For drivers of semi-trucks, driving at night or in bad weather is about to become significantly safer as most Class 7 and 8 truck OEMs are finally making the switch to LED headlights beginning with 2019 year models.
Instead of relying on LED technology adapted from the private car sector—which may not always be suitable for over-the-road trucks—OEMs are partnering with lighting manufacturers that specialize in commercial truck headlight applications to optimize safety, function and even aesthetics.
LEDs have long been used in the heavy-duty trucking aftermarket and for OEM applications such as clearance/marker lights, cab lights, stop/tail/turn lights, backup lights, turn signals, auxiliary interior lighting, and even headlights. However, due primarily to a higher initial cost, OEMs have resisted making LEDs standard as headlights. Now, with the price of LEDs dropping—along with key improvements in the technology—OEMs are now ready to take the lead.