Mercury Free Xenon HID - A Challenging Development in a Global Context 2003-01-0558
Mercury containing Xenon HID bulbs are currently on the exemption list of the European End of Life (EoL) Directive for Vehicles . Their usage is generally accepted due to their superior performance and energy efficiency. These lamps also find a wider application in the US, but environmentally cautious states start to require labeling in order to ease dismounting and safe disposal at end of life. The concern for the environment is also the driving force behind the intention of Japanese carmakers to switch over to mercury free alternatives. Under these global boundary conditions the innovation of mercury free Xenon HID headlighting started mid of 2001. This paper gives an overview on the technical background of this breakthrough. From a physical point of view, key elements of environmental-friendly design of HID bulbs and its application in car headlighting will be described.
We will also address the merits of a global approach to come up with this new technology. A perspective view to the oncoming future, based on the described achievements will round up the paper.