Buick wants to set the right mood in your car, and it starts with LEDs

Buick LED lighting cabin

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.

Buick LED lighting

“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.

Buick LED chart

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.

Cars

Did that car just wink at you? Daimler previews car-to-pedestrian signals

Eager to show off progress with autonomous cars and perhaps do some consumer softening as well, Daimler and Bosch previewed car-to-pedestrian communications. A sensor-loaded Mercedes S appears to wink to acknowledge a pedestrian's presence.
Home Theater

The best noise-canceling headphones paint your music on a cleaner canvas

Drowning out the sound of babies, jet engines, and the outside world isn't as hard as it seems. Here are the best noise-canceling headphones, whether you're concerned with style, comfort, or sound.
Home Theater

QLED and OLED may have similar names, but they're totally different technologies

The names may look almost identical, but OLED and QLED are two entirely different beasts. In our QLED vs. OLED battle, we dissect the differences between these dueling TV technologies, and help determine which might be best for you.
Cars

Bosch is developing a Rosetta Stone for autonomous and connected cars

Bosch and start-up Veniam want to create a common language that autonomous and connected cars can use. The two firms have developed a connectivity unit that transcends the national boundaries of technology.
Cars

Aston Martin bets classic car owners will choose volts over carburetors

Aston Martin has converted one of its most sought-after classic models to run on electricity instead of gasoline. The roadster uses electric components sourced from the upcoming Rapide E sedan.
Cars

Volkswagen may be planning a tougher challenge for its all-electric I.D. R

The Volkswagen I.D. R electric race car may head to the Nürburgring in 2019 for a lap-record attempt, according to a new report. Volkswagen will reportedly aim to set the quickest lap time ever by an electric car.
Mobile

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.
Cars

600-hp, $155K Polestar 1 is the alluring Volvo coupe you’ve been waiting for

Volvo's return to the coupe segment just took an interesting turn: the model will join the Polestar lineup, and it will get a 600-hp plug-in hybrid powertrain. The Polestar 1 will be built in China starting in 2019.
Cars

The Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake is the sexiest wagon ever

Aston Martin has revealed new photos of the limited-production Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake. The Vanquish Zagato line now includes the Shooting Brake, Coupe, Volante, and Speedster, each with bespoke styling.
Cars

Nissan and Italdesign’s GT-R50 concept will become a $1.1 million reality

The Nissan GT-R50 is a customized sports car built to celebrate the 50th anniversaries of both the GT-R and design firm Italdesign. Underneath the sleek bodywork sits a 710-horsepower engine fortified with race car components.
Cars

Ford’s new Shelby GT500 Mustang will have 3D-printed brake parts

Ford's new $45 million Advanced Manufacturing Center will focus on emerging technologies, including 3D printing. One of the staff's first jobs is to print parts for the 700-horsepower Shelby GT500 Mustang.
Product Review

Audi built an electric SUV for buyers who want gasoline-free to mean stress-free

We finally got to spend time behind the wheel of the electric 2019 Audi E-Tron bustling cities and arid desert of the United Arab Emirates to see how it compares with Jaguar and Tesla's competitors.
News

World’s fastest electric race car to display at Petersen Museum

The Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak race car smashed the all-time record at the hill climb for which it was named. The all-electric VW record-holder will be on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles until February 1, 2019.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!