First take a good look at this amazing picture taken by Tim Samples. The camera’s shutter had been kept open as an aircraft departed into the night sky.

Photo taken from, copyright Tim
A Boeing 737 on take off, tracing its lights on a camera.

The steady glow, coloured lights on the wingtip of the aircraft have traced the wingspan of this Boeing 737. The white dots on the red line show the white wingtip strobe lights that flash only momentarily.  The white centre line traces the take off light on the nose wheel of the 737, fading off as the nose wheel to which it is attached gets retracted into the aircraft. If you observe carefully, under that white line, you can observe red flashes from the anti-collision light installed under the belly of the aircraft.

What is this blog about?

This blog is about those very beautiful aircraft lights, much like the ones you see in the picture above. But the focus here is on lights that use LEDs.

Since aircraft lighting is a topic that requires good understanding, we will touch upon some essential basics in Optics, the Regulations that these lights conform to, The human eye’s response to these lights, LEDs, and manufacturers of LEDs and aircraft lights.

This blog will help you understand LEDs a lot better. It will also take some lights, and based on public information available on those aircraft lights, perform an analysis on the lights and come to conclusions on the design, while listing possible advantages and disadvantages.

Whom is the blog for?

For anyone passionate about LEDs and LED aircraft lights.

Why this blog?

There are numerous LED designs out there in the market. The designs look good, but the internal construction isn’t. Or maybe both are good, and the claims by the manufacturers are outrageous and possibly unscientific.

With regulatory bodies not defining any minimum standards for LED lights, or any standards for that matter when it comes to these LED aircraft lights, this blog will help explain the desired parameters that one needs to look into, when working with, or buying an aircraft light.

It is hoped that regulatory bodies finally come up with regulations or minimum requirements that are specific to LED lights. Because as someone very clearly puts it, “All lights are not the same“.

Here is a listing of the chapters that will be covered in this blog.

1. Scope of this blog

2. Optics : Basics

               a. Lumens

               b. Illuminance

               c. Luminous Intensity

               d. Effective Candela

3. Aircraft Exterior Lights

               a. Introduction.

               b. Navigation Lights

                              i. Description

                              ii. FAA Requirements

                              iii. Examples and Photos

               c. Anti-collision Lights

                              i. Description

                              ii. FAA Requirements

                              iii. Examples and Photos

               d. Flood Lights

                              i. Description

                              ii. FAA Requirements

                              iii. Examples and Photos

4. Technology presently in use

               a. Incandescent Lamps.

               b. Halogen Lamps.

               c. Flashtubes.

               d. HID

5. LED Technology

               a. Introduction

               b. Principle of working

               c. Types of LEDs

               d. High Power LEDs

               e. Limitation : Thermal

               e. Driving LEDs

                              i. Introduction

                              ii. Linear Regulators

                              iii. Switched Mode Power Supplies

6. LEDs in the market

               a. Evolution of the high power LED

               b. LEDs available in the market

7. LED Aircraft Light Manufacturers

               a. Air Transport and Regional

                              i. Honeywell

                              ii. Goodrich

                              iii. Emteq

                              iv. Talon

               b. Business and General Aviation

                              i. Whelen

                              ii. Aveo Lights

                              iii. Aero LEDs

8. Reverse Engineering

               a. Whelen’s Light

               b. Talon’s Red Anti-collision Light

               c. Emteq’s Anti Collision Light

               d. Aveo

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