Aircraft Lighting Systems and Aircraft Warning Lights

Aircraft lighting is important for safety during flight, and it allows for illumination to be provided in both the interior of an aircraft and the exterior. While illumination within the aircraft may be for the ease and comfort of crew members, passengers, and pilots, the exterior lighting systems serve a much more important role in ensuring flight safety in regard to collision avoidance and navigation.

In this blog, we will discuss some of the common lighting systems that are used for aircraft.

For the exterior of the aircraft, lighting systems will often come in the form of position, anti-collision, landing, and taxi lights. While some lighting systems primarily benefit night flying, others may be saved for more specific operations such as with wing inspection lights. The position lights consist of a red, green, and white light, and they are required by aviation authorities for night operations. Commonly referred to as navigation light systems, such lights are used to provide others information on the aircraft’s position, heading, and status. The red navigation light is placed on the tip of the left wing, while the green navigation light is situated on the same area of the right wing. With the white navigation light placed on the vertical stabilizer, any individual looking at the aircraft will then be able to deduce its orientation and heading. It is important that each navigation light is installed in an easily visible area for optimal safety.

Anti-collision lights are similar to the navigation light system, though they are placed on the top and bottom of the aircraft to ensure visibility. Acting as strobes that rotate with the use of an electric motor, flashing lights are provided so that other aircraft can sufficiently avoid them in more congested areas. White light strobes that are mounted at the wing tips are another form of anti-collision light, and they can be highly visible to others.

To safely land on a runway with low visibility due to darkness, landing lights are very beneficial. With such systems, the runway can be lit up through the use of parabolic reflectors and powerful bulbs. Landing lights are most often installed on the leading edge of the wing near the fuselage for larger aircraft, and they are operated with relays or electrical circuits. Taxi lights are similar to landing lights, though they are weaker due to needing less illumination to safely operate on the ground.

Beyond the exterior lighting systems present on the aircraft itself, warning lights are very useful when navigating in low light conditions. Aircraft warning lights are high-intensity devices that are regularly installed on tall structures so that they are well visible to pilots miles away. While they can still be useful during the day, warning lights are primarily installed so that pilots are aware of structures, buildings, and other solid objects that they should avoid when flying low. Generally, warning lights come in the form of red lamps and white xenon flasher lamps. In recent years, however, xenon flasher lights have begun to be replaced with LED alternatives for their capabilities.

Through the use of navigation lights, anti-collision lights, warning lights, flashers, and other such systems, aircraft can operate in low light conditions with higher safety. NSN Axis is a trusted distributor of countless aircraft part types, ensuring that customers can fulfill their AOG and MRO requirements quickly and easily. With our industry experts readily available for customers 24/7x365, customers can rapidly receive competitive quotes and rapid lead-times through our RFQ services or by calling or emailing our representatives. Get started today and see why customers choose to rely on NSN Axis for all their operational requirements.


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