Do LEDS Increase the Accuracy OF LED Aviation Signal Light Color Identification by Pilots With and Without Color-Deficient Vision?

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are being used for many airfield signal lighting applications, and it is important to ensure that they can be correctly identified by pilots, including those with deficient color vision. Until recently, color specifications for aviation signal lights used by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and maintained by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) have been unchanged for several decades. Filtered incandescent lamps used in most signal lights have largely consistent and predictable chromaticities within the allowable aviation color boundaries. Additionally, colored glass filters produce luminous intensity differences among incandescent signal lights of different colors, and these differences might assist color-deficient pilots (e.g., protans and deutans) in distinguishing among them. Many commercially available LEDs have chromaticities within the SAE color boundaries but look perceptibly different than incandescent sources of the same nominal color. In addition, because the luminous efficacies (in lm/W) of red, yellow, green and white LEDs are similar, LED signal lights with these colors could have similar luminous intensities while still meeting FAA requirements. If such signals were used, a color deficient pilot's ability to discriminate among their colors might be reduced because the redundant information of intensity differences would not be present. It is therefore important to understand the practical implications of these differences between LED and incandescent light sources.


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Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 10p
  • Monograph Title: 2014 FAA Worldwide Airport Technology Transfer Conference Proceedings: Innovations in Airport Safety and Pavement Technology

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01538305
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: S10104
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI, USDOT
  • Created Date: Sep 9 2014 7:03AM