slightly off topic I know; but:

    I you replace every traffic light in the UK with LED lights then you could turn off two power stations! And that doesn't include railway signaling lights or anything else.
     
  6. SpookTheHamster macrumors 65816

    SpookTheHamster

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    Location:
    London
    #6
    This isn't exactly scientific, but I've always thought LEDs haven't had good enough "spread" to use as headlights.

    It's like the difference between a decent torch and a "super-bright" LED one. The LEDs might be brighter, but you can often see a whole load better with incandescent. I have a torch with both, and I find myself using the incandescent mode when, say, finding my way around a forest.

    I'm not sure about the US, but they've been all over the rears of cars in Europe for quite a few years. Only just got to the front, with Audi and Lexus.
     
  7. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603

    MacBoobsPro

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    #7
    They wouldnt be used for headlights as they arent powerful enough. They are used for brake lights and indicators etc.
     
  8. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #8
    But the biggest bonus for car use is their quick response time... vital for brake lights for example.

    Audi and Lexus (as SpookTheHamster pointed out) are introducing L.E.D. headlights this year actually. ;)

    The brightness of the actual light themselves isn't as important as the design and efficiency of the lense, for example consider old lighthouses that were powered by one candle. ;)
     
  9. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #9
    Interesting article on L.E.D.'s and their use in car headlights.

    and...

    Rinky dink link
     
  10. siurpeeman macrumors 603

    siurpeeman

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Location:
    the OC
    #10
    honda started moving towards led tail lights before the '06 model year with the '04 s2000. i don't know why, but these things take time.
     
  11. lexus macrumors 68000

    lexus

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2006
    Location:
    Depends Greatly On The Weather

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