Lighting Research Center

Advancing the effective use of light for society and the environment

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Lighting in the Aviation Industry

The Lighting Research Center has partnered with Boeing, the Federal Aviation Agency, and other organizations over the years to provide research on everything from cabin lighting to runway lighting. For a complete list of aviation-related projects, visit the LRC's solid-state lighting program.

Highlighted Projects

Guard LightFAA 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 investigated the functioning of runway guard lights (RGLs) using LEDs. RGLs indicate where pilots should yield when maneuvering a plane onto an active runway.
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failed traffic signalStandalone PV-LED Lighting for Aviation
Solar (PV)-powered LED lighting is gaining a foothold in aviation because of the energy-saving potential of both photovolataic power and LED systems. The LRC conducted a study to understand the factors that affect the performance of standalone PV-LED lighting systems, especially how the charge controller affects total system performance. This was a project with the Solid-State Lighting Program.
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HeadlightRedefining White Light Chromaticity Boundaries for Aviation
Several aspects are involved in the recognition of an aviation signal light's color, including its chromaticity, layout on the airfield, and the chromaticity of other light sources in view. The LRC conducted a human factors investigation of the boundaries in chromaticity space that people perceive as white and recommended new aviation white boundaries that were independent of the color limitations of incandescent sources.
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