Driving at night is lit, with less traffic and an open stretch of roads. The only thing the car requires is a pair of headlights. And in this current scenario, there are numerous type and styles of headlights. From halogens to HIDs, from reflective type to projectors. All these headlights are a part of many of the new vehicles hitting the road these days. But there is another more advanced headlight technology that uses lasers. Well yes, these are the same lasers we used to play with in our childhood (with a lot more changes). Also, this will be the topic of focus today. So, here is how the laser lights function.

The BMW M3 | laser lights

Before explaining the working of these lights, we’d like to tell you that it was the German carmaker BMW that first came up with the concept of using laser light in a headlight. And it was back in 2011 when BMW showcased this new technology in the i8 concept. Now, almost all the high-end cars in the BMW line-up offer these laser lights.

Headlights That Use Laser Lights

Remember, we were told that we can lose out vision when directly looking into the laser lights source? But there is nothing to worry about with these lasers as they are heavily engineered and are pretty much safe.

Working

BMW laser headlight
BMW laser headlight

BMW says their new laser technology is more efficient than LED, meaning they consume less energy and produce more light than the other counterpart. The working of these headlight involves a little science, so here it goes.

  • The light emits from 3 sources that falls on a mirror inside the headlight housing. Now, the blue laser is reflected from the mirror through a lens that contains yellow phosphorous.
  • It is this yellow phosphorous that is excited by the blue laser light and produces a white beam of light.
  • Now again this white light is reflected back on the shiny reflector surface which bounces the light on the road through the clear lens.
  • This is how engineers at BMW have made it laser less harmful and more useful.

Benefits of Laser Headlights

BMW X5 M Competition
BMW X5 M Competition with laser headlights

The use of laser technology in the headlight is super advantageous in many ways.

  • To be specific, laser lights are about 1,000 times more intense than LED and consume nearly half the current.
  • Well, this leads to less lead on the car battery. This translates to better life and longevity.
  • Moving on, the size or the form factor of the light source is even smaller than that of LED lights. This allows the engineers to shrink the overall design of the headlight.
  • Now the designers get a lot more room to play with to make the car more aggressive and aerodynamic.

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The Bottle Neck

Having laser powering a car’s headlight does seem a lot cooler. Also, the aesthetic appeal of the headlight is enhanced by this. But it all comes down to one thing, COST.

Where it does look mean, and tempting and also is efficient, this tech is pretty new and involves a lot of R&D. This is what shoots the cost of the headlight up. Hence it is only a part of the high-end cars in BMW cars.

Related: Let there be light! Adaptive Matrix LED Headlights Explained

Let us know in the comment section, do you find this new technology interesting?

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Informative: The Bright Side: Projector vs Reflector Headlight

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