Technology & Products / 05.11.2013

HELLA sets trends for interiors: From compacts to luxury SUVs

Ambient light creates increasingly individualized atmosphere in vehicles // Interest increases in all vehicle segments


Lippstadt, Germany, November 5, 2013. From tiny compacts to luxury SUVs, interest in innovative lighting solutions for vehicle interiors has been growing across all segments. This is the impetus behind light expert HELLA recently providing equipment for innovative interior lighting concepts for the Opel Adam, VW Golf and Seat Leon along with the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport. In order to meet the increasing demands for interior customization, the designers at HELLA can already utilize a wealth of design options: From elongated light transmitters integrated around the center console or into door designs to diffuse lights for illuminating footwells or map pockets.

The luxury Range Rover SUV has been available since August 2012 and allows drivers to create their own ambiance. In the top-of-the-line equipment model, the driver can choose between ten different colors ranging from Spark Blue to Ice White to Racing Red. Light transmitters bathe the vehicle interior in the desired color at the press of a button. These light lines are integrated into the map pockets in the doors as well as the center console. In terms of physical equipment, HELLA implements this function using a total of eight RGB modules. Each module consists of three different colored LEDs (red, green, blue), whose light is injected into the light transmitters. A LIN controller creates the desired color by mixing the three LED colors while also controlling the brightness. HELLA takes care of the color selection for the LEDs, i.e. sorting the colors by intensity and brightness, during the production process. After being measured, this data is used as the basis for a correction matrix for each individual chip, ensuring that the entire vehicle interior is lit with a uniform hue. The vehicle's ambient light package is supplemented by seven smaller lights, each of which is equipped with three white LEDs. These enable implementation of two functions thanks to the ability to dim LEDs or switch them on and off. This is the technology behind transforming the welcome light into an ambient glow that lights up the footwell area in the back of the car when starting the vehicle.

Interior lighting from HELLA is also used in the Seat Leon. The indirect lighting is integrated into the door paneling, highlighting the contours of the interior design. A two-colored LED module enables illumination of the interior based on the selected driving profile?clear white in Comfort and Eco mode; intense red in Sport mode. This creates a feeling of uniformity and provides an appealing ambiance due to the two-sided integration of the light into the light transmitters built into the door paneling.

In the VW Golf, the color of the dimmable ambient lighting depends on the vehicle model. The light strips in the doors light up white in the Golf, blue in the Golf R and red in the sporty Golf GTI. The amazing part is the one-millimeter-high design contour line, which testifies to the high manufacturing precision due to the directly visible optical system.

In addition to these implementations, HELLA also developed and produces innovative interior lighting for the Opel Adam. Drivers of the Adam can choose between setting eight different colors using the optional MultiColor LED light package, with colors ranging from True Green to Amber to Opel Red. After making a choice, this color lights up the center console, the map pockets in the doors and the passenger-side footwell. The optional backlighting for the front cover of the glove compartment is a new feature, which gives the impression of a glowing nebula. These functions are implemented using an innovative light control unit, just like the LED starlight sky that can be integrated into the roof. The ALCM (Ambient Light Control Module) developed by HELLA combines the automotive supplier's core areas of expertise: Smart electronics and innovative lighting design. The special feature of this comfort control unit is that it implements the interior lighting functions fully independent of the central control unit in the vehicle.

The trend towards more LEDs in automobiles has gone unabated for almost 20 years, as evidenced by the current developments in the area of headlamps and taillights, among other factors. For instance, the use of LEDs offers new design possibilities and therefore significantly supports an increase in vehicle individualization. This trend is continuing for vehicle interiors and is forming a path away from pure functionality and towards more aesthetic applications. One of the contributing factors can be traced back to new technologies that transform LED point light sources into elongated illuminated light lines.

HELLA interior lighting systems, with its company head office in the southern German city of Wembach, is leading in this area and is taking on the role as the centre of expertise for interior lighting within the HELLA Group. A total of approximately 90 development engineers work on creating new technologies for every vehicle segment.

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Dr. Markus Richter
Company Spokesman
Rixbecker Str. 75
59552 Lippstadt, Germany
Tel.: +49 2941 38-7545
Fax: +49 2941 38-477545