LED Headlights Can Add 6 Miles to EV Range

Lexus LS 600h, LED Headlights

In the fight toward better fuel efficiency, automakers have implemented features such as auto start/stop, better transmissions, regenerative braking, turbochargers and hybrid systems. LED headlamps are a low-hanging fruit you could see more often in the future, as the federal government will raise fuel economy standards over the next several years to 35.5 mpg.

The average halogen lamp uses about 55 watts of energy, with a xenon lamp using 35 watts, according to Electronics Weekly. In high-beam mode, halogen bulbs can use up to 240 watts, according to headlamp manufacturer Osram Sylvania. LED lamps promise to reduce energy use by about 75%, according to the manufacturer. That sort of efficiency could add some six miles of EV range to vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt, which currently uses halogen projectors, according to Osram Sylvania.

LED headlamps aren’t new to the industry. In 2008, the fourth-generation Lexus LS 600h hybrid was the first production vehicle to be equipped with LED headlamps for low-beam use. It was closely followed be the Audi A8, Cadillac Escalade and many other models that can have LED daytime running lights or full-on LED headlights.

Solid-state front LED headlamps entered the premium market first because of their marketing edge and because they’re expensive, according to Electronics Weekly. According to the publication, advanced xenon headlights still provide better visibility but don’t offer the distinctive look or marketing panache that LEDs bring. It will take another two to three years for the technology to overtake xenon headlights in terms of performance. Eventually, LEDs could offer even better performance than xenon technology, according to the publication. The cost of LEDs has also come down, as manufacturers have generated better volume and efficiency out of their designs.

The third-generation 2011 Toyota Prius now comes with standard LED headlamps on the top-level trim, which starts at $28,320. The 2011 Nissan Leaf comes with standard LED headlights as well. The Mitsubishi i-MiEV will have an LED option, but there’s no word if we’ll see it on the U.S. model.

Brilliant! LED headlights can add 6 miles to an electric car's range (AutoBlogGreen)


Infiniti has used LED headlight in the Q45 from 2002-2006. Glad everyone else is finally catching on.


Sorry Nick no. The Infiniti Q45 did not use LED headlights.
It used a D2S with 7 little projector lenses in front of one reflector.

Troy S.

This article made me think of Day Time Running Lights (DRL). How much fuel or Hybrid battery power is used to run these things? How many watts do they consume on average and can non-hybrid vehicles so equipped with DRL's benefit from LED's?


That's one mean looking Lexus. Does anyone know if that's the LS?

Ken L.

That's the Lexus LS 600h (Hybrid). It's their top of the line model.


The non-LED may be inefficient, but they sure do a good job of melting the snow and ice so they can be seen. Which is kind of important in winter driving.


LED DRLs are far more efficient than underdriven filaments.

From lightsout.org
Q. Will DRLs reduce fuel economy?

A. Yes. The energy required to power the DRLs is not free. It is not surplus energy that is just "available" from the vehicle's engine. Various estimates place the reduction in overall fuell efficiency at 0.25 - 0.5 mpg, and cost estimates range from $5 - $15 per year. GM estimates the annual cost of DRLs at less than $10 per vehicle per year. Multiply that by 200 million vehicles in the US, and you can see why we oppose mandatory DRLs. The cost of DRLs over several years cannot possibly justify the benefits, especially the the benefits are in serious doubt. Given the increasing price of gasoline, the economic impact of DRLs will only get worse. Further, the combustion of the additional gasoline required to power the nation's DRLs will result in several billion pounds of pollutants being exhausted into the atmosphere. What makes the federal government's position on DRLs seem so strange is that the Environmental Protection Agency allows GM to disconnect DRLs before testing! Why?

This article is informative. It is a good news that car company make cars that consume less fuel. In worldwide news, oil crisis seems to worsen. It will be really good if cars consume less fuel.

Not only that the company are towards better advancement in car but also to make its costumer spend less. Its really good that our vehicle will consume less fuel but still having the best engine performance.

Great post! Wish you have more updates with your blog. Thanks for sharing this!

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