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Here's a look at what Mercedes Benz did to their new S-Class. Hopefully sometime down the CLA production cycle it will headlights that feature the specific things highlighted below. Follow the link to the original C&D article for more detailed information on the image below.



The new Mercedes S-class due this fall turns the page on more than a century of incandescent lamps in cars. Totally rid of hot filaments, the sixth-generation S-class sedan will instead be fitted with 490 LEDs filling all lighting, signaling, and interior-illumination roles.

The auto industry is shifting to light-emitting diodes because their expected life is three times that of the average car. They also improve mileage by consuming a fraction of the energy required by conventional headlamps. At the rear, their quicker response adds 15 feet at 75 mph to the warning distance provided to cars behind. Unlike high-intensity discharge (HID, or xenon) lamps, LEDs contain no mercury, so they’re also environmentally benign.

Essentially specks of doped silicon on a circuit board, LEDs are frugal because they convert electricity to light with minimal waste heat. Since LED-based headlamps can be half the size of conventional lamps, designers now use this technology to redefine the faces of their cars, with added functions bound only by their imaginations. For example, the European S-class keeps its high-beams lit most of the time, using motorized masks to block the part of the beam that would dazzle oncoming traffic or cars to the side. The computer-controlled masks also eliminate glare from reflective signs. To avoid blinding drivers at the rear in heavy traffic, the S-class’s brake- and taillamps are lit at varying intensities.

Unfortunately, some of these functions leap beyond our current federal lighting standards, so U.S. models will not enjoy all of the LED’s advantages. We hope government regulators will see the light and enable carmakers to realize the LED’s full potential.
LED Zeppelin: The 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-class's Radical Lighting Scheme – Feature – Car and Driver
 

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It will be a huge benefit to everyone if all manufacturers started using LEDs instead of halogen lights. The energy saved and better for the environment. If a HID bulb ever had a crack while you handle it the mercury can burn your hand badly. LEDs are cheap to produce as well so its only a matter of time till every one realizes. If anything I think it will be luxury automakers that will start with the trend though.
 

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Honda is already using LED head lights in the new Accord Touring and Acura RL. Maybe others as well.
 

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I'm surprised LEDs haven't completely replaced HIDs by now. It should come standard in all vehicles. Making it an extra cost option is a pure money grab by automakers :mad:
 

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I'm surprised LEDs haven't completely replaced HIDs by now. It should come standard in all vehicles. Making it an extra cost option is a pure money grab by automakers :mad:
I rather have the not making it a standard feature and make it an option instead depending on which car, cars like the Mercedes CLA should have it as an option just to keep pricing down on the basemodel.

The more Mercedes can simplify it and make it cheaper the better for a lot of people and them of course.
 

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That is true this is what Mercedes is known for having more options with a cost and offering the vehicle at the lowest price possible. and then we see how people complain and cry about how the base models don't come with anything.
 

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Manufacturers are getting pretty high tech with headlights.

The reason LEDs haven't replaced HIDs is because of cost.

In terms of brightness I honestly think HIDs are still easier.

In order to get a LED to emit as much lumans as a OEM Xenon unit requires some serious tech.
 

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Manufacturers are getting pretty high tech with headlights.

The reason LEDs haven't replaced HIDs is because of cost.

In terms of brightness I honestly think HIDs are still easier.

In order to get a LED to emit as much lumans as a OEM Xenon unit requires some serious tech.
Yup, HID's all the way. These days the projector and HID setup is so cheap to produce since projectors have been in cars since the early 90's.

Cost of producing an LED headlight is probably a lot, I know for a fact the Acura RLX headlight has 16 individual lights all aimed at different degree's which just makes it complicated.

 

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How much more expensive can LED lights be? You can buy an LED flashlight from the dollar store for a buck.

LEDs also have higher output for the amount of energy used compared to HID, they also have less heat and illuminate more. And they look better. Why would anyone choose HID over LED? If the only con is cost, then why even bother looking at Mercedes? They are a luxury brand, which mean you get the best and you get what you pay for.
 

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How much more expensive can LED lights be? You can buy an LED flashlight from the dollar store for a buck.

LEDs also have higher output for the amount of energy used compared to HID, they also have less heat and illuminate more. And they look better. Why would anyone choose HID over LED? If the only con is cost, then why even bother looking at Mercedes? They are a luxury brand, which mean you get the best and you get what you pay for.
No idea but due to all of it's intricacies the cost of buying them brand new from the dealership can go into the high hundreds and possibly hitting the thousand dollar mark, and surpassing that. It would help if we had someone that worked at a Mercedes dealership to check for us :D

Plus there might even be a cost for install that will involve calibrating the LED's to aim right, there probably is a way for us to do it, but that information isn't available as yet. We all know what labor costs are like at Benz ;)

In my case, cost is not an issue, especially since it's a new car that I will be leasing/financing, I wont even notice the additional cost.
 

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How much more expensive can LED lights be? You can buy an LED flashlight from the dollar store for a buck.

LEDs also have higher output for the amount of energy used compared to HID, they also have less heat and illuminate more. And they look better. Why would anyone choose HID over LED? If the only con is cost, then why even bother looking at Mercedes? They are a luxury brand, which mean you get the best and you get what you pay for.
Just like light bulbs there are different kinds of LEDs.

The ones that make enough power to match a xenon system cost big money.

I'm talking $100 per emitter. And you might need a few to match the HID. Plus you have to find a way to concentrate the light. I'm not even sure if LED headlights have a light cutoff or if they are shoot light forward and down.
 

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Yup, HID's all the way. These days the projector and HID setup is so cheap to produce since projectors have been in cars since the early 90's.

Cost of producing an LED headlight is probably a lot, I know for a fact the Acura RLX headlight has 16 individual lights all aimed at different degree's which just makes it complicated.

I could understand that the construction is a big part of the cost but seeing how all these china LED lights are so cheap just makes me think. Plus lesser the ballast and Hid bulbs those both are at least a good chunk of change from oem.
 

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Well like you said the LEDs are "china" made. For a company like Mercedes I doubt they would want to get outsourced LEDs from china unless they have some what of a standard and follow certain regulation which will in turn drive up the price of the bulbs.
 

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The LEDs in car headlights are anything but cheap.

A high powered small die LED can run $100+ per LED. Add in the custom heatsink and circuit board as well as a projector system so aim the light.

It's more $ than a xenon system. An OEM xenon ballast, projector, and bulb system can be had for well under $1000.
 

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I LOVE LEDs... there are some interesting engineering issues with LEDs though.

It's not that LEDs don't generate heat. They do. But the heat is on the circuit board in the rear not in the front. That creates two new problems. First, if you don't find ways to dissipate the heat at the circuit board, it will eventually fail killing the lamp. Secondly, as the FRONT stays cool, LED headlamp assemblies lose one important property that all headlamp assemblies have shared until now: the ability to melt snow and ice from the lens.

The fact that we have LED flashlights that are cheap have little bearing on the cost of LED headlamp assemblies that have enough power to provide adequate lighting for cars. I dare you you strap as many $1 LED headlamps as you want to the front of your car and drive down the freeway at 120mph using only those.

LEDs have been around for many many decades but its taken a long time to make LEDs capable of performing in this application. As with everything, prices of these LEDs will fluctuate with manufacturing volumes rising.
 
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