New 2015 F-150 to feature available LED headlights
Ford's John Teodecki with the F-150 LED headlamp lens and unit
Getting lit

Here at Lot Pro we got our first taste of LED headlight technology in two very different vehicles: the 2014 Acura MDX, very much a luxury crossover as well as the mainstream compact 2014 Toyota Corolla S.

We were suitably impressed with the nighttime performance in both vehicles, in particular noting that the Corolla's "LED headlights are nothing short of amazing and, as of this writing, it's the best standard lighting setup of any vehicle in this class."

LED lighting, in fact, is spreading from sedans and crossovers to pickup trucks. In this case it's Ford's new F-150, already a ground-breaker for its aluminum body.
John Teodecki with the 2015 Ford F-150 headlamp unit
2015 Ford F-150

Yesterday, Ford announced that the 2015 F-150 would offer the option of LED headlamps on some trim levels – a feature no other light-duty pickup can boast of.

Not only are LED headlamps more efficient, they're also more durable. This translates to 63 percent less energy needed versus halogen as well as the potential to last the lifetime of the vehicle – more than five times longer than the current bulbs used in most trucks.

According to Ford lighting expert John Teodecki, the new lighting units are also more durable.

"Stand on it," Teodecki said, perched atop an 11-pound F-150 headlamp unit. "This lens just won't break. We fire stones at it, expose it to extreme sun, soak it in saltwater, shoot rocks, rock salt and ice – this thing is very tough to crack."
Ford F-150 LED headlamp lens
Chipping in

The new F-150 headlamp system uses two semiconductor chips – one for each side - to control the high- and low-beam intensity from each unit. Ford engineered a special lens to both magnify as well as spread the light for optimal illumination using just a single LED and lens per lamp. Lens production requires special machinery to carve out the 16 precision optical surfaces and 80 facets on each one.

Capping it off, Ford has outlined the new LED headlamp with a thin LED tube – creating a signature appearance so new F-150s can be spotted from great distances at night.

"Remember the craze in the 1980s with truck light bars?" Teodecki said. "It looks so cool. I'm telling you, this LED light tube is going to be the next big thing. Our new F-150 owners will be longing for dusk every day, just to show off their trucks in dramatic lighting."
close-up of the 2015 Ford F-150 LED headlamp lens