2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class MULTIBEAM LED Headlamp Gets Dissected

They don't always get credit for it like this, but the headlights are a very important safety feature, especially when driving at night. I say "especially" and not "exclusively" because good visibility is just as vital during the day as it is after the sun's gone down.
Mercedes-Benz E-Class MULTIBEAM LED headlamp 1 photo
Photo: Screenshot from YouTube
That second part has been largely taken care of by all the manufacturers who now either use high-power halogen lamps or LEDs for daytime running lights. The first, though, is more complicated, as it's not as simple as stuffing as many lumens as possible into a headlight. That might turn night into day for the driver, but it will also leave deep marks into the retinas of everybody else on the road. A more intelligent and subtle solution is needed.

Mercedes-Benz is neither the first nor the only carmaker to equip its cars with LED intelligent matrix systems, but it has taken the technology one step further. A cross section through the MULTIBEAM LED headlamps on the new E-Class reveals the scary amount of technology that goes into making something that only two decades ago was just a bulb and a reflective surface.

Beauty aside, the new headlamps are quite impressive. Mercedes claims it has produced "the first high-definition digital lighting system," and after watching this clip, you'll probably agree with them. The secret lies in the 84 separate LED chips arranged in three rows that can be operated individually. That means the new headlamps have a virtually infinite number of possibilities to combine how the 168 LED are used.

The high beam is also packed with features, from the ability to reduce glare and to identify traffic signs to protecting the other driver by shrouding them inside dark cones. Thanks to the 84 individual LEDs, these unlit areas can be controlled very carefully, ensuring the maximum road surface is kept illuminated at all times. The lights also function differently depending on the weather outside, minimizing glare when the road is wet for better safety.

The simple fact that we can watch a nearly four-minute long clip dedicated strictly to a set of headlights is proof of how complex and fascinating this technology is.

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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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