Car News

Automakers Add LED Technology to Interiors

RELATED READING
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon

author photo by Jeffrey Archer March 2012
  • Many new models feature LED interior lighting.
  • Ford is among the leaders in the technology.
  • LEDs are more efficient and last longer than incandescent bulbs.

If you've been paying attention to automotive styling for the past few years, you've probably noticed an increasing number of cars making use of LED headlights and taillights. But the new technology isn't just showing up on automotive exteriors anymore: several car brands are beginning to ditch incandescent bulbs for more reliable, more efficient LED lighting inside vehicles, too.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, incandescent light bulbs - like the ones commonly found in most homes - require far more energy than their LED counterparts. And while incandescent bulbs tout lower initial costs, they burn out more rapidly than LEDs, leading to frequent replacement and overall waste. As a result, many local governments are doing their part to phase out incandescent bulbs within homes - and automakers are beginning to do the same within vehicles.

At the forefront of replacing incandescent interior bulbs with LED lighting is Ford, whose recently released Fusion sedan makes considerable use of the technology. According to the automaker, LED lights can be packaged better due to their small size and cost about the same as the bulbs they're replacing. Best of all, the energy-saving lights are designed to last for the life of the car rather than just two years like incandescent bulbs, leading to warranty cost savings for the automaker and fewer headaches for consumers.

But LED technology will allow Ford's customers to enjoy more than just a stress reduction. Thanks to the new lights, Ford says owners of the 2013 Fusion can constantly adjust its ambient interior color to one of seven distinct shades: default ice blue, green, orange, red, purple, white and a more traditional deeper blue. The automaker even released a color chart showing different moods associated with each color, ranging from "outgoing and optimistic" for orange to "magical and complex" for purple.

Of course, Ford isn't the only automaker to use LED lighting in its interiors. In addition to seeing use in upscale brands like Rolls-Royce and Maybach, LEDs can also be found inside many BMW, Lexus and Mercedes models. But Ford says the 2013 Fusion is its first vehicle ever to feature LEDs at each light source - and given the technology's benefits, we don't expect it will be long before LED lighting becomes just as commonplace inside vehicles as it is on the outside.

What it means to you: The proliferation of LED interior lighting will lead to lower maintenance costs for consumers.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Automakers Add LED Technology to Interiors - Autotrader