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Guest nutmeat

LEDs for Beacons/Strobes

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Hey gang,I started wondering on my recent trip about the beacon and strobe lights on airplanes (and the nav lights too, for that matter): Has the idea ever been brought up of using LEDs for the lights rather than conventional bulbs?I know that most towns in the US are starting to use LEDs for the traffic lights, and they seem to provide a clear, strong light. Then again, I don't know that much about them, so maybe they wouldn't be good for an aeronautical application anyways.

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Honeywell is starting to offer them as new installs and replacement kits for aircraft to use on the body.But I think (not sure here), but I think that one of the reasons why airports are not using them (for runways, etc) is because I dont think that you can adjust intensity of the LED. I think that with an LED its either on or off....but I could be wrong. Another reason could be the cost. One LED costs about $130 while an incandescent runs about $5, even though the LED's will last twice as long.[div align=center][link:www.jetdoc.com/STO/]Visit The Bookstore & Gift Shoppe][/b

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That's assuming they can get LEDs bright enough to meet regulations.. I believe that aircraft beacons/strobes need to have a specific minimum brightness in order to meet regulations.. I saw a news documentary (a la 20/20, Dateline) how many aircraft's lights don't meet the required brightness..While they may be good for traffic signals, brake lights (I beleve the new city transit busses we have here use LED's for their brake lights/turn signals), etc; I don't know if they can really get LEDs bright enough yet...And then, as the other response says..... If an LED costs $130, and only lasts twice as long as the regular bulb that costs $5, $130 worth of regular bulbs will last 65 times as long (total) as 1 LED at the same cost. :)

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I am not sure that a LED costs that much more than a normal bulb. It would depend on how big the LED is.The instensity of the light can be adjusted. The lower the resistance the higher the current. Higher current = more brightness. I just did I lab @ school and typed it up last night on this very topic. One bad thing about LEDs is that they cannot operate in AC. So, I guess they need to be connected to a DC if used at airports. If you connect a LED to a circuit you have a 50/50 % chance it will light up. If it doesn't you need to switch the wire conections to the LED. That is why DC is needed. So they do have an advantage and they don't. Maybe on battery powered units like planes and backup systems they might use them.

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Regarding LED brightness, here in Reno, and I imagine Vegas also, some casinos have large LED screens if front to attract attention. They are so bright, even in broad daylight, one really needs dark sunglasses otherwise they hurt the eyes. Only in Nevada where money can get you anything!!!nutmeat

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