BMW to offer laser lights in the i8

BMW to offer laser lights in the i8

The BMW i8 is going to be the first production car in the showrooms with technologically-advanced laser lights. The new headlight system has been developed by the German luxury car maker in collaboration with the lighting specialist firm Osram and will be a feature of the new hybrid plug-in sports car that will be available later in the year.

The laser lighting system is a significant improvement on LED lights and will be standard on the i8. Talking about the lights, BMW's Thomas Hausmann highlighted that laser headlamps operate at 344 lux when switched to high beam mode, as opposed to the 180 lux available at the moment with LED headlamps.

The new-generation laser headlamps generate their beam through laser diodes and a phosphor material that is fluorescent. Compared to LED lights, the laser lights can light-up the road surface in front of the car at a distance of up to 600 metres - double the distance of the LED lighting units.

In a preview recently held in France, BMW admitted that it had been forced to reduce the original intenseness of the beam because it was too bright. In addition to increased efficiency in light intensity, the new laser headlamps are claimed to be 30% more energy efficient than LED lights.

After the initial launch, BMW has plans to fit the lights into other models.