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Old 12-12-2018, 10:48 AM
Bicyclops Bicyclops is offline
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: LA, California
Posts: 221
Default FlyLeds vs. Squadron Pro

I've got one of each, FL in left wing and BD on the right side. I have a tail dragger 6 and was unhappy with my taxi lighting with 2 squadron pros. If I adjusted one or both of them so I could see to taxi, I couldn't see the runway while landing. I now have both of sides adjusted for landing and gunsighted towards centerline. That means that I'm seeing the tops of hangars and trees while taxiing. The new FlyLeds light on the left side has one light angled down and with a diffuser to scatter the light, it works pretty well for taxi. The Baja Designs in the right wing is brighter and flings more light down range than the FL and is pretty much useless for taxi. That's not unexpected since it has 4 spots and the FL only 3 along with the one that is aimed down. At 100yds, tail up, the the BD appeared more focused on a hangar at the end of the row than the FL which lit it, but seemed more diffuse. When I stood in front of the lights, my shadow on the building was darker and sharper on the BD side.

My conclusion:
I really like the Baja Designs Squadron Pro for landing light. In a nose wheel airplane two of them would be fantastic. You would get plenty of scatter on the immediate area in front of the plane and the view over the cowl is unimpeded. For a tailwheel airplane, it is so focused that it can't be adjusted properly for both landing and taxi. The version with "cornering" lenses on the bottom two lights might be better for that but would likely sacrifice down range light to some degree.

The FlyLeds light has the design feature of having one of it's four lights independently aimable and the option of a diffuser lens on it to scatter the light more broadly. This works reasonably well. The trade off for somewhat less down range lighting is worthwhile in my opinion as I had to choose pretty much no down range lighting to get decent taxi coverage before.

I'm going to stick with this hybrid setup. The increased lighting in approach and tail up rollout is worth the lack of taxi lighting on the right side. With my tail down, the cowl blocks so much of the view that having light over there doesn't help much anyway. I usually put the taxiway centerline just off the left side of my cowl, day or night, and make right turns with extra care.

Ed Holyoke
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Old 12-12-2018, 11:08 AM
mfleming's Avatar
mfleming mfleming is offline
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Joseph, Oregon
Posts: 344

Although Iím not flying yet, I anticipated this problem using the Baja Design lights.
To make sure my lights were going to give me good coverage, I installed the Duckworth brackets in the left leading edge. The BD light in this location is my taxi light. Each wing tip will get a BD light dedicated as a landing light.
Anyway....thatís my approach to solving both taxi and landing light coverage.
Michael Fleming
Joseph, OR
sagriver at icloud dot com

RV-7 Slider #74572
Started 11/2016
Empennage completed 11/2016 (sans fiberglass)
Ailerons and flaps completed 3/2017.
Wings completed 12/2017 (sans fiberglass)
Started on QB fuselage 01/2018
Donated and so should you
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Old 12-12-2018, 11:20 AM
rocketman1988 rocketman1988 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Sunman, IN
Posts: 1,517
Default Bd

Did you consider using the BD COMBO lights? They have 2 spots and 2 diffused lights in each housing...
Aerospace Engineer '88

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Old 12-15-2018, 11:27 PM
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Aiki_Aviator Aiki_Aviator is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 240
Default FlyLeds flexibility

It is also worth noting that the FlyLeds can be set up to either send ALL the light downrange OR angle one down, and/or defuse if required.

So basically, you get the BD downrange lighting output and options, but the flexibility as well....

The you can choose whatever you like to do. :-)
Andrew Long
RV10: Happy little Vegemite :-)
Feb 2015: Now fully functional..... and quick
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Old 12-21-2018, 08:57 AM
Paul 5r4 Paul 5r4 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Foley, Al
Posts: 420

I have the FlyLeds nav/strobes and the Baja Design Spots for taxi landing lights in my 7A. For nav/strobes, I wouldn't consider anything else. The FL are super bright and very low current draw. Since I've installed my FL's... Paul has added landing lights as well. I viewed them at OSH and was very impressed.

MY BD spots are aimed to come together maybe 200 feet ahead of the plane during taxi. There is a dark spot directly in front. I've sat staring around the nose wheel and under the cowl area several times thinking how I could somehow get another one some place around the nose without cutting a hole in the cowling that could be used to light up that dark spot directly ahead. I've come up empty on ideas. Even eyeballed the top of the vertical stab in the fiberglass cap then decided no.

It's not totally dark in this photo but you can clearly see the dark spot directly ahead.
Paul Gray
Foley, Alabama
N729PG..... 450+ hrs
RV 7A, Lycoming 0 320 D1A, Sensenich FP propeller
VAF supporter $$$

Last edited by Paul 5r4 : 12-21-2018 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 12-21-2018, 09:31 AM
Canadian_JOY Canadian_JOY is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,962

Paul - I think your findings are likely common for those of us running big bright wingtip landing lights. There's some "spill" that tends to provide some light immediately in front of the aircraft but the area with the least light is the area that will be traversed by our landing gear. Compared to the bright centre of the beam that we see out ahead of us, this relative lack of light immediately in front of the aircraft can leave a pilot feeling they can't see a local pothole.

I've been looking at installing a pair of small-diameter LED floodlights in the engine cowl, about 6" below the cooling inlets. I've purchased a pair of these guys, intended for "off road use", complete with stainless steel U-shaped mounting brackets. I've reinforced the cowl and will shortly (I hope) fabricate "joggles" to install polycarbonate lenses in the cowl. The intent is to bolt the U-shaped mounting brackets to the cowl so I will have fairly easy aiming of the lights, although with them being flood lights the aiming will be general rather than the precise aiming required with the super spot beams of the Squadron Pros.

I've tested these fairly inexpensive lights and found they make a small amount of RFI - easily tamed with clip-on ferrite chokes over the wire bundle at the base of the lights.

Please don't ask for the make/model numbers of these lights as their boxes were tossed out by mistake. They look a lot like these:
Yes, the aluminum castings are fairly heavy - that's my only real dislike about this plan.
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Old 12-21-2018, 01:12 PM
Paul 5r4 Paul 5r4 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Foley, Al
Posts: 420

Those do look interesting.
Paul Gray
Foley, Alabama
N729PG..... 450+ hrs
RV 7A, Lycoming 0 320 D1A, Sensenich FP propeller
VAF supporter $$$
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