Cheap LED landing/taxi lights

Discussion in 'Maintenance Bay' started by timwinters, Dec 12, 2017.

  1. timwinters

    timwinters Ejection Handle Pulled PoA Supporter

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    Granted I don't read every thread (far from it) but I haven't seen anything about this here.

    These are like 10% to 20% the price of any other LEDs I've seen. I have a buddy who installed them on his baron and he says they freakin' rock.

    http://www.goodiesforpilots.com/par-36

    Posted simply as an FYI.
     
  2. ElPaso Pilot

    ElPaso Pilot Cleared for Takeoff

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    Good for him, and nice price point. I've seen these from time to time... Wish they came in higher wattages than 18W, but that matches the Parmetheus Plus.

    Comparing specs and front / back side pics, I think his source is likely Handxen out of China.

    http://www.handxen.com/

    One negative comment on Amazon for RFI interference, BTW.

    1.0 out of 5 starsToo much RFI
    ByPaul R. Montgomeryon May 29, 2017
    Style: Spot|Verified Purchase
    Generates too much Radio interference ... had to de-install.

    https://www.amazon.com/Handxen-4-5inch-Landscape-Tractor-Warranty/dp/B01KJ94Q1K

    [​IMG]
     
  3. ElPaso Pilot

    ElPaso Pilot Cleared for Takeoff

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  4. unsafervguy

    unsafervguy Cleared for Takeoff

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    The problem comes in with the faa. The parts manual states bulb,4509. The led. Is "equivalent to a 4509" according to the salesman. The problem then lands squarely on th IA. When mister fed asks to see the data to support the part he installed or signed off on at annual. The faa needs to issue some final word on this, but I'm not holding my breath.
     
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  5. ElPaso Pilot

    ElPaso Pilot Cleared for Takeoff

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    The cost delta is not due to a cheaper bulb. It is the lack of paper in the box.

    Those who use these generally understand the risk / reward situation.
     
  6. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If a fed is setting to violate you based on your landing light, you must have straight kicked the hornets nest somehow, like a size 12 trying to kick a field goal type kick.
     
  7. ElPaso Pilot

    ElPaso Pilot Cleared for Takeoff

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    Agree. But I do have that thought rolling around in the back of my head, wondering if there is enough combustable mass in a cheap Chinesium LED bulb to set something on fire.

    That might wake up a fed hornet or two.
     
  8. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    People have been running these on boats and cars and home lights for quite a while, don't recall seeing any news stories about fires

    My only concern would be with RFI

    But I'd just owner Mx it, "replaced landing light"
     
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  9. unsafervguy

    unsafervguy Cleared for Takeoff

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    Understood, but at next annual my name would not be going in the book with it in the airplane.
     
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  10. timwinters

    timwinters Ejection Handle Pulled PoA Supporter

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    Like with a few things in my bird; removed immediately before annual, reinstalled immediately thereafter.

    Except if I'm in the area of one of my two regular I/A's when it's annual time. They couldn't care less about stupid, petty stuff, they simply concentrate on keeping me alive.
     
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  11. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Where does it say I can't owner install a PAR36 bulb?
     
  12. timwinters

    timwinters Ejection Handle Pulled PoA Supporter

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    It's not that you can't install it. I believe what he's trying to say is if you have a parts manual that calls out the g.e. lamp part number then you've installed an unapproved part when you put in an LED. If he catches this as an A&P then he can require it to be removed before signing off an annual. Most A&Ps I know are far more reasonable than he is.

    I wonder what we'd do if g.e. quit making the lamp?
     
  13. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    What if it just says a PAR36 light.

    The LED one is a PAR36 light
     
  14. unsafervguy

    unsafervguy Cleared for Takeoff

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    Example, the pa28 parts manual calls out lamp #4509. It does NOT specify a par 36, which by the way only designates a parabolic size 36, not the specs of the bulb. The reason the stc bulbs cost so much is they have been tested and proven to the faa. Do I agree with the faa, no, but unapproved parts are unapproved parts to the faa. Call me what you will but I will not risk my tickets because you want a cheaper part.
     
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  15. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
  16. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The $8 GE bulb is a PMA/TSO/STCed bulb?
     
  17. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Here's something I found on the legality of the lights.

    Unless I'm not translating fed to human properly, sounds like most of the LEDs are GTG
     

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  18. Bell206

    Bell206 Line Up and Wait

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    The bulbs themselves can fall under the definition of "standard parts." There are several ACs on this. And as James331 found there is additional more specific guidance depending on the location of those bulbs.

