But the big difference this year is that white LEDs are now considered viable for use in forward lighting, and there are real cars on the road to prove the point.
– Early next year, Audi is expected to sell the first production car that uses white LEDs for all forward lighting functions. The German company will offer LED headlamps as an optional extra on the R8, a luxury sports car, which has white LED/DRL as standard.
– Audi already has at least five models with LED-based DRLs in different configurations, but the R8 will be the first to use white LEDs for both High and Low beam functions. The headlamps are supplied by Automotive Lighting, a German lighting manufacturer, using power LED chips supplied by Philips Lumileds.
However, Toyota Motor Corporation has already stolen some of Audi’s thunder by launching the Lexus LS600h. General Motors is also getting in on the act. As this issue went to press, GM brand Cadillac unveiled at auto shows in the US the Escalade Platinum, a special edition of its luxury SUV.