Chris B, a Diamond DA-40 owner, installed a set of Pulsar NSPs:
I’m Marv Wessel, a gyroplane pilot based in Chandler AZ. I was flying my Sportcopter II gyroplane for the first time in Class D
airspace on a sunny Arizona afternoon. My gyroplane is equipped with an Aero LED Sunspot landing light, Sunbeam beacon and Pulsar nav/strobe lights. I made my radio call to enter the class D airspace 5 miles from the airport. I entered the airspace and landed. When I changed frequencies from tower to ground control, the controller told me they were amazed that they had me sighted when I made my initial radio call over 4 miles away! He also told me I was the brightest aircraft they’ve ever seen land (referring to my lighting). I’m glad to know I made a great decision equipping my aircraft with Aero LED lighting products. Standing out and being seen around the congested Arizona class B airspace adds a little piece of mind while flying the Phoenix metro airspace.Best Regards,Marv Wessel
Global RF Solutions
1900 W. Chandler Blvd. Ste 15-228
Chandler, AZ 85226
The Sunlites fit perfectly in my clear wingtips on my Model 4 Kitfox. I love the wig-wag feature. They are brighter than the old
55 watt halogens I removed to install the Sunlite’s. The low power consumption of the AeroLed’s Sunlite’s has freed up usable power for other critical flight items. I will not leave the ground without them on and they stay on the entire duration of the flight for safety.I posted a “product review” on TeamKitfox.com including a short Youtube video showing the lights as I promised you I would. It’s generated some nice comments. Sorry it took so long to get time to do the install.
Here is a link to the thread.
I have been evaluating whether to use LEDs or traditional position/strobe lights on my RV-10. At first I thought the cost
difference between LEDs and traditional nav/pos/strobes was much greater. However, as I looked into it, I realized that the costs are pretty close. Two mistakes I made in my initial evaluation might be made by others. I assumed (incorrectly) that the $95 wingtip landing lights sold by Van’s included the wingtip pos/strobe lights because both are in all the pictures on the Van’s website and catalog – it is a bit deceiving, though I’m sure not intentional. I also neglected to include the cost (and weight) of the strobe power supply. So, this is how the two options priced out for me, using pricing on Van’s website for AeroLEDs products:Traditionals lights/strobes
Wingtip nav/pos/strobes: 2 each A650-PG-14 = $338
Power supply for three strobes= $390
Tail Position/strobe (LN A500-14) = $144
Total = $872Aero Leds
Suntail = $340
NS90 = $760/pair
Total = $1100Difference = $228
This does not include or consider the higher cost and hassle and weight of strobe wiring or the increased reliability of the LEDs or the possibility of RF interference with the longer runs of strobe wires needed with the traditional system. It also assumes the LEDs are as bright or brighter than the traditional lights, which I cannot verify personally but have heard/read anecdotally they are very close.
In my view, for a difference of $228 there is no reason not to use the LEDs. My initial error in the evaluation is probably due to me being new at this, but others may be in the same boat. Thought I’d post it for general consumption.
emp, QB Wings
SB fuse in progress
Finish Kit Ordered 12/7!
I just landed after a night flight that included 4 landings at small, poorly lit runways. I found the Sunspot to be at least as
bright as the GE bulb that it replaced and I found the “quality” of the light superior. The GE light is yellowish, whereas the Sunspot has a “bluer” light that seems to penetrate better and give a clearer view.During the day, I leave the landing light on for the entire flight. With the low current draw (I measured less than 3 amps at 14 volts) and the 50,000 hour life, it can be used throughout every flight, day or night.
Thanks for a great product.
Captain, American Airlines (retired)
I am not affiliated in any way whatsoever with AERO LEDS. This post is about my experience with one of
their products, and is based on my observations of the product. I have not done scientific testing of the unit and this post is based soley on my observations.I received and installed a Suntail today on the rudder fairing of my -8. Now I’m waiting on the Pulsar NS90 (combination position light and strobe – 90 deg coverage) for installation in my wing tips to complete my strobe/nav light installation; they should be here in a couple of weeks. And I’ll be using Duckworks HID wing tip lights for wig wag recognition – that will be a LOT of light in the wing tips, and with a low power consumption. I bought the Suntail direct from AERO LEDS and they offered a 15% discount (same as they’ll offer at Osh). So the $395 list price was about $340 delivered. Not inexpensive, but it seems to be a very well engineered product. The base of the unit is made from machined aluminum (and is the unit heatsink) and is of high quality, and the lens appears to be polycarbonate of equal quality to the aluminum base. Nate at AERO LEDS told me the unit is hermetically sealed and moisture cannot intrude into the unit. The unit fits perfectly on the adapter that I bought from Cleaveland tools:
When I totally rewired my -8 last fall/this winter I decided I would make use of the new LED nav/strobe technology. These devices save as much weight as they do power consumption. I ran 18 ga. wire for the nav lights and 18 ga. for the strobes. Probably could have run 20 ga. and been OK. I’m pretty anal about weight – WHY didn’t I run 20??
