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[ANSWERED] Advancements of Taillight Technology

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[ANSWERED] Advancements of Taillight Technology

 
Old 08-07-2018, 10:20 AM
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jvp
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Default [ANSWERED] Advancements of Taillight Technology

The original question is here.

skank asked:
First and foremost I think the C7 taillights are a beautiful, geometrically complex, and integrated design that advanced the C7 generations rear fascia design. Observing the contentious hate affair over the loss of the traditional four simple and basic round taillights of the C6 generation I realize there are logical reasons for the C7's new design of its taillights. I've always thought there was a dual fresnel design function to the internal faceting of the taillight binnacles. Since round taillights have a concentric facet configuration internally they can only send light straight out and still retain a symmetric faceted look. All four of the C7's taillights have sloped bottoms and sloped sides to splay light wide and in a downward direction. Can this design send light straight out when the car is in forward motion and can they also send light in a downward direction when put in reverse thereby lighting the roadway for the backup camera? In effect having a dual functioning use and eliminating separate backup lights. Could you also reveal any new lighting functions that these new generations of LED taillights can accomplish?
Tadge answered:
Like many aspects of automotive design, lighting is heavily controlled by government regulations. These regulations vary by market forcing manufacturers to engineer multiple versions of similar lamps to meet them. Light intensity, color, and distribution pattern are carefully controlled to ensure form does not trump function and that all cars have reasonably well-performing lamps with familiar looks to communicate vehicle operation to surrounding cars. Given these constraints, it is remarkable how many different appearances have been created by automotive designers.

Technology has moved quite quickly in lighting to enable performance and appearance impossible just a few vehicle generations ago. Corvette has historically used the 4 round (ish) design theme that evolved from the second through the 6th generation cars. During that period the "light engine" was a simple incandescent bulb. When light is emitted from a single point-source, round, symmetrical lamps make a lot of sense because they are very efficient. LED technology depends on an array of light engines with custom optics optimizing and focusing the light from each light source. Yes, you can arrange the LED's in a circle to mimic an incandescent solution, but that does not take advantage of the technology's capability in either form or function. That is why you see so many variations of light "signatures" on vehicles today.

Your question asks about dual usage of lamp components to enable the back-up function. Legally, those lamps must be white which, with the advent of back up cameras, makes more sense than ever. We use white LED's for that function, but some cars still use incandescent bulbs. We make every attempt to optimize the back up lamps' contribution to the cameras night time performance within the limits of the law. The optics of the tail lamps do spread some light to the area as well, but we are limited in what we can do. You also ask if the tail lamp function can change when reverse vs forward. To do that, we would have to add some mechanism to change the way light is directed. That additional machinery would cost more and weigh more than the simple addition of a lamp that can be turned on or off.

I have been asked many times why we didn't stick to the traditional 4 round tail lamps. We did seriously consider it, but it never looked right on the car with its ultra-modern design language. Not taking advantage of LED's additional capability was another factor. Finally, we had some customer input that Corvette was starting to look behind the times with little design or technology progress from one generation to the next. And when we asked people why they thought that, they pointed at the back of the car and those 4 round lamps.
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Old 08-07-2018, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Tadge
I have been asked many times why we didn't stick to the traditional 4 round tail lamps. We did seriously consider it, but it never looked right on the car with its ultra-modern design language.
I have a different opinion. The Genovation (electric) C7 Corvette has round tail lights and looks amazing; they help soften all the sharp lines on the car and retain at least one design element that is undeniably "Corvette" (the C7 has almost nothing design-wise to distinguish it as a Corvette except badges). Not to mention the current taillights make the rear look too similar to a Camaro (bad). The Genovation C7 with round tail lights looks even better in person (I saw it at the Philadelphia auto show):
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FYI I'm not a purist, just into timeless design language. The rest of the C7 looks fantastic.


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Old 08-07-2018, 03:22 PM
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^Looks like a cheap GT-R ripoff. I absolutely love the C7's lights from the factory! The Gen6 Camaro taillights do appear to be modeled after the C7's (and now they've also taken the C7's hood heat extractor), but keep in mind that car came out 2 years later.

Last edited by Kracka; 08-07-2018 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 08-07-2018, 04:00 PM
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GTR are 2 different sizes..
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Old 08-07-2018, 11:20 PM
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Thanks Tadge for that logical perspective. They are moving forward with way more interesting designs. Tailights can also impart a figurative facial quality that emulates a mean aggressive look to a tech look or many other happy face looks. The blue Vette above has that hoot owl look.

Last edited by skank; 08-08-2018 at 10:46 AM.
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Old 08-08-2018, 01:15 AM
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The statement "you can't please everybody" will probably never find a place that is more accurate than the opinions about the shape of the Corvette taillights.

Last edited by Crossed Flags Fan; 08-08-2018 at 01:19 AM.
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Old 08-08-2018, 09:06 AM
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Finally, we had some customer input that Corvette was starting to look behind the times with little design or technology progress from one generation to the next. And when we asked people why they thought that, they pointed at the back of the car and those 4 round lamps.
Yep. Those folks weren't wrong either. Round lamps or not, its still a Corvette.
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Old 08-08-2018, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Apocolipse View Post
GTR are 2 different sizes..
I'm well aware, hence why I called it a cheap ripoff
Originally Posted by skank View Post
The blue Vette above has that hoot owl look.



Last edited by Kracka; 08-08-2018 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 08-10-2018, 11:23 PM
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On a design aspect alone, round lights on an angular rear end would just look stupid.
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Old 08-11-2018, 01:59 AM
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I'm amazed it took this many Ask Tadge posts to ask him about the taillights: quite possibly the most polarizing design aspect of the C7.

At first I hated it. Then I loved it. Now I look at that electric Vette above and think it looks pretty good with the round lights as well. I think GM made the right decision with the design but honestly you can't fail either way. Looks like the C8 has LED strips on the back that are thin and wide, and I haven't heard anybody complain about that yet. Humans are naturally adverse to change. It took some time but it appears most have gotten over the design change. Are the round lights dead for good or will they ever come back in retro fashion in C9 or 10? Time will tell.
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Old 08-13-2018, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by slickstick View Post
IHumans are naturally adverse to change.
"Averse" ...and not really. Most people who complain about the C7 tail lights generally agree the rest of the C7 looks fantastic, despite that being a huge change.

And if the look of the C7 tail lights is polarizing, that means it was a poor design choice. A well designed car is not "polarizing"...take the Ferrari 458 for example.

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Old 08-14-2018, 04:27 AM
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Originally Posted by jvp View Post
The original question is here.
I'm a 48 year old male and I love how the C7's tail lights are 3D (like the Aston Martin Vanquish, Ford GT) and not flat boring normal car looking.
https://www.c7carbon.com/images/prod...-GTX-RS-CF.jpg
http://www.carbodydesign.com/media/2017/08/Aston-Martin-Vanquish-Zagato-Volante-Tail-Light-01.jpg
https://st.hotrod.com/uploads/sites/21/2015/01/2016-ford-gt-taillight-view.jpg

Last edited by ptran00; 08-14-2018 at 04:37 AM.
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Old 08-23-2018, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Kracka View Post
^Looks like a cheap GT-R ripoff.
This is utterly illogical. If anything, the GT-R is a Corvette rip off. Corvettes have had the four round lamps since the 2nd gen. That first pic of the 7th gen with the round taillights does look fantastic and very tasteful. Its BS that you can't effectively use LED's in a round lamp like that.

I will say if the 7th gen had its current rectangular lights without the fangs on either side, that would be a good compromise. They do look a bit busy in their current form.

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