MAN Truck & Bus
It’s been a long while since vehicles used the same lighting technology as Christmas trees - candles - but that’s what the first automobiles used to pierce the darkness at the end of the 19th century. They were followed by oil and gas lamps, before Bosch developed the first electric headlamps at the start of the 20th century.
Electric headlamps are still state of the art, although they have developed continuously over the last 100 years. The 1970s saw the addition of halogen lamps to vehicle technology, more than doubling the range of visibility. A similar quantum leap came in 1991 with the advent of xenon lights, using xenon gas discharge lamps in low or high beam. Who can forget their amazement at the bluish-white light of those first luxury cars, rather than the ordinary yellowish lights? And how much like daylight they were?
Since the 2000s, the ultimate in vehicle lighting has been the LED light, used throughout the vehicle industry because of its energy efficiency and high light output coupled with its great value due to its longevity. The abbreviation LED stands for “light-emitting diode” and new technology means that LED headlamps produce the same light output using around 60 percent less electricity than halogen lamps. With a lifetime of up to 10,000 hours in headlights, many LED manufacturers expect them to last the lifetime of the vehicle.
LED technology permits a broader beam while simultaneously shining further. To achieve that, LED headlamps consist of a matrix of individual LEDs tailored to suit the task of the lamp in question. They can be controlled separately in software, enabling assistance functions such as the high-beam assistant - already fitted to some MAN vehicles. This avoids dazzling oncoming drivers.
Because the risk of accidents increases at the darkest time of year - fog and rain make driving more difficult - the best possible vehicle lighting technology is essential to enable drivers to identify other road users and objects quickly and easily, and also to allow them to be seen more easily in turn. LEDs help to improve vehicle safety for cross-country journeys in the dark especially, because drivers can react sooner to obstructions thanks to the improved illumination.
That's why MAN relies on state-of-the-art LED lighting technology for its Truck, Bus and Van division products. First there were small LED lights in the interior, then brake and tail lights, and now LED headlamps provide maximum visibility in front, with LEDs often taking care of high beam functions.
The future belongs to LED headlamps. They turn night into day
The MAN Lion’s Coach, launched in 2019, relies entirely on fully LED headlamps and fully LED tail lights which highlight the characteristic design of the bus with a special lighting signature, while making a major contribution to safety and reducing operating costs. Low and high beams for the two LED headlamps use only around 120 watts in total - halogen headlamps would use some 2.5 times the power at around 300 watts. The LED tail lights also have significantly lower power consumption than traditional incandescent bulbs. They also have a much longer lifespan than halogen or xenon lights.
The MAN Lion’s City urban bus also benefits from innovative headlamp technology. The area illuminated by LEDs is much larger and light goes further, making it possible to identify obstructions better and faster, especially in urban traffic. The LED headlamps of the MAN Bus produce a light temperature of around 6,500 Kelvin, similar to daylight, which is far more pleasant for the driver and other road users than halogen or xenon lights. NEOPLAN buses have also had fully LED front headlamps as standard since 2018, incorporating all lighting functions including low and high beams as well as daytime running lights, fog lamps and indicators.
The MAN TGE range of vans and all HGV models are also equipped with LEDs. Low and high beams, the distinctive curved strip of the daytime running lights, position markers and indicators all use LED technology. Vans and trucks also have a high beam assistant on board which automatically switches the high beam on and off so as not to inconvenience other road users. The front camera is used to identify the lights of vehicles in front or heading towards it.
LED lights give drivers much more comfort and safety when driving at night - they can see other road users and obstacles much better and can be seen better by other road users, all without dazzling oncoming drivers.
The LED systems mean that a MAN driver is best equipped for the dark and dreary winter months when it comes to lighting technology, offering safety benefits for all road users. The candles can go back to providing a cosy light and a pleasant ambience around the Christmas tree.