From open-door indication and seat occupancy warnings to brake lights and turn signals—lighting provides essential vehicle-to-vehicle and driver-to-vehicle communication. As both a safety necessity and a stylistic element, LED technology and user demands across the automotive industry are quickly evolving, making cars more engaging, interactive, and reliable each year.
Though drivers use manual and automatic lights to communicate with other drivers and pedestrians, such as blinkers or flashing brights, there also exists a conversation between the driver and vehicle itself.
Beyond dashboard icons, which are easy to become immune to as dashboards become more complex and utilize a growing number of symbols, there are a variety of integrated lighting solutions that make a driver’s experience both more user-friendly and enjoyable.
In many cases, automotive lighting may act as a safety feature or a secondary reminder to initial warning indicators.
However, in an industry that also places a high value on aesthetics, light features can add a unique, interactive element to a car that’s customized to the manufacturer or vehicle.
Lighting for Safety
As technology and safety features advance in the automotive industry, cars are becoming more communicative with improved safety features. Though many cars today utilize audible alerts to issue a variety of warnings, such as the presence of weight on a seat, keys left in the ignition, or a mechanical issue with the vehicle, lighting alerts can also act as a stand-alone or additional visual cue.
Many cars today use an audible alert to indicate if a child is present in the backseat as users exit the vehicle, but red interior lighting directed at the individual seat would provide a direct visual, acting as an exigent reminder and accessibility feature.
Unique Visual Interest
As plenty of car enthusiasts know, there are a variety of elements in and on a vehicle that come down to aesthetics for the sake of enjoyment, and lighting can communicate in this way, too.
A feature like a welcome door light that projects the manufacturer’s logo on the ground when the driver approaches not only indicates that sensors are working properly, but it begins a conversation between vehicle and driver for every ride. These nuanced interactions create an element of trust and entertainment that truly elevate a vehicle.
With the increasing popularity of RGB and RGBW lighting in both functional and recreational spaces, consumers are looking for more flexibility and control when it comes to all lighting.
Whether regulating the interior lighting for a driver’s mood, or providing parental control options—such as yellow lighting to indicate a new driver—color selection and color temperature are variables that auto manufacturers suddenly have a lot of choice over.
As manufacturers continue prioritizing seamless communication between car and driver, lighting and visual cues are only becoming more essential to ensuring a safe, user-friendly, and elevated driving experience for everyone on the road.
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