Recently, I came across an interesting study conducted by BMW engineers and the Lighting Engineering Group at Ilmenau University of Technology in Munich on automotive interior lighting completed in 2009. The study involved questions answered by participants after driving a stationary car with ambient lighting in a simulated environment. The drivers were exposed to changes in light color, luminance and the position of lights throughout the driving experience. The emotional states of the participants were also evaluated at the start and end of the tests.
The elements within the study involved evaluating the driving experienced related to design (such as materials used and shape) and design principles (such as intended sportiness or luxury). Some participants were exposed to blue light and others to orange. The results depicted that the blue lighting appeared to be brighter than orange. The drivers were able to find automotive control and knobs easier. Blue light also provided the drivers with a comparatively better perception of their orientation in low-light conditions. However, the drawback of blue lighting was that it seemed “uncomfortable”. The orange lighting gave the feeling of luxuriousness and finer quality.
Overall, the results of the study presented insights into the positive psychological effects of automotive ambient lighting. The study noted that “the whole perception of the car interior is improved through the use of ambient lighting while driving. It intensifies the space perception, enhances the perceived quality of materials and design, facilitates the finding of controls and the orientation in the car, and improves perceived safety.”
The Innotec team was at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2019. Below is a series of photographs of ambient lighting taken by a team member during the 4-day event in Las Vegas.