Halogen Headlight: Typically found on base model cars. Uses a lower intensity bulb that does not require a ballast to power or function. Light bulbs for automobiles are made in several standardized series. Bulbs used for headlamps, turn signals and brake lamps may be required to comply with international and national regulations governing the types of lamps used. Other automotive lighting applications such as auxiliary lamps or interior lighting may not be regulated, but common types are used by many automotive manufacturers.
HID Headlight: These headlights are often found on high-end or luxury vehicles. These headlights produce a high-intensity light that requires an HID bulb, ballast, and cable to power the lamp. High-intensity discharge lamps (HID) produce light with an electric arc rather than a glowing filament. The high intensity of the arc comes from metallic salts that are vapourised within the arc chamber. These lamps are formally known as gas-discharge burners, and have a higher efficacy than tungsten lamps. Because of the increased amounts of light available from HID burners relative to halogen bulbs, HID headlamps producing a given beam pattern can be made smaller than halogen headlamps producing a comparable beam pattern. Alternatively, the larger size can be retained, in which case the xenon headlamp can produce a more robust beam pattern.
Automotive HID may be called “xenon headlamps”, though they are actually metal-halide lamps that contain xenon gas. The xenon gas allows the lamps to produce minimally adequate light immediately upon start, and shortens the run-up time. The usage of argon, as is commonly done in street lights and other stationary metal-halide lamp applications, causes lamps to take several minutes to reach their full output.
The light from HID headlamps can exhibit a distinct bluish tint when compared with tungsten-filament headlamps, although a range of spectra are available commonly specified as a Colour Temperature.
LED Headlight: LED headlights are becoming the next innovative practice in the automotive lighting world. Automotive headlamp applications using light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have been undergoing very active development since 2004. The first series-production LED headlamps were factory-installed on the Lexus LS 600h / LS 600h L presented in 2007 for 2008 models. Low beam, front position light and sidemarker functions are performed by LEDs; high beam and turn signal functions use filament bulbs. The headlamp is supplied by Koito. Full-LED headlamps supplied by AL-Automotive Lighting were fitted on the 2008 V10 Audi R8 sports car except in North America. The Hella headlamps on the 2009 Cadillac Escalade Platinum became the first US market all-LED headlamps.
Advanced Front Lighting System (AFS): Beginning in the 2000s, there was a resurgence in interest in the idea of moving or optimizing the headlight beam in response not only to vehicular steering and suspension dynamics, but also to ambient weather and visibility conditions, vehicle speed, and road curvature and contour. A task force under the EUREKA organisation, composed primarily of European automakers, lighting companies and regulators began working to develop design and performance specifications for what is known as Adaptive Front-Lighting Systems, commonly AFS. Manufacturers such as BMW, Toyota, Škoda and Vauxhall/Opel have released vehicles equipped with AFS since 2003.
Rather than the mechanical linkages employed in earlier directional-headlamp systems, AFS relies on electronic sensors, transducers and actuators. Other AFS techniques include special auxiliary optical systems within a vehicle’s headlamp housings. These auxiliary systems may be switched on and off as the vehicle and operating conditions call for light or darkness at the angles covered by the beam the auxiliary optics produce. A typical system measures steering angle and vehicle speed to swivel the headlamps. The most advanced AFS systems use GPS signals to anticipate changes in road curvature, rather than simply reacting to them.
Adaptive Highbeam Assist: Adaptive Highbeam Assist is Mercedes-Benz’ marketing name for a headlight control strategy that continuously automatically tailors the headlamp range so the beam just reaches other vehicles ahead, thus always ensuring maximum possible seeing range without glaring other road users, to the distance of vehicles ahead. It was first launched in the Mercedes E-class in 2009, it provides a continuous range of beam reach from a low-aimed low beam to a high-aimed high beam, rather than the traditional binary choice between low and high beams.
The range of the beam can vary between 65 and 300 meters, depending on traffic conditions. In traffic, the low beam cutoff position is adjusted vertically to maximise seeing range while keeping glare out of leading and oncoming drivers’ eyes. When no traffic is close enough for glare to be a problem, the system provides full high beam. Headlamps are adjusted every 40 milliseconds by a camera on the inside of the front windscreen which can determine distance to other vehicles. The S-Class, CLS-Class and C-Class also offer this technology. In the CLS, the adaptive high beam is realised with LED headlamps – the first vehicle producing all adaptive light functions with LEDs. Since 2010 some Audi models with Xenon headlamps are offering a similar system using LED headlamps.
OEM Product: Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is a term used when one company makes a part or subsystem that is used in another company’s end product. The term is used in several ways, each of which is clear within a context. The term sometimes refers to a part or sub-assembly maker, sometimes to a final assembly maker, and sometimes to a mental category comprising those two in contrast to all other third party makers of parts or sub-assemblies from the aftermarket.
Aftermarket: The automotive aftermarket is the secondary market of the automotive industry, concerned with the manufacturing, re-manufacturing, distribution, retailing, and installation of all vehicle parts, chemicals, equipment, and accessories, after the sale of the automobile by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to the consumer. The parts, accessories, etc. for sale may or may not be manufactured by the OEM. According to a report by the International Trade Administration in the Department of Commerce, “Aftermarket parts are divided into two categories: replacement parts and accessories. Replacement parts are automotive parts built or re-manufactured to replace OE parts as they become worn or damaged. Accessories are parts made for comfort, convenience, performance, safety, or customization, and are designed for add-on after the original sale of the motor vehicle.”