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Trend: Blade Lamps

LED lights first appeared on cars originally designed for incandescent lighting. Now we are seeing cars designed at the outset exclusively with LED clusters. These have brought with them a new form of lamp – the blade of light that is horizontally orientated and presents a much wider, meaner DRG. 

Several recent new cars illustrate this trend. The Kia Cross GT Concept's lamps flank the latest interpretation of Kia’s ‘tiger nose’ grille. Cleverly recessed under the hood surface, they are reflected in the chrome surround.

Jeep’s new Cherokee also features this type of lamp, along with Citroen’s C4 Picasso (and the Techospace concept that previewed it). On the French car, the Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) are linked into the grille and double chevron via a full-width chrome strip.


Previously, we’ve reported on the headlamps of cars aping the human eye as a graphical device. But in moving away from the circular, oblong or stretched ovoid form, the blade lamp trend is significant. The car’s lights – its “eyes” – no longer look human. Instead, the car becomes insect-like in appearance. In extreme cases it even looks more machine-like – triggering associations with the robots and mechanoids of sci-fi films and potentially changing the facial read of the car forever.

This trend was taken from CDR’s Quarterly Insight – our occasional round up of significant new trends and observations. To sign up, subscribe and download the latest version, click here.