Lighting in automotive industry

May 12th, 2014 | Customer Focus


Lighting has become a major selling point for car makers; today, a head or tail lamp has become a signature feature of a car, setting it apart from the rest, in fact sometimes a headlamp is the most distinctive and recognizable element of a car exterior.


By designing and integrating lighting elements in a vehicle interior, both functional & ambient lighting increase a driver’s perceived safety and quality of the car. The goal is also to optimize visual comfort and driver safety because a driver’s vision can be disturbed not only by glare from oncoming vehicles, but also from interior light sources such as LEDs, and also mirrors, displays and reflections. In the last decade the number of light sources in car interiors has drastically increased, up to a current maximum of about 25 light emitting diodes (LEDs), although this is likely to rise further.


As such, innovative new lighting designs are ever more important.


Many new products are released each year: LED based headlamps, tail lamps, turn indicators, ambient lamps and signal lamps; many new materials, optics and light sources are now being used. Lots of factors are leading designers to create innovative, optimized sources. Light sources need to be smaller, and to consume less energy, but they also need to be brighter, and more accurate... 


Automotive manufacturers are under constant pressure to deliver new vehicles in less time and at lower cost. 


OPTIS’ award-winning solutions enable designers and engineers to analyze, optimize, test and validate the lighting performance and legal compliance of future vehicles while increasing design productivity. 


A unique feature of OPTIS software is the capability to simulate human vision, enabling to visualize the product as it will be seen in its ultimate environment, both lit and unlit and in any given weather conditions, day and night.

In doing so, virtual prototypes can be improved and multiplied. Thus the positions of these lighting elements, their intensity, the choice of on-board materials and sources can be simulated and optimized. 

OPTIS software helps automotive OEMs design exterior and interior lighting. The company’s simulation software measure optical properties and bring high-value and unequalled realism to visualizations of car exteriors as well as interiors and fit and finish.


OPTIS products also help in meeting the demands of potential problems for driver visual comfort and safety in the form of unwanted reflections, glare and visual impairment. Drivers, perceive and interpret visual data and make critical decisions based on what they see, so designing their Human Machine Interfaces poses specific challenges. The company’s simulation results show how dashboard instrumentation and GPS screens will be perceived depending on environment and time of day. 


OPTIS software allows manufacturers to model & optimize lighting performance, and simulate the heads-up displays or HUD as it will really be seen in the driving environment. So surroundings and outdoor lighting, as well as glare from oncoming headlights or sun can be taken into account. 


OPTIS’ advanced Visual Ergonomics tools to calculate the probability that information displayed on an HUD will be both visible and readable, enabling clients to optimize parameters. 

OPTIS simulation and visualization solutions enable automotive OEMs to review and revise designs collaboratively, locally or remotely.


“More than just pretty pictures, OPTIS simulation solutions, being fully physics-based, will show you how your design will look including any defects or problem areas.They can therefore be used for upfront decision making, saving money by avoiding costly mistakes later in the design process,” 

The development gives designers new advanced globally collaborative powers by facilitating visualization and modification of projects in real time. This represents a significant breakthrough for the integration of optical simulation in the industrial process, making it possible to share complex product data across global development teams.



By using OPTIS solutions, industrials now have the essential tools to experiment with new materials, colors, light sources and optical effects. SPEOS Libraries of luminous sources, materials and surface optical properties can be shared with everybody within engineering groups and can be re-used in multiple projects.


OPTIS has been developing simulation software for the past 25 years and our technology is well established throughout the automotive OEM marketplace and their Tier 1 suppliers. We have constantly reinvested in R&D to deliver innovative solutions for lighting and optical specialists and our unique approach of using physics based simulation sets us apart from other solutions in that we provide the only true interpretation of what a driver will actually see. 


In recent years we have developed this technology in real time providing a compelling link between design and engineering disciplines. When deployed as an integral part of the product development process we have proven to save costs on physical prototypes and time to market. By introducing a reliable, repeatable toolset we have taken virtual prototyping to an advanced level where decision making is being made possible without the need for costly hand built models. 


OPTIS has always worked with customers and suppliers to ensure that OPTIS technology is fully supportive with constantly updated light source and material libraries and specialized software modules to enable companies to correctly model emerging & innovative technology.