Xenon headlamps, also known as High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps, were first introduced in the mid 1990s in Europe and Japan.
Originally limited to luxury cars, Xenon technology is now being made available on thousands of vehicles in North America -; and not only on high-performance cars.
"Night driving, especially during inclement conditions, can be incredibly dangerous. The statistics prove this," said Dr. Phil Hessburg, president of the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology.
"But with Xenon headlight technology, many traffic accidents and pedestrian impacts could potentially be prevented.
It's not uncommon to see vehicles such as minivans, midsize sedans and compact vehicles on the road today equipped with Xenon headlights. It's a promising development for driver safety."
Unlike traditional halogen headlights, which produce visible lights by electrically energizing a filament to a white-hot temperature, Xenon headlights generate a high-voltage electrical arc, dubbed the "Xenon Arc," inside a special gas blend to create light.
The result is a bluish-white glow that offers up to 70 percent more light output than standard halogen headlights, without additional glare to oncoming traffic.
The adoption of Xenon headlights in both luxury cars and other vehicles on the market has already gotten positive feedback.
According to consumers who drive vehicles equipped with Xenon headlights, 81 percent cited a significant improvement in visibility of the roadway as the number one benefit of the technology.
With new vehicle safeguards gaining popularity and making the roads a better place to drive, many drivers can expect to see energy-efficient, powerful Xenon headlights in their own vehicle in the near future.
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