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“In discussions and projects with our partners in the automotive industry, we are increasingly observing that exterior lighting is also targeted to control passengers’ moods,” says Stephan Schabacker, Director of Automotive Sales at SCHOTT Lighting & Imaging. In vehicle interiors, light is al- ready convincing people. In addition to headlights and combination rear lights, exterior lighting is now also gaining in importance as a user experience in vehicle design concepts.
While functionality and visibility used to be the focus of attention, lighting is increasingly being used as a form of user experience. SCHOTT has already implemented discreet accent and contour lighting – in exterior running boards and roof racks in vehicles from leading manufacturers, for example. These applications not only provide orientation, but also upon approach of the vehicle, the user is delighted with the look, which remains consistent with that of the interior.
With the advent of autonomous driving, this development will continue and assign exterior lighting a new task: communication with the environment. “For example, lighting solutions will transmit signals to the surroundings – whether to non-autonomous vehicles or pedestrians,” ex- plains Schabacker. This also creates new application scenarios for and demands on lighting products.
But back to today: Of course, light depends on design and effects. Technical factors such as longevity and constant product quality are equally important. Especially in exterior applications, the light must be particularly robust and work reliably under harsh environ- mental conditions such as extreme temperatures, road salt or small stone chips. SideLight products from SCHOTT are ideal for use in exterior contour and accent lighting.