Led light upgrade recommendations?

Discussion in 'Avionics and Upgrades' started by Daven, May 29, 2021.

  1. Daven

    Daven Pre-Flight

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    So looking to upgrade my laughably dim and narrow ancient landing light on my Arrow III and just wondering if any recommendations? Obviously looking for the brightest and nice wide beam, but if something gives 90% of the practical performance for half the price or something, obviously a no brainer.

    My mechanic recommended the Parmetheus plus, but I see they have a pro which is supposedly a lot brighter. Anyone know how they perform compared to the aeroled sunspots? Other?
     
  2. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    When was the last time you landed at night and complained about your lights?
     
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  3. Daven

    Daven Pre-Flight

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    Basically every time. :) My first night landing in my plane when I bought it about eight months ago, I actually had the thought that I wasn't sure it made any practical difference to turn the light on when I landed. :) I had been coming from my trainer plane which my instructor had a very bright led on. :) Couldn't believe the massive difference. :)

    Anyway, a couple night landings per month typically. I fly mostly long distance cross country (all over Washington, and a lot to Nevada to Bellingham and back to visit family). And winter it gets dark awful early and I'm not a morning person. :) I strongly prefer night flying anyway as long as there is a good moon and reasonably clear skies so I can see the ground. :) If there was a parachute option for my plane, I'd probably fly mostly night. :) But nothing yet. :)
     
  4. Jim K

    Jim K En-Route

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    I put the parmetheus plus in my plane. It's brighter than the halogen, but not tremendously. Maybe 120%. I don't fly much at night, my main motivation was the reduced electrical load, so I couldn't justify the more expensive ones.... the plus is expensive enough.
     
  5. AKBill

    AKBill En-Route

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    night flying over mountains is not my idea of fun
     
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  6. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    Lights aren’t much help on a lighted runway.

    I use gen 1 Parmetheus on my Cessna. No issues. For me lights are more about daytime recognition. Guys that boast about the brightest are usually the guys with the smallest units.
     
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  7. Daven

    Daven Pre-Flight

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    Don't spend much time actually crossing the Cascades and always the highway below if needs be. But ya, clear skies and a moon are always helpful. :) My plane is a turbo and I have an Inogen oxygen system so I can fly very high over the mountains when needs be both for terrain avoidance and extra glide time across. And in Nevada am super familiar with the passes there, usually go through down near Winnemucca. It's the sketchiest part though from frequent fog and clouds right there in the winter. More than once had to turn back and land in good old Burns, Oregon and await the daylight and dissipation of the fog. Fine in Winnemucca, fine on the other side of the mountains. But going through with how high the terrain and clouds can get there and how low the fog gets to the ground in that pass, not something totally comfortable to do at night in case of engine failure. :) But Burns is a nice little town and the courtesy cars are almost always available and they keep the fbo unlocked 24/7. :) Although the heaters on their cars... That's another story. :)
     
  8. Joe_B1

    Joe_B1 Line Up and Wait

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    I have two of the Whelen Parmetheus Plus in my archers wings and they are a great upgrade.
     
  9. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder En-Route

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    I have a Boom Beam HID for a landing light, and a Parthemus Plus for a taxi light. They both work very well. If you can afford the Pro, I’d do it if I were you, but the plus should work just fine
     
  10. Radar Contact

    Radar Contact Pattern Altitude

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    I have the Whelen Parmetheus Pro and they made a huge difference from my old school incandescent bulbs. I can see wider/farther and people can see me better.
    No idea what the brightest is but if these are them then I guess I need to apologize to my wife. :)
     
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  11. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan En-Route

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    Speak from automotive headlight experience but the principles are the same.

    The shape and pattern of the beam is more important than the brightness of the beam. This is within reason of course, but I’ve seen situations where a headlight that was half is bright as another, be more effective because it is putting the light it makes in the right place rather than scattering it everywhere.
     
  12. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    My units are small. I use a 40° beam to improve daytime recognition from off center angles. Lighting up the night isn’t important to me. Coupled with a MaxPulse flasher my little lights are VERY effective. ;) BEE7E8BE-C406-4AD3-8139-3B18118CF324.jpeg
     
  13. CA182R

    CA182R Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I got Parmetheus Plus landing and taxi lights last year and I'm very happy with them.

    Too bad Whelen doesn't put the documentation online for the Pros. I'm curious why the PAR36 is labeled as Landing light and the PAR46 is labeled landing/taxi light, yet both models only show one SKU each.

    Anyway, I'd take the Pro if my airplane had one nose light instead of two.
     
  14. samiamPA

    samiamPA Pre-takeoff checklist

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    There is debate about whether landing lights need PMA, and for those who are comfortable without it, I know a guy who is very happy with his Aerolite LED. Brighter and cheaper than Prometheus.
     
  15. chemgeek

    chemgeek En-Route

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    Parmethueus Plus here, too. Easy install, in practice brighter than the old 4509s, and a boatload less current draw. Plus, I'll likely never have to replace it. The expected life is long enough it's practical to leave it on during climbout and arrivals for enhanced visibility.
     
  16. AlphaMike

    AlphaMike Line Up and Wait

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    I got the Aeroled sunspots. I have both the taxi light and landing light. The difference from the original GE bulbs is night and day. Pun intended. They’re pretty expensive for what they are but the old GE bulbs never lasted very long in my 182. I’ve had the Aeroled’s for over a year now and they have been excellent. They draw a fraction of the current too. I’ve now replaced all the lights on my plane to leds.
     
