Published on February 26th, 2016 | by Kyle Park Points
Ford Lights the Way for Drivers
It has been putting people in a good mood lately, and not just for dumping ALEC — Ford Motor Company has introduced a new mood lighting system designed to reduce irritability and improve efficiency by a reported 62% percent. Crystal Diamond Light debuted earlier this year in the GT Supercar and the F-150. The LED solution evenly disperses a broad light to improve commuting for weary drivers.
While raising efficiency and lowering cost, the psyche-friendly interior lighting also miniaturizes the feature while the diamond-like facets of the lens provides full and even light.
“The efficiency of this lighting helps to stabilize the psyche, and also has the potential to affect global environmental savings,” said Arun Kumar, Ford optics expert and design engineer. “As we democratize this lighting innovation to a broader audience, the impact could be significant, with millions of gallons of fuel potentially saved on a global scale.”
Ford has focused on human psychology in regards to this new lighting, citing sources that say erratic lighting can trigger irritability and even depression. The company speculates that poor automotive lighting combined with a lengthy commute home into the night can contribute to moodiness and outright feeling bad.
When updating its Corporate Green interior dash lighting around the turn of the century, Ford chose a color that was palatable to the eye, of a high quality, and provided a good contrast during twilight and nighttime hours. The company also considered the difference between how females and males perceive certain colors.
“Another obvious issue was to design for people who have color deficiencies,” said Shannon O’Day, Ford interactions and ergonomics core engineer. “You can’t use a deep saturated red or green for dash lighting because those are colors people most typically have problems with. Eight percent of the global population has this issue, and most are male.”
Additionally, red and green are typically reserved for emergency buttons so Ford decided to coin Ice Blue™ as the trademark light. Although blue is the chosen color, available features allow drivers to choose which color they prefer.
“Color is one among many factors that make lighting functional and pleasing,” O’Day said. “In the end, it’s really about the eye, what it perceives, and how it affects the driver.”