We can all agree that lighting is important — crucial even. It can highlight or mask an object or person’s most important features, and can even be used to help set the right mood or environment. Just ask any photographer, or anyone who has ever woken up in the morning after a night of too many adult beverages and a slew bad decision making.
But lighting can also have a calming effect, which is what luxury automaker Buick is looking to explore more deeply. By utilizing smart LED technology, Buick has announced it will implement ambient LED interior lighting to all its upcoming vehicles for the 2013 model year.
Ambient LED lighting isn’t anything particularly new: It has been somewhat of a signature for Buick since 2009, when GM’s luxury brand introduced the technology to its LaCrosse sedans. On top of looking classy and cool, Buick says the inspiration for its lighting endeavors stem from high-end home interior design.
“If you look in a modern, high-end home at night, the major light sources like TVs are complemented by soft, evenly distributed interior lighting,” said Chris Fusco, interior experience manager for Buick Design, in a press release, adding, “Buick’s signature blue hue specifically has a calming effect thanks to its lower color saturation, which we feel is more comforting to the eyes,”
Indeed, Buick just might be on to something here. According to Harris Interavtive’s AutoTECHCAST survey, blue is by and large the most appealing ambient lighting color, followed by amber and green, with pink (surprise!) coming in dead last. Of course, blasting blue LED lighting throughout a vehicles cabin isn’t exactly desired either, which is why the survey also concluded that the center console, instrument panel, and cupholders are the top choices consumers wish to see any ambient lighting emanating from.
Meanwhile, how Buick chooses to implement its new lighting will largely depend on the vehicle. According to the American automaker, both the Verano and Regal will feature the glowing blue hue prominently on the model’s headliner, while the LaCrosse and redesigned 2013 Enclave crossover SUV will utilize more dramatic lighting techniques that wrap around the cabin’s dash.
While it seems ambient lighting will play a significant role in Buick’s design culture in the coming years, other technology will continue to feature prominently as well, including eAssist fuel efficiency technology and IntelliLink voice-activated infotainment connectivity.
It might seem like Buick is making an overzealous push with its LED lighting technology, but in the auto world it’s the little things that matter. Just look at Audi’s recent rise to prominence with the introduction of its sleek daytime LEDs as a model example of how even the smallest aesthetic tweaks can resonate within the industry and, more importantly, with consumers in a big way.