Automotive Equipment

Optical Module for LED Headlights

Compact, flexible and highly efficient.
Advanced design and lighting enhance driving ease and safety.


We have developed a compact and highly luminous optical module for LED headlights using a unique system that simply combines a collecting lens and projecting lens for greater efficiency.

Measuring only 20 millimeters high, the new system offers design flexibility, as well as advanced beam control functions that enhance night driving safety.

illustration: Optical module for LED headlights

Technology Point

Direct projection for compactness and high luminous efficacy

illustration: Direct projection for compactness and high luminous efficacy

Conventional systems use reflectors with coated mirrors that are prone to reflection loss and low efficiency and take up space due to their large size.

The developed optical system incorporates only two key components―a collecting lens and a projection lens. The collecting lens, which suppresses diffusion and forms a beam shape with no reflection loss, sends LED light directly to the projection lens. The new system provides a luminous efficacy of 180%, equivalent to that of larger 40mm-60mm projectors.

Effective beam control for enhanced driving ease and safety

The developed optical module is equipped with advanced beam-control functions―spot beam, color temperature adjustment and Adaptive Driving Beam (ADB).

The spot beam illuminates obstacles detected by the sensor to compensate for the low-beam lights. It enables early identification of obstacles such as pedestrians, and promotes safer driving.

The color temperature of the lights can be adjusted according to the driver’s needs, so night visibility can be improved to suit each driver.

ADB allows driving with the high-beam lights always on. When it detects oncoming vehicles, it turns off the lights when passing them, to prevent dazzling drivers of oncoming vehicles.

illustration: Effective beam control for enhanced driving ease and safety

Development Notes

The challenge of development in a new business field

photo: Masashige Suwa

Advanced Technology R&D Center
Masashige Suwa

Since this was the first time for Mitsubishi Electric to develop an optical module for LED headlights, nobody had enough experience in this field. However, we possessed optical technologies that had been cultivated over many years, just not in relation to headlights. We were also able to acquire the cooperation of in-house experts in various technology fields, such as thermal engineering and vibration engineering, in achieving our development goals.

We had two development goals: achieving high luminous efficacy without using a reflector, and reducing the height of the projection lens to 20 mm. Both were high hurdles, but we wanted to develop an innovative and impressive technology as a new entrant to the market.