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Coolest Headlights Debut On Mercedes-Benz

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German Automaker Outfits E- & S-Class with 20% Higher Headlamp Color Temperature; Distinctive Blue Hue Hard to Miss

HILLSBORO, N.H., March 30, 2011: In the world of automotive lighting, “cool” lights are getting hot, according to the leading supplier of automotive headlights.

Headlights—like all lights—can be measured not only by brightness (expressed in lumens), but also by color temperature (expressed in Kelvin). Typical halogen bulbs are 2800-3400 Kelvin and appear to most as yellowish; the blue/silver tinted hue shown by most Xenon, or HID, headlights found on premium vehicles measures 4100 Kelvin.

Mercedes-Benz is offering a headlamp that, for the first time ever, closely emulates the color temperature of daylight, which is about 5500 Kelvin (K). Measuring in at 5000 K, the new Xenon bulbs from supplier OSRAM offer a cooler, even more blue-ish tint, which most people perceive to be brighter.

As a result of the change, Mercedes E- and S-class drivers will have excellent visibility during nighttime driving. And data shows there is a need. According to a 2010 survey conducted by KRC Research on behalf of OSRAM SYLVANIA, approximately 51 percent of U.S. licensed drivers wish they could see the road better when driving at night. One in five said they sometimes avoid getting behind the wheel at night because it is too difficult to see, which equates to approximately 37 million drivers.

The study also found that 34 percent of respondents report inadequate headlights as the main reason for poor nighttime visibility.

At a temperature of 5000 K, the Xenon headlamps offer an increase of 20 percent color temperature when compared to standard Xenon headlamps.

Mercedes-Benz is the first brand to offer this technology at the OEM level. For those models that aren’t currently offered with stock HID headlamps, Mercedes-Benz also lists the technology as an aftermarket upgrade.

For more information on the new Xenon lighting technology offered by OSRAM, please visit OSRAM Automotive Lighting.