OEM Signature Lighting
Luxury brands are usually wary of introducing accessories to accentuate exterior branding.
High-efficiency LED lighting became one of Audi’s design signatures. The brand was hardly alone in using LEDs, but no one has adopted them as widely and successfully as Audi, which uses them to give every model a branding advantage.
New techniques in lighting design are adding to the dramatic presence of luxury cars, while also providing real-world functional benefits. The Cadillac XTS now contains more than 20 separate light sources that ‘greet’ the driver in a carefully choreographed sequence when the key fob is pressed.
Naturally, when Mercedes chose to produce such an accessory for their cars, they wanted to refrain from adding something that could be seen as garish and keep it decidedly simple. The Illuminated Star is a simple LED-infused Mercedes-Benz logo that illuminates the radiator grille of the vehicle; however we are still doubting the good-taste factor.
Notably, the system is never active when the car is in motion. Instead, it lights up only when the car is unlocked, its engine is turned off or its doors or trunk are opened, and remains on for 15 seconds. Presumably to ensure passers-by are well aware that they in the presence of an almighty Mercedes, and hence seriously consider stealing it.
Those looking to push the boundaries of illumination, brand recognition and good taste can purchase the emblem. But as a trend ‘OEM Signature Lighting’, as opposed to aftermarket signature lighting, is here to stay. Our bet is that the Shanghai Motor show in April 2014 will be packed with illuminated logos.
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