Lights are being redefined in automobiles, depending upon the specific applications that they are used for.
The automotive lighting market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 7.22 per cent from 2016 to 2021and reach $29.53 billion by 2021, driven by increasing vehicle production, technological advancements and partly by stringent regulations. The automotive lighting market has been segmented by region, technology, vehicle type, position, two-wheeler and adaptive lighting. LED is the fastest growing technology in the automotive lighting market. It is energy efficient, lightweight and takes up less space. These attributes are responsible for the fast growth of this technology. Halogen will dominate the market owing to its low cost. The years considered for the study are, 2014 as historic year, 2015 as base year, 2016 as estimated year, and 2021 as projected year. LED is the fastest growing technology for automotive lighting. LED lights are energy efficient, lightweight and utilise less space than conventional lighting systems. Given the advantages of LEDs, they are being increasingly adopted in vehicles across the globe. The growth for xenon lights will be subdued because the ultra-bright light dazzles oncoming traffic.
The essence of exterior lights is to provide high degree of visibility to the driver of the vehicle and the surrounding vehicles, during day and night; and across a variety of climatic conditions like rain or fog or snow and traffic conditions. Trucks and other vehicles with headlights at high positions are the worst offenders. Although, glare is not often reported as a cause of accidents, hundreds of fatal night crashes attribute glare as a contributing factor every year. Similarly, glare from the tail lights and turn indicator lights also irritates the drivers in the vehicles behind. Introduction of daytime running lights and control systems like auto dipping, auto increase in light intensity of headlights by sensing the surrounding lights and headlight beams of oncoming vehicles has led to smart programmable logic controls operating the lights, these have become a standard feature in most high-end vehicles and are finding acceptance in low value vehicle segment as well. On the rear end of a vehicle, the style trends and preventing glare without compromising visibility are the norms of the day. Every vehicle on the road, irrespective of the segment commencing from passenger cars to heavy trucks, is presenting signature designs of rear lights and turn indicators in almost every new model introduced in the market.
While talking about exterior lights, the applications are extended. Most door mounted rear view mirrors have integrated turn indicators, front wheel arches carry highly contoured turn indicator lights and bottom panels below the doors are decorated with illuminated car logos. Magneti Marelli Motherson (MMM) is a leading supplier in the area of exterior automotive lighting.
Its customers include all major automobile manufacturers of passenger vehicles starting from entry level hatchbacks to premium SUVs. Says Vishal Kabadi, COO, Magneti Marelli Motherson Auto System (MMM), "Our product segment ranges from contemporary conventional bulb lamps to next generation LED technology based lamps."
Multi-functional multi-mood interior lights
Interior lights in a vehicle have moved many steps ahead of the traditional function of illuminating the interior during boarding or alighting through door operated switches or manually operated interior lights for emergency use or reading, etc. To begin with, small LED lamps illuminate the locations of all operating switches in the dark for doors and window controls and infotainment systems. The more sophisticated versions include mood lighting in various colour schemes in light blue, green, flashy orange and bright red. Depending upon the mood, a passenger can select the option of starry nights, or discotheque or any other theme in the selection menu. This trend is very popular with the gen nexts. Our lamps can be designed to ensure enough visibility during curves, adverse weather, and motorway driving situations….these are known as Full AFX Headlamps," Kabadi says. Magneti Marelli Motherson caters to the exterior lighting segment of passenger vehicles. The products - day and night lamps determine aesthetics of car fronts and brand signatures of MMM's customers.
Similarly, the instrument clusters, infotainment panel and internal rear view mirrors are illuminated with designer lighting for providing visibility, and comfort and excitement to the drivers.
Traditionally India has been a market with simplistic bulb solution covering basic regulatory requirements. With more and more global OEMs coming to India, automotive lighting commodity has moved from simplistic solution to signature based function LED lighting. LED lamps play a major role in efficiency, quality, life and colour. The automotive lighting industry is seeing a paradigm shift from conventional bulbs to energy efficient LED lamps.
Auto light for brand promotion
GGoing a few steps ahead in brand promotion, many rear view mirrors are equipped with projector lamps which project the brand logo on the ground while some high-end cars and motorbikes project welcome lights on the ground, for approaching passengers or while parked. Other areas like car rear and front grills are also illuminated with hues for decorative purposes.
Kabadi shares, “Our electronic control systems vary from cost effective yet rugged resistor ballast control gears to the
highly sophisticated micro-controller based control gears. Also we have intelligent driver modules which can communicate directly with the vehicle CAN / LIN interface as well as infrared cameras facilitating glare free driving beam. Glare free high beam. Signaling feature with wiping feature. PWM based DRL/Position.”
Kabadi adds, "We have dedicated in-house Design --- Development --- Testing Facility with the understanding of end customer expectations. Our investments towards research and development depends on our customer programs and our customers’ expectations from us."
MMM combines “Innovative design & Latest technology” with the highest quality standards through the implementation of globally established manufacturing technique and “World Class Manufacturing” to ensure delivery of zero defect products in Mass production.
Learning from the positive business results achieved by providing innovative lights and their brand promotion value, most auto majors and light manufacturers are making high investment towards research and development in this aspect of automotives. It is believed that some companies have state-of-the-art light testing tunnel for their vehicles wherein they create all possible climatic and driving conditions to test the efficacy.
Highlights of Global Automotive Lighting Market Research Report: