The adoption of light-emitting diode (LED) systems offers great potential for change in the lighting sector.
For example, German supplier Schefenacker - which does not currently produce front lighting systems - is looking to break in as the changeover to LED front lights occurs around 2006 to 2008.
LED front lighting systems are expected to integrate with dynamic adaptive front lighting systems (AFS). Smaller and lighter, LED systems are easier to motorize and are more flexible as a light source.
In addition to the direct benefits of using LEDs over bulbs as a lighting source, LED systems will be much more closely integrated into the electronic architecture of vehicles. This will allow development of fully dynamic exterior lighting suites.
For example, sources at Hella foresee the replacement of a separate, driver-controlled rear fog light with an intelligent LED lighting system that will sense foggy conditions and activate brighter rear lights accordingly.
Major competitors have development programs under way for adaptive rear lighting, with brake force display that reacts not only to pressure on the brake pedal, but also to the proximity of the following vehicle. But among other obstacles, legislation permitting the development of adaptive rear lighting systems is not expected until about 2007.