General Motors has selected Hella KGaA Hueck & Company to supply full light-emitting diode (LED) headlamps for low- and high-beam functions on the 2008-model Cadillac Escalade Platinum sport utility vehicle.
LED headlamps are said to improve drivers’ perception when driving during twilight and darkness. Hella says its full-LED headlamps last up to 20 times longer than traditional automotive lighting.
Steve Widdett, executive vice president, Automotive Sales, Hella Corporate Center USA, said the Cadillac Escalade Platinum will be the first high-volume vehicle in the world to be equipped with Hella's full-LED headlamps, which use multi-chip technology that Hella calls vehLED.
Widdett says a high-performance ventilator is responsible for thermal management in the headlamp and the active cooling and ventilation of the LED chips.
The low-beam light section of the headlamp is generated by five optical units arranged underneath one another and situated at the outer edge of the headlamp housing. The low-beam light is responsible for close-range illumination in front of the vehicle. The daytime running function is achieved by dimming the same five optical units of the low-beam.
The remaining two identical optical units in the headlamp are responsible for high-beam light and are situated at the inner edge of the headlamp housing. High-beam light illuminates upward and straight-ahead of the vehicle to maximize visibility.
The Cadillac Escalade Platinum deployment marks the first use of free-form glass projection lenses. “Thanks to their individual optical design, each area of the lens is responsible for a certain part of the light distribution on the road,” Widdett notes. “Of the seven glass lenses used in a headlamp overall, only two are completely identical, all the others are of different shape.”
LED position lights are placed vertically between the low-beam and the side marker, which is located on the very outer edge of the headlamp. In the 2008-model Cadillac Escalade Platinum, direction indicators and fog lamps are mounted in the lower area of the bumper. Widdett says that in the U.S., LED lighting technology is becoming more common for secondary lighting functions, such as the position lights and direction indicators.
Production of the Cadillac Escalade Platinum is expected to begin this summer of 2008. Approval for usage of LEDs in low- and high-beam lighting in Europe is sometime this year.