The Mad Scientists at Volvo Are Bringing Artificial Sunlight to New Vehicles

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

Scientists making an artificial sun in a lab somewhere sounds ripped from a sci-fi villain movie, but one of the world’s most straight-laced automakers recently announced that it has come up with LED lights that mimic the natural light range and quality of sunlight.

Volvo’s Sunlike LEDs emit a similar light spectrum to the sun, which the company said improves passengers’ well-being and mental state. Though the technology is already in use in buildings, Volvo is the first to bring it to the automotive world. 

The new lighting system will debut in the upcoming electric EX90 and Polestar 3. Volvo said the lights suppress blue light and eliminate flickering to reduce eye strain and headaches. The EX90 gets 72 of the SunLike LEDs, covering all interior lighting. 

Though it sounds kind of gimmicky, the natural light color would be a welcome change from the overly artificial colors seen in most new car interiors. Flashy 64-color ambient interior lighting looks great for a time, but there’s only so much disco lighting most people can handle before fatigue sets in.

The move fits with Volvo’s safety-first ethos and gives it more ammo to tout its driver wellness features. It also jives with the automaker’s interior design philosophy and is used to highlight the wood and other natural trim elements. 

[Image: Volvo]

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Chris Teague
Chris Teague

Chris grew up in, under, and around cars, but took the long way around to becoming an automotive writer. After a career in technology consulting and a trip through business school, Chris began writing about the automotive industry as a way to reconnect with his passion and get behind the wheel of a new car every week. He focuses on taking complex industry stories and making them digestible by any reader. Just don’t expect him to stay away from high-mileage Porsches.

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Join the conversation
  • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Apr 14, 2023

    will it come with a tube of SPF 50?

  • Jkross22 Jkross22 on Apr 14, 2023

    Maybe Volvo could figure out how to make their vehicles less breakdownable? I say this as a past XC90 owner who got spooked by the mechanical problems since they went to their turbo/super 4 cylinders.

    I'd love to buy one of their wagons, but their reliability is awful.

    If I want sunlight, I'll open the moonroof.

  • SPPPP SPPPP on Apr 17, 2023
    1. Where are they putting these exactly? Do they expect customers to ride around with the dome lamp on?
    2. What happens when the LEDs degrade and start emitting a different color spectrum? It sounds like it will be more than a few minutes' work to change out 72 lights. Maybe a couple of days' labor. (cross-reference