Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Light freak
Joined
·
3,022 Posts
Lasers are next?

Laser--not LED--headlights to be introduced by BMW
09/04/2011

Munich, Germany--Car maker BMW already offers full light-emitting diode (LED) headlamps for its BMW 6 Series as well as new automotive lighting and safety developments such as the "Anti-dazzle High- Beam Assistant" and the "Dynamic Light Spot"--a marker light system that automatically illuminates pedestrians and improves driving safety. After LED lighting technology, BMW says that laser light is the next logical step in car light development. BMW engineers are currently working on the introduction of laser diode light as a further pioneering technology for series production within a few years. They say it can facilitate entirely new light functions for even more safety and comfort and at the same time saving energy.
BMW says that the coherent nature of laser lighting can produce a near-parallel beam with intensity one thousand times greater than that of conventional LEDs. In vehicle headlights, these characteristics can be used to implement entirely new functions. Also, the high inherent efficiency of laser lighting means that laser headlights have less than half the energy consumption of LED headlights: laser headlights save fuel.
Completely safe laser diode lighting technology is already in use in a variety of consumer products, though in many cases this is a product feature that goes unnoticed by the customer. But BMW says that the advantages of laser diode light will be noticeable and visible when implemented in automobiles. With a length of just ten microns (µm), laser diodes are one hundred times smaller even than the small, square-shaped cells used in conventional LED lighting, which have a side length of one millimeter, opening up numerous possibilities when integrating the light source into the vehicle. The BMW engineers have no plans to radically reduce the size of the headlights however, although that would be theoretically possible. Instead, the thinking is that the headlights would retain their conventional surface area dimensions and so continue to play an important role in the styling of a BMW, while the size advantages could be used to reduce the depth of the headlight unit, and so open up new possibilities for headlight positioning and body styling.
While LED lighting generates only around 100 lumens per Watt, laser lighting generates approximately 170 lumens. With statistics like this, it is not surprising that BMW is also planning to take advantage of laser lighting technology to increase the efficiency of the overall vehicle. Laser lighting will get its first airing with the BMW i8 Concept car.
BMW adds that before the light from the tiny laser diodes is emitted onto the road, the originally bluish laser light beam is first of all converted by means of a fluorescent phosphor material inside the headlight into a pure white light which is very bright and pleasant to the eye.
SOURCE: BMW; www.press.bmwgroup.com/pressclub/p/...lId=6&id=T0119817EN&left_menu_item=node__2367



***
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,950 Posts
That makes sense, and I don't think it's a big issue. I have two Magicshine "900" lumen lights and it's more than enough light. What is needed is not really MORE light, but better beam pattern, hue, and projection. I often run my bar light on low or medium since it points on the trail in front of my tire to about 20 feet out. Anything brighter just washes out the finer details of the trail. My helmet light is where I like the long distance throw and lots of light output since it's pointing down trail 50+ feet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
I agree with TwoHeadsBrewing on this one, the race for brightness isn't as important as the race for better optics. This is pushed aside for who has the cheapest brightest light. Can anyone say magic shine? They're not really ready to compete for best optics, which is very important to a serious night rider.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
373 Posts
best optics !?
well, every mfg, already picked the best optics for you !
especially for the penny pinchers.
and for the higher priced ones, the problem, haven an average user,
screwing around the housing, and electronics, will get stuff screwed up,
what would cut into their slim margin,....

so, for serious riders, who appreciate choices, is best to get some custom stuff,...
or not mainstream,... dinotte is good...
but most serious riders, also go for the serious lights, because of availability and reputation,
still does, not get you necessary changeable optics, still a good light, like a Lupine,
and they are fine with that.
back to the best optics,... how about pleasant, that also brings up the LED color.
once the lights are bright enough, the rest will catchup slowly.
I mean slowly, if out of a 100, 98 pick the cheap, bright, ugly light,
you'd have a hard time finding a good color one, since the market is small.
cheers, Rob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
I just think a light only needs to be so bright. Just like a camera only needs so many megapixals. Pretty soon It's not how bright the light is, but how it illuminates the radius in front of the rider. Just my .02.
 

·
Double-metric mtb man
Joined
·
4,482 Posts
Yeah...I'll agree here too. It's not so much the intensity now (we're plenty bright for the speeds most mtbr's will hit at night...at least unless you're trying to poach runs at Whistler in the dark) but rather the beam pattern and colour. I went DIY for my LED light for price and to choose my optics and emitters...worked for me.

But I think the mainstream folks are just getting the idea....bright is good, but now we need bright and good use of the light produced.
 

·
hello pot? this is kettle
Joined
·
257 Posts
As most people pointed out 900-1000 lumens is bright enough and a lot of high end systems are brighter than that. The real advancement isn't in overall brightness but in efficiency: lumens per watt. So in well thought out systems I think you will see a plateau of brightness but a decrease in size of battery packs coupled with an increase in runtime as LED's that are capable of emitting 2500 lumens are underdriven for an actual 1000 lumens. Mind you, I still think the average rider will go for the most lumens possible, in a true display of one-upmanship.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
As most people pointed out 900-1000 lumens is bright enough and a lot of high end systems are brighter than that. The real advancement isn't in overall brightness but in efficiency: lumens per watt. So in well thought out systems I think you will see a plateau of brightness but a decrease in size of battery packs coupled with an increase in runtime as LED's that are capable of emitting 2500 lumens are underdriven for an actual 1000 lumens. Mind you, I still think the average rider will go for the most lumens possible, in a true display of one-upmanship.
Hard to argue with the last point, at least for the majority of rider.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top