Let there be LED light…

Mercedes-Benz now offers integrated LED main headlamps as an option on the Citaro bus.

With more safety, allied to economy in use, Mercedes-Benz says that its decision to offer LED headlamps “reconciles apparent opposites.”

The optional extra – also available on the continent on two Setra models – is, says the manufacturer, a world-first, in being the first integrated LED headlamps on buses.

A comparison of the illumination range (from top to bottom) LED, bi-xenon and H7

It says that the less tiring effect on the eyes also helps reduce driver fatigue, while operators will enjoy “noticeably lower” maintenance costs, and good visibility means safety, despite the lower power consumption of LEDs.

It is the next step in vehicle design, which has seen the Citaro and Setra having LED interior lamps since the debut of the current models.

Specifically, rather than using supplier’s ranges of “basic round spherical-cap headlamps for fitting in a mask” the LEDs are integrated into the headlamps, meaning that the individual ‘faces’ of the brands is retained and “immediately recognisable in the dark too.”

As a result, the switch from xenon headlamps involves no change to the clear lens or lamp layout. Only the frame around the lamp is different.

In addition, there is no need for the additional high beam that is used in xenon headlamps – it is replaced by a dark screen.

The bi-LEDs, for low and high beam, are in a single housing. In each lamp, five LEDs generate low beam, while three additional lamps produce high beam and each LED has its own reflector.