technology used is decisive for headlamp performance.
This type of reflector with the light source near the focal point has been in use for more
than 90 years. The disadvantage is that almost half the reflector has to be shielded off
for European dipped beam light.
Utilisation of the whole reflector surface and a pattern-free
design has been made possible by the use of free-form technology
(FF technology) developed by Hella and used for the first time in series production
in 1988. Each area of the surface of the reflector which has been calculated
point-for-point is allocated a certain area of road to illuminate. This continually
advanced calculation technique has made it possible to achieve an optimum beam pattern
solely produced by the shape of the reflector, leaving the cover lens with a purely
Hella produced projection headlamps under the name DE (triple-axle ellipsoid) for the first time in 1983 for
aftermarket applications and then from 1986 onwards for original vehicle equipment. An
optimum beam pattern can be achieved even in small-sized headlamps thanks to the
relatively small projection lens.
The first ECE approval for a European headlamp with a hard-coated
plastic cover lens was granted to Hella. Since series production began in 1993 this
technology has gained general acceptance in Europe, since it combines low weight with
greater freedom of design.
Hella had thus started a new
Since then there has hardly been a new car enter the market without plastic cover lenses.
Today, xenon light is setting standards in
vehicle lighting. Hella has been supplying headlamps with xenon light as series
products since 1992, both in Europe and USA. Xenon light is more than 2.5 times more
powerful than halogen light, has a colour similar to daylight and uses less than 2/3 of
the current consumed by a conventional light.
illuminate the road more widely and brightly than conventional systems, meaning hazards
can be recognised more quickly and making driving at night less stressful.
Today Hella is the European
market leader for vehicle equipment using high-performance xenon headlamps.
Hella has already gone one step further in development. Since 1999,
bi-xenon headlamp systems have been being used, which
produce dipped and main beam light from one single light source. The advantages: energy
consumption is reduced even further, new possibilities opened up for design engineers,
same light colour for dipped and main beam light.
Using a movable shutter mechanical switching between the
beam patterns for dipped and main beam light is possible. This means that apart from the
setting mechanism for the shutter there is no longer the need for further expenditure for
a separate headlamp with its own control electronics.