Study: Ambient interior lighting makes drivers feel safer
Published:2012-11-14 11:13:56    Text Size:【BIG】【MEDIUM】【SMALL

Steven J. Ewing
Ambient interior lighting – a feature once reserved for the top-dollar models in many automakers` ranges – is now becoming standard kit on a host of new vehicles. Ford, for example, offers ambient lighting on nearly its entire range of products, as do higher-end manufacturers like Audi and BMW. We`ve always found this to be a cool feature, if only as a nifty party trick to show your friends, but new studies show that ambient lighting actually enhances the perceived quality of interior materials and even makes drivers feel safer.

In a study conducted by the Lighting Research and Technology journal, drivers were put in a car simulator and were asked to give feedback on their overall spacial perception within the car. Researchers found that each driver`s visual senses were improved with the use of interior light – drivers said that the design and finish appeared more attractive, controls were easier to use and that overall, they felt safer. Interestingly, increasing the brightness of the ambient lighting had a negative effect on the test group – instances of distracting glare were reported.

It`s no secret that ambient lighting can improve the overall attractiveness of a vehicle`s interior, but with the added benefits of improved spacial sense and a subconscious feeling of heightened safety, it`s no wonder that more and more new cars are being fitted with extra LEDs inside the cabin.


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