Matching LED and Incandescent Aviation Signal Brightness

Airfield lighting is increasingly using light-emitting diode (LED) sources, because of their potential for long operating life and reduced maintenance requirements. However, LED signals being too bright is a complaint that has sometimes been heard from pilots. Generally, colored LED signal lights have narrower spectral power distributions than incandescent signals that produce more saturated colors, which tends to result in the perception of increased brightness for the same luminance. White LED signals are available in a wide range of correlated color temperatures (CCTs) and these also can be judged as brighter than white incandescent signal lights of the same intensity. At the request of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), researchers at the Lighting Research Center (LRC) developed a set of “brightness correction factors” for white, green, and blue signal lights, to match the apparent brightness of LED and incandescent airfield signal lights. Red and yellow LED signals also differ from their incandescent counterparts in terms of spectral power distributions. The objective of the present paper is to describe brightness-luminous intensity characteristics of the five aviation signal light colors as well as the impact of factors such as the background light level, number of light sources, and the presence of fog on perceived brightness.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References;
  • Pagination: 6p
  • Monograph Title: 2014 FAA Worldwide Airport Technology Transfer Conference Proceedings: Innovations in Airport Safety and Pavement Technology

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01538220
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: S10103
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI, USDOT
  • Created Date: Sep 9 2014 7:07AM