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Old 07-20-2019, 04:45 PM
moosepileit moosepileit is offline
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Floyds Knobs, IN
Posts: 565

I replaced leading edge 55w halogen spots with 1800 lumen 10 degree Rigid spots.

I find, for half the amp draw they are noticeably better, right at adequete. Both are spots and they give just enough angle on a taildragger for landing and taxi.

That said, I would go with a 3000+ lumen 4 amp landing light and most any 1800 lumen + taxi light if looking for single lamps or bumbs.

Since Paul's lights are awesome, if you have the amps and wiring, they are a no-brainer.

For wig-wags, I use the Kuntzleman unit, I think my 2 amps per light is about the top draw of what it supports.
RV-6, bought from builder.
O-320, slider, carb, mags, FP
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Old 07-25-2019, 09:22 AM
Eddie P's Avatar
Eddie P Eddie P is offline
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Aptos, CA
Posts: 239

OK first off many thanks again to all of you here. Great advice, great points made by all. While I have a lot of night time experience flying diverse types of flight ops at night I did not have any RV night experience or tailwheel night experience. To be able to draw from everyone's experience was gold.

I had my first night sortie last night. The takaways for me were as follows:

1) Taxiing was probably the hardest part for visibility, for me, with the tailwheel stance. So I had a good look at the airport charts ahead of time to be sure I would know where I am and where I'm going ahead of time if I were at an unfamiliar airport. Since I am based in a hangar on a slow side of a larger airport it still payed to do that even though I'm familiar and the Foreflight active taxi chart was good to have too.
2) Owing to good advice here, I wore my hands free light that I used once or twice in flight and several times before start and after touchdown. Really helpful to shine light where the cockpit lights were not installed (like checking the floor/rudder area when my checklist dropped). I just used this light I bought at Amazon, it's easy to "wear" but is not "G" proof
3) Cockpit management is more important at night in a single pilot airplane so I made sure I had everything close by that could be needed and checked before flight. The handy hands free light helped.
4) The standard halogen lights were good enough for landing. I started to pick up runway glow at about 150 feet and saw the markings easily at 50 to 75 feet so that was good. Brighter would have been fine but better than bright, I'll look for a slightly more diffused aim pattern to see the lighting well to the side of the nose (left and right) when I upgrade to more modern and capable LED night lighting. I used both the taxi and landing light for illumination. Good points on looking for the taxi line turnoffs to the side.
5) I used a wheel landing technique for this go. I can see I'd also be comfortable with a three point landing technique too with a little more practice.
6) I had a blast and feel a lot more comfortable with the concept of pushing into night ops if required on a trip in the RV-8 now. Much better to do this night ops thing after practice at home with no agenda except to try it out first.

Thanks again all, fly safe!
Flying is Freedom
RV-8 IO-360 WW RV200 CS Prop, P-Mag / Slick Mag Combo / Advanced EFIS 3500
VAF Support / Dues Paid Through DEC 2019
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Old 07-26-2019, 06:16 PM
Walt's Avatar
Walt Walt is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Dallas/Ft Worth, TX
Posts: 5,389
Default FLIR

I hope to have one of these installed soon for testing/evaluation and will make some videos of what it looks like. I think it gonna be pretty cool!
It does require a video input to your display.
Walt Aronow, DFW, TX (52F)

EXP Aircraft Services LLC
Specializing in RV Condition Inspections, Maintenance, Avionics Upgrades
Dynamic Prop Balancing, Pitot-Static Altmeter/Transponder Certification
FAA Certified Repair Station, AP/IA/FCC GROL, EAA Technical Counselor
Authorized Garmin G3X Dealer/Installer
RV7A built 2004, 1700+ hrs, New Titan IO-370, Bendix Mags
Website:, Email:, Cell: 972-746-5154
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Old 08-07-2019, 03:59 AM
Eddie P's Avatar
Eddie P Eddie P is offline
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Aptos, CA
Posts: 239

Made a night 3 point landing to compliment previous practice night wheel landings this evening (partial moonlight). Very standard operation and happy to report no surprises. The biggest thing for me with night ops in an RV-8 is organization to make sure lighting is adequate and everything is ready to use and store properly when finished in the reduced visibility. My neck light continues to be a good asset to point at areas where cockpit lighting does not illuminate (for good reasons at times). For me taxiing takes a lot of attention in a taildragger in general at night to be sure areas are clear of potentially unmarked obstacles. Tonight I started out at a rather unfamiliar and complicated little airport due to multiple runways and taxiway geometry. Took it slow. The touchdown after that at destination was at my familiar field so it was anti-climactic. Have fun at night in your RV’s, and fly safe!
Flying is Freedom
RV-8 IO-360 WW RV200 CS Prop, P-Mag / Slick Mag Combo / Advanced EFIS 3500
VAF Support / Dues Paid Through DEC 2019
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Old 08-07-2019, 06:41 AM
rv8guy's Avatar
rv8guy rv8guy is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Watkinsville, GA
Posts: 614

I had one light aimed down for taxi, and it made light landings with wheel or three point with no sweat.

Being a former no-light and NVG helicopter pilot, maybe I was more comfortable. Practice makes perfect in most things.

I also practiced a few no-light landings where getting the height requires a few different visual clues, but you might need it sometime, so think about what you'd do if you lost lighting at night. For example I once landed a warrior at night with no lights on purpose because the runway with lights had a 30 knot crosswind. I at least knew that was coming from my weather briefing so I could choose which challenge I would prefer.
Marshall Jacobson

"Miss Sue"

RV-8 80749 slow build taildragger
7.5 year build first flight Dec 2005
SOLD at 540 hours and 10 years of FUN
Watkinsville, Georgia
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Old 08-07-2019, 11:45 AM
Eddie P's Avatar
Eddie P Eddie P is offline
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Aptos, CA
Posts: 239

Marshall, that’s a great point. I had wondered if I should give the no light landing a try at some point myself in the 8. While I may have a fair bit of overall night experience, it’s the specific type of operation (and recency of those) that matter especially during contingency situations. Always good to go in as the underdog with some humility (Fate is the Hunter, Ernest Ghan). Also thank you for sharing that great story about the unlighted runways with no cross wind vs the lighted runway with a big crosswind. For sure a consideration on night cross country planning, alternate airport considerations and “what if” planning. The safest pilots always have a few “just in case” fallback options that have been considered beforehand.
Flying is Freedom
RV-8 IO-360 WW RV200 CS Prop, P-Mag / Slick Mag Combo / Advanced EFIS 3500
VAF Support / Dues Paid Through DEC 2019

Last edited by Eddie P : 08-07-2019 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 08-08-2019, 03:51 AM
chaskuss chaskuss is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: SE Florida
Posts: 1,477
Default What size?

Originally Posted by wnplt View Post
I went with the really expensive AeroLeds. They were awesome to work with. Lights make it look like the sun is rising. Not cheap but WOW! You know they are bright when a LED is pulling 7 amps each. Canít beat it and the peace of mind durning night landings.
Regarding your upgraded Aero-Led-lighting, are you using the MR16 size or PAR 36 size? What model or part number are your Aero LED lights?

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Old 08-24-2019, 09:32 AM
Redwagon Redwagon is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Cupertino, CA
Posts: 77
Default AeroSun Vx

I just had the 10th anniversary of the first flight in my 8, and my lighting was very dated. I had one 50W Halogen slide projector bulb in each tip for landing lights, some first gen LED nav lights (with perhaps 25 weak LEDs working in each tip!), and an off brand imitation of Whelen strobes which were actually pretty good.

Just installed the AeroSunVX in each tip. It was certainly a bigger retrofit project than I originally thought but the finished product was worth it from both a functional and aesthetic view. Yes they are pricey, but I'm very happy with the end result!

Getting back to the Original posting, I recently made a night landing on our air park (with no runway lights) on a moonless night. They were perfectly adequate, the only thing was that I turned off the wigwag as that didnt seem to be helping my perception. A nice stabilized GPS guided approach was probably the most important thing, but the lights were great and I would not have even considered attempting it with my old lighting setup. My neighbors talked about how I "lit the place up" and "put on a light show"....

Lastly, one poster above commended on Rigid lighting solutions. I've used their PAR lights in aircraft (as a taxi/landing light) and they are great! I put one in my Super Cub last year and it does very well. They are working on a new generation that should be even better.

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