Nov 8, 2013

Laser Headlights are Coming

BMW is working on laser (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) headlights to be introduced on selected 2014 models. They promise to be much better than the relatively recent LED headlights. The laser lights will put out more light and use two-thirds the power of LEDs, which use one fourth the power of ordinary headlights. They are also much more efficient and brighter than the current Xenon headlights used on some cars. In addition, they are just 10 square micrometers and 1/10,000th the size of a 1-square-millimeter LED.

The inventor of the headlights says Laser lighting may even do away with household LED and CFL lighting before either takes off. These new Laser lights are also ideal for businesses, signage, and projectors used in movie theaters, as well as smartphone projectors. The Laser lights are different than you might think of a laser beam. These lights are diffused blue beams and reconstituted to a white specific width for use. There is no danger of an accident creating a beam that could be harmful to the naked eye.

Einstein came up with the theoretical foundation for lasers in 1917 and they were first demonstrated in 1947. They have been in use since then for various applications, but almost always as a concentrated beam.

It took from 1879, when the incandescent light began until a few years ago for radical change, now we have another whole new generation of lighting in about five years. In spite of the hype from manufacturers, it will likely be a few more years before we can buy one for our homes.