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Home > Accessories > Fog & Driving Lamp Kits > Hella Headlamp Information
Optimum illumination of the road taking the technical and design-specific requirements of the customer into account are the targets of the specialists in Headlamp development and design. Hella sets trends over and over again by using the latest technologies:
Today, headlamp systems with pattern-free cover lenses characterise the appearance of modern automobiles (Audi A6, Opel Astra, X-type Jaguar etc.).
The legal requirements offer a wide range of possibilities of integrating different light sources, reflectors and optical systems into the vehicle front ends as individually designed lighting systems. A careful balance must always be found between the main requirements:
- design (appearance during the day and illuminated at night)
- performance (light output/beam pattern/durability/reliability)
- suitability for the installation situation (method of attachment/size/weight)

Project teams manage to create new headlamps within a short time thanks to direct cooperation between all the specialists involved. They can fall back on innovative components and concepts as well as on system-proved standard solutions from different Hella preliminary development groups.

Competent contacts in our Customer Support Centres in many countries are always up to date thanks to training on the subject of "Headlamp technology" and are able to round off the offer of information and support services.

This means that Hella know-how is available where it is needed; the course can be set together in good time towards creating headlamps which can be manufactured economically and are still of a high technical standard, integrated in a newly designed vehicle front or a front-end module.


Light sources Filament lamps (Halogen lamps)
Milestones of the light sources used most often for vehicle lighting today are:
1964 first developments for auxiliary headlamps with H1 lamp
1968 first developments with H3 lamp (cross filament)
1971 first H4 main beam headlamp, double filament

After the introduction of the HB types and the H7 lamp new types are now being added which are opening up further opportunities of optimising headlamp technology:

Type Range of application Remarks
H8 Fog light
Dipped beam
35 W, 800 lm, axial filament, low heat output, particularly suitable for small headlamps with plastic cover lenses
H9 Main beam 65 W, 2100 lm, axial filament
H10 Fog light 45 W, 850 lm, axial filament, HB4-socket
H11 Dipped beam 50 W, 1350 lm, axial filament
HIR1 Main beam headlamp 65 W, 2500 lm, axial filament, infrared-reflecting bulb for better effectivity
HIR2 Dipped beam
Fog light
Main beam
55 W, 2000 lm, axial filament, for dipped beam light within ECE only permitted with automatic H/L and lens cleaning equipment


Reflector technology
The reflector technology used is decisive for headlamp performance.

Paraboloid reflector
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 protective function.

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 trend:
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.

Xenon headlamps 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.


Front lighting is becoming intelligent.
Studies show that European drivers would like front lighting which can automatically adapt to different light and road conditions. Intelligent front lighting should be able to recognise daylight, twilight and night or a tunnel as well as rain, fog or snow and react accordingly with the relevant beam pattern. In addition, better illumination of bends, improved road illumination during fast motorway journeys and better illumination of curbs and verges are high on the list of priorities.

A conventional lighting system is not in a position to be able to fulfil all these requirements, some of which indeed contradict each other. It can only offer the best possible compromise of all the requirements.

In future, an "intelligent" frontlighting system will increase the safety comfort for car drivers even further.

For this purpose, variable headlamps will be used which produce suitable beam patterns for different driving situations. They will be able to rotate for driving around bends, for example, or illuminate a wide area directly in front of the vehicle in town traffic. In contrast, motorway light will have a far-reaching and narrow light cone for optimum long-range illumination.

This is made possible by a vario-xenon projector which can produce different beam patterns using a rotating cylinder.

The model shown in the illustration is a rotating module with a cylinder, a variable intelligent lighting system VARILIS with VARIOX projection module.

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