The ins and outs of automotive rear-lighting design


Imagine driving in the early 1900s. Drivers relied on hand signals and shouts, plus a little bit of guesswork, to predict the actions of other cars on the road.

Thanks to modern rear-lighting solutions, drivers can better predict the actions of other drivers in all environments, making driving safer. We’ve advanced from kerosene lamps to incandescent light bulbs to the more reliable and efficient LEDs and organic LEDs. As technologies advance, so too have the number of light sources in vehicles – from a single bulb to multiple pixelated designs. Figure 1 offers some examples.

Figure 1: Components of a rear-lighting system

As rear-lighting systems become more complex, designers must consider a number of design challenges, from power and thermal management to electromagnetic interference compatibility to fault detection and protection.

I recently wrote a white paper, Trends and topologies for automotive rear lighting systems, that discusses solutions to these challenges.

With the continued evolution of these systems, we can make the road a safer place for drivers and pedestrians alike.

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