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Guest pdieguez

Real world night-lightining

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Hello guysLooking around in the Internet for some real world aircraft panel parts, I noticed that most, if not all of them, are made of some kind of metal... If so, how does real world backlightning works??Thanks a lotPaulo

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Paulo,Most commercial and military panels have a plastic light plate that is on top of the metal panel supporting the switches. The light plate has an opaque color coat over it. This opaque layer is engraved with the panel lettering. Lights inside the light plate make the lettering glow. Here's a bit more info: http://www.mikesflightdeck.com/center_pedestal_4.htmMikewww.mikesflightdeck.com

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Hi Paulo, I recently purchased some second hand military panels from a radio field day here in Australia to study this very subject as I have never had a close look at a real panel.As Mike has said the key to this backlighting in the traditional way is with the use of a "light carrier plate". Both of the units I have looked at are manufactured by differnet companies but are done in the same way.A Metal plate mechanically supports all the switches & hardware mounting, On top of that is a Glass plate, one of the units I have this glass has been cracked, I can see the glass is CLEAR inside, This glass is completely coated with a translucent White Paint, The White paint is obviously then Printed onto With the panel Graphics, i.e. Lettering & Lines leave the white paint exposed, all other areas on the panel are black.Red lights bulds are inserted into the Glass carrier plate around the panel, The light from the bulbs bounces around inside the glass & also reflects back into the glass from the white paint, allowing light to actually get around things like rotary shafts holes & the like that are cut into the glass plate.Where the white paint is exposed to the user,like lettering, it glows as it is translucent.Both units only use up to five bulbs to do the job.One thing I have noted is they are not extremely bright either, just a nice glow, I have done some experimenting using this technique with red LED's & Plexi, the results are excellent.Here is a picture to show the panel I was studying, I have pulled a bulb out to show how they are inserted, these bulbs are specials with their own little light socket & rubber seal, they are changed from the front of the panel.Cheers Glenn.

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