Cadillac has already been releasing a steady drip of information about what's going into its 2013 XTS like its autonomous-vehicle tech, and now it's focusing on lighting choreography. Cadillac reminds us that its lighting signature is vertical bands of illumination, tying it back to 1948, when the tailfins for which the brand is still known were first used on cars like the Fleetwood Sixty Special and Series 61 Coupe.

The illumination system goes by the intriguing names of either "Lead Me to the Vehicle" or the Phil-Collins-esque "Take Me Home" and is charged with adding drama and security. Twenty light sources are used in total, starting outside with the LEDS in the headlights, mirror housings, door handles and around the perimeter. Inside, LEDs are used everywhere from overhead to controls to door handles to the footwells, and they are timed in their illumination and dimming, "similar to a production crew lighting a theater stage."

Follow the jump for a press release and vids demonstrating the latest in Art & Science.

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Cadillac XTS Lighting Reflects Luxury and Inspiration
Innovative signature lighting adds elements of drama and security

DETROIT (2012-02-28) – New techniques in lighting design are adding to the dramatic presence of luxury cars, while also providing real-world functional benefits. The all-new 2013 Cadillac XTS luxury sedan contains more than 20 separate light sources that "greet" the driver in a carefully choreographed sequence when the key fob is pressed.

The new XTS, launching in the second quarter, includes LEDs embedded in the door handles, Cadillac-signature vertical LEDs in the headlights and taillights and ambient lighting in and around the car's perimeter. In addition to extending the car's design signature, the lighting provides convenience and helps provide additional security to drivers in parking lots at night.

Cadillac designers took advantage of consistent advances in LED technology to use lighting to convey drama and space alongside functional benefits.

"The new LED offerings now provide a new palette of color to bring more dramatic lighting effects that have never been available before," said Christos Roustemis, Cadillac interior designer.

On the inside, cooler blue lights accent the car's controls and instrumentation while warmer lights highlight passenger areas.

"We sketched each phase of the process to carefully choreograph how every important area inside and outside of the vehicle would come up and fade back down, similar to a production crew lighting a theater stage," Roustemis said.

The palette of colors also needed to harmonize with the interior colors as well as light emanating from the Cadillac User Experience (CUE) main LCD screen and instrument panel. The task was to make the ambient lighting enhance the experience and minimize distraction.

Creation of dramatic effects and pleasing spaces has long been a trademark of lighting design, said Rosemarie Allaire, a California-based architectural lighting designer. She says advances in LED lighting have opened the way to new possibilities in lighting design.

"In cars, just as in architecture, lighting defines how we feel about a space. It is both artistry and user experience," Allaire said. "For me, the beauty is in the blends, how you layer the affects, mix the light sources, and how you package it into the final product."

The XTS lighting choreography is timed to the fraction of a second by the car's central control system, and is cued by various triggers, such as the key fob, the doors and ignition switch. The car's exterior lighting brightens the perimeter of the car to provide an added level of security and make the car easier to locate.

Cadillac first used a vertical lighting signature as an exterior design theme in 1948. In Cadillac's Art & Science design language that has defined Cadillac for the last dozen years, designers use thin, vertical LED "light pipes" in both the front and rear corners of the car.

Cadillac has been a leading luxury auto brand since 1902. In recent years, Cadillac has engineered a historic renaissance led by artful engineering and advanced technology. More information on Cadillac can be found at

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      Beautiful car, nice lighting.
      • 3 Years Ago
      niiice touch
      Jason Whiting
      • 3 Years Ago
      So many haters. I watched the video and thought, wow, I want that. Really nice. I like the interior light give a little visibility everywhere and then all fade away when it is time to drive.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Try and loose this vehicle in a parking lot! I think it's way cool. When you combine it with the 4 wheel drive, adjustable magnetic suspension this looks to be a roomy, comfortable and stylish winner for Caddy.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Jason Allen
      • 3 Years Ago
      A little drama and theater never hurt a car. Too much? Yes. But this seems pretty tame yet it really worked for me. I wouldn't want more done on the interior but I agree with others that some side illumination would be nice/safe/smart besides the puddle lights. Not just light placement and casting but the timing seems like an area not fully explored yet. It seems like the lighting in the back seats should fade away first then the front seat lights and last the front foot wells. Adding light pipes as seen on the new dart would not be as sophisticated imo. This seems very well done and overdue. It's especially nice that caddy is doing it, it seems right and finally approaches the former glory days when they built truely appealing luxury item.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Looks great!
      • 3 Years Ago
      I currently drive a Cadillac SRX, I have not purchased a new ( even though I'm ready) one because I am not crazy about the current design. I'm planning on waiting to see if the model changes in the next yr or two, (won't wait any longer than that) I want to stay with this brand and model type because it fits my lifestyle perfectly while being what I consider a really nice looking car. I hope you add the added lights to the SRX model as I like the idea...
      • 3 Years Ago
      I want one!!!!!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Pontiac Bonneville and Grand Prix owners will be so impressed by this...
      • 3 Years Ago
      try copy 2 mercedes & bmw/audi......!!! gm aka government motor!!!!
      • 3 Years Ago
      More GM garbage being built.
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