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Aviation Lighting

Lighting for aviation includes lighting used in and on aircraft and at airports and airfields. Aircraft interior lighting allows crew members to see and use flight and system controls, and it allows passengers to see inside the aircraft cabin. Reading lights allow passengers to customize the lighting in their own space. Airport lighting illuminates public areas and marks runways, taxiways, and hazards.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) selected the LRC to join its Centers of Excellence program. LRC researchers are involved in several aviation lighting projects, including aircraft interior lighting and lighting systems for remote airfields.


Requirements for Runway Guard Lightspdf icon - This project aimed to determine the appropriate luminous intensity and other operating parameters of LEDs used in runway guard lights in order to provide acceptable visibility and safety.

Redefining White Light Chromaticity Boundaries for Aviation - Recognition of an aviation signal include the light's color, including its chromaticity, layout on the airfield, and the chromaticity of other light sources in view. This project investigates the boundaries in chromaticity space that people perceive as white and recommended new boundaries that were independent of the color limitations of incandescent sources.

Related Programs


Bringing Advanced, Energy-Efficient LED Lighting to Aviation - Since 2005, the LRC has conducted lighting research as part of the Federal Aviation Administrationís Center of Excellence for Airport Technology. Research in the areas of solid-state lighting and vision science are providing new lighting solutions that benefit the aviation industry.

Making landings safer at remote airfields and airports - Project summary about developing efficient runway lighting systems for remote airfields that have limited availability to electricity.

LRC selected to join FAA Centers of Excellence Program - Press release about how the LRC is working with the Federal Aviation Administration.

Investigation of Blue LED Taxiway Lights - Project summary about exploring methods to provide heat for taxiway light fixtures to optimize efficiency.

Metrics for LED Lighting Brightness - Project summary about developing initial recommendations for the FAA to specify luminous intensities for LED signal lights.

LRC partners with Boeing to develop aircraft lighting solutions - Press release about collaboration between LRC and Boeing to develop innovative and efficient lighting systems aboard commercial aircraft.

LEDs for Aircraft Passenger Reading Lights - Detailed project summary about comparing halogen lamps and LEDs for use as aircraft reading lights (with photos and PDF presentation).

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