Detroit — Designers at the North American International Auto Show are taking a shine to lighting.
For the first time, Eyes On Design, which honors top cars unveiled at the auto show in Detroit each year, added the category of best exterior lighting. The LC convertible concept from Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus luxury brand won the inaugural award Jan. 15 in Detroit.
“Lighting is the signature of the brand,” Victor Nacif, chief creative officer at Brojure.com and a judge for the annual award. “In the last 20 years we've gone from simple bulbs to complex technology.
“We at Eyes On Design thought that it was time to recognize lighting.”
Lights are big users of polycarbonate, acrylic and other thermoplastics. In recent years have taken on complex shapes and new profiles to give cars a unique look, while the growth of LED lighting technology has provided more flexibility to designers.
The Lexus LC is technically a concept, Eyes On Design Chief Judge Stewart Reed noted, but it uses technology and processes that show what is possible in production now.
“Because [the lights] are so beautifully done, and the craftsmanship of it, we had problems trying to tell from looking at it if it's a concept or a production car,” Reed said.
Varroc Lighting Systems, the Detroit-based automotive lighting unit of India's Varroc Group, sponsored the Eyes On Design lighting award.