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What is a Laser Beam Headlight and How Does it Work?

May 27, 2024
Laser Beam Headlight

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Laser beam headlights may sound like an invention from a science fiction book. However, they are a real technology slowly making waves in the automotive world through high-class and modern cars on sale.

Almost four times brighter and shinier than LED headlights, laser beam headlights are truly a game-changer technology offering excellent visibility on the road ahead.

But how do they work, and are they worth the huge price tag? This article explores this amazing new technology in detail. Take a look! 

What Are Laser Beam Headlights?

The evolution of LED lights has been mind-blowing. It all started with mere kerosene lamps, then led to LED headlights, and now, the latest, and probably lesser known, laser beam headlights. The gradual upgrade in the technology has helped drivers meet their brightness requirements on the road. 

However, what laser beam headlights can achieve is truly magical. They not only help improve visibility on the road but also offer the whitest light any driver has witnessed. These headlights also have increased energy efficiency and a long lifespan. 

Laser Beam Headlights

The BMW i8 was the first vehicle to introduce the laser beam headlight to the world. These headlights use laser diodes as lighting sources and offer certain additional safety features. 

A laser beam headlight works similarly to most LED headlights but offers high brightness, elevated response speed, and less lumen depreciation. 

Don’t confuse the laser headlights with what you see in the movies. Instead of bursting like an explosion, a laser headlight provides a much clearer white light that is eye-friendly and brighter than a normal LED light. 

The Best Features of a Laser Beam Headlight

Here is a summary of the top features of a laser headlight

  • A laser headlight offers superior visibility compared to traditional headlights, which makes it useful at night. The focused beam provides unmatched brightness for easy driving in adverse weather conditions.
  • Laser headlights allow you to experience high power efficiency with the vehicle’s low energy consumption and enhanced fuel power.
  • Unlike most other light sources, laser lights have a long life. As a result, they are considered highly durable. 
  • Laser headlights stand out for their adaptive nature. They change their intensity and beam pattern according to the vehicle’s speed, the surrounding area, and the driver’s needs. 
  • These headlights feature a compact design. That’s because laser diodes are small, which leads to sleek headlights that blend well with modern vehicles. 
  • Interestingly, most advanced laser headlights have unique features. For instance, you may see them having high-class recognition for road signs. Similarly, many come with detection features for pedestrians to help drivers enhance their experiences on the road. 
  • Laser headlights generate a color temperature quite like natural light. As a result, they cause less strain on the eye while increasing visibility. 
  • You can expect laser headlights to be highly responsive. They can rapidly switch on and off according to the surrounding conditions. Plus, their easily adjustable illumination improves safety on the road. 
Laser Beams in Headlights

The Technology Behind Laser Beam Headlights

You may be wondering how laser headlights work. The laser light-emitting diode emits a unique blue light. This light passes through the headlight’s fluorescent unit only to change into a bright white light, which seems safe and comfortable to the eye. 

Here is a detailed overview of how the best laser-powered headlights work:

  1. In each light, three blue lasers are smartly positioned at the assembly fire’s rear on a mirror set located closer to the front. 
  2. These lasers have diodes that work on the principle of stimulated emission. 
  3. The mirrors focus all the generated laser energy into a specific lens with yellow phosphorus. 
  4. Yellow phosphor coating interaction with blue laser generates an intense, vibrant white light. 
  5. The light produced shines backward on a given reflector. 
  6. As a result, the bouncer reflects an even more diffused, vibrant white light forward that shines from the front of the headlight. 
  7. This helps generate a powerful light beam from a light source that can easily be gazed upon. 
Laser Beam Headlight of a Car

Headlights featuring the diode technology can easily reach more than two times further than LED headlights. Plus, they can cross over six times further than traditional incandescent headlights. The laser pointers or beams have a high lightning density, making them suitable for even small spaces. 

Do Laser Headlights Consume More Power?

Now, you may wonder if a powerful laser would mean a hefty bill. Well, according to BMW, that’s not true. 

While laser adaptive headlights are almost 1000 times brighter than their LED counterparts, they use only half the electric power. That means if you are driving a full-electric or even a hybrid vehicle, you won’t have issues fulfilling its energy needs, even with high beams.

Similarly, laser headlights produce a bright light even in small units. This allows car manufacturers to elevate small headlight construction and utilize the remaining space to incorporate other pleasing features. 

Are Laser Adaptive Headlights Safe? 

We all know how dangerous looking directly into a laser light beam is. The beam can act like a knife, slicing your retina within a few seconds. 

However, BMW believes otherwise. In its statement on laser headlight safety, BMW states that the intensity of the light from laser headlights doesn’t pose any risk to animals or humans. 

That’s because the light emitted through the headlights is first converted into a suitable form, which is considered safe for the oncoming traffic on the road.

BMW has even experimented with its engineers to prove their point. But they also mention that if any possible damage is about to occur, the power to its laser headlights is automatically cut. 

Pros and Cons of Laser Beam Headlights

Laser Beam Headlights

The above information may convince you to purchase and bring laser headlights right now to your car manufacturing unit. However, before you rush, take a look at both sides of the coin. 

Pros of Laser Beam Headlights

  • Enhanced Visibility: Laser headlights generate a clear, bright, and intense white light for greater visibility even at night. This is the ultimate laser power.
  • Energy-Efficient: Laser headlights are energy-efficient, which means that they consume less power to generate maximum output. 
  • Minimum Replacement and Maintenance: These vehicle headlights feature diodes, so they enjoy a longer lifespan. As a result, you don’t have to spend money on frequent replacement and maintenance. 
  • Compact Design and Size: The company size and design of laser headlights allow car manufacturers like you to make your vehicle sleeker than ever. You also get enough space to experiment with additional features. 
  • Long-range Headlights: Since the laser is currently the only source of artificial light that doesn’t diverge, these headlights excel at offering small divergence and long range. 
  • Additional Features: Most headlights come with additional safety features that make them helpful for multiple use cases.

Cons of Laser Beam Headlights

  • Cost: These headlights are much more expensive than traditional ones. Adding them to your car design may increase the overall cost of manufacturing a vehicle. 
  • Complicated Technology: While you may not have felt it when reading above, know that laser headlight technology is quite complex. The procedure requires top-class engineering and a control system to reduce any repairs. 
  • Regulation Limitations:  Since this headlight technology is comparatively new, it isn’t understood much. Certain regions may restrict the use of these headlights due to the presence of lasers. 
  • Impact on Environment: Although these headlights are considered much more energy efficient than LED ones, manufacturing them may require the use of rare materials. This may raise questions about their environmental footprint. 

Laser Headlights vs LED Headlights

Laser headlights are practically a dream of any car manufacturer. That is because, compared to LED headlights, they excel at most levels. Here is a comparison of laser and LED headlights to help you choose between the two.

Properties LED Headlights Laser Headlights
The Lighting Distance A traditional white LED headlight has a blue laser light distance of around 300m. The low beams don’t cover a vast distance. The light distance of laser headlights can cross 600m, almost twice to what an LED light covers. This helps enhance the safety of the driver.
Size White LEDs headlights are often big in size. These headlights are quite small, almost one-fifth of an LED headlight. This offers a manufacturer the flexibility to incorporate new design elements into the car.
Light Intensity The light intensity of a traditional LED is just 100 lumens. Laser headlights generate a light with an intensity of around 170 lumens. Laser is known to produce the brightest light ever.
Source of Light LED often produces diverging light, which is not quite focused. Laser headlights produce highly directed light beans that are both concentrated and less diverged.
Application LEDs are used in various commercial lighting items such as home products, headlights, medicine, and communication. Laser headlights are very expensive, but many top car brands have used them in their models. Similarly, laser technology has also gained popularity in the communication, medicine, and home industry sectors.
Cost LED headlights are available at a wide price range, so everyone can afford them. The high cost of laser headlights makes them only affordable to big manufacturers right now.

Practical Applications and Use Cases

The appreciable benefits of laser headlights have made them popular among many big car brands. For instance, the Limited Edition Audi R8 LMX has laser headlights, adding more drama to its already amazing existence. 

The car uses four high-powered laser diodes, which generate almost two times the range of a normal LED headlight. This results in an oval-shaped bright light that shines tall. 

Laser Beam Headlights 

Similarly, BMW’s X7, i8 Coupe, and Roadster are a few of the car models that use laser headlights. The BMW laser headlights are considered highly powerful and efficient. Moreover, they are small but have compelling benefits, such as focused light beam production and several safety features. 

As laser headlights get more polished and improved with time, more and more car manufacturers plan to make the headlights a part of their models. That’s because they can’t hide from the fact that these headlights perform better than traditional ones under extreme conditions.

Whether you are driving on a highway or crossing through a foggy road, laser headlights offer you top visibility, saving you from any accident. 

Cost Analysis of Laser Beam Headlights 

As a car manufacturer or distributor of laser headlights, you may be concerned about their hefty price tag. Unfortunately, laser diode technology is expensive. Depending on your region, you may find these headlights from $150 to more than $1000.

Cost Analysis

However, things can change for the better. If the highest authorities worldwide accept these laser headlights as standard, you may eventually see them become normal (even in low-priced car models). But that may take some time to happen. 

You must pay a good amount to get laser headlights on board for now. But once you have them installed in your car models, chances are that their performance may win over their high price any day. 


Laser headlights are not just your average xenon or halogen lights that brighten dark roads. Their power efficiency, excellent safety features, and enhanced visibility make them superior to traditional options. 

However, we can’t deny that their high price is one of the biggest hurdles to their rapid globalization. While bigger brands such as BMW and Audi are adopting these headlights for their new models, certain small companies are still reluctant to purchase them for their oncoming cars.

That said, the performance of the laser headlights will soon outweigh its cost one day. And from then on, you will see these headlights flaunting their magic everywhere. 

Get an LED Headlight from CarlightVision – a Trusted Manufacturer in China

If you want to explore the class and performance of an LED headlight, visit CarlightVision today. Established in 2008, the company focuses on meeting global demand for customized automotive headlights that excel at their performance, style, and price. Contact us now to get a safe and smooth ride on the road!


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Hey there, I'm Mark Yang, Hope my blog posts can help you. I have been in the car light field for more than 20 years. So if you have any questions, I'm always happy to help you.
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