After the Suntail was installed and I flipped the switches for the nav and strobe, I was amazed by the light output from this LED system. The white nav light output of the Suntail seems to be about the same as the tail light on a Whelen A600 combo unit. The strobe appears much brighter than the Whelen Xenon strobe unit. The Suntail needs no power pack and is very light weight. And just as importantly, the Suntail does not produce any noise that I could detect in the radio/intercom system using a Bose X headset. I am impressed by the products and the folks at AERO LEDS too. I have spent in total close to an hour talking to Nate about their products and the engineering behind them. He’ll spend as much time as you need, answering any question you might have. The products are impressive and the company is as well.
Again, just my opinion.
The SunTail I ordered from AeroLEDs a couple of weeks ago arrived today. It’s a very attractive unit, I must say! I like the
aluminum casing, which the instructions indicate is also the heat sink. (Where is the heat sink for the PosiStrobe?) It’s obvious that it will mount easily to the tail light adapter ring I bought from Cleaveland.Being unable to resist temptation, I promptly hooked it up to a 12V supply I had in the workshop (for the amateur radio equipment) and … WOW! This thing is BRIGHT! The position LEDs are outboard of the strobe LEDs and as Dan posted earlier, each function operates independently. After accidentally nearly blinding my wife (“Hi, honey, look at this!”), I was convinced to put it away until I have more airplane to install it in.I must say, it’s love at first sight, however!– Chris
Comparison of LED strobe / rear position lights
Through an odd set of circumstances, I ended up with two of the new all LED rear position/strobe lights intended to replace the ubiquitous Whelen A500 used on the rudder fairing of our RVs – a PosiStrobeXP from Aveo Engineering and a Suntail from AeroLEDs. Since I have both of these units, I thought I would do a little direct comparison of them for your enjoyment. You can get information on both of these lights from their websites:http://www.aveoaviationlights.com
Suntail on the left, PosiStrobe on the right.
A few disclaimers: I don’t claim that my testing methods are particularly valid. I don’t have a certified and calibrated lab so my results are probably worth what you paid for them. For background on my test setup, methodologies, and my obsession with this topic, see THIS thread. The only thing I can say is that I am testing both units the same way with the same test setup. Also, I have no affiliation with either of these two companies – I’m just an RV-7 builder who wants to use LED lights on his plane.
Basically, all I am trying to do with the tests is to get a warm fuzzy that these lights are probably compliant with the FARs and are quiet enough electrically to use on our planes. I do not expect to measure the light output to the nearest 0.25 candela! To give me that warm fuzzy, I am looking for something north of 20 candela on axis for the position light component and at least 500-600 peak candela on axis for the anti-collision. If you go look at the FAR for the anti-collision lights, it requires a minimum of 400 effective candela for the worst case coverage angles. But if you go dig through the math of how the effective intensity is calculated, it’s obvious that your peak intensity must be significantly higher. 500-600 seems to be a reasonable minimum.
So what were my results? Here are the light intensity measurements all taken on axis at a distance of 12″:
Position Light Only: 29fc ~= 29cd
Strobe Only: N/A
Strobe + Position Light: 265fc peak ~= 265cd peak
Position Light Only: 30fc ~= 30cd
Strobe Only: 596fc peak ~= 596cd peak
Strobe + Position Light: 625fc peak ~= 625cd peak
Note: The PosiStrobeXP runs the position light anytime the strobe is on so I was unable to get a “strobe only” measurement for it.
The electrical noise test is a little more subjective. I used my Icom A24 handheld radio for these tests rather than digging out my Icom A210 and antenna like I did the last time around.
The PosiStrobeXP does generate some noise that is picked up on the A24. It appeared quiet at a distance of about 3.5 feet but you could “hear” the strobe as you got the antenna closer until it essentially blanked out the reception with the antenna next to the light or the wires feeding it.
