Automotive lighting has come a long way from a few light bulbs scattered around the cabin whose soul purpose was to simply light up when you were ready to exit the vehicle. Today, luxury automakers are pushing the boundaries of lighting technology, using lights to help set the mood, emphasize sculptural elements of the vehicle and are even introducing new ways to activate the lighting inside and out.

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2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS

Mercedes-Benz’s new CLS features an extraordinary ambient lighting system that can be individually customized in 64 colors, and composes different colors into color themes. Mercedes also uses lighting in the CLS as a visual cue to notify drivers of changes. When the temperature setting of the air conditioning system is changed, it briefly changes color to show whether the temperature is adjusted warmer (red) or cooler (blue).

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Lincoln Navigator’s Lincoln Embrace

It starts moment you approach with a Warmly lit welcome. Approach the locked vehicle and when you’re about 8 feet away or when you press the unlock button on your keyfob, the signature accent LED elements will fade on and the front and rear taillamps LED, the running boards will be deployed and the Lincoln star logo welcome mat will illuminate the ground outside the driver and front passenger doors, plus the exterior door handle pockets will illuminate and the interior LED ambient lighting will also illuminate.

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Jaguar XJ Touch Sensitive Light Controls

Jaguar was one of the first manufacturers to rethink how you activate the interior lights when you need to find something you dropped or look in your purse. Instead of searching for the correct button to turn the light on, just press anywhere on the capacitive touch glass panel that houses the map lights and the light illuminates. To turn it off simply repeat and you’re ready to go.

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2020 Chevrolet Corvette Engine Lights

The new 2020 Chevrolet Corvette features an available Engine Appearance Package, which adds LED lights to illuminate the engine, along with carbon-fiber accent panels. The engine is housed under a 3.2mm thick glass panel, allowing you to show off the heart of your Corvette’s engine day or night.

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Aston Martin Vantage

Aston Martin uses a glowing red LED light to outline their exquisite crystal glass engine start/stop button on the new Vantage sports coupe. Here Aston uses the red to not only help owners locate the button, but also to create a bit of drama around the starting experience, which when you hear it is already quite dramatic.