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LEDs hit the runway.

Throughout the past decade, the Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has assisted the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to understand and maximize the benefits of LED lighting technologies at airfields across the U.S. The latest effort is from John Bullough, senior research scientist and adjunct professor at the LRC, who has authored a newly published report written to assist airports as they decide if and when to install LED runway and taxiway lights. Bullough's report summarizes the responses of airports across the country to a survey questionnaire regarding their experiences with LED airfield lighting, supplemented by published reports that until now have been scattered in many locations.


Bullough found that the largest area for savings by airports was in terms of reduced maintenance requirements, followed by lower energy use. "LED airfield lighting uses much less energy than incandescent, but airfield electrical systems are optimized for incandescent lamps, not LEDs. Even more energy can be saved if electrical systems are designed with the reduced loads of LEDs in mind," says Bullough. The FAA is now investigating new electrical infrastructures for airfield lighting that will help maximize energy savings and reliability.

The report also contains an overview of LED light source technology, the relevant FAA guidance documents for airfield lighting and pointers to resources on airport funding and economic cost analysis tools. Bullough's report, Issues with Use of LED Airfield Lighting: ACRP Synthesis 35, is available for download from the Transportation Research Board web-site at:
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Title Annotation:NEWS+NOTES
Publication:LD+A Magazine
Date:Sep 1, 2012
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