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Old 10-23-2010, 01:46 PM
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Bugsy Bugsy is offline
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Waukesha, Wisconsin
Posts: 547
Default Tip: Glare Shield LED strip comparison

I researched several LED light strips for placement under the glare shield. *** See discussion at end of thread for Color choice comparisons ***

First photos of the end product: The strip is on a dimmer, this is full blast at night with all lights off in the garage. With this on full blast you can see throughout the cockpit. I wont need any other cockpit ambient lighting. The glow is comfortable and very cool. Dimming reduces canopy reflections.

My son works the panel, while I take the picture. Here you can see the individual LEDs on the right edge. Inside the cabin you dont get any direct view only the comfortable glow. I have have an edge installed on the glareshield.

Now the facts:

RV7 - 3.5 inches is a great length for the LED strip. 3ft would be plenty.
Dimmer is highly recommended, use a lower wattage SMD3528 strip if using without a dimmer.

I bought 3 different LED strips to experiment:

All driven together with a 12V power supply:

On the far left: 120CM LED strip bought off ebay for $5 shipped. version SMD 335.

Center: 120CM LED strip from EBAY for $15 shipped.. version SMD 3528. 1.44W/foot, 0.12A/foot

Right: 4ft LED strip from This is what I installed in the plane. Cost $60 shipped. 3ft would have been enough and would have saved $13. Version 5050 18 LED/ft. 4.32W/foot, 0.36A/foot. So my 3.5feet put out 15 watts at 1.26A at full grunt, I have a dimmer installed on the panel.

A good reference photo I found with all the various versions of light strips:

Bottom line: I am very happy with the SMD5050 300LED/5meter or 18 per ft version of the LED light strip. At total of 15 watts, it provides plenty of light at a soft glow that impresses all who see it.
Paul 'Bugsy' Gardetto, Col, USAF (ret)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Timmerman Field)
N377KG - Flying (250 hrs)
RV-7A, Aerosport O-360, WW200RV
Advanced Flight 5400
Avidyne IFD440
Paint by

Last edited by Bugsy : 10-26-2010 at 02:22 PM.
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