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Diode Lasers Light the Way for Automotive Signal Lamps

Photonics Spectra
Nov 1997
Michael A. Marinelli and Jeffrey T. Remillard, Ford Motor Co.

The high brightness and directionality of laser light allow for the design of a new class of ultrathin, uniquely styled automotive tail lamps. These and other diode laser characteristics have driven the design of thin-sheet plastic optics.
Halogen, neon, or light emitting diode (LED) sources generally emit light in all directions and require the use of surrounding reflector structures to collect and direct light into the desired beam pattern. The volume occupied by the reflector strongly affects the ultimate lamp size, shape, and appearance. Incandescent powered lamps tend to be the bulkiest designs, commonly surpassing four inches in total thickness.

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