2013 Cadillac XTS has LED-infused door handles, take that Audi [video]

Boasts a choreographed lighting display

Audi might have started the LED lighting craze, but Cadillac is hoping to garner some attention by sticking them all over the 2013 XTS.

While it's not uncommon for luxury cars to have LED-infused headlights, Cadillac went a step further and embedded them in the mirrors, taillights and door handles. When an owner unlocks the car, it lights up in a choreographed display where the vertical LEDs turn on and eventually become brighter and brighter. The headlights then click on and the door handles become illuminated to surround the car is a sea of light.

The choreography continues in the cabin as the XTS' interior lights dim slowly once the car is started. According to Cadillac, they've taken a ‘theater' approach to keep the cabin warm and inviting.

Source: GM
Published Feb 28, 2012 5:29 pm By Michael Gauthier
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Cadillac XTS Lighting Reflects Luxury and Inspiration

Innovative signature lighting adds elements of drama and security

DETROIT - New techniques in lighting design are adding to the dramatic presence of luxury cars, while also providing real-world functional benefits. The all-new 2013 Cadillac XTS luxury sedan contains more than 20 separate light sources that "greet" the driver in a carefully choreographed sequence when the key fob is pressed.

The new XTS, launching in the second quarter, includes LEDs embedded in the door handles, Cadillac-signature vertical LEDs in the headlights and taillights and ambient lighting in and around the car's perimeter. In addition to extending the car's design signature, the lighting provides convenience and helps provide additional security to drivers in parking lots at night.

Cadillac designers took advantage of consistent advances in LED technology to use lighting to convey drama and space alongside functional benefits.

"The new LED offerings now provide a new palette of color to bring more dramatic lighting effects that have never been available before," said Christos Roustemis, Cadillac interior designer.

On the inside, cooler blue lights accent the car's controls and instrumentation while warmer lights highlight passenger areas.

"We sketched each phase of the process to carefully choreograph how every important area inside and outside of the vehicle would come up and fade back down, similar to a production crew lighting a theater stage," Roustemis said.

The palette of colors also needed to harmonize with the interior colors as well as light emanating from the Cadillac User Experience (CUE) main LCD screen and instrument panel. The task was to make the ambient lighting enhance the experience and minimize distraction.

Creation of dramatic effects and pleasing spaces has long been a trademark of lighting design, said Rosemarie Allaire, a California-based architectural lighting designer. She says advances in LED lighting have opened the way to new possibilities in lighting design.

"In cars, just as in architecture, lighting defines how we feel about a space. It is both artistry and user experience," Allaire said. "For me, the beauty is in the blends, how you layer the affects, mix the light sources, and how you package it into the final product."

The XTS lighting choreography is timed to the fraction of a second by the car's central control system, and is cued by various triggers, such as the key fob, the doors and ignition switch. The car's exterior lighting brightens the perimeter of the car to provide an added level of security and make the car easier to locate.

Cadillac first used a vertical lighting signature as an exterior design theme in 1948. In Cadillac's Art & Science design language that has defined Cadillac for the last dozen years, designers use thin, vertical LED "light pipes" in both the front and rear corners of the car.

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Comments (15)

 benz_man benz_man
Thats a pretty unique lighting package. I likey.
February 29, 2012 11:09 am
 air_cooled air_cooled
Sorry. GERMAN BMW already has handle lighting.
February 29, 2012 10:36 am
 LBento LBento
Sorry but you can get Leds on the handles on the old 1 Series :D
February 29, 2012 5:30 am
 RoadRunner RoadRunner
OMG, I love the lights! Classy
February 29, 2012 4:51 am
 tom43 tom43
May be it has some LED-infused door handles, but the interior looks still cheap.
February 29, 2012 3:37 am
Just spray some water from the wipers as well and there's no need to go to Epcot center's light and water spectacle anymore.
February 29, 2012 2:23 am
 DonKim DonKim
now people won't criticize cuz its american
February 29, 2012 1:10 am
 Hamanoo Hamanoo
i think both audi and bmw done that 6 years ago illuminate door handles my dad 2006 7series had it ... hmmm
February 28, 2012 9:07 pm
your very own private Son Et Lumiere spectacle
February 28, 2012 6:00 pm
 afterace2 afterace2
Well, they forgot about the blinkers!
February 28, 2012 5:54 pm