In 2014 Mercedes-Benz introduced the innovative MULTIBEAM LED headlamps in the CLS-Class. These are fitted with 24 individual high-performance LEDs. Each one of these LEDs can be individually electronically controlled. ”Gridding” the light in this way allows the light distribution from the right and left headlamps to be controlled entirely separately and adapted to the traffic conditions with a high level of dynamism. This enables the individual areas of the road surface to be illuminated in a very specific manner. The headlamp control technology combines the gridded light source with the proven mechanical technology of the LED Intelligent Light System, and the high-performance LEDs provide for a range of 485 m.
Instead of the 24 LEDs of the gridded high beam module in the CLS headlamp, 84 LEDs per headlamp will soon be providing for even better light quality and even greater safety at night. In the medium term, as many as 1024 pixels per LED will enable optimum illumination of the road at every speed and in all traffic conditions – and without dazzling other road users. In the medium term 1024 individually controllable pixels per LED chip will enable a further improvement in night-time visibility, resulting in further enhanced safety.
In the near future, Mercedes-Benz will be incorporating an additional HIGH RANGE LED high beam into its LED headlamps. This additional high beam employs state-of-the-art high-performance LEDs to provide high beam ranges of over 600 m in driving situations without any oncoming traffic or vehicles ahead. In contrast to the current ”laser headlamps”, LED technology achieves this performance at markedly lower costs and with a manageable degree of complexity.
Here is a brief chronology of the most important milestones in Mercedes-Benz lighting technology over the past 20 years:
1991 Premiere of xenon headlamps with gas discharge lamps in the Mercedes F 100 research vehicle
1995 Xenon headlamps with dynamic headlamp range control in the E-Class
1999 Premiere of bi-xenon technology in the CL-Class
2003 World premiere of the active light function in the E-Class
2004 World premiere of bi-xenon headlamps with active light function and cornering light function in the CLS-Class
2005 Premiere of Active Night View Assist in the S-Class
2006 World premiere of the Intelligent Light System in the E-Class
2009 World premiere of the Intelligent Light System with Adaptive Highbeam Assist in the E-Class
2009 Premiere of Active Night View Assist Plus in the S- and E-Class
2010 World premiere of LED High Performance headlamps incorporating all the light functions of the Intelligent Light System in the CLS-Class
2010 New xenon burner with 20 percent higher colour temperature, and thus even closer to daylight, in the S- and E-Class
2011 Start of series production of the spotlight function (world premiere)
2013 New E-Class fitted as standard with energy-efficient LED low-beam headlamps (34 watts/vehicle)
2013 New S-Class becomes first car to be fitted exclusively with LED headlamps as standard
2014 World premiere of MULTIBEAM LED headlamps in the new CLS-Class
Photos: ©Daimler AG