  17. chemgeek

    chemgeek En-Route

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    Also worthwhile is replacing the position lights. The backwards-compatible LEDs are way brighter, and draw 1/6 the current of the incandescent lamps. I used to switch on the landing light to (a) test it, and (b) check alternator charging capability. The uptick in current draw on the ammeter showed me that the lamp was working and that the charging system was working. Now I can't do that with the landing light (current draw is too small), and use the pitot heat instead to check for current draw from the charging system.
     
  18. OSUAV8TER

    OSUAV8TER Filing Flight Plan

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    Here is a photo of a PAR-36 Aerolite and a PAR-36 Whelen Parmetheus Pro. Full disclaimer, I'm a Whelen dealer. I took these lights out to the airport and set them on a table, then setup a DSLR with the same exact camera settings. The Pro has a different color to it, which threw off the auto white balance setting that I had setup on the camera. Because of that I did some post-production color touch up in Photoshop. That's it. Edit_Aerolite.jpg Edit_WATPro.jpg
     
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  19. Daven

    Daven Pre-Flight

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    Awesome :) The pro seems a lot brighter and very slightly wider beem as well :)
     
  20. OSUAV8TER

    OSUAV8TER Filing Flight Plan

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    Generally speaking from my observations in the industry, you get what you pay for. I carry the Pro if you're interested. You can message or email me at gallagheraviationllc@gmail.com. I have them on my Bonanza and they are wicked cool! Here is a video of my Bonanza when I used to have the PAR-46 Plus lamp in my wingtip. The Pro has a phenomenal lens, which is part of the calculus in a landing light.

     
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  21. tyndall

    tyndall Pre-takeoff checklist

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    What's the color temperature? I swapped some HID's in an atv, and while I had 10x the light, it wasn't usable. Absolutely no depth perception, which is kinda important in a landing light. To me, your pic of the Aerolite shows a much nicer/usable color than the Pro.
     
  22. CA182R

    CA182R Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Nice video here I just found by coincidence. GE original to Parmetheus Plus.

     
  23. OSUAV8TER

    OSUAV8TER Filing Flight Plan

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    Yes I think the Aerolite has a more natural color than the Pro, which is more favorable IMO. Look at how far it doesn't throw the light though. Other considerations on LED lights are thermal management. Believe it or not these things can generate a ton of heat and if it is dissipated well it can shorten the light of the diodes or the light/power can fall off quickly.
     
  24. AeroLudite

    AeroLudite Pre-takeoff checklist

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    There are three variations of the Aerolite. Four counting the par 46
    The original, the SL, SSL, and G2 Ultra. Original are about 1500 lumens, 2100 for G2, 3200 for G2+. Life on the 2+ is said to be “just” 12,000hrs...
    I have the G2 Ultra in my Cherokee. It was ~$100 shipped 18mos ago. The Parmetheus was over $400. No comparison factoring price.
    fwiw, I had two of the original SL Aerolites in my C150. They were a significant improvement over the GE4509 and Q4509’s.
    My IA is ok with the install.
    I’d be leery of the cheaper ones sold on Amazon and eBay. I’ve seen some that wouldn’t fit an unmodified 4509 bezel.

    I put a par46 on a friends ‘78 Skyhawk. 5200 lumens! Awesome! Essentially vibration and shock proof. Previously lights lasted maybe 25hrs. Always burned out when you needed it!
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2021
  25. Scrabo

    Scrabo Pattern Altitude

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    We only just got 4 months out of their PAR 36 unit... on it's way back to them hopefully they will replace it under warranty
     
  26. samiamPA

    samiamPA Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I got about 6, but they did replace it under warranty. Still doesn't give me the warm fuzzies. In retrospect, might have gone with a more expensive unit.
     
  27. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    They are when the lights are set at step one or two or when a squadron* of javelinas decides to cross the runway.

    I had to look it up as someone would correct me if I said "group" or "herd."

    I have the Parmetheus Plus in my plane which is a huge improvement over the stock GE bulb with the 25 hour life.
     
  28. elvisAteMySandwich

    elvisAteMySandwich Pre-Flight

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    Any updated pireps on Parmetheus Pro or Aero-lites?
     
  29. Joe_B1

    Joe_B1 Line Up and Wait

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    My Parmethius LED's are still going strong after over a year.
     
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  30. Gary Ward

    Gary Ward Cleared for Takeoff

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    I installed a pair of Whelen Parmetheus plus in Feb 2018, taxi and landing lights. They are still working great. The taxi light I never turn off, it has 1000 hrs on it now.
    Taxi light.
    [​IMG]
    Landing light.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2022
  31. wheaties

    wheaties Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The Aero-lite website says "not FAA/PMA approved." Does this mean they're only for experimental or someone has to file paperwork to install? The Whelen are PMA, which seems like I could, myself, just replace them.
     
  32. Gary Ward

    Gary Ward Cleared for Takeoff

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    Be aware, at least on my 172 there are spacers that aim the lights. Someone before me had the spacers all mixed up and my old lights where aimed wrong.
    [​IMG]
    My old landing light burned out within the first month I was flying the plane. I looked around my late buddy's hangar and saw many old landing lights laying around from 30 years of flying. He didn't throw much away. That helped me decide to spend the big bucks for better lights. I have experienced cheap LED lights on trucks that didn't last so I wasn't going to put tractor lights in my plane.
    Polarity matters.
    [​IMG]
     
  33. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies Final Approach

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    Parmetheus Pro's were my favorite and by far the brightest (image attached), but they had too much RFI and my plane is particularly sensitive to it, so I switched to the Parmetheus G3, which are very bright too, but not quite as bright as the Pro's were.
    IMG_20200811_214358.jpg