ZKW and Swarovski let the new BMW i7 shine with crystal headlights
Unique combination of crystals and LEDs creates lively light pattern
WIESELBURG, Austria, Dec. 6, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- One of the highlights of the new all-electric BMW i7 are the sparkling crystal headlights. ZKW has developed a unique lighting system in cooperation with Swarovski and the Bavarian car manufacturer. The four precisely cut crystals on each side of the "Iconic Glow" headlights are underlain by individually controlled LEDs. These support the daytime running and indicator lights, creating a vibrant, sparkling glow that is particularly effective during the "Welcome and Goodbye light staging" functions. In the lower part of the front of the BMW i7, high and low beams are discreetly positioned using ZKW LED matrix technology. The crystal headlights are produced in pan-European manufacturing. The premium crystal light was developed at the headquarters of the lighting systems specialist in Wieselburg, it is manufactured at the Slovakian site in Krusovce, the crystals come from Austria. "The innovative lighting system opens up new dimensions that no longer have anything in common with classic spotlights. With the crystal light, we have created a completely new kind of lighting effect for a premium automobile," says Dr Wilhelm Steger, CEO of the ZKW Group.
The unique project presented the engineers from BMW Group, ZKW and Swarovski with major tasks. In order to make the crystals look like a grown crystal rather than jewellery, a special setting had to be developed. "The challenge was, in addition to developing the unmistakable design with BMW Group, to fix the large glass crystals stably and permanently in the headlamp. The main focus was on perfecting the crystal cut," says Peter Widmann, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Swarovski Mobility. Special software was developed for the light functions of the "Iconic Glow" headlamp, which enables unique effects. In addition to the driving and flashing light, the premium lighting impresses, for example, with its sparkling "Welcome and Goodbye" light show.
From the blank to the sparkling spotlight
The design of the crystal luminaire is very important. Until now, there were only homogeneous strips of light on the road. The unique, luminous appearance of the "Iconic Glow" headlamp clearly stands ot from the well-known light graphics. The precision is in the glass material, which can be processed much finer and more precisely than plastic.
Glare-free matrix LED technology
ZKW has equipped the main headlight, which is hidden in the lower part of the BMW i7, with adaptive matrix LED technology for low and high beam as well as glare-free high beam assist (BMW Selective Beam) as standard. "A special challenge in the development of the main headlamp together with the BMW design team was to make it as inconspicuous as possible in order to particularly emphasise the crystal light above it," explains Thomas Edletzberger, project manager at ZKW.
As the industry leader in sustainable crystals, Swarovski relies on state-of-the-art technology and high-precision manufacturing in Austria. Unique brilliance and premium cuts distinguish the products. The high quality standards ensure unparalleled clarity without visible inclusions. Swarovski crystals for car headlights combine design and luxury with a new visual experience. Thanks to the high quality and durability, all crystal elements are resistant to UV light, heat, scratches and acids.
Click to download images of the technology.
The ZKW Group is the specialist for innovative premium lighting systems and electronics. As a system supplier, ZKW is a global partner to the automotive industry. The group develops and produces products based on our motto of "Bright Minds, Bright Lights," combining bright minds with modern production technologies to produce complex premium lighting and electronic modules for international automotive manufacturers.
Our top products include powerful and cost-efficient complete LED systems. The ZKW Group has a total of twelve locations worldwide, with intelligently networked development and production. In 2021, the Group employed around 10,000 workers and generated total revenues of 1.07 billion euros.
In accordance with the corporate vision "Ground-breaking premium lighting and electronic systems from ZKW for all mobility concepts of the global automotive industry", the company's primary goal is to produce top-quality high-tech products and to promote the development of innovative holistic lighting systems.
With our discoveries and inventions, the ZKW corporate group makes vehicles more desirable, more unique, safer, and more energy efficient.
Our 360 degree product portfolio includes headlamps and fog lamps, rear lamps, flashers, interior and license plate lamps as well as electronic modules. Major automotive manufacturers trust their brands to innovative products from ZKW. We are proud of our customers like BMW (BMW, Rolls Royce), DAIMLER (MERCEDES-BENZ Cars and Trucks), FORD (Lincoln, Ford), GEELY (Volvo, Polestar, Lynk & Co, Geely), GENERAL MOTORS (Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillac), Hyundai (Kia), JLR (Jaguar, Land Rover), Stellantis (Opel, Citroen), RENAULT/NISSAN (Infiniti, Alpine), VGTT (Volvo Trucks, MACK) and VW (Audi, Porsche, Skoda, Lamborghini, MAN, VW, Seat).
With intelligent lighting systems and innovative styling, ZKW is shaping the look and character of vehicles worldwide.
SOURCE ZKW Group