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Old 04-19-2017, 09:36 AM
bkervaski's Avatar
bkervaski bkervaski is offline
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Posts: 656
Default Cabin Lighting

Has anyone actually installed cabin lighting in their 14s? If so, where did you locate it?

With dual G3X panels lighting up the thing I'm not sure it's necessary.
#140376 RV-14A QB IO-390 Thunderbolt
Registered: N196
Progress: Engine and Fuel System Testing
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Old 04-19-2017, 01:08 PM
TimO TimO is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 364

I only put an under glareshield LED strip and it's working out well. If you really MUST have white lighting, it would be easy to install 2 strips, one red or blue and one white. You could put lighting other places in the cockpit but for the amount of night flying most people do, a flashlight should be ok. You'll want to carry one anyway. The red LED light lights up the whole panel just great, and I have it on a dimmer.

I do find that flying at night you have a lot of glare from avionics on your canopy. It is still do-able but, I carry 2 dark blue towels for setting on the seats for stepping on getting in and out, and I find if you really want to get a good look at the stars, you may have to hang them on the glareshield so that they cover the avionics and remove the reflections. Of course, that's not for long flights but when you really want to see a beautiful sky...

The RV-14 I've found is spectacular for seeing a big moon or stars. I took one flight and immediately told the family they had to go for a ride and see it for themselves.

Ideally you could put some light behind your head, up on the roll bar, but I just think that while it could be cool, the return on investment isn't going to be good...and the less you have reflecting off the canopy the better.
Tim Olson - CFI
RV-10 N104CD - Flying 2/2006 - 1300+ hours
RV-14 N14YT - Flying 6/2016 - 175+ hours
RV-10/14 Transition Training:
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Old 04-19-2017, 01:59 PM
Canadian_JOY Canadian_JOY is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,610

I can't comment specifically on the -14 but will say that cabin lighting is a very personal decision. In our case, I've always found there to be a perverse inverse relationship to cabin lighting. The more important the item you have just dropped and are looking for, the less likely you are to have usable cabin lighting to help you find it! :-)

I enjoy night flying and have found that cabin lighting is very useful for little tasks like writing down notes (flight times after the flight, for instance) and finding stuff that's moved from where you left it. Yeah, that water bottle that should be right beside you but now has rolled over to the far side of the airplane.

In our case, cabin lighting consists of an overhead white LED unit on a dimmer, shining direcly downward, to serve as a map light. A second light is mounted further aft, plumbed directly to 12V, with an internal switch, much like an automotive dome light. This is primarily used on the ground.
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Old 05-03-2017, 11:11 AM
KeithB KeithB is offline
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Granbury, TX
Posts: 148

Van's sells a really cool combination red/white LED strip that I mounted on the under side of the glare shield. It works very well in both the open and closed positions. I wired the white circuit to a "cabin light" switch and the red circuit to the "panel lights" switch - both controlled by a common dimmer (using PWM control through a Garmin GAD 27 controller). On the "cabin light" switch/circuit, I wired a white LED over the baggage area with an additional switch adjacent to the light.

The Garmin GAD 27 gives you 3 dimmer input circuits controlling 6 output circuits - 3 voltage control and 3 PWM for LEDs. I used one for screens, one for switches & buttons (voltage for the Garmin boxes, PWM for LED lit switches, and one for panel/cabin lights. With settings in the GAD 27, I'm able to dim the lights to a point and then have them switch off. This lets me turn off all lights except the screens in cruise. I am really happy with the results.
Keith Brown

RV-14A Builder - kit #136
N314KC - First flight Mar 8, 2017, Phase I compl Apr 3, 2017, >240 hrs
RV-6A sold
Sport Pilot (weight-shift control) - Airborne XT912
Dues paid 11/2017
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Old 05-03-2017, 12:33 PM
bkervaski's Avatar
bkervaski bkervaski is offline
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Posts: 656

Cool! I have a GAD27 in my pending panel build .. great info!
#140376 RV-14A QB IO-390 Thunderbolt
Registered: N196
Progress: Engine and Fuel System Testing
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Old 05-03-2017, 02:42 PM
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N941WR N941WR is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: SC
Posts: 11,238

I installed blue EL lighting strips under the rollbar in my tip-up -9.

Also, I installed a throttle quadrant in the center of my panel with recessed switch an breaker panels on either side. Above the switch panels, I installed red EL light strips that came on with the position lights.

The EL lights on the bottom of the rollbar was only used while loading and unloading the plane.

One cool trick a friend did was to place a small white LED under his wing, next to the tiedown ring, and wired them to the position lights. They worked great when tieing the plane down on a dark ramp.
Bill R.
RV-9 (Yes, it's a dragon tail)
O-360 w/ dual P-mags
Build the plane you want, not the plane others want you to build!
SC86 - Easley, SC
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