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Thread: Yet another lighting thread

  1. #1

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    Yet another lighting thread

    Iím flying a stock certified 1978 PA-18 150 with the original lights, and I am ready to make my plane more visible. I was looking at the Whelen and AeroLED lights at the Palmer show today and Iím considering my options. I have tried reading the various threads on here, but each situation seems so unique that it makes it difficult to know what to do. My priorities are wingtip and tail strobes, and I would like something that can drop straight in without any sort of modifications. I am not planning on re-covering my wings anytime soon, so want to keep things as simple as possible. I understand that I can go with non-certified lights with a logbook entry from my mechanic, but Iím not sure whether that is the wisest option. Realistically, money is a concern as there are some other upgrades I would like to make and my funds are not unlimited.

    I was quoted $1332 for the Whelen Orion 650 wingtip strobe/position lights and the 550 tail light. But I also know that I have seen threads on here showing far less expensive options that have a strobe controlled by flipping the switch on and off. I know that nothing is cheap in aviation and that you often get what you pay for, but at the same time Iím also trying to set aside enough money for a helmet and headset combo. Priorities, right? Anyhow, I would appreciate any insight that you all can offer. Thanks!

  2. #2
    nanook's Avatar
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    What did the AeroLED cost? I know they have a very bright tail beacon. If you have the rudder mount beacon already, I would just replace that and put two wingtip nav/strobes in and call it good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nanook View Post
    What did the AeroLED cost? I know they have a very bright tail beacon. If you have the rudder mount beacon already, I would just replace that and put two wingtip nav/strobes in and call it good.
    Didnít get a quote on the beacon. Good call, though. Thanks.

  4. #4

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    My current setup:






  5. #5
    RaisedByWolves's Avatar
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    Does the wheelen tail nav strobe fit in the tail? I remember that being an issue. The aero led sun tail fits with no issue. The aero led landing lights can be bought with built in pulse.


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  6. #6
    Mush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaisedByWolves View Post
    Does the wheelen tail nav strobe fit in the tail? I remember that being an issue. The aero led sun tail fits with no issue. The aero led landing lights can be bought with built in pulse.
    This was posted not long ago. Whelen has a new one that will fit in the tail.
    Whelen 14V Model Orion 550 OR5501V 14V LED Tail Strobe/Position Light
    https://www.supercub.org/forum/showt...ghlight=whelen

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mush View Post
    This was posted not long ago. Whelen has a new one that will fit in the tail.
    Whelen 14V Model Orion 550 OR5501V 14V LED Tail Strobe/Position Light
    https://www.supercub.org/forum/showt...ghlight=whelen
    Yep, that was the one I was looking at as part of my quote.

  8. #8
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Most nav/strobe combos have separate power wires for each, so you can use switches for each function. No matter what model you go with you are going to need to pull new wiring in.

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  9. #9

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    I have Orions on my wingtips and I like them. When I built it the Whelen tail strobe required cutting the mount on the rudder so I used an Aveo tail unit. My beacon was what I shopped most to find the brightest one available. I chose a Whelen. I know some guys object to beacons but I’m a fan, especially for being seen by faster airplanes from behind. Beacon and strobe are a very effective combination.

    I know LED is all the rage but there’s still something to be said for Whelen’s Comet Flash strobes. Hands down to best recognition strobes I’ve seen.

  10. #10

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    To the wiring question? With LED low current draw for retrofitting position lights I’d think the position lights and strobes could be powered together providing you never want to select just one. I always use strobes and rarely use position lights but there’s nothing wrong with running them in daylight.

  11. #11

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    It is really impolite to taxi on a busy airport with strobes on.
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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    To the wiring question? With LED low current draw for retrofitting position lights Iíd think the position lights and strobes could be powered together providing you never want to select just one. I always use strobes and rarely use position lights but thereís nothing wrong with running them in daylight.
    At this point Iím thinking Iíll probably pull a new wire for an additional switch, but the Whelen rep explained how I can hook these in to my existing system as long as I donít care about running both.

    And no, I wonít run the strobes while taxiing. Appreciate the point from others.

  13. #13
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    At this point I’m thinking I’ll probably pull a new wire for an additional switch, but the Whelen rep explained how I can hook these in to my existing system as long as I don’t care about running both.

    And no, I won’t run the strobes while taxiing. Appreciate the point from others.
    Get some 20 gauge, three conductor, shielded wire. Pull that into the wings and fuselage. One conductor powers the strobes, one conductor powers the navs, one conductor is the synch control, and the shield is the ground. Just as easy to pull a multi conductor wire as a single conductor and then you'll have all the functions available.

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  14. #14
    Herc's Avatar
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    I just recently installed AeroLED NSP, Sun tail, and Sun Beacon. I'm very impressed with the upgrade in visibility over stock lights. Are you trying to use existing wires for your installation? For my installation i ran new shielded 3 conductor so i could sync the strobes as well as have my strobe and navs on separate circuits. Pulling the new cable through the wings was a major pain in the ass but we got all new cables pulled in about three hours with some fish tape. The other issue i had was securing the sun tail. The screws provided were too small for the existing nut plates. It was a difficult but I was able to attach smaller nuts to the back of the existing plates. Even though the new installation was such a pain in the ass, I'd still do it again in a heartbeat.Click image for larger version. 

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