For more than 130 years, vehicle lighting has been used to help drivers see – and be seen. Yet, many of today’s work truck lighting systems still use conventional incandescent or halogen lights that diminish visibility and longevity – ultimately compromising driver safety while increasing maintenance costs.
Along with the increased pressure for fleets of all sizes to transition to eco-friendly vehicles, sustainable vehicle manufacturing initiatives and radical new electric-powered vehicles are ushering in a new era of vehicle design and innovation. This includes redesigning what is possible with every part and feature – including how multiple functions can be seamlessly integrated into one part.
As a result, the future of on-vehicle lighting is moving beyond the concept of one light/one function and beginning to shift towards the development of new multi-function LED lighting options.
LED Vehicle Lighting Improves Driver and Jobsite Visibility
Beyond helping vehicle manufacturers evolve their designs, recent advances in LED vehicle lighting technology can help fleets keep drivers safe on the road while supporting efforts to provide safer work environments.
Roughly a decade ago, LED headlights ushered in the next level of vehicle lighting technology. As the new standard for lighting performance and durability, LED lighting produces a significantly brighter, whiter light that increases driver visibility. On roadways or on the jobsite, powerful LED lighting illuminates areas delivering a safer environment for other vehicles and personnel.
LED lighting innovation continues to progress on every front to improve safety, even for fleets operating in challenging wintery conditions. Since LED lights generate minimal heat, sleet- and snow-covered lights can quickly diminish visibility – enhancing an existing safety concern for winter drivers.
Advanced new LED lights include integrated lens heating technology that senses and automatically eliminates condensation to de-ice and remove snow from the lens surface. This intelligent thermal management technology provides maximum visibility to ensure safe vehicle operation while making sure the LED lights are able to deliver brighter exterior lighting in colder regions to help decrease the risk of accidents on the road and on job sites.
Furthering the concept that each component should enable the vehicle to do its job better in varying conditions, new multi-function LED headlights are one of the latest groundbreaking vehicle lighting innovations. One example of this revolutionary technology delivers five critical lighting functions with the convenience of an all-in-one solution:
- Low Beam: Improved visibility to easily see up to 250 feet ahead
- High Beam: Better visibility up to 500 feet ahead for safer operation at higher speeds
- Daytime Running Lights: Additional visibility during daytime hours
- Front Position: Added illumination for enhanced visibility in all conditions
- Front Turn Signal Functions: Alert oncoming motorists to changes in direction
Multi-functional LED headlights that are DOT and ECE compliant – along with IP67 and IP69K certification for optimal protection against water and other contaminants – will continue to deliver higher lighting output to improve safety in the most demanding jobsite conditions.
One Multi-Functional Headlight = Reduced Maintenance, Higher Productivity and Improved Safety
Our increasingly data-driven world is creating new realities that require fleet operators to operate on budgets that are getting squeezed from all directions. Balancing the need to maximize efficiencies while making sure to get the latest technology with new vehicle purchases can be challenging.
Along with increasing driver and jobsite visibility, LED headlights provide next level durability by lasting up to 20 times longer than conventional halogen bulbs. The simplicity of one LED headlight with multiple functions and enhanced durability provides a lower total cost of ownership.
Regardless of classification, fleet vehicles typically utilize multiple lights to facilitate safe operation – creating the need to source multiple lamp sizes to keep up with replacements. By combining the functionality of more than one light, fleet managers can reduce potential failure points on their vehicles to keep them on the road longer while minimizing parts and labor costs.
Multi-function LED headlights are already expanding beyond one-off, custom solutions and becoming available with standard sizing and multiple mounting options. These new plug-and-play solutions provide the convenience of a drop-in replacement along with the same long-lasting LED performance to reduce vehicle maintenance costs during the life of the vehicle.
As fleets are starting the shift to utilizing more electric or hybrid powered vehicles to reduce their carbon footprint, multi-function headlights can help improve efficiencies and maximize performance. It’s no secret that achieving the longest range possible is a driving force for today’s EVs and the longer those vehicles are on the road means higher profitability.
Simple math confirms that multiple lights ultimately create a greater draw on an EV battery and incorporating a single, multi-functional LED headlights will reduce the pull on the battery. While this energy savings may seem minimal, it can have a positive impact on increasing operating ranges to deliver greater long-term value for light- and medium-duty EVs – especially for those larger commercial fleets with hundreds of vehicles.
Want to make sure you never miss a safety update, tip, or news from Work Truck? Be sure to register today for our eNewsletters so you don't miss a thing!
About the Author: Gary Durian is the engineering director for Technical Solutions at J.W. Speaker. This article was authored and edited according to WT editorial standards and style. Opinions expressed may not reflect that of WT.