I8 Laser Headlights For Sale

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Last updated on August 25th, 2018 at 04:36 pm

Thanks to BMW, car headlights are getting the laser treatment. The German maker of high-end vehicles announced the new I8 laser headlights technology at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. BMW showcased the new technology on it’s sports car concept i8 hybrid.

BMW Laser Headlights

According to BMW, I8 laser headlights for sale have an illuminating power of up to 1,000 times more powerful than LEDs, or light-emitting diodes. Up until just recently, of all the bulb technologies on the market LEDs provided the greatest wow factor. Because of this, BMW explained, the laser headlights can be quite a bit smaller than traditional lighting systems. They also consume less energy to operate and they look pretty darn slick, as well.

You may be wondering about the safety of I8 laser headlights. After all, we’ve been told to never look directly into a laser beam because it could blind you.

The truth is, the technology powering BMW’s I8 laser headlights is quite ingenious. And, it’s not dangerous at all. Continue reading to find out how their laser headlights work and when they may be available on your next car.

How Laser Headlights Work

Even though BMW’s new I8 laser headlights technology are powered by lasers, it’s important to realize that when you look at them, you are not actually looking at the laser.

Laser HeadlightsHow the I8 laser headlights work is that each headlight has three blue lasers positioned at the back of the assembly which fire onto a set of mirrors that are closer to the front. The mirrors then focus that laser energy into the lens that is filled with yellow phosphorus. When excited by the blue laser beams, the yellow phosphorus emits a bright white light. That intense white light then shines backwards onto the reflector. The reflector is used to then bounce the weakened white light forward. The light is then shined out from the front of the laser headlights casing as a light beam that is powerful, but still able to be looked at.

You may think that laser headlights would need a lot of electricity to operate. However, BMW said that it’s laser headlights actually save energy compared to conventional systems. Despite laser headlights being 1,000 times brighter than LEDs, the laser system actually uses only about half of the power. For someone driving a full-electric or hybrid vehicle, that extra electric power can go towards operating the engine. That also means less energy drawing from the main battery.

The headlamp enclosures themselves can be smaller because laser headlights can emit more brightness for their smaller size. As a result, car designers are gifted with a good bit more flexibility to create more aerodynamic shapes, or to fit more features into the car’s engine compartment with the extra free space.

Are I8 Laser Headlights Safe?

Lasers have enabled many modern conveniences. However, almost everyone knows to never look directly into the source of a laser beam. Due to their parallel beams being focused so tightly, some laser beams can cut like a scalpel on your eye. That’s why lasers are used as precision medical instruments.

That being said, BMW insists that there is no way to damage your eyes or blind yourself by looking directly into one of its laser headlights. Due to the way that the laser beam energy is directed, and then reflected, then finally displayed out of the headlight casing, a person cannot accidentally injure their eyes.

In the event of an accident, or light getting out of alignment for some other reason, BMW claims that the power gets cut to the I8 laser headlights if any type of damage occurs.

You can learn more about BMW I8 laser headlights over at Car And Driver. Or, if you are looking for headlights that are available today that will fit your car, check out our headlight finder.

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