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The secrets of car lights you don’t know

How did cars change from being "short-sighted" to the "hot-eyed" they are now? This article tells you the answer!

The secrets of car lights you don’t know 1

Everyone knows that the first car in the world was made by Carl Benz. Although this car already has some features similar to modern cars, such as spark ignition, steel tube frame, water cooling cycle, rear-wheel drive, etc., it is because At that time, Mr. Karl Benz did not consider that it was very likely that the vehicle would need to be driven at night. Therefore, the cars at that time did not have headlights, but car lights had long existed. Although this sentence sounds a bit convoluted, But in fact, car lights were born a little earlier than cars.

The secrets of car lights you don’t know 2

The reason is very simple. Before the invention of automobiles, horse-drawn carriages were popular for a while. If you watch movies in the 19th century, you can still see that the driver would place a kerosene lamp in front as a lighting source. Although the illumination range was limited, because the speed of the car was not high at that time, It can also be regarded as providing safety and convenience for traveling at night. However, due to the low luminous efficiency of kerosene lamps, acetylene lamps soon replaced them. Although electric lamps were invented later, the carbon filaments inside the bulbs could not withstand the bumps on the road and could not be used in cars. Therefore, acetylene lamps have become the main force in driving lighting for carriages and cars.

The secrets of car lights you don’t know 3

The secrets of car lights you don’t know 4

In 1913, Cadillac integrated the vehicle's electronic ignition system and electronic lighting system, and applied incandescent lamps to the vehicle's headlights. Although incandescent lamps performed fairly well in terms of lighting, the technology was not yet fully mature at the time, so it was not fully adopted. promotion.

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In 1915, people gradually began to find that although the illumination intensity of incandescent lamps was sufficient, the angle of the light could not be adjusted, so it was a bit dazzling when driving. In order to overcome this shortcoming, an additional luminosity adjuster was later used to allow the headlights to be adjusted vertically. It can move up and down in the direction, but the driver must get out of the car and go to the headlight to break a lever to move the clamping device. This is the earliest high and low beam switching. It wasn't until 1917 that Cadillac moved the high and low beam switch into the car. In this way, the first electric car headlights were turned on.

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But how to get enough light and how to make the headlights shift the direction of the light according to the changing angle of the steering wheel became the focus of research by automotive engineers at that time. The first turn signal to be launched on the market was the Czech Tatra T87 before World War II. It has three headlights on the front of the car. The lights on both sides are responsible for illuminating the front, but the light in the middle will rotate the angle of the light according to the direction of the vehicle. Although it looks strange, it can indeed improve driving safety. It's a pity that this car was very difficult to control at high speeds, so it ended up helping to take away many high-ranking Nazis. Just like that, the future of this car was in doubt.

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There was also a very distinctive design in the history of car headlight design - jumping lights. It means that the vehicle's headlights can be hidden in the front fender when idle, and can be turned on and off by a switch. When turned on, the headlights turn up as if jumping out, so it is called "jumping light". When the jumping light is turned off, the entire The front cover is low, smooth, and graceful in shape, achieving excellent aerodynamic effects; and when the pop-up lights are turned on, the highly technological visual effects add a lot of science fiction flavor to the vehicle.

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The world's first car equipped with jumping lights was the Cord Model 810. This car was unveiled at the New York Auto Show in 1935 and attracted a lot of attention, but the reason why this design became popular was not because of this first model.

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In 1940, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NHTSA announced that all cars could only use this type of headlight, and it must be two 7-inch round headlights. This rigid rule made the design of many cars difficult, but Designers also have ideas. The jumping light design can not only meet this policy and regulations, but also make the vehicle more avant-garde. Therefore, more and more models are beginning to adopt this flip-up headlight design. Until the 1980s and 1990s, the jumping light design was a very fashionable design method in automobile design.

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But as time goes by, many people have discovered that when a vehicle with a jump light design turns on the jump light, the special convex shape will cause the car to easily cause secondary injury to the pedestrian after a collision with the pedestrian. Many countries have Regulations began to restrict or even prohibit the production of models with jumping lights. Finally, at the beginning of the 21st century, jumping lights stepped off the stage. In this way, the Ferrari 456 became the last mass-produced model with jumping lights.

The secrets of car lights you don’t know 11

The secrets of car lights you don’t know 12

The design of lamps continues to change over time, and the types of lamps must also be gradually upgraded. In 1990, the BMW 7 Series E32 was launched. It was the first car in the world to use xenon headlights. The light emitted by xenon lamps is similar to the old halogen tungsten Filament lamps are very different. Halogen tungsten lamps use yellow light, while xenon lamps are cold white-blue light sources, and their service life and irradiation intensity will be stronger. Xenon headlights began to be widely used, and the types of car headlights began. Change gradually.

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Next comes the LED era. In 2006, the Lexus LS600h was the first to be equipped with LED low beam lights. Unexpectedly, just one year later, Audi equipped its top sports flagship model R8 with a full LED light set, including high and low beams, daytime running lights, and turn signals. , tail lights, brake lights and other light sources are all LED. Audi's status as a "light factory" was thus established. Of course, Audi is worthy of this name. In 2013, Audi installed matrix LED headlights on its executive flagship A8, with 25 LED light groups. , can automatically avoid the high-beam beam. With the blessing of these technologies, the lamp is no longer a simple lighting tool. It has begun to have intelligent upgrades, and the competition among various manufacturers has gradually become fierce.

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The secrets of car lights you don’t know 15

In recent years, LED light sets are no longer new, and the emergence of laser headlights has made everyone's eyes brighter. At the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours Endurance Race, Audi took the lead in equipping its factory team competition model R18 with laser headlight technology. . Because the LED light of laser headlights is more concentrated, its illumination intensity is greater than that of ordinary LEDs, and the irradiation distance is farther, the controllable range is larger, and the effect is more obvious. But unfortunately, the mass production application of laser headlights was preempted by BMW. In 2014, Audi also exhibited a concept car with laser headlights at CES. BMW has mass-produced the i8 equipped with laser headlights. But it must be said that such healthy competition has indeed made rapid progress in vehicle lighting safety. develop.

The secrets of car lights you don’t know 16

Light is a pursuit. From the earliest ignition lighting, kerosene lamps, to the popularization of electric lights, the world has undergone earth-shaking changes; and car lights have also changed from the earliest acetylene lamps to the current laser headlights, which represent the automotive technology The upgrade also represents the trend of automobile development. In the future, lights will no longer be a single tool. They will become stronger, brighter, and smarter, so that our safety will be better guaranteed. So after laser headlights, what kind of headlights do you think there will be? Show up and kill everyone?

The secrets of car lights you don’t know 17

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