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Landing light

PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 8:17 am
by gme9261236
Not sure if this topic has been discussed in detail yet but we are looking to pool together some thoughts. It may be a bit late since I am going to look for a landing light today (not the multi hundred dollar ones you see on aircraft spruce.)

So far I have gathered that HID is the way to go since it has more light than the competition and uses have the amperage although cost a little bit more. Not sure of the halogen route just for the sake of vibration but I really do not want to go above 7 amps or so draw even though it will not be used very often. As for its use and mounting we are going to either find a home in the cowling or make a bracket on the upper landing gear area for it. I enjoy a lot of night flying and although I will not be doing the red eye flights in this airplane I do plan on some early morning flights and after sunset flights as it is one of the more calm and peaceful times to be in the sky. We are also already equipped with wingtip strobes and nav lights. Although the landing light is not required I have landed with my fair shair of landing light out and it is not that enjoyable.

What are your thoughts guys? What are you installing, thinking of installing and why?

Ill post what we end up doing and how it comes out. We plan on finishing the plane this weekend.

Landing light

PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 10:58 am
by Roger
My idea is a really easy one. I've used it on my Ford Ranger with the driving lights. Ford wanted somewhere around $100  for their driving light unit. I didn't want one that bad, so I stopped by our local NAPA store and found a tractor backup lignt with a single 3/8th bolt mounting lug that worked fine. The sealed beam unit is mounted in rubber to accomodate the vibration associated with a tractor mount. The cost was around $9.00. I plan on using one at the juncture bracket where the bungees  are attached to the airframe.

PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 10:21 pm
by gme9261236
Update: Decided to go with a halogen driving light with an H3 bulb at 55 watts. Bought the lamp at advance auto parts for I think it was 45 bucks. We were going to mount it between the landing gear but we decided that for various reasons including the prop kicking up rocks and breaking the lens to mount it to the lower cowling. It is currently running on a 5 amp breaker and we may need to bump that up but with two it was a max of 10 so we think it will be ok considering it will see very limited use. Attached are some photos of the install and how it looks as well as one of the finished interior from the sticks forward and one of the labeling we had done on the switch panel. I am a bit obesessive compulsive when it comes to stickers so we had a piece of aluminum engraved for a clean finished look and are happy with the product. The light is actually quite bright and should do the trick, I am not looking for a replacement for the sun but just something to light our familiar strip to show if there are any obstacles on the field. Tomorrow the windscreen goes back on as well as the rest of the cowl, boot cowl and the rest of the interior and maybe the prop. Plane will be in the hangar by next week!

PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 10:22 pm
by gme9261236
the rest of the photos

PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 10:23 pm
by Johnny C!
I'm thinking about the 50 watt Phillips Halogen
lights that are about 1-1/2" in diameter
(Lowes has them for about $5, I think).
I'm still working on finding a decent
mount for them, and I'm looking for
a source for some rubber grommets
for them. I have been told that they
use this type of bulb on large tractors,
so I guess I'll start looking at the
Tractor supply shops. Or maybe Napa
per Roger.

At 50 watts & 12 volts, how many amps
would that be?

I really want my lights out of the air
airstream, so I'm thinking about scalloping
the the outer end of the leading edge or in
a cutout in the wing tip. I would like to cover
them with a piece of lexan that would conform
to the shape of the leading edge. Maybe two
per wingtip with different aiming points.

I don't want them mounted near the engine
due to vibration. We couldn't keep the nose
bowl light working in our Cherokee, because
of the vibration.

I bought some auto driving lights, too & I intend to
wire them up to one of my cars in the driveway
to get an idea if they will be bright enough.

Good thread!

Johnny C!

PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 11:01 pm
by gme9261236
The conversion of Watts to Amps is governed by the equation Amps = Watts/Volts

For example 12 watts/12 volts = 1 amp

or in my example 55 watts/12 volts = 4.58 amps or rounded to 5 amps

I have thought of the vibration factor but my father and I rationalized that they mount halogen lights on off road dune buggies in races through the desert so we do not figure that this airplane will take too much more abuse than that. The good thing is that there are only 2 mounting holes to the bottom of the fiberglass fairing so if it does not work there and is prone to failure than we will simply remove it and just have two small finished holes on the bottom of the cowling.

I would have loved to do the wingtip idea but the landing light was a bit of an afterthought and at this stage in the game WE JUST WANT TO FLY!! The thought of any more fabrication is just not in our minds right now and may make a good project for the winter during the annual. As for being in the slipstream, we plan on this plane being slow anyway (because at 100mph max cruise it is slow) so the loss of a few knots is not a big concern for us. Factor in that we will be putting it up on floats I think that it will all be relative and we will accept the speed loss. I supposed if we wanted fast we would have built an RV or lancair. We will let you know how the light does and if it works there or not for those who have a ways to go and can learn from our success and or failure with the light.

aircraft hid landing light

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 7:37 pm
by NightOwlHID
Why not go HID? Im new here but I can get you the kit for less than $200 plus shipping... its super simple to install and would fit pretty much any light bezel.  just an idea

Let me know... PM me if you want


PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 10:48 pm
by gme9261236
You are about a month and a half late.

PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 12:53 pm
by b1x4nqb
Any solutions to fit/mount one in a leading edge of a wing tip?

Paul, PA

Aircraft HID lighting

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 12:37 am
by NightOwlHID
Ok Heres some pics of what I have.. these are our standard and slimline ballasts and MR16 HID bulbs.. Depending on the aircraft/application there many other bulbs as well that we supply and use.. We use these in our offroad vehicles all the time.. fully sealed, vibration resistant and waterproof. these are built to take a  beating and still function perfectly at a fraction of the price of our competitors!

these are

35w - Xenon Gas High Intensity Discharge  Bulbs  - rated to last 3500 hours
Digital ballasts with ASIC chipset controllers which are used to give a steady and contant light output - no flickering
weight: 17oz each (standard ballast)
Input current :  3.4A peak - 8.5A
output 35w
Light lumen's  : 3200 lumen's
comes with one year warranty.
Prices start at $199 a set.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask..


PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 5:14 pm
by b1x4nqb
Here is an interesting option if you don't mind the cost.

They are landing/Taxi/even wig-wag lights

1600 lumens (supposedly same as 100w lamp)
only 1.8 amps
$325 single


800 lumens
.9 amps
$225 single

Paul, PA

PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 9:45 pm
by Johnny C!
I was talking to Jak at the factory about this
& he suggested the 1-1/2" dia Halogens in the
leading edge wingtip, but move them inboard a
little. Maybe one at 6" in & one at 12" in with
one set aimed for taxi, & one for landing, maybe.

I think that may be better than my  
original idea of scalloping the end
of the leading edge tube. That arrangement
might lead to premature crack in the spar.
Moving them inboard is a much better
solution. Some thick acetate or thin Lexan
could be heat formed pretty easily to make
clear covers to conform to the leading edge.

Again, great thread. Keep it up!

Johnny C!

PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 9:31 pm
by Johnny C!
Night Owl,
 Can you explain the use or need for the ballast?


PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 7:47 pm
by stede52
Just wanted to let everyone know about the LED landing lights I found at Oshkosh......they are the brightest I've seen and have a built in wig wag(and I dooooooo mean bright!!!!) they are called CreativAir Gen-II LED LANDING LIGHTS : ... 1850119fe0


PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:58 pm
by b1x4nqb
Did they have an "Oshkosh special" price or were they still $109?  Also what was their dimension?  Looks like two together to make one big one in the one photo?

Paul, PA