Mercedes launch new Multibeam LED headlamps on the CLS family facelift.
In 2010, CLS was the first vehicle available with dynamic LED High Performance headlamps including all the functionality of the Mercedes Intelligent Light System. Offered initially as an option, the system is now standard on the facelifted CLS Coupe/CLS Shooting Brake. But this is not all. Now, with the occasion of the facelift of CLS family, Mercedes makes a new step and both CLS/CLS Shooting Brake are optionally available with new Multibeam LED headlamps developed by Mercedes in combination with the Intelligent Light System.
New Multibeam LED headlamps add innovative lighting features to the existing functionality of Intelligent Light System (adaptive Highbeam Assist, country mode, motorway mode, fog lamps, active light function, LED daytime running lamps): anti dazzle high performance main beams with a faster and precise reaction, anticipatory camera based active light function and navigation assisted light function in roundabouts.
The system and the ways it function is in some parts similar with Matrix LED system from Audi A8 but Mercedes promise more precision, more dynamism and more anticipation.
The new Multibeam LED headlamps are able to adjust the light distribution more precisely and faster than ever for every traffic situation ensuring broad and bright illumination without dazzling other car drivers.
The information required for illumination is supplied by the camera based Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus system used in S, C and E-Class. When the camera placed behind the front windscreen detects oncoming traffic or vehicles in front, each of the 24 individual high-performance LEDs (each LED is no bigger than the cross section of a grain of rice) arranged in a matrix light source is controlled individually so that various areas of the road surface can be masked out, depending on the situation. Combining the matrix light source with LED Intelligent Light System technology, the headlamp control system improves the precision of light sources and sets a gap with a minimal width for the main beam.
In this way, drivers benefit from the best possible illumination and other car drivers are not dazzled. These anti-dazzle, main-beam headlamps can be kept on permanently.
The principle is similar to the Audi Matrix LED but Mercedes system is more anticipative, more dynamic and more precise
In addition to the camera on the windscreen, this new lighting system uses four control units per vehicle, which calculates the ideal light pattern 100 times per second and control all 24 high-performance LEDs in each precision LED module quickly and individually. Each LED is dimmable in 255 stages.
Because of a higher precision and sophisticated control electronics, Multibeam LED headlamps offer an increase of 2.5 times of the partial high-beam output. But the additional light output is not only used to increase the performance of high-beam operation but also for main-beam operation, which is used more in day by day traffic. The range of the main beam was increased by about 20% to aprox. 485 meters.
Multibeam LED headlamps contain also a module for low-beam headlamp which can be swivelled 12 degrees to the outside for active light function. But, as a world premiere, the low-beam headlamp does not swivel only in the moment when the driver turns the steering wheel but anticipates this moment because the function is camera controlled. With this anticipatory function, the low-beam headlamp swivel before the driver has turned and therefore bed is illuminated effectively as soon as possible. And vice-versa, the active light function swivels back to the straight on position before the corner ends. The anticipatory control allows an additional range of between 30 and 60 meters, depending of the traffic.
New anticipatory functions in bends and at roundabouts
Another world premiere is at the roundabouts: navigation system supplies the position of roundabouts to the headlamps system and cornering light function is activated to the light and to the right to ensure maximum visibility an all sides.
Multibeam LED headlamps provide in addition to daytime running lamps, side lights and turn signal lamps through a multifunctional fibre-optic cable also a pleasant blue light when the driver unlocks the car.
LED technology offers great advantages both for Multibeam LED headlamps and for standard LED High Performance headlamps. The light from LED headlamps is closer to daylight, thus it has a colour temperature of 5500 kelvin, closer to daylight (6500 K) than xenon light (4200 K). Also, the LED headlamps are more reliable with an average life of 10,000 hours, aprox. 5 times more than a xenon lamp.