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Old 01-09-2021, 08:42 PM
Hooker47 Hooker47 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Eldridge
Posts: 7
Default Aircraft lighting

I would like to re-open a discussion from 2008-2010 on exterior lighting and add interior lighting to the mix since there have been a lot of upgrades on products available over the years. I'm leaning towards LED's for everything and thought the Ziptips would be a great option until talking with a vendor that strongly suggested I rethink my decision. I like very bright, crisp white lights for taxi and landing. I am looking for reliable lighting as I will be flying during the night on a regular basis. Bringing the conversation inside I am looking for suggestions on overhead map lights and general cabin lights to mount in the Aerosport overhead console. My end goal is to have both red and white LED's to preserve night adaptation until it's time to unload the plane. Sorry for the long thread just wanted to give my thoughts to get some good direction. Thanks,
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Old 01-10-2021, 05:41 AM
lmerrill lmerrill is offline
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Marion, KY
Posts: 14

Iím curious now as to what changed your mind on the zip tips? I have them currently but they havnt been installed yet.
Lester Merrill
RV10 under construction
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Old 01-10-2021, 06:18 AM
leok leok is offline
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Clarkston, MI
Posts: 408
Default Lots of lighting

I have all LED lighting both inside and out. I used the FlyLED for position and strobe, and the Baja off road lights outside for landing. I made a set of small, but powerful (2000 lumen each) set of taxi lights set in the lower cowl.

For inside I have lights that come on when the doors are opened shinning down on the wings and baggage compartment. I have footwell lights, overhead reading lights for each seating position, under glare shield lights, red and white spots that shine on the overall instrument panel, back lights on all of my switch plates, and lighted switch tips that change from red to green based on the position of the switches. All of these are LED, and dimmable. All of the back lighting, footwells and glare shield lights are color adjustable to any color with RGBW LEDs.

Is this way overkill! Yes!
Is it nice to fly when the sun goes down? Yes?
Would I do it all again? Probably not all of it, but most. You can see the details in my build thread in my signature line if interested.

LEDs are great fun to work with. If you are willing to play around the possibilities are amazing.
Building started Oct 5th 2014, Flying since 1/16/2020
RV Hotel, come by and visit if you're in town
Dues paid 2020
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Old 01-10-2021, 07:16 AM
Hooker47 Hooker47 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Eldridge
Posts: 7

Originally Posted by lmerrill View Post
Iím curious now as to what changed your mind on the zip tips? I have them currently but they havnt been installed yet.
I was talking with someone from a company most of us would consider the experts in avionics and electrical systems and he said that they look cool but if you ever need support or have ANY issues with their products their customer service is a pain at best and basically non-existent. He said "It is for this reason any reputable shop has either stopped carrying their product or are phasing them out." To me those where some very strong comments to make about a company but if there are any testimonies to the contrary...I still love the look and simplicity of them.
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Old 01-10-2021, 04:28 PM
markarfarms markarfarms is offline
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: SULLY
Posts: 10

Was considering the zip tips as well. How much do they cost? Is there any one else that has them and how do you like them?
Thanks, Mark
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Old 01-11-2021, 07:17 AM
rvanstory's Avatar
rvanstory rvanstory is offline
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: New Braunfels
Posts: 380

Here's the vendor where I got all my interior lights.

Here's a pic of my overhead lights... 2 dome lights & 2 pivoting map lights. Also have LED strip under glare shield and LED strip under panel for each footwell. Lights are wired to 4 dimmer switches. Pretty simple, but very effective.
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Randy Vanstory
Flying RV10 - N783V
1st Flight 08/20/2020
Donation Happily Made 2021

Last edited by rvanstory : 01-11-2021 at 07:32 AM.
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Old 01-11-2021, 12:59 PM
MElstien MElstien is offline
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Kinnelon NJ
Posts: 181
Smile Source for great Eyball lights with Switch

Limited time only.

I was recently looking for good lighting for my overhead lighting the RV-10 I am building. I bought a bunch of stuff off Amazon. Most of it will be going back. I disliked most of it, or it was bad quality. They eyball lights did not hold a position or the light spread was too wide and would impact the pilot. My wife thought I was being too picky.

I found the prima eyeball light with switch pictured in the previous post on ebay for $20.00 and bought the last one. It arrived last week and I showed it to my wife and her comment was " now I know why you did not like the other ones". The Prima eyeball light with or without the switch are really nice lights. The eyeball swivel is smooth and stays where you put it. The materials and design are very well done.

I then found someone on eBay selling the light with switch, minus the lamp and lamp socket for a great price. I found lamp sockets on eBay for 1.00 each and any type of 12v LED lamp (BA9s). The lamp sockets fit the bulb but need to be beefed up by the base so the friction mount on the lamp holder catches well. I accomplished this via wrapping several layers of electrical tape around the bottom of the base. The OEM lamp socet has a mettal bulge inthis location to perform the same task.

You can buy the full assembly from, who offer great service, or roll your own off eBay. Very happy with this light. And my wife is happy. She dictates the inside environment.
Builders Blog
RV-10 Builder
Tail Kit delivered 6-2013
Finished QB wings on September 2018
Moved to Port Orange Florida November 2018
Tailcone mounted to Fuselage on 3-1-2020
Finished Fuselage April / May 2020
Working working working on Doors
Engine Ordered (BPA/Fly-EFII 8/1/2020
Dues Paid through 2021
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Old 01-11-2021, 06:42 PM
Hooker47 Hooker47 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Eldridge
Posts: 7

Thank you for the sources and information on the lighting. I must say my heart was pretty set on the Zip tips and would like to hear from anyone that has had experience with them. Please PM me if you don't mind. I am also pondering the Baja Sport or Pro lights with Duckworks install kit if anyone has experience with these as well. This rookie really appreciates the help.
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Old 01-11-2021, 09:02 PM
RV10Pilot RV10Pilot is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Medford, NJ USA
Posts: 380

For exterior lighting I have an Aerosport Cowl Landing Light with a Baja Squadron Pro Led bulb and FlyLeds single spot in each wing tip.

For interior lighting installed in my overhead, I have 4 Dave Hoffman Products MOD-1 Cockpit Lights (1 for each seat). These are for use while flying. I also have 3 PilotLights 3.5" Recessed Lighting Fixture - Flip Activation - Lights with LED bulbs. (I was able to find these fixtures on ebay, and LED bulbs on Amazon for a $ savings). These are primarily used on the ground to light up the cockpit. They would be way too bright to use during night flight.

I had to seal up the flip activation fixtures so they don't leak air from the overhead. The cockpit lights are activated by a switch near each light in the overhead. The flip activation lights can turn on/off individually by pivoting the lens or they all come on by a switch on the panel. I also have 4 LED strip lights to light the floor, 2 mounted to the subpanel pointing down and 2 under the back of the front seats to light the rear passenger floor. The strip lights are activated by a switch on the panel.

I also have a round recessed led light in the overhead in the rear to light the baggage compartment. This light is activated by a switch in the small panel on the side rear of the baggage door. It is tied to the battery bus so it can be turned on without having to turn on the master. (Fortunately I have not yet left it on to drain my battery)
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Old 01-12-2021, 07:20 AM
cderk's Avatar
cderk cderk is offline
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Park Ridge, NJ
Posts: 724

What i will tell you based on my experience with wingtip lights - and landing light in the stock vans wing tip, will not put the light directly in front of the prop. I have FlyLEDS in my wingtips and love them. Very bright and work well. The only downside is that they dont throw light into the center of the runway - however the light will spill giving me enough to see. Is not a function of the lighting, but the design of the tips themselves.
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