When to upgrade to aircraft LEDs

Aug. 24, 2023
Newer LED models are increasingly common as exterior aircraft lighting solutions, but knowing when to retrofit legacy lighting solutions to LED can be tricky, Mario Pierobon writes for AviationPros.

FORT ATKINSON, Wis. - Newer LED models are increasingly common as exterior aircraft lighting solutions for both commercial and business aircraft, so much so that they are also available for retrofit. In this first story on exterior aircraft lighting, we have reached out to industry experts to assess the extent LED lighting solutions have been embraced, and what to consider in the cost-benefit analysis for deciding when to upgrade older lamps to newer LED models, Mario Pierobon writes for AviationProsContinue reading original article.

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

24 August 2023 - According to Andre Hessling, principal fellow at Collins Aerospace, there are certain circumstances and environments where it makes more sense to keep using halogen lights, for instance in extremely hot environments where temperatures often times far exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

“While there are still many legacy aircraft operating today with xenon, halogen or fluorescent bulbs, operators are seeing the many benefits to retrofitting existing technology with LED lighting systems,” Hessling points out. “In the majority of cases, LEDs provide the same or improved functionality, while requiring far less power draw and lasting as much as 100 times longer than legacy lighting solutions. Operators see an expedited return on their new installation, realizing that the frequency, cost, and time spent on ongoing maintenance and replacement is much less with LED technology.”

LED lighting units can be installed in-parallel with other scheduled maintenance activities to minimize aircraft downtime and optimize installation costs. When analyzing if an upgrade from older lamps to LEDs is the right decision, some main areas of impact must be considered. “In the first place, the lifecycle costs given that LEDs have longer lives than legacy lighting systems and can provide a reduced direct operating cost and higher aircraft availability after the upfront installation costs. Then, in terms of performance, the LED lights are more energy and thermally efficient than traditional exterior lights,” says Heads Up Technologies.

Related: Honeywell-led European consortium launches research on thermal management solutions for future aircraft

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Related: Electro-optical near-infrared LED illuminator for high-power illumination tasks introduced by Opto Diode

Jamie Whitney, Senior Editor
Military + Aerospace Electronics

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