The Suntail was absolutely dead quiet everywhere as far as I could tell. I could even lay the A24 antenna on the light or the wires feeding it and there was no noise at all.
- Dan Langhout
I have been using The Aeroflash Nav/Strobe system on my 601 HDS for a little over four years. The control boxes are mounted
between the center wing section and the outer wings. I had a landing light and a taxi light mounted in the left wing for almost that same amount of time. I do a lot of night flying and because of the high draw of the two GE 4509 bulbs and the Nav/Strobe lights I had to watch the amount of time I had these lights turned on during long taxis or low RPM times. The Jabiru alternator is a 1:1 ratio and does not charge, or charges very little, until you have higher RPM. It is not like an external alternator with a 2:5 or 3:1 overdrive ratio like your car or most marine engines.Like Rick said “This sounds like a commercial”, but it’s not. While at the show in Oshkosh I was looking at all the different light set-ups. I bought two LED lights (4 LED’s per), one for landing and one for taxi. (SEE PICS Attached) I did not buy the one with 8 LED’s because I have to set them at two different angles. Because of the high nose angle of the HDS during landing I set one with a slight down angle and the other level to the ground for taxi. With the old set-up I would use one light at a time, but with the new LED’s they are both on at once. The old lights would draw about 8 Amps. each and the new ones draw 9 tenths of an Amp. With both on at the same time they are brighter than one of the 4509′s. The beam of light is much wider than the old ones so even the taxi light set level works as a landing light. I did not run any more wires to control the new lights. The switch I used for my taxi light is now used to control both lights in their Wig/Wag mode. The company I bought from is called AeroLEDs. “What a difference in current draw”.
While at the AeroLED booth I also looked at their new AERO-PULSAR Nav/Strobe/Pos wing tip lights that they were still developing and they said that they should be out by the end of this year. They had a show special — If you paid $200 down they would knock off $150 from the list price, and if you didn’t like them when you got them you would get your money back. Because these are also LED’s they will draw a lot less Amps compaired to the Aeroflash lights I am now using. With the new lights I will not need my tail light, but they said they are working on an LED tail/strobe light that will fit my mount. I will be installing a new tail light when they are available (The more strobes the better).
Happy LED user,
“I received my AeorSUNs from ACS a few days ago. I can tell you first hand now that these suckers are BRIGHT!!!! I put one on
the workbench and walked out to the hangar door and couldn’t look directly at the light! The only thing I have to compare it to is a 55w Duckworks, which is no comparison at all. As soon as we order the new Duckworks 100w lights for my friend’s RV-7A, I’ll be able to do a side-by-side comparison”
“I accomplished a “test fit” of my AeroSUN 1600 with my Duckworks landing light kit.
(Thumbnail photos attached – - click for a bigger picture.) What I have concluded is that the AeroSUN 1600 fits into a Duckworks landing light installation just fine. In fact, looking at the Duckworks cutout in my wing’s leading edge, the AeroSUN 1600 is virtually a perfect fit: the Duckworks cutout in the wing’s leading edge is 5 inches wide; the AeroSUN 1600 is 5 inches wide. All that is needed is a .032 or .040 flat-plate adapter to mount the AeroSUN 1600. Also, there’s plenty of room between the AeroSUN 1600 and the plexiglas lens to permit a wide range of pitch adjustment via the AeroSUN’s bracket.Of course, the smaller, lower-output AeroSUNlite will also fit in the leading edge with plenty of room to spare. The AeroSUNlite’s added advantage is that it will also fit in a lot of wingtip installations whereas the AeroSUN 1600 needs to be mounted in the wing’s leading edge, Duckworks-style. Of course, the AeroSUNlite has half the light output of the AeroSUN 1600, but two AeroSUNlites (one in each wingtip) are arguably adequate for night landings onto well-marked runways and are fine for traffic recognition (built-in wig-wag; like the AeroSUN 1600).In my opinion, if you’re planning to land at night on a runway with no clear centerline or thresholds (like an unmarked grass runway) then two AeroSUN 1600s would probably be the best choice. Otherwise, two AeroSUNlites look like a viable option to me. Both AeroSUN products are high-quality units, the current draw is amazingly low, and you never need to change a bulb again!”
“I have flown in dark twilight several times. The AeroSUNLites are great. Also, I fly in busy airspace and keep the wigwags on most of the
time for extra visibility. Your product is great and I recommended them to some of my homebuilder friends. I am looking forward to your new products and will upgrade to them as soon as they are available.”