Fans of eco-friendly cars know that energy conservation involves more than the use of green fuels. Increasingly, car buyers are taking a shine to alternative lighting to reduce waste. Because headlights consume valuable energy, many innovative car designs are incorporating power-saving headlamps. As these designs rush to market, you'll want to take the time to determine which "green" headlight design technology is right for you.
HID, or Xenon, headlights are considered by some to be the best of the brightest. According to German researchers, in addition to providing superior lighting, these headlights can cut energy consumption by 30 percent and lower greenhouse-gas emissions.
LEDs are power-efficient and increasingly finding their way into dazzling new automotive headlight designs. One Volkswagen design involves seven pentagonal plastic lenses set in a unique honeycomb pattern.
These large headlamps are designed in clear glass to create a uniform, bright light. In addition to their luminosity, they last many times longer than traditional halogen lamps.
Inventors riding a new, high-tech design wave have come up with an energy-efficient microwave technology to power headlamps without the use of electrodes. They are design-adaptable and mercury-free.
A low-cost new material apparently retains light for 12 years with the power equivalent of a 20-watt bulb. Inventors suggest it might be ideally suited to vehicle headlights while acknowledging that it contains small amounts of radiation.
Daytime Running Lights
DRLs are designed to reduce energy consumption, and by 2012 cars in the European Union will be required to have them. Lights automatically turn on when the engine is started and switch off at night when the driver turns on the headlights.
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