- All-new 2012 Ford Focus takes ambient lighting to a new level of customer convenience, adding helpful features that illuminate, assist or warn a driver
- Focus ambient lighting functionality enables unique features to make a driver’s life easier, such as search light to locate misplaced items and door ajar warning
- Focus ambient lighting is switchable between seven interior accent colors, adding color to instrument panel, cupholders and footwells
DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 24, 2010 – The all-new 2012 Ford Focus marks the arrival of the next generation of ambient lighting. Switchable between seven vibrant colors, ambient lighting has always enabled a driver to set the mood inside a Ford vehicle. Now ambient lighting can make a driver’s life easier, too.
“When LED illumination combines with ambient lighting technology inside a car, it enables clever features that make life easier for the driver,” said Christopher Eardley, Ford interior lighting engineer. “Ambient lighting can change interior accent color, but it can also add functionality that keeps a driver smiling.”
A recent study by a prominent lighting research journal found that a driver’s visual senses could be improved through the use of interior light. Respondents said interior design and finishesappear more attractive, controls were easier to use, and overall they felt safer.
“Interior ambient lighting has transcended ‘looking cool’ and is poised to deliver additional customer value in the all-new Focus,” said Eardley.
Ever misplaced a small item in the footwells or in the storage pocket of a car door, at night? It has happened to Eardley and his teammates working in Ford’s interior environment group. This momentary inconvenience was the inspiration for the ambient lighting “search light” functionality.
Flip a switch on the instrument panel of the all-new 2012 Ford Focus and all of the ambient lighting points – doors, footwells and cupholders – are bathed in bright white light to help a driver find misplaced items inside the car.
If the driver of a 2012 Ford Focus swings the door of the parked car open into a travel lane, approaching motorists, pedestrians and cyclists would be warned of an open door by the red illumination of the door’s ambient lighting.
In addition to serving as a warning signal to other traffic of an open Focus door, it notifies vehicle occupants of a door being improperly latched, or ajar.
Welcome and departure lighting
Collaboration between Ford interior light engineering and driving environment teams has resulted in the welcome and farewell lighting illumination now featuring a two-stage sequence, from instrument panel to dome lighting, enhancing the customer entrance and exit experience.
Engaging “play protection” through the ambient lighting switch ensures that children inside the vehicle will be unable to operate the dome light. This also helps to ensure that the interior lighting won’t be inadvertently left on.
An enthusiastic lighting and illumination professional, Eardley has spent nine years working in the automotive interior lighting industry, the last two with Ford. He is based at Ford’s Merkenich Technical Centre near Cologne, Germany.