Vehicle exterior mirror system with light module

  • US 8,764,256 B2
  • Filed: 09/30/2011
  • Issued: 07/01/2014
  • Est. Priority Date: 10/01/2010
  • Status: Active Grant
First Claim
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1. A lighted exterior rearview mirror system suitable for use on a vehicle, said lighted exterior rearview mirror system comprising:

  • a lighted exterior rearview mirror assembly;

    said lighted exterior rearview mirror assembly comprising at least one of (i) a breakaway exterior rearview mirror assembly and (ii) a powerfold exterior rearview mirror assembly;

    said lighted exterior rearview mirror assembly comprising a movable portion and a fixed portion, wherein said fixed portion attaches at a side of a vehicle equipped with said lighted exterior rearview mirror system, and wherein said movable portion is movably attached at said fixed portion and is movable relative to said fixed portion;

    wherein, when said lighted exterior rearview mirror assembly is attached at the side of the equipped vehicle, said movable portion is movable from an extended position, where said movable portion generally extends away from the side of the equipped vehicle, to a folded position, where said movable portion is generally folded towards the side of the equipped vehicle;

    said movable portion comprising a mirror casing that houses a mirror reflective element;

    said mirror casing having a portion that faces at least one of (i) generally forward of the equipped vehicle when said fixed portion attaches at the side of the equipped vehicle and when said movable portion is in said extended position and (ii) generally sideward of the equipped vehicle when said fixed portion attaches at the side of the equipped vehicle and when said movable portion is in said extended position;

    a multifunction light module disposed at said movable portion of said lighted exterior rearview mirror assembly, said multifunction light module comprising a plurality of illumination sources operable to emit light;

    wherein an exterior surface of said mirror casing has a contour and wherein an exterior surface of said multifunction light module has a contour, and wherein the contour of the exterior surface of said multifunction light module at least partially corresponds to the contour of the exterior surface of said mirror casing;

    wherein said plurality of illumination sources comprises a set of white light-emitting illumination sources for a spotlight function of said multifunction light module;

    wherein said multifunction light module is configured to emit white light illumination at least in a generally forward direction when white light-emitting illumination sources of said set of white light-emitting illumination sources are electrically powered when said lighted exterior rearview mirror assembly is attached at the side of the equipped vehicle and when said movable portion is at said extended position;

    said set of white light-emitting illumination sources emitting white visual light when electrically energized;

    wherein said plurality of illumination sources comprises at least one non-white light-emitting illumination source for a turn signal indicator function of said multifunction light module;

    wherein said at least one non-white light-emitting illumination source is operable in response to actuation of a turn signal actuator by a driver of the equipped vehicle;

    said at least one non-white light-emitting illumination source emitting non-white visual light when electrically energized;

    wherein illumination sources of said set of white light-emitting illumination sources are controlled responsive to actuation by the driver of the equipped vehicle of a user input located in the interior cabin of the equipped vehicle to provide a white light visual spotlight emanating from said exterior rearview mirror assembly;

    wherein said white light visual spotlight, when electrically energized responsive to actuation by the driver of the equipped vehicle of said user input, illuminates at least generally forward of the equipped vehicle with white light that is visible to the driver;

    wherein said multifunction light module is operable to provide said turn signal indicator function independent of operation of said spotlight function; and

    wherein actuation of said illumination sources of said set of white light-emitting illumination sources by the driver actuating said user input is independent of actuation of said at least one non-white light-emitting illumination source by the driver actuating said turn signal actuator.

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