LED Landing Lights: Worth the Investment

Although they're not any cheaper than the last time we tested them, improved performance and safety benefits make them a good value..

This economy of scale has put upward pressure on volume, downward pressure on pricing and competitive pressure to improve LED efficiency and longevity. In new aircraft, LED landing lights are all but standard, as are LED position and and strobe lights. The aftermarket remains a mixed bag. A survey of any ramp will find a smattering of LEDs, but a bunch of old GE 4509s. That the retrofit market is small is indicated by the small number of players-about six. As we went to press in February, that dropped by one when Whelen announced that it acquired LoPresti Aviation's entire line, including the recently formed Illumivation for LED products. The new combined entity is called Whelen Aerospace Technologies. Most of these companies have some tilt toward large commercial and military applications because, well, that's where the profit is.
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