What is the Aviation Warning Light System?
The aviation warning light system is a crucial aspect in the aeronautical sector as they are used to direct pilots flying in the sky of any obstacles or potentially dangerous impediments in the cross of their flight path. Over the years, the aviation warning light system, also known as aviation obstruction lights, have evolved from what was once a simple pattern of red, blue, and green lights to a more sophisticated formula that enables pilots to navigate safely throughout the skies. In modern aviation, any structure that exceeds a certain height (usually 200 ft above ground level) is required by law to be properly marked with aircraft warning lights. These objects can include smoke stacks, wind mills, water tanks, industrial chimneys, turbines, pylons, cranes, or any broadcast masts & towers. Along with this rule, there are many other systematic rules and classifications of the warning light systems for aviation. For more information on this, read on below.
Aviation warning lights originated as high intensity xenon discharge flasher types, the majority of these types of lights being a strong and shining white light. Now rendered mostly obsolete because of its constant and costly maintenance needs, the xenon flasher has transitioned out of style and its nightly use has been replaced by a red beacon. While the red beacon shines at night to provide airplanes with signals, the xenon flasher shines only in the daytime. High powered red LED lamps are now the product of choice and have a number of advantages over the older xenon technology. Another reason for this change stems from the fact that LED aviation warning lights and beacons require a considerably lower amount of power for the same light intensity when compared to the older xenon technology. Not only that but these also have a beneficial longer life, with an anticipated span of more than 5 years until a replacement is needed, a feature that makes them the more affordable and cost effective solution.
Types of Lights in the Aviation Warning Light System
There are a number of different lights that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) have determined to be ideal for the aviation warning light system. These lights are distinguished by certain parameters, those of which are beam patterns, color, intensity, and flash rate. Additionally, there are three primary subgroups that serve to further classify these lights. These subgroups include a class of low intensity obstruction lighting. This class of lighting refers to lights that should be used anytime an object height above the surrounding ground is lower than 45 m. The second class refers to the medium intensity obstruction lights. This class of lighting is used in cases where the height of an object above the level of the surrounding ground is higher than 45m.Finally there is the third class, which denotes high intensity obstruction lights. High intensity obstruction lights are used to notify flying pilots of the presence of an object if its height above the level of the surrounding ground exceeds that of 150m.
If you are in need of LED lighting, red beacon lights, or any other component of the aviation lighting system, reach out to our team at Purchasing Efficiency. Our team is composed of seasoned aeronautical professionals that are experts on aviation parts as well as on regulations set out of the Federal Aviation Authority.