November 6, 2013 Orlando-Sanford International Airport, Sanford, FL…StarPort, a leading aviation services company, has completed the first B/E Aerospace E-Z LED lighting retrofit on a Falcon 900. The result is a 30 percent savings in weight; a one-third savings in power; and a reduction in cabin heat and damaging ultra violet (UV) radiation over the original fluorescent system.
B/E Aerospace’s 8801/8805 E-Z LED Lighting System is the aviation industry’s first plug-and-play retrofit which eliminates the need to retain power supplies from an existing fluorescent lighting installation. On the Falcon 900, StarPort was able to remove more than 50 power supplies which helped reduce maintenance costs and the overall weight of the system by nearly 20 pounds.
The cabin lighting conversion was part of an extensive aircraft refurbishment on the customer’s Falcon 900 that included new paint, interior and avionics upgrades.
“LED technology is an excellent way for aircraft owners to upgrade their existing fluorescent lighting and realize a host of benefits over the life-cycle of the aircraft,” said John Coon, Director of Maintenance for StarPort. “Besides weight and heat, the UV rays emitted by fluorescent bulbs have a negative effect on cloth and plastic materials inside the cabin. LEDs will help keep an interior looking fresher over a longer period of time.”
Coon said there is also a maintenance savings as replacement power supplies retail for $1,054 each and fluorescent tubes are fragile and don’t last as long as LEDs. He said by comparison, fluorescent tubes last about 1,000 hours when dimmed while LEDs last in excess of 50,000 hours.
“If a flight department flies 400 hours in a year, replacement of fluorescent bulbs and an occasional power supply or two can result, on average, in more than $8,000 in annual maintenance costs,” Coon explained. “In addition, fluorescent systems convert 28 VDC to high voltage and emit Electro Magnetic Interference (EