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Valeo to Develop Front-Lighting LEDs
Sep 2003
FRANKFURT, Germany, Sept. 16 -- Bright white light from light-emitting diodes (LEDs) is moving from the rear to the front of the car, Valeo announced at the IAA 60th International Motor Show, being held this week in Frankfurt. The Paris-based company, which makes components, integrated systems and modules for cars and trucks, said it is developing LED technology for a variety of front-lighting applications which could be in production in three years.

Valeo is developing the LED technology with Valeo Sylvania of North America and Ichikoh Industries of Japan, including position lamps, turn signals, front fog lamps, daytime running lights, fixed bending light and low beams.

"Valeo has proven design and development expertise for LED technology for rear-lighting applications such as rear combination lamps and center-high-mounted stoplights," said Thierry Morin, Valeo chairman and CEO. "Valeo is now extending this technology to front-lighting functions with the potential to achieve significant performance benefits, especially for adaptive lighting functions, and highly desired styling flexibility which will differentiate new top-end models by creating distinctive signatures."

LEDs are solid-state semiconductor devices that convert electrical energy directly into light. Recent increases in LED performance, combined with their small size, low power consumption and high reliability, make LED technology a realistic option for automotive designers specializing in exterior lighting, Valeo said.

Optical lenses are proposed for functions such as direction indicators and daylight running lights, while a reflector or optical fiber light guide is suitable for the position lamp. In addition to optics, integrated control electronics and thermal management are essential features of LED front lighting, the company said.

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