How innovative fastening solutions are enabling new approaches to EV lighting?
LEDs have unlocked the potential for radically new automotive lighting designs in recent years and nowhere is this more evident than in electric vehicles (EVs), where expectations of what a modern passenger vehicle should look like are being challenged. Steve Wynn, UK Sales Manager at EJOT explains why innovative fastening systems are helping to facilitate this creativity in automotive lighting, whilst at the same time meeting other key vehicle design and production criteria.
Automotive lighting, particularly headlamps and tail lamps, has taken on a whole new look in many of today’s electric vehicles (EVs). New styling potential resulting from the use of LED lighting as an alternative to halogen lights is proving to be extremely valuable in the pursuit of energy efficiency, weight minimisation and aesthetic goals.
Whilst EVs have embraced this technology from the get-go, these same advantages have in fact driven increasing demand for LED lighting across the automotive sector over the last two decades.
Supporting its increased adoption has been EJOT. Through our range of fastening systems for headlights, tail lights and interior lighting, as well as numerous other vehicle lighting applications, we have helped designers make greater use of LEDs, which is why our products already feature in many of the cars, vans and commercial vehicles we see on the roads today.
Given the green, sustainable potential of EVs, which are being advocated and encouraged by governments around the world to enable internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to be phased out over the next two decades, it is no surprise that LED lighting is becoming the norm in vehicle design. But, in order to maximise the benefits of LEDs, we understand how important it is for lighting designers to have the right fastening solutions available to incorporate this technology whilst still meeting the key design objectives for the vehicle overall.
Lowering energy consumption
The key benefit of LED lighting in EVs comes with their low energy consumption compared with other types of lights. This minimises demand on the power stored in the battery, thus contributing to an increased range – one of the most important factors for many drivers. Hence why EJOT has worked closely with a number of vehicle manufacturers to find effective ways to incorporate LED lighting to a structurally robust and operationally reliable standard.
Building lighter and stronger
One of the major advantages of an LED lighting assembly is that it can be designed to offer equivalent – or improved – performance versus other types of lighting at a lower overall weight. Again, this helps optimise the EV’s battery range.
The key to minimising weight in any lighting assembly is to utilise lightweight materials which also provide high strength and durability. This is an aspect of vehicle assembly that EJOT is ideally placed to support through our extensive experience, over four decades, working with the world’s leading vehicle manufacturers to achieve this balance through the application of innovative fastener solutions.
Unlocking styling and aesthetic potential
One factor that clearly differentiates many EVs is their appearance. The use of LED lighting has been key to enabling designers to adopt often radical styling which, in many cases, distinguishes them from more traditional ICE or hybrid powered vehicles.
Eye-catching design of the lighting, in common with many other vehicle features is however, dependent on being able to build lighting assemblies to a robust standard and ensure attachment to the vehicle is both secure and hassle-free.
How EJOT and its range, benefits EV lighting designers
EJOT has a wealth of experience and expertise in automotive lighting to help EV designers achieve their goals. In conjunction with our automotive lighting aiming mechanism and device specialist ASYST, we offer a range of fastening solutions that perfectly aligns with the needs of EVs.
Multiple ASYST products can be combined with EJOT screws to provide easy to install and build methods. All are designed to provide a quality solution for vehicle lighting with guaranteed performance thanks to the rigorous design and testing process undertaken by EJOT’s fastening engineers.
One of the most widely used EJOT solutions within lighting assemblies is EJOFORM. This unique multi-stage cold forming process developed by EJOT enables high quality fastening elements in steel, aluminium or partly copper to be created with the capability to perform multiple functions in one application. Every EJOFORM product is bespoke to the application, which makes it extremely versatile and gives automotive designers the ability to maximise joint strength, save cost through parts reduction and optimise application.
In addition to EJOFORM, several other fastening products within the EJOT portfolio are ideally suited to automotive lighting applications. These include the Delta PT, an advanced screw for direct fastening into thermoplastics, and ALtracs Plus, a thread-forming screw for use with light metals. Both provide the scope to deploy lightweight materials in the construction of the lighting assembly.
Automotive lighting designers can also benefit from EJOT EASYboss. This range of plastic fastening elements – compatible with the EJOT Delta PT screw – is ideal for assembling materials with varying thicknesses, which reduces reliance on metal clips. This removes cost from the lighting assembly through parts rationalisation and potentially faster production cycles.
To help automotive lighting designers maximise the potential of EJOT fasteners, we also offer prognosis software to help from the initial development phase. This assists with correct product selection at an early stage to potentially save time and costs during the development process.