Automotive Exterior Light And Uses Pdf
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To enhance safety and comfort for drivers and passengers and enable more sophisticated body design, vehicles are increasingly equipped with high-intensity discharge lamps HID or xenon and light-emitting diodes LED in adaptive front lighting AFL systems.
- Basic principles of car lighting technology
- LED automotive lighting for your car
- Basic principles of car lighting technology
- Car Exterior Lighting
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Basic principles of car lighting technology
The lighting system of a motor vehicle consists of lighting and signalling devices mounted or integrated to the front, rear, sides, and in some cases the top of a motor vehicle. This lights the roadway for the driver and increases the visibility of the vehicle, allowing other drivers and pedestrians to see a vehicle's presence, position, size, direction of travel, and the driver's intentions regarding direction and speed of travel.
Emergency vehicles usually carry distinctive lighting equipment to warn drivers and indicate priority of movement in traffic. Early road vehicles used fuelled lamps, before the availability of electric lighting. The Ford Model T used carbide lamps for headlamps and oil lamps for tail lamps. It did not have all-electric lighting as a standard feature until several years after introduction. Dynamos for automobile headlamps were first fitted around and became commonplace in s automobiles.
Silent film star Florence Lawrence is often credited with designing the first "auto signaling arm", a predecessor to the modern turn signal, along with the first mechanical brake signal. She did not patent these inventions, however, and as a result she received no credit for—or profit from—either one. The sealed beam headlamp was introduced in and standardised as the only acceptable type in the USA in Self-cancelling turn signals were developed in By headlamps and signal lamps were integrated into the body styling.
Halogen headlamp light sources were developed in Europe in HID headlamps were produced starting in In , the first LED tail lamps were installed on mass-production automobiles.
LED headlamps were introduced in the first decade of the 21st century. The colour of light emitted by vehicle lights is largely standardised by longstanding convention.
No other colours are permitted except on emergency vehicles. Forward illumination is provided by high- "main", "full", "driving" and low- "dip", "dipped", "passing" beam headlamps , which may be augmented by auxiliary fog lamps, driving lamps, or cornering lamps. Dipped-beam also called low, passing, or meeting beam headlamps provide a light distribution to give adequate forward and lateral illumination without dazzling other road users with excessive glare.
This beam is specified for use whenever other vehicles are present ahead. UN Regulations for headlamps specify a beam with a sharp, asymmetric cutoff preventing significant amounts of light from being cast into the eyes of drivers of preceding or oncoming cars.
Main-beam also called high, driving, or full beam headlamps provide an intense, centre-weighted distribution of light with no particular control of glare.
Therefore, they are only suitable for use when alone on the road, as the glare they produce will dazzle other drivers. Auxiliary high beam lamps may be fitted to provide high intensity light to enable the driver to see at longer range than the vehicle's high beam headlamps. They are common in countries with large stretches of unlit roads, or in regions such as the Nordic countries [ citation needed ] where the period of daylight is short during winter.
Many countries regulate the installation and use of driving lamps. For example, in Russia each vehicle may have no more than three pairs of lights including the original-equipment items, and in Paraguay auxiliary driving lamps must be off and covered with opaque material when the vehicle is operated in urban areas.
Front fog lamps provide a wide, bar-shaped beam of light with a sharp cutoff at the top, and are generally aimed and mounted low. They are sometimes used in place of dipped-beam headlamps, reducing the glare-back from fog or falling snow, although the legality varies by jurisdiction of using front fog lamps without low beam headlamps. In most countries, weather conditions rarely necessitate the use of front fog lamps and there is no legal requirement for them, so their primary purpose is frequently cosmetic.
They are often available as optional extras or only on higher trim levels of many cars. An SAE study has shown that in the United States more people inappropriately use their fog lamps in dry weather than use them properly in poor weather. The driver of a vehicle must not use any fog light fitted to the vehicle unless the driver is driving in fog, mist or under other atmospheric conditions that restrict visibility. The respective purposes of front fog lamps and driving lamps are often confused, due in part to the misconception that fog lamps are necessarily selective yellow, while any auxiliary lamp that makes white light is a driving lamp.
On some models, cornering lamps provide white steady-intensity light for lateral illumination in the direction of an intended turn or lane change. They are generally actuated in conjunction with the turn signals, and they may be wired to also illuminate when the vehicle is shifted into reverse gear. American technical standards contain provisions for front cornering lamps  as well as rear cornering lamps. Police cars, emergency vehicles, and those competing in road rallies are sometimes equipped with an auxiliary lamp, sometimes called an alley light, in a swivel-mounted housing attached to one or both a-pillars , directable by a handle protruding through the pillar into the vehicle.
