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Automotive Intelligence News

News of  April 04, 2001


 


New milestone in lighting technology: HP bulb lasts the entire service life of a vehicle

Photo: DaimlerChrysler

  • Service life twelve times that of a conventional bulb

  • Superior lighting performance from glass capsule measuring just 30 millimetres

Stuttgart Smaller, faster, more reliable these are the substantial benefits of a new generation of bulbs, which in the future will be employed in the tail lamps of new Mercedes models. The engineers of the Stuttgart-based carmaker have developed what they call the HP (high performance) bulb jointly with Philips.

With a length of just 30 millimetres and a diameter of 16.6 millimetres, the new HP bulb is only half the size of the bulbs used in brake lamps and tail lamps today. This allows the rear lamp housing to made significantly smaller, which on the one hand has a positive effect on the capacity of a car's luggage compartment, and on the other hand opens up new possibilities for the design of the rear end of new models.

The HP bulb is based on the tube principle, and is characterized by a completely closed glass capsule filled with xenon gas. This allows the new bulb to achieve the same lighting performance as a conventional 21-Watt bulb, but with a power draw of just 16 Watts. Moreover, the newly developed HP bulb lights up more quickly when the brake pedal is depressed, giving a better warning to following drivers.

850,000 kilometres without renewing bulbs

The use of xenon gas lengthens the service life of the bulb many times over. While modern vehicle bulbs usually have to be changed after an average of 70,000 kilometres, the new HP bulb will continue to shine for the entire lifetime of the vehicle. In Mercedes trials, the new development proved its worth over a distance of more than 850,000 kilometres without showing signs of a defect. That equates to twelve times the service life of conventional bulbs.

(April 3, 2001)

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