The Future of On-Vehicle Lighting: Multi-Function LED Headlights

On-vehicle lighting is moving beyond the concept of one light/one function and beginning to shift toward the development of new multi-function LED lighting options.
By Gary Durian
February 21, 2023

Who can resist the opportunity to see the future? With the influx of modern digital tools that provide an entirely new way to improve jobsite efficiencies, some might say the future is already here.

When it comes to vehicle design, sustainable vehicle manufacturing initiatives and radical new electric-powered vehicles are ushering in a new era of innovation. As part of creating this new world of efficient technology, vehicle engineers and designers are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with every part and feature – including their lighting packages.

As a result, the future of on-vehicle lighting is moving beyond the concept of one light/one function and beginning to shift towards the development of new multi-function LED lighting options.

Improved Driver and Jobsite Visibility with LED Lighting

For more than 130 years, vehicle lighting has been used to help drivers see–and be seen. Yet, many of today’s work truck lighting systems still use conventional incandescent or halogen lights that diminish visibility and longevity–ultimately compromising driver safety while increasing maintenance costs.

Before eco-friendly mandates pushed vehicle manufacturers to rethink their approach to design and production, recent advances in vehicle lighting technology were already available, increasing driver safety and creating safer work environments at the jobsite.

Roughly a decade ago, LED headlights ushered in the next level of vehicle lighting technology. As the new standard for lighting performance and durability, LED lighting produces a significantly brighter, whiter light that increases driver visibility. On roadways or on the jobsite, LED lighting illuminates areas to deliver a safer environment for other vehicles and personnel.

LED lighting innovation continues to progress on every front to improve safety, even for those fleets operating in challenging wintery conditions. Since LED lights generate minimal heat, sleet- and snow-covered lights can quickly diminish visibility, enhancing an existing safety concern for winter drivers.

Advanced new LED lights include integrated lens heating technology that senses exterior temperature and automatically eliminates ice and snow from the lens surface. This intelligent thermal management technology provides maximum visibility to ensure safe vehicle operation while making sure the LED lights are able to deliver brighter exterior lighting in colder regions to help decrease the risk of accidents on the road and on jobsites.

One Multi-Functional Light = Next Level Versatility and Performance

Construction vehicles deliver value through versatility and durability every day. Whether on the jobsite or on the street, each part and component should enable these vehicles to do their job better in varying conditions. So why should lighting only offer a single functionality?

New multi-function LED headlights are one of the latest unique and valuable vehicle lighting innovations. One example of this revolutionary technology delivers five critical lighting functions with the convenience and versatility of an all-in-one solution:

  • Low Beam: Improved visibility to easily see up to 250 feet ahead
  • High Beam: Better visibility up to 500 feet ahead for safer operation at higher speeds
  • Daytime Running Lights: Additional visibility during daytime hours
  • Front Position: Added illumination for enhanced visibility in all conditions
  • Front Turn Signal Functions: Alert oncoming motorists to changes in direction

For long lasting performance, multi-functional LED headlights that are DOT and ECE compliant–along with IP67 and IP69K certification for optimal protection against water and other contaminants–will continue to deliver higher lighting output to improve safety in the most demanding jobsite conditions.

One Multi-Functional Headlight = Reduced Maintenance, Improved Safety and Higher Productivity

Our increasingly data-driven world is creating new realities that require construction leaders and fleet managers to operate on budgets that are getting squeezed from all directions. Balancing the desire to get the latest technology with new vehicle purchases while trying to maximize efficiencies and increase safety can be challenging.

Along with increasing driver and jobsite visibility, LED headlights provide next level durability by lasting up to 20 times longer than conventional halogen bulbs. The simplicity of one LED headlight with multiple functions and enhanced durability provides a lower total cost of ownership while enhancing the overall value of the vehicle when it comes time for resale.

Regardless of classification, construction vehicles typically utilize multiple lights to facilitate safe operation–creating inefficiencies when sourcing multiple lamp sizes to keep up with replacements. By combining the functionality of more than one light, maintenance managers can reduce potential failure points on their vehicles to keep them on the road longer while minimizing parts and labor costs.

Multi-function LED headlights are already expanding beyond custom OEM solutions and becoming available with standard sizing and multiple mounting options. These new plug-and-play solutions provide the convenience of a drop-in replacement along with the same long-lasting LED performance to reduce vehicle maintenance costs during the life of the vehicle.

The increased focus on environmental stewardship is also ramping up pressure to transition to eco-friendly vehicles wherever possible. As contracting companies and other commercial fleets start shifting to more electric or hybrid powered vehicles (EVs) to reduce their carbon footprint, multi-function headlights can help improve EV efficiencies and maximize performance.

It’s no secret that achieving the longest range possible is probably the most significant point of scrutiny for today’s EVs. Much like their fossil fuel driven counterparts, the longer these EVs are on the road supporting jobsite activities translates into greater profitability.

Simple math confirms that multiple lights ultimately create a greater draw on an EV battery. Incorporating single, multi-functional LED headlights will ultimately reduce the pull on the battery. While this energy savings may seem minimal, it can have a positive impact on the bottom line by increasing operating ranges to deliver greater long-term value for light- and medium-duty construction EVs.

by Gary Durian

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