Cabin Lighting Systems: Should You Upgrade?

Across all the common components of an aircraft, cabin lighting is an extremely important aspect of flight that is not always given the credit it deserves. From enabling sight in low light conditions for safely traversing a cabin to providing comfort to passengers and crew members alike, there are many ways in which interior lighting can benefit flight operations. As LED lighting systems in particular continue to become widespread and dominate the lighting market, many airliners and business jet owners have begun revamping their aircraft with improved interiors for the benefit of all on board.

While incandescent and fluorescent bulbs have long served aircraft of all types, solid-state LED systems have slowly been introduced with circuit boards, computer chips, and lighting strips. As compared to fluorescent bulbs, cabin LED systems are capable of providing high amounts of illumination and long service lives while being less prone to bulb burnout and equipment issues. LED systems are also claimed to provide increased comfort due to lighting quality and ambience, that of which may positively affect the stress levels of passengers.

When deciding whether or not to replace the aircraft cabin lighting assembly of a particular vehicle, there are some important considerations to make beforehand. For many aircraft owners, the driving force behind choosing LED lighting systems is due to the obsolescence of existing fluorescent systems and the price of maintenance. While LED lighting can pose an upfront cost, the obsolescence of certain fluorescent bulbs can make replacement costs higher than procuring a new bulb type. As there are even some first generation LED lighting systems that have now reached obsolescence with OEMs ceasing support, many find that the upgrade is well worth it.

While OEM bulbs may become obsolete, some aircraft owners are also turning to alternatives such as third-party replacements. Rather than wait long lead times for factory lights, third-party replacements can be used for reducing the amount of time to receive bulbs, all while achieving similar quality. Some may even supply the power supply and controls of such lighting systems, ensuring that replacement can be conducted with ease. In other cases, owners may use LED bulbs that are compatible with the ballast as well. If time is not a concern, the choice will often fall upon the owner and their personal reasonings.

If a decision is made to replace the cabin lighting system of an aircraft, the easiest time to conduct such an operation is during a major aircraft inspection. During such processes, the entire interior of an aircraft may be removed, making it the perfect time to conduct a complete system upgrade. Nevertheless, it is important to consider the costs of such improvements as LED lighting systems can cost a decent amount when procured in large amounts and lengths. For a 15-foot cabin as may be seen in a business aircraft, upwards of 60 feet of lighting may be required to sufficiently line the upwash and downwash of each cabin wall. Generally, having a design in place beforehand can help for creating cost estimates.

Once you have decided upon the type of aircraft cabin lighting system that you require for your fleet or jet, look no further than Aerospace Sphere. Aerospace Sphere is a premier supplier of aviation, NSN, and electronic parts, providing customers access to top quality items at competitive prices. If you are facing a time constraint, we offer expedited shipping to domestic and international customers for their benefit. Take the time to explore our vast offerings and send us a completed RFQ form to request a quote for your comparisons when you are ready to begin the procurement process. At Aerospace Sphere, we are more than just a dependable part distributor; we are your strategic purchasing partner. 


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July 29, 2021

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