Hella uses LEDs to create unmistakable looks for the rear

Nov. 11, 2005
Hella has unveiled a series of prototypes highlighting advances in rear lighting technology.
One concept developed by Hella is the “light curtain”, in which light from several concealed LEDs radiates sideways into a flat, light-guiding plastic plate and is distributed evenly on the inside of the plate by reflection. The plate contains light-scattering out-coupling elements which direct the light forward and produce the effect of a homogenously illuminated surface.
Light curtain This new technology makes it possible to design unique rear combination lamps (RCLs), so that each vehicle can have its own individually tailored lighting arrangement. Patterns can be produced depending on the shape and arrangement of the out-coupling elements.

The lamp has an extremely low-profile design, and the LEDs operate for the whole lifetime of the vehicle. According to Hella, this new technology will be ready for series production in one to two years.

Combining light guides with light curtains

Hella has also combined two new technologies in a combination rear lamp prototype for an imaginary sports car. Three plastic three-dimensional prism rods which are arranged in parallel take over the functions of direction indicator (outside) and stop light (inside). Two high-performance LEDs are all that each light guide needs as a light source.

The tail light is realized as a light curtain in the background and ensures a large-area homogenous appearance for the combination rear lamp.

LED combination rear lamp with three-dimensional function carrier

In another RCL prototype, the exterior design is related to the unique sail-shaped Hotel Burj Al Arab in Dubai. The free-standing three-dimensional technological heart of the lamp is visible behind a 500-mm-high transparent, sail-shaped plastic cover lens.

Sail-shaped RCL The tail light, stop light and direction indicator have been achieved using typhoon lenses - these are round plastic lenses with one high-power LED positioned at the center (at the eye of the typhoon, so to speak).

These modules can replace current standard filament bulbs as light sources. In these prototypes, Hella uses specially shaped plastic light-guide bodies for the rear fog lamp and reversing light, which radiate the light from two LEDs each.