Electronics Production | January 23, 2007

Lexus to deploy LED-based car headlamps

Japanese car manufacturer Lexus is launching a series production car, the 2008 LS 600h L, which will contain low-beam headlamps based on high-brightness LEDs.
Although LED-based headlamps have been in development for many years, they have, until now, only been seen in concept cars.

Partly as a result of that, regulatory clearance for LED-based headlamps has thus far only been gained in the US market. In Europe and Japan, the regulatory hurdles are expected to be cleared in 2008, compoundsemiconductor reports.

Forward-lighting applications, and headlamps in particular, have long been identified as a key market for makers of high-brightness white LEDs. Chip manufacturers such as Philips Lumileds, Nichia and Cree have all been working on the technology for years. Gaining acceptance in the automotive market is particularly difficult, given tough regulations and the extremely long design cycles of the industry.

Headlamps have therefore been seen as the "final frontier" for automotive applications of LEDs. Chip makers will be hoping that the move by Lexus signals a more widespread adoption of the technology over the next few years.


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