The LED Intelligent Light System in the new S-Class.
That means never having to change an incandescent or gas-discharge lamp again, from the headlamps to the dipped beams, since LED light sources have a lifetime of approximately 10,000 hours – a vehicle’s entire service life. They also consume very little energy and are therefore fit for the times. A standard LED headlamp in the new S-Class, for instance, reduces energy consumption by a whopping 72 percent compared with a conventional halogen lamp. To put it another way: a saving of 2.1 grammes of CO₂ per kilometre. Moreover, LED technology is significantly easier on the driver’s eyes; their luminous colour of 5,500 K is very close to daylight, compared with alternative halogen or xenon lamps.
And the headlamps adapt automatically to suit the weather, lighting and driving conditions, thus further improving driving comfort and ensuring an optimal view in any situation.
Intelligence keeps pace with the times.
Mercedes-Benz has been a leader in the development of innovative headlamp functions for decades. This is evident in the Intelligent Light System: an active cornering light function provides a 90 percent improvement in road illumination with headlamps that adapt based on the lead angle, yaw rate and vehicle speed. At speeds of 90 km/h and above, the motorway mode switches on, increasing the driver’s field of vision by up to 60 percent. The extended fog lamps from Mercedes-Benz improve the driver’s orientation in poor visibility. A further highlight is the Adaptive Highbeam Assist PLUS system with LED technology, which uses a stereo camera to detect oncoming vehicles and vehicles ahead.
This information is used to control the headlamps in such a way that the detected vehicles are excluded from the main-beam light cone. Thus the main beams can remain on continuously without disturbing or endangering other road users.
Philosophy of light.
“Our philosophy when developing lighting systems is shaped by a continual improvement in traffic safety. For this reason, we only introduce innovations in lighting technology if they represent an added value for the customer,” says Uwe Kostanzer, Head of Lighting Systems, Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.
He is responsible for the development of exterior lighting systems in all Mercedes-Benz passenger cars. “In recent years, we have been able to introduce six world premieres in all – from the active light function in 2003 to the multiple-level rear lights in 2013”.
Multiple levels for added value.
A true star does not glare – nor does it dazzle other road users. Mercedes-Benz has implemented this wisdom in the innovative multiple-level rear lamps. The characteristic design of the rear lamps is the first thing to catch the eye. But the lights also score points in terms of functionality: the light output of the turn signals and brake lights varies depending on the day/night lighting conditions and speed.
“We adjust the brightness of the rear lamps in three levels, based on the ambient brightness – for both the braking and turn signal functions. This significantly reduces potential dazzling for other road users and thus contributes to safety for others on the road,” explains Uwe Kostanzer. Mercedes-Benz is currently the only car manufacturer to offer multiple-level rear lamps.