Lighting Research Center Lighting Research Center

Guard LightsFAA Runway Guardlights

The LRC is exploring the potential performance and application of new light source technologies, primarily LEDs, in airport and airfield lighting. LRC scientists compared the functioning of runway guard lights (RGLs) using LEDs to those using traditional incandescent light sources. RGLs indicate where pilots should yield when maneuvering a plane onto an active runway.

One advantage of LED technology is the ability to "tune" LEDs to make the light output more or less noticeable to the human eye. In this study, researchers "tuned" the LED-based RGLs, manipulating frequencies (flash rates) and on-times, to determine the relative intensity requirements and to increase conspicuity compared to incandescent-based RGLs. Reaction times and conspicuity data were collected from subjects in conditions that represented daytime, nighttime, and foggy daytime.

To learn more about aviation-related projects, visit the LRC's solid-state lighting program.



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