Few months ago, I was at Arnheim to visit the DEKRA certification facilities and talk with Wilfried Van Laarhoven, in charge of the photometry department. Herein, DVN publishes the resultant interview. From it, I retain 3 interesting points:
• First point is about the regulatory process. It works very well in Europe with GTB, GRE and WP29. It is easy to adapt regulation to technical innovation. In contrast, FMVSS has not changed substantially since the 1983 allowance for replaceable-bulb headlamps. No change, no progress, no opportunity to adapt regulations to innovations. FMVSS gives no consideration to technologies; the lamp is considered a “black box” which must perform in accord with the requirements regardless of its technology. It’s not necessarily a completely faulty philosophy, but it fails to optimise the requirements to account for the benefits, drawbacks, and traits of each new type of technology. The SAE lighting committee does a good job, but NHTSA does not seem interested to take their work into consideration.
• Second point is about the survival of the independent and official laboratories. We need these strong and experienced laboratories because “they are able to answer to all the needs of lighting players and to help regulations to progress”. So we want to be careful about in-house lighting self-certification.
• Last point, I would like to insist about the luck we share to work on lighting. Wilfried is one example of the passion for lighting. There are not many products which combine art, high technology and regulations, and automotive lighting is one of them. He explains how headlamps and rear lamps are beautiful products where the smallest details are important. Each mm3 is put under the loupe to see if it is correct or not.
Yes, pieces of art produced by the thousands if not millions, we can only agree!
DVN General Editor