Conspicuity devices are the lamps and reflectors that make a vehicle conspicuous and visible with respect to its presence, position, direction of travel, change in direction or deceleration. Such lamps may burn steadily, blink, or flash, depending on their intended and regulated function. Despite the UK term, these are not the same as the side marker lights described below.
The front position lamps on any vehicle must emit white light unless the vehicle is a motorcycle which may have amber front position lamps     In the US, Canada, Mexico, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, Australia only if combined with a side marker ,  South Korea, North Korea, Vietnam, China, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and much of the Middle East; [ citation needed ] they may emit an amber light on any vehicle.
The city light terminology for front position lamps  derives from the practice, formerly adhered to in cities like Moscow, London and Paris, of driving at night in built-up areas using these low- intensity lights rather than headlamps. In Germany, the StVZO Road Traffic Licensing Regulations calls for a different function also known as parking lamps : With the vehicle's ignition switched off, the operator may activate a low-intensity light at the front white and rear red on either the left or the right side of the car.
This function is used when parking in narrow unlit streets to provide parked-vehicle conspicuity to approaching drivers.
Some countries permit or require vehicles to be equipped with daytime running lamps DRL. Depending on the regulations of the country for which the vehicle is built, these may be functionally dedicated lamps, or the function may be provided by the low beam or high beam headlamps, the front turn signals, or the front fog lamps.
Passenger cars and small delivery vans first type approved to UN Regulation 48 on or after 7 February must be equipped with DRLs; large vehicles trucks and buses type approved since August must be so equipped. Prior to the DRL mandate, countries requiring daytime lights permitted low beam headlamps to provide that function. DRLs are permitted in many countries where they are not required, but prohibited in other countries not requiring them.
Front, side, and rear position lamps are permitted, required, or forbidden to illuminate in combination with daytime running lamps , depending on the jurisdiction and the DRL implementation.
Likewise, according to jurisdictional regulations, DRLs mounted within a certain distance of turn signals are permitted or required to extinguish or dim down to parking lamp intensity individually when the adjacent turn signal is operating.
UN Regulation 87 stipulates that DRLs must emit white light with an intensity of at least candela on axis and no more than candela in any direction.
In the US, daytime running lamps may emit either amber or white light, and may produce up to 7, candela. This has provoked a large number of complaints about glare. UK regulations briefly required vehicles first used on or after 1 April to be equipped with a dim-dip device  or special running lamps, except such vehicles as comply fully with UN Regulation 48 regarding installation of lighting equipment. The running lamps permitted as an alternative to dim-dip were required to emit at least candela straight ahead, and no more than candela in any direction.
In practice, most vehicles were equipped with the dim-dip option rather than the running lamps. The dim-dip systems were not intended for daytime use as DRLs. Rather, they operated if the engine was running and the driver switched on the parking lamps called "sidelights" in the UK.
Dim-dip was intended to provide a nighttime "town beam" with intensity between that of the parking lamps commonly used at the time by British drivers in city traffic after dark, and dipped low beams; the former were considered insufficiently intense to provide improved conspicuity in conditions requiring it, while the latter were considered too glaring for safe use in built-up areas.
The UK was the only country to require such dim-dip systems, though vehicles so equipped were sold in other Commonwealth countries with left-hand traffic. In , the European Commission successfully prosecuted the UK government in the European Court of Justice , arguing that the UK requirement for dim-dip was illegal under EC directives prohibiting member states from enacting vehicle lighting requirements not contained in pan-European EC directives.
As a result, the UK requirement for dim-dip was quashed. In the United States, amber front and red rear side marker lamps and retroreflectors are required. The law initially required lights or retroreflectors on vehicles manufactured after 1 January This was amended to require lights and retroreflectors on vehicles manufactured after 1 January If installed, they are required to be brighter and visible through a larger horizontal angle than US side markers, may flash only in synchronous phase with the turn signals but are not required to flash , and they must be amber at the front and rear, except rear side markers may be red if they are grouped, combined, or reciprocally incorporated with another rear lighting function that is required to be red.
Japan's replacement of unique national rules with ECE Regulations has caused automakers to change the rear side marker colour from red to amber on their models so equipped in the Japanese market. Direction-indicator lamps  or turn signals,  informally known as "directional signals", "directionals", "blinkers", or "indicators", are blinking lamps mounted near the left and right front and rear corners of a vehicle, and sometimes on the sides or on the side mirrors of a vehicle, activated by the driver on one side of the vehicle at a time to advertise intent to turn or change lanes towards that side.
Older turn signals are powered by thermal flashers which used a heating element , leaf spring and a bimetallic strip. When the signal stalk is pushed up or down, the heating element heats up, causing the bimetallic strip to compress the leaf spring and closing the contacts from the battery to the turn signal lamps. As the lamps draw more current than the heating element, the heating element has lesser current and cools, causing the leaf spring to push the bimetallic strip away and opening the circuit and this cycle keeps repeating until the turn is canceled.
Thermal flashers were superseded by electromechanical relays since the s and used a relaxation oscillator chip to generate square waves to the relay coil, causing the relay contacts to open and close, causing the lamps to flash and also generates the clicking sound associated with turn signals.
Modern cars now use a relaxation oscillator and solid-state relay built into the body control module to flash the lamps and use speakers to produce the clicking sound, which varies by each car manufacturer.
They also detect a lamp burn-out and mimic hyperflashing of a thermal flasher or a relay. Electric turn-signal lights date from as early as Hand signals are also sometimes used when regular vehicle lights are malfunctioning or for older vehicles without turn signals.
Some cars from the s to early s used retractable semaphores called trafficators rather than flashing lights. They were commonly mounted high up behind the front doors and swung out horizontally. However, they were fragile and could be easily broken off and also had a tendency to stick in the closed position.
These can be fitted with flashing lights as an upgrade. As with all vehicle lighting and signalling devices, turn-signal lights must comply with technical standards that stipulate minimum and maximum permissible intensity levels, minimum horizontal and vertical angles of visibility, and minimum illuminated surface area to ensure that they are visible at all relevant angles, do not dazzle those who view them, and are suitably conspicuous in conditions ranging from full darkness to full direct sunlight.
In most countries, cars must be equipped with side-mounted turn signal repeaters to make the turn indication visible laterally i. These are permitted, but not required in the United States. As an alternative in both the United States and Canada, the front amber side marker lights may be wired to flash with the turn signals, but this is not mandatory. Mercedes-Benz introduced the side turn signal repeaters integrated into the side view mirror in , starting with its facelifted E-Class W Some evidence suggests these mirror-mounted turn signals may be more effective than fender-mounted items.
It is also required that the vehicle operator be alerted by much faster- or slower-than-normal flashing in the event a turn signal light fails. Turn signals are in almost every case activated by a horizontal lever or "stalk" protruding from the side of the steering column, though on some vehicles it protrudes from the dashboard.
The driver raises or lowers the outboard end of the stalk, in accord with the clockwise or anticlockwise direction the steering wheel is about to be turned. In left-hand drive vehicles, the turn indicator stalk is usually located to the left of the steering wheel. In right-hand-drive vehicles, there is less consistency; it may be located to the left or to the right of the steering wheel. Regulations do not specify a mandatory location for the turn signal control, only that it be visible and operable by the driver, and—at least in North America—that it be labelled with a specific symbol if it is not located on the left side of the steering column.
Virtually all vehicles except many motorcycles and commercial semi-tractors have a turn-indicator self-cancelling feature that returns the lever to the neutral no signal position as the steering wheel approaches the straight-ahead position after a turn has been made. Beginning in the late s, using the direction-indicator lamps to signal for a lane change was facilitated by the addition of a spring-loaded momentary signal-on position just shy of the left and right detents. The signal operates for however long the driver holds the lever partway towards the left or right turn signal detent.
Some vehicles have an automatic lane-change indication feature; tapping the lever partway towards the left or right signal position and immediately releasing it causes the applicable turn indicators to flash three to five times.
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Basic principles of car lighting technology
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Car Exterior Lighting
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The lighting system of a motor vehicle consists of lighting and signalling devices mounted or integrated to the front, rear, sides, and in some cases the top of a motor vehicle. This lights the roadway for the driver and increases the visibility of the vehicle, allowing other drivers and pedestrians to see a vehicle's presence, position, size, direction of travel, and the driver's intentions regarding direction and speed of travel. Emergency vehicles usually carry distinctive lighting equipment to warn drivers and indicate priority of movement in traffic. Early road vehicles used fuelled lamps, before the availability of electric lighting. The Ford Model T used carbide lamps for headlamps and oil lamps for tail lamps. It did not have all-electric lighting as a standard feature until several years after introduction. Dynamos for automobile headlamps were first fitted around and became commonplace in s automobiles.