Auto Electronics

Hella supplies exterior, interior lighting for BMW 5 series

BMW has selected Hella to provide exterior and interior lighting for the 2007 5 series. Working with BMW engineers, Hella developed the 5 series' twin-round, clear-glass front headlights and combination rear taillights as well as the car's headlight power-washing system, interior lighting and reading lamps.

The headlamps are designed to offer a striking, jeweled appearance, according to Raymund Heinen, president of Hella Lighting North America. Base models are equipped with H7 halogen bulbs for low- and high-beam lighting, but the 5 series can also be outfitted with Hella's bi-Xenon headlamps that generate low-beam and high-beam lighting from the same module.

A fixed, daytime running light is positioned next to the main lamp. When the 5 series engine starts, four light-guide rings switch on automatically for visibility during daytime driving. When the driver switches on night-time lights, the light-guide rings dim, but their intensity level is controlled by the low- and high-beam switch.

Hella's adaptive bend-lighting system and static cornering light are available as optional equipment on the 5 series. The system is controlled in real time by the steering-wheel angle, yaw rate and vehicle speed. Heinen said the bend-lighting system works with low-beam and high-beam functions and continually adapts to the respective driving speed. “This feature nearly doubles the low-beams’ range when a vehicle rounds a corner.”

The 5 series front turn-signal lights are equipped with seven high-power, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) arranged in the "eyebrow" position above the headlights.

The 5 series sedan and touring models feature a combination rear-lamp with 18 LEDs for the turn-signals, a reflex reflector and LEDs for side-marker lamps, parallel light-guides, and non-patterned lens covers similar to those on the headlights. Heinen said the rear-lamp design is intended to provide “a clean, technical look.”

The sedan's five "beam-shaped," parallel light-guides are fed by one LED light source each. Two-stage brake lights behind the light-guides have two concealed bulbs as light sources as well as a red reflex reflector and white backup light. The touring model divides rear lights into two parts, with the inner part on the hatchback trunk lid and the outer portion on the rear quarter panel. Its four parallel light-guides are divided between the inner and outer parts of the taillight but do not require an optical separating joint.

Separately, Hella received a 2006 Supplier of the Year award from General Motors.

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