Industry News

June 2008 Issue

Led Lighting Upgrades: Easy, Reliable, Expensive

Changing over to LED exterior lighting is only worth the money if you have entire assemblies needing replacement and you just hate changing dead bulbs.

Few pilots are going to replace all of their older lighting with new LED technology on a whim, simply because of the expense. If it is just a bulb, bulbs are cheap; hardly ever over $20, or even $100 for a strobe bulb. Itís when other components start to fail that changing to LEDs becomes an option. Corrosion and simple age ruin bulb fixtures, sockets, connections and power packs on strobes. The flashers on Cessnas are a particular bugaboo. Even then, do you replace just the bad light with an LED unit or do you replace all of them at the same time? Know that with LEDs you canít just change a bulb. LEDs arenít bulbs as we know them. Switching to LEDs for an existing light means replacing the entire lighting fixture, hopefully matching what you already have. If thatís Whelen, then your chances are pretty good. If not, there may be some jury rigging or paint touch up.

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