    The reason you find STCs, TSOs, etc requirements for the position lights and beacons/strobes is because they serve as navigation guides in flight. And because of this requirement any replacement bulb is required to meet various luminescence (lumens) tests or certifications. It's part of the "see and avoid" part of flying at night. There is actually a yearly lumens test required on most anti-collision lights operated in the 135/121 levels.

    So when it comes to bulbs and other similar replacement items it all depends on their function in the big picture whether you need any type of documentation with the part.
     
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  19. unsafervguy

    unsafervguy Cleared for Takeoff

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    that ac say what parts of section 23 the lights must meet. here is one of them.

    §23.1383 Taxi and landing lights. Each taxi and landing light must be designed and installed so that: (a) No dangerous glare is visible to the pilots. (b) The pilot is not seriously affected by halation. (c) It provides enough light for night operations.
    VerDate

    the FAA has, by certification, said that the bulb required by the parts manual meets section C, if the LED is not the part number called out for in the manual can you show compliance with 23.1383 (C) the STCed lights can, thats why they have an STC.

    does it provide enough light for night operations, im sure it does, but where is the documentation that shows the FAA agrees it does?
     
  20. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The output

    Crappy GE builb XX lumes/candle power/etc
    LED build XX lumes/candle power/etc
     
  21. Paulie

    Paulie Line Up and Wait

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    If it isn't a part called out in the IPC or doesn't have a STC I wouldn't sign off the annual. Plus I would now be suspect of what else you've installed that isn't approved.
     
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  22. Bell206

    Bell206 Line Up and Wait

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    Just curious, but if a plane that had parts installed that fell under a PMA or TSO (approved)... or were considered Standard Parts, Commercial Parts, or even Owner-Produced Parts by FAA definition (acceptable)... all of which are not in the OEM IPC or require an STC... you would not sign an annual off either?
     
  23. Paulie

    Paulie Line Up and Wait

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    I was just referring to someone trying to get by with a cheap bulb. I'm not going to look for non existent part numbers on the whole plane. I've seen auto exhausts, non aviation switches. A owner produced part is still going to have a paper trail. If it is a PMA there will be a paper trail. A hunk of aluminum angle from home Depot won't and would be obvious. You'd be surprised what the "hangar elves" as many owners laughingly call them install on their airplanes. If something is on the airplane that obviously wasn't part of the manufacturing process there had better be a log book entry and documentation supporting it's installation. You are taking my post too literally, I didn't think I had to list every acceptable part.
     
  24. weirdjim

    weirdjim En-Route

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    So, where are the engineering specifications for what is "dangerous glare" and unacceptable "halation" and the definition of "enough light"? Somebody somewhere looked at the installation and said, "looks OK to me." WHere are the hard numbers for what "OK" means? What is OK by me is not acceptable by you. And who is to say that I'm the standard by which all things are measured? And because it isn't OK by you who is to say that a subjective judgment is the definitive truth.

    No, tell me by measurement what is acceptable and I can meet it. Just because some Wichita FAA puke in 1932 said that "this is acceptable" is NOT acceptable to me. Until then I'll set my OWN standards.

    And if ANYBODY can tel me what "affected by halation" means in the real world, I'd be surprised.

    JIm
     
  25. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Halation is simply glare from reflected light. See a halo around a reflector because the illumination source is too bright? In that case vision is affected by halation.
     
  26. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    I know of a case where an owner installed non-approved LED landing and taxi lights in the factory housings and it wasn’t noted or corrected at annual. The very respected IA who did the annual had his mechanic’s license suspended for 90 days as a result. 90 days during the busy season was a stiff penalty. Does everyone who installs unapproved lights get caught? Nope, but some do.

    When I got a field approval to add gear-mounted forward lights on my old Cub the ICA had to include a requirement for flat black paint on the installed prop to prevent reflection. That was the only concern on the FAA’s part, and I used NAPA rubber truck light housings!
     
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  27. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That's the whole point, I'm trying to get away from under powered, high temp cheap GE bulbs.

    And if you can't tell the difference between a high end plane that happens to have a LED bulb and a junker put together with angle iron from Home Depot and a auto exhaust, well, I require my APIA to not be medically blind lol
     
  28. JAWS

    JAWS Line Up and Wait

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    There is more than one type of PMA part. Typically a PMA part can be used on a "one for one" basis - install and go.
    But some PMA parts are "modification" parts. They have been manufactured as an "approved" part, but are not approved for installation without an STC for the specific aircraft. Whelen Parmetheus LED lights come to mind.

    Supplement Number:
    43 Amendment 2 Supplement Date:
    04/21/2016
    [​IMG]
    This approval issued to:
    Whelen Engineering Co Inc PMA Holder Number:
    PQ0610NE
    [​IMG]
    PMA Holder's Address:
    51 Winthrop Rd
    Chester CT 06412-0684
    United States [​IMG]

    Part Name:
    LED Landing Light Part Number:
    01-0771833-10

    Replacement For:

    Modification Part
     
  29. teejayevans

    teejayevans Pattern Altitude

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    What happened to the owner?
     
  30. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Gotta be more to that story, lots of those PAR36 LEDs even mention they are a 4509, guessing there was something else or this wasn't simply taking taking a crap GE par36 4509 and swapping it for a LED par36 4509.

    [​IMG]
     
  31. Bell206

    Bell206 Line Up and Wait

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    The feds have always been vague on defining replacement parts for small, privately owned aircraft. There are about half of dozen ACs and Orders that wind through the high points in describing these replacement part types. But none of these docs could possibly give a finite list as it would be 10,000s pages long.

    It boils down to 3 classes of parts: approved, acceptable, and unapproved. The acceptable class contain standard parts, commercial parts, and owner produced parts which get installed under Part 43. Or, in other words it’s up to the owner and/or installing A&P to determine if the part is eligible for install on a TC’d aircraft.

    And since a light bulb can/could be considered an acceptable standard part and changing that bulb type is not considered a major alteration, then the owner and/or installing A&P could install it under the provisions of Part 43.13 as maintenance or preventative maintenance with a logbook entry.

    Could an IA still opine the bulb is not eligible during an annual? Sure. But that doesn’t mean another IA would. It’s all in the interpretation as with everything else.

    And as for the IA losing his certificate for 90 days over a light bulb as mentioned above, I couldn’t comment as I do not know all the facts. But if a Fed feels a part is suspect they have the burden of proof to show otherwise. And a signed write up in the logbook showing that bulb change would place the end result of that burden squarely on the installing certificate first.
     
  32. Paulie

    Paulie Line Up and Wait

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    You needed to include a insult? Yes I can distinguish between aircraft and car parts but apparently a lot of aircraft owners think they're the same. If you can't afford aircraft parts perhaps you should get out of aviation, it's not for cheapskates. There are plenty of approved LED lights available if you'll get out the crowbar and open your wallet.
     
  33. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Well because you tossed the little jab with cheap and using Home Depot angle iron.

    And from what I've seen there is no such thing as a approved or unapproved landing light, thus if it's the same part number as called for in the parts manual that's that. And if the part is of good quality and matches the same part number, why would I pay almost 10x more for the same damn thing lol.

    Smart business decisions are why I can have a six figure plane and a nice house to park it at
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
  34. unsafervguy

    unsafervguy Cleared for Takeoff

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    the post above has one thing that a lot of the cheap bulbs do not, the line that says "certificate SAE". an SAE certificate says that the part conforms to the SAE standard for a 4509 bulb, with that documentation i would consider that bulb a standard part. a lot of the cheap bulbs are just advertised as a PAR 36 bulb. all that says is that it is the proper size, it does not make it a 4509.

    bob
     
  35. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Wow, well that's a difference.
     

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  36. murphey

    murphey Final Approach

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    Except Whelen and others have STC approval for the LED version of the 4509, and not long ago, rules changed so that an owner can replace without A&P signoff
     
  37. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    indeed, and the old GE doesnt have a STC, the one I used lists the 4509 as a replacement, Im not worried about legality nor "safety" with the bulbs installed
     
  38. weirdjim

    weirdjim En-Route

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    Oh, it's better than that. The owner can MANUFACTURE (from a kit, if they wish c.f 21.303 (b)(2), STC not necessary) the lamps and then install them as an owner with a simple logbook entry.

    Jim
     
  39. NordicDave

    NordicDave Line Up and Wait

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    Careful the Handxen.com bulbs from China mentioned above have non-standard wiring connections and require modification of the electrical connection. Some of the these are built for Chinese tractors and trucks are emit a lot of radio inference. The certified parts like Whelen have undergone testing for electrical noise and standard mounting/installation compliance with Owner allowed maintenance.

    This mattered to me, and I forked out the $227 for a Whelen landing light.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
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  40. Jeff Boehm

    Jeff Boehm Filing Flight Plan

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    I have both the Whelen PAR36 and PAR46. I installed myself in 15 minutes, plug and play. Direct replacement for both of my GE bulbs using documents from Whelen showing the FAA approved swap. My A&P was happy with the endorsement I added to logbook. Very happy with them so far.


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