TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

LED light pipes availability

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by Bugpowder, Apr 12, 2014.

  1. Bugpowder

    Bugpowder Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2014
    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    The major trend in taillights and running lights is clear LED light pipes for smooth lines of illumination. I think Audi pioneered them and they are now found on many new vehicles from Mercedes to Kia. The latest versions of them look really great. But it seems they are not available on Teslas.

    Does anyone know if there are any plans to change the current format of the Model S running lights and taillights?

    The taillights look OK. But the the front LED running lights are non-uniform, you clearly see where each LED is positioned under the diffuser. In my opinion this style of liner look really dated, like a 2010 Audi. I'm afraid that if the design already feels this way now, its going to age poorly as all decent cars move to the smooth light pipe style in the next year or two.

    I'm currently debating between ordering a Macan and a Model S, and as seemingly minor this design quibble is, it bugs me.
     
  2. cgiGuy

    cgiGuy Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2013
    Messages:
    985
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    Does the Macan have DRLs? I'm assuming the strips under the headlights are turn signals, and you can also see each LED.
     
  3. BobtheV

    BobtheV Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Messages:
    96
    Location:
    Salem, OR
    Yes. Those individual LED's are tres outré. Far beneath my discriminating eyes /pas
     
  4. Bugpowder

    Bugpowder Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2014
    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    The running lights on the macan is 4 LED square pattern in each headlight. I'm not sure what the strips are, maybe turn signals? They are different between the S and the Turbo too.

    Not sure why the Porsche doesn't do the smooth strips in front, they look very good on the Q5. Maybe to not look like copy-cats. The higher ride, worse performance and worse interior of the Q5 excludes it from contention.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Until I moved to LA a few months ago and started doing the daily 45 min commute down PCH to downtown and back, I would never have noticed. Now I see around five Tesla's and dozens of Audi's, Porsches, MB's, daily on the drive both day and night. So you start to notice these subtle differences and developing preferences. I could probably do a top 10 favorite running light designs off the top of my head.
     
  5. Bugpowder

    Bugpowder Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2014
    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I found a video, see the 14 minute mark. The Macan S DOES have smooth light pipe running lights that underline LED turn strip. The Model S needs that!

    Porsche Macan world unveiling - YouTube
     
  6. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    4,683
    Location:
    Timonium, Maryland
    And the Macan has an ICE, so outré. Frankly, I rather have the electric motor with individual LEDs than the ICE with LED light pipes.
     
  7. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    12,763
    Location:
    Texas
    I think it's amazing that there is so little innovation in ICE cars that they tout LED light pipes as an advance.
     
  8. zwede

    zwede 2013 P85+

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2014
    Messages:
    501
    Location:
    Plano, TX
    Wasn't it Honda that ran a big ad campaign a few months ago that you could now get a Honda minivan with a built-in vacuum cleaner? Oh Honda, will your amazing innovations ever end?
     
  9. Chipper

    Chipper Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,182
    Location:
    Chattanooga, TN
    What do you expect from a car that really sucks??? Might as well take advantage, right????
     
  10. Raven5000

    Raven5000 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Messages:
    110
    Location:
    San Francisco, California, United States
    Yeah next to a audi the model s led daytime running light look like crap. I would like to retrofit this my self. Does anyone know if you can replace the existing drl with pipe lighting kit
     
  11. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2013
    Messages:
    10,390
    Location:
    San Mateo, CA
    #11 ecarfan, Apr 13, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2014
    I say this with complete sincerity and this is not a personal attack: if you are factoring in such a minor cosmetic detail into your analysis of which car to buy, perhaps the Model S is not the right car for you.

    I would suggest you focus on the fact that Tesla offers a revolutionary drivetrain that is the future of personal transportation and greatly reduces greenhouse gas emissions over the lifetime of the vehicle while saving you tens of thousands of dollars. There are of course many other advantages of the Model S over the Macan but that is the primary one in my opinion.

    I say this as someone who has owned multiple Porsches in my lifetime, and who currently owns a Porsche Cayman and a Model S.

    I hope in the not too distant future to be in a position to sell the Cayman and buy a Tesla Roadster. The Porsche company is stuck in the past. They are not moving forward quickly enough towards a pure EV sports car: at the rate they are going it could be a decade before they get there. Tesla did it 5 years ago and they were a tiny company with extremely limited resources. Porsche has vast resources but so far has only produced the nearly million dollar 918 hybrid and the $100K+ Panamera hybrid, both of which have very small batteries and huge gas-burning engines. They are taking baby steps towards the future and are going to be left behind.

    And yes, I am aware that the OP is not considering a Porsche sports car but a Porsche SUV, and that Porsche is no longer primarily a sports car manufacturer but instead derives much of its profit from SUVs. Times have changed.
     
  12. invisik

    invisik Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2014
    Messages:
    620
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    I have to reluctantly agree with ecarfan. In trying to decide between at 2014 S550 and a 2014 Model S, without a doubt the S550 completely wipes out the Model S for luxury features and creature comforts. It took me a while to come to terms with I'd have pretty equal features from my current S500 to get into a Model S..... but the electric drivetrain technology advancements ended up being more important (especially as the Model S is still a very nice car) so we went for it.

    I happen to really like the DRL design (light pipe or not it's always excited me..) so that was a plus in my particular book. Will my back in 95 degree weather be wishing for ventilated seats? Probably. I already wish for more storage areas in the car. I miss the largeness of the extended back seat as my parents can barely squeeze their legs through the rear doors on the Model S. (We take the S500 when we all are going now)

    So there is some compromise, but the electric drivetrain, instant acceleration and just being a part of something bigger/an ambassador to the Tesla brand is pretty cool.

    -m
     
  13. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2013
    Messages:
    4,711
    Location:
    Buckeye, AZ
    I guess I don't understand the issue. Are we talking about the difference between individually visible LEDs and those behind a diffuser, like the Model S? I far prefer the diffuser look. I find the individual LED look to be tacky and distracting. If you look at photos of Model X, you will see that Tesla is moving towards a diffused lighting strip look rather than an individual LED look. I find the diffused look far more elegant and pleasing.

    Seeing individual LEDs, in my opinion, makes the car look unfinished.
     
  14. SeminoleFSU

    SeminoleFSU Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2013
    Messages:
    718
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    I agree. Would've been great if the DRL oround the headlights looked more like Audi's. Theirs look amazing. Also, I don't understand why LEDs weren't used for taillights on the S.. Another small design thing I just don't understand. For such an awesomely futuristic vehicle, having normal lamps anywhere is a downer if you asked me
     
  15. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2013
    Messages:
    4,711
    Location:
    Buckeye, AZ
    Taillights are LED. What are you talking about? The only conventional bulbs anywhere on the car, not counting the headlights, are used to illuminate the license plate. All taillights are LED behind a diffuser.
     
  16. Bugpowder

    Bugpowder Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2014
    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I see there are a lot of passionate people on this board. I'm glad we have a little conversation going now and I appreciate your feedback.

    First, I shouldn't have brought up my personal purchasing thoughts, they aren't germaine to the thread, which is specifically about why there are no LED light guides on Teslas.

    ecarfan : I doubt there is anyone on this forum that does not think Telsa's drivetrain is revolutionary, myself included. I'm a huge fan of it. I might not be ready!

    invisik :
    I agree that you pay a real penalty in certain luxury features when buying a Tesla vs. Porsche, Benz or equivalent. Example, adaptive cruise with auto-breaking, without it I worry I'll ram someone in stop-n-go on the 10 while fiddling with Waze. Some other Tesla stuff offsets this, its up to how each person values these things and thats a debate for another thread.

    Raven5000 SeminoleFSU : Glad to hear I'm not a lone voice in the wilderness.

    AmpedRealtor : Yes they are LEDs, but they are not as slick as the other ones I've mentioned. Specifically Tesla's are neither individual (e.g. 2008 Audi R8) nor smooth pipes (2014 Audi Q5), they are somewhere in-between, like a 2011 Lexus IS250.

    I spent the last hour putting together an image gallery of 20 headlight and taillight screenshots to show what I'm talking about.

    See gallery here : LED car lights - Imgur

    Smooth light pipes on the front are on tons of 2014 models. They are freaking everywhere on the Westside of LA. Also, many taillights now have two design components. 1) An always on at night component that are smooth red lines in various shapes. 2) Diffuse LEDs that illuminate inside these lines when breaking. This gives a cool 3D effect to the taillights. Tesla only has #2, though they do look quite good given that limitation.

    So why no light pipes for Telsa yet? Do other mfgs not want to license the technology to them? I'm sure Tesla realizes it, as they overexpose the running lights in promo pics to make them look much smoother than they do on the street. Does Tesla not really care? Do they not want to split the design look with a mid-model update prior to a new model release?
     
  17. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2013
    Messages:
    4,711
    Location:
    Buckeye, AZ
    This is a completely trivial issue on which to base a purchase decision, in my opinion.
     
  18. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Messages:
    11,923
    I know MANY families that took advantage of that and use it often. Just because Tesla did not make it, it doesn't mean the product is inferior.

    As for the lights, yes, owning several Audis, I noticed this off the bat. In all honesty though, it doesn't bother me.
     
  19. Zextraterrestrial

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    Messages:
    3,636
    Location:
    Humboldt/Los Altos
    hmm think I'd rather have an electric motor with an oil lamp than an ICE with LED's

    - - - Updated - - -

    + turn signal markers (easy to fix too)
     
  20. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    Messages:
    7,019
    So the difference seems to be the diffuser that's being used.

    Note that in your gallery, most of the pictures you like are taken from further away (car and scenery filling the frame), while most of the pictures you dislike are taken up close (headlight filling the frame) - with a couple of exceptions. In your picture marked "More recent audi, smoother LED liner" you can see the individual LED's as well. I find that from the same distance as most of your Audi shots in that gallery are taken, Model S looks fairly smooth. It's nothing like the recent Chevy cars that use jumbo LED's with a mirror reflector backing.

    I rather like the smoother look myself, but it's not a factor anywhere near important for my choice, and I'm sure they'll get better over time. Also keep in mind that the Tesla lamps were done for 2012, and that Tesla doesn't do model-year steps like Audi and the traditional manufacturers do.
     

Share This Page