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Automotive Glossary

Bi-xenon headlamps

Bi-xenon headlamps

Xenon headlamps use xenon gas and metallic salts to create light. An electrically generated arc replaces the filament used in conventional light bulbs. The start-up voltage of up to 28,000 V is supplied by an electronic ballast module fitted on the headlamp housings. This technology produces twice the light output of a halogen bulb, has five times the lifespan and consumes 30 per cent less power. This results in much more effective and brighter illumination of the road and road margins, while using only 35 watts. Bi-xenon headlamps are a xenon headlamp which uses a single xenon lamp to produce both the high beam and the low beam. The full light beam is used to produce the high beam, while the low beam is produced by moving a shutter between the bulb and the lens, thus blocking off a portion of the light. The bi-xenon headlamp option for the S-Class (standard on the S 600) also incorporates dynamic range adjustment, which automatically varies the pitch of the headlamps in accordance with the movements of the body and which also compensates for brake dive and squat.

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