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Vintage French Headlamps at Paris Retromobile PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 22 March 2010
This attractive display of gleaming vintage Cibié, Marchal, and Ducellier headlamps for classic Citroën, Renault, Simca, and Peugeot cars was spotted at the Paris Retromobile show.

The lamps date from the 1930s to 1970s, representing the evolution of the state of the art from single- and then two-filament tungsten bulbs through the early-1960s introduction of the first single-filament halogen bulbs, then a decade later the release of the still-familiar H4 two-filament halogen bulb.

Many of the lamps are equipped with cadmium sulphide glass filters to produce the selective-yellow light colour required from all vehicles' road-illumination lamps from 1936 until the requirement was quashed by European decree in 1993.

A great deal of myth surrounds the French yellow-light rule, which is variously said to have been enacted
- because of unique reflection characteristics of French road pavement materials,
- because of a faulty understanding of Rayleigh Scattering and glare or of the effect of light colour on visual acuity,
- because of a military need to identify the nationality of cars at night in the days before pan-European standardisation of lighting equipment, as a technical barrier to competition from lighting manufacturers outside France, etc.

In fact, scholarly research identified glare-reduction benefits to filtering the blue components out of headlamp light (resulting in the selective-yellow colour).  
While debate on the matter over the years sometimes strayed from the technical to the political realm, more recent research done at America's two foremost traffic-safety research centers supports the idea that with any given level of intensity, less blue content in the headlamp light can translate to less glare and an easier time seeing in snow and fog.

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2010 International Geneva Motor Show PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 15 March 2010

Driving Vision News is publishing this week its report on the March 2010 Geneva Motor Show. For those who could not attend the show, you will find 45 pages presenting all the new concept and production cars exhibited in Geneva, with our usual zoom on their lighting equipment in relation with styling, safety and energy consumption.

This 2010's Geneva auto show was centred around one strong priority: the reduction of energy consumption.  Alternative power train technologies dominated the fair. Green being the key word,  Automakers have focused their communication on electric vehicles and power consumption reduction rather than on the comfort and safety benefits to be derived from lighting and DA technologies.
Main innovative concept cars shown:
• Citroën DS High Rider presented in an impressive booth
• Mercedes F800 which unveils MB's future styling direction
• Opel Flextreme which confirms the high level of GM/Opel innovation expertise in green cars
• SR1 and 5byPeugeot which preview Peugeot’s new flagship
• Fluence ZE and other concept cars which emphasise the involvement of Renault in electric cars
Main innovative production cars launched:
• Audi A1 and A8 which display the constant innovative spirit of Audi
• Ford Focus demonstrating Ford's strong ambition
• Nissan Leaf with innovative LED headlamp styling
• Toyota Auris with high-tech headlamp and dual-function fog/DRL lights
• Volvo S60 with pedestrian detection technology and innovative LED rear lamps

The 4 main takeaway points are:

• Geneva 2010 was totally focused on green cars
• Green promotion drowns out communication on lighting and driver assistance
• Front and rear of the car are increasingly the main areas of styling innovation and differentiation
• Many interesting production and concept cars were shown
I hope you will enjoy reading this report

General Editor

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