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Multi-LED Headlights That Use Cameras To Direct The Beams Coming Soon

USA Today, today, ran an article, “Multi-LEDS, lasers hold promise of brighter headlights,” by Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press.

The article says some new-fangled headlights are on the way, some already in use in Europe.
What do you think?
Too much technology?
What could go wrong? Right?
Which set-up makes the most sense?
Are these going to add to the cost of new cars (already out of reach for many) and are they going to be reliable and nearly maintenance free?


I think the improvement in safety is worthwhile, even if there are some glitches and even if they cost more at first. I do a lot of driving at night, so I’d pay more for these.

The creeping-up cost of all this technology concerns me. I’m afraid new cars will become too expensive for anybody but the well off to afford, and everybody will be driving old beaters. The average cost of a new cars was 23% of average annual household income when I bought my first new car, now it’s 46%. It’s getting too high.

What do you think?


Too much technology?

With the exception of nude selfies over Snapchat, there’s no such thing!

What could go wrong?

Dumb kids retro-converting their beater Civics with cheap knockoff LEDs that have poorly calibrated sensors that will therefore blind the hell out of me, kinda like they do now with HID kits.


Better road safety, especially in rural areas when throwing a lot of light means more likelihood of seeing the deer before it’s too late to avoid hitting it.

Which set-up makes the most sense?

The LED array. Lasers are merely brighter. LEDs are brighter and have active avoidance for blinding other drivers.

Are these going to add to the cost of new cars (already out of reach for many) and are they going to be reliable and nearly maintenance free?

Yeah, but they’re only going to add to the cost of new luxury cars until the technology filters down to the mainstream. No one complains that halogen lights add to the cost of cars. As technology ages and increases in adoption costs go down, at which point you’ll start seeing them in non-luxury new cars.

Look at non-luxury cars today. My SO’s Veloster is a great example. It has a navigation system, a backup camera, bluetooth audio and phone, satellite radio, a sunroof, bucket seats, air bags, 3 point seat belts, power windows and locks, remote start, keyless entry, a CD player, a subwoofer, designer alloy wheels, a 120v power outlet, multiple USB charging and input ports, and a lot more junk that I’m probably forgetting.

All of these things were at one time available only in luxury cars. Today they’re so cheap they can go into an economy car that goes out the door for under 26 grand.

The same will happen with these headlights if they take off.

As for reliable/maintenance free, I don’t see why not. You won’t have moving parts, LEDs last longer than halogen bulbs… I suspect they’ll turn out to be more reliable and maintenance free than the headlights they replace.

the same mountainbike wrote:
The average cost of a new cars was 23% of average annual household income when I bought my first new car, now it’s 46%

A new car today can make it to 200,000 miles more easily than cars back then could make it to 100,000 miles, so you still come out ahead here.

Sort of reminds me of the Tucker except using a camera instead of tied to the steering. I don’t have any problem if it helps see better at night-especially for those deer. I really liked the HID headlights but the LEDs seem to work just as well. Why I don’t know. So with a camera and more LEDs pointed better, no problem. Its worth the extra cost over the life of the vehicle. Speaking of deer antlers, the next one I hit, I’m taking the antlers with me. My BIL paid $18 for a little chunk of antler for the dog. Dogs evidently love them. Who woulda thought?

Lion, that’s only true if you can afford to buy it to begin with. Therein lies my concern. :pensive:

What will be a hoot will be when a problem develops with them while the car is out of warranty.

The car owner will more than likely be coughing up mid-4 figures to repair them.

Just 1/2 hour ago a friend and neighbor was showing me how difficult changing a headlight bulb is going to be on his new Dodge Dart. It’s insane. Hopefully these new LED systems won’t require that amount of work.

Well, the LED systems are supposed to be longer lasting than the HID bulbs. And my HIDs currently have 103,000 miles on them.

I would mostly expect the headlights to last the life of the car if they’re LED.

One would hope, but I wish a had a ten-spot for every LED taillight and/or brakelight string with a few LEDs burned out. How that will affect inspectability for those of us who have to face it every year is as yet undetermined.

Oh, I almost forgot! My own string of LEDs that constitute a “third brakelight” failed perhaps six years ago. The replacement cost was ridiculous… so I opened up the lens assembly cavity, removed the guts, and replaced it with a cheap red LED string from the parts store. But how many owners are going to be able to do that? And that won’t be possible on a headlight matrix.

YES . WAAAY too much technology.
Just because you COULD, does NOT mean that you should.
Heck , if you wanted tech to aim your headlights why not adapt the screen / eyeball location tech to be windshield and eyeballs ?
Then your lights would truly aim in the direction you are looking.
I can see this now . .
As the driver’s eyes scan the roadway as one normally does . . the computer would have the lights waving back and forth even as you drive in a straight line.

The city here started converting their traffic lights to LED lamps about 10 years ago. I don’t think there’s a single unit that doesn’t have a number of LEDs out already. That includes the ones replaced within the past year or so.

It is difficult to change the headlights on my 2005 Accord. I have to pull out the fender liner and get a screwdriver into a tight area to loosen 3 screws. Then rotate the lamp, pull it out, and pry off the connector. The wires are just long enough to reach the fender well, so connector removal is difficult. The high beams are easy, though. They are under the hood, just behind the radiator. There is all kinds of room to change them. I wish Honda had made the high beams the difficult ones to change. I haven’t had to do that yet.

LED lamps for the house are supposed to last about 10 years. With similar service in vehicles, most people will never change them.

I changed a headlight once on my daughter’s 2001 Civic, and I swear they were designed by Beelzebub Design Company.

Does that mean it was a Beelze-bulb?

LOL, I guess! :smiley:

I changed a headlight once on my daughter's 2001 Civic, and I swear they were designed by Beelzebub Design Company.

My SO used to have an Intrepid. Had me change the battery on it. You have to remove the fender liner access port and then choose between doing it the easy way and removing the wheel or doing it the hard way and just cranking the steering wheel way over and then wiggling the battery out past the tire with about 2 microns of clearance.

This contrasted with every car I’ve previously owned in which you just unhook the battery cables and lift straight up.

The more time passes the more engineers forget that someone is going to have to work on these things some day and it might be nice to, you know, make it non-rage-inducing. :wink:

Hey, nice new car! What happened to the old one?

It was totaled.

Wow, sorry to hear that, what happened?

Needed a headlight and then the battery died…


The car companies make it difficult to work on so you will use the dealer shop for everything.