Osram are developing a new HID light source with a small arc gap and dual-power operation particularly well adapted to BiXenon systems The new lamps, which Osram call SHARC (for SHort ARC) are designed to give luminance values up to 50% greater than existing HID headlamp light sources.
The SHARC lamp will be capable of operating at a range of power between 27W and 35W. At the lower power setting, intended for a BiXenon headlamp's low beam mode, the lamp's output is under the 2000-lumen threshold so lens washing and self-levelling systems are not required by UN regulations. At the higher power, the new bulb can give much better high beam performance than existing 25- or 35-watt systems—or performance can be retained at existing levels with smaller headlamps. Headlamps with lenses smaller than ø50mm and headlamps with over 30% greater intensity (vs 35W D3 systems) have already been achieved.
(bird‘s eye view - high beam performance comparison D3S vs. SHARC)
Even though LEDs are expected to take the major share of the headlamp light source split-up in the future, improvements in HID light sources are still ongoing. Osram say the variable-power feature of the SHARC light source will bring additional benefits including increased driver perceptibility of the high/low beam changeover, and better separation of low and high beam light source characteristics to allow optimisation of both functions. With the homologation process having already got under way, commercialisation is predicted for the first half of 2016.