How to Make LED Concepts More Affordable for Automotive Signal Lighting 2013-01-0754
Similarly as in other branches of lighting, LEDs caused a revolution in the automotive lighting industry. LEDs have been established as a standard light source for exterior signal lighting in last the decade and the current development shows that a similar trend might continue for the main functions of head lamps. Roadmaps of all the LED producers show us more promising light output for a lower price every year.
However, the LED price itself is just a part of the final price of the additional subassembly which provides proper conditions for the right functionality of the LED. Driving electronics (covering nominal state as well as a wide range of critical states), PCBs, connectors and wiring significantly bump up the price of the whole subassembly. What is more, as TIER2 suppliers are responsible for the LED subassembly, there is just a limited space for the TIER1 price impact and margins. These aspects make LEDs inapplicable for lower car segments or even for certain world regions by implication.
Simplicity in principle, using clever optical systems and the conception of LEDs as light engines should again place higher demands on optical solutions and minimize the complexity of electronics and its price impact. This paper aims to outline the latest challenges of R&D in this area, roughly sum up the cost impact of the LED subassembly on the final price of the product and suggest approaches to make LEDs more affordable for automotive exterior signal lighting worldwide.