Car headlights all cool white?

mrsteel

Newly Enlightened
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Jul 5, 2017
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Is there a reason it seems every car used cool white LEDs along with the „projector“ style optics, that in my opinion look cheap with a blue and blue outline around them? Is there a reason they couldn’t use a standard/orange-peel reflector and neutral white/high CRI LED‘s?

Any info on this is greatly appreciated!
 

idleprocess

Flashaholic
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Feb 29, 2004
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dfw.tx.us
Is there a reason it seems every car used cool white LEDs along with the „projector“ style optics, that in my opinion look cheap with a blue and blue outline around them? Is there a reason they couldn’t use a standard/orange-peel reflector and neutral white/high CRI LED‘s?

Any info on this is greatly appreciated!
Cooler tints due to availability and consumer perception.

Higher CCT LEDs are readily available with some of the best performance - in terms of lumens per watt - at low prices. Every OEM is engineering to a cost and wants continuous availability.

Some thirty years on from the introduction of HID to the market, there is still a demand for "whiter" headlights. This is not surprising since HID - and now LED - are quite distinct from ~2700K halogen at the ~4200K that HID largely settled on and the >5000K that LED generally exhibits. You see this in the aftermarket all the time.

Until there's significant movement on both fronts, I don't expect automotive LED headlights to adopt ≤ 4000K CCTs anytime soon. LED headlights are also often a premium - either by package or trim - so there's little incentive for the OEMs to de-excoticize them.

I gather that projectors are preferred for similar reasons. It's far easier to control light distribution with a projector system as well as offer high/low from a single fixture using a drop shield like HID has done for decades without the compromises of dual-filament bulbs. Projectors are also more sought after by the market than reflectors, possibly due to a façade of exoticism; even vehicles with halogen lights are often equipped with projectors.
 
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