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Customizing car interiors with LED lighting

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Would ambient lighting make car models more attractive to consumers?

According to reports, automotive manufacturers are promoting greater use of LED lighting to make the interior of their cars more attractive.

As the cost of technology dwindles, manufacturers are experimenting with ambient lighting systems to try and create a distinctive identity in a neglected area.

Light-emitting diodes can be used to appeal to customer demand -- for "mood" lighting and to enhance consumer appeal.

The dashboard and main, central lighting system are not the only areas where car manufacturers can explore the potential of mood lighting. Other areas include the storage compartments, ceilings, doors and even flooring.

Manufacturer Lear is implementing one example of LED usage. In 2014, it plans to introduce an LED headlight system that will automatically dim the lights when traffic is approaching -- and go back to a high strength when there are no oncoming cars.

Gerhard Fleischmann, engineering director for Lear said:

"In the past, the ideas were there, the illumination was known and the power consumption was less and there were a lot of advantages to use LEDs, even for headlights, but it was just too expensive. Now the technology..the cost of the technology is affordable."

At the WardsAuto Interiors Conference in Dearborn Thursday, designer for Ford Robert Gelardi said:

"The interior has become so much more important. The exterior is about projection of the brand image but the interior is where you experience the brand."

The possibilities of light-emitting diode technology could mean interior displays customized to the driver's wishes, the implementation of gesture-based technology to raise or dim lighting, as well as color-based displays.

Automakers at the show said that this kind of technological development may also be used to assist drivers with restricted eyesight or hearing as well as attract generation Y drivers who want enhanced connectivity for their mobile devices.

As the cost of manufacturing decreases due to volume purchase, if automakers continue to branch out into this trend, then it will become necessary for multiple models to be equipped with LED lighting options.

Image credit: Mike Deal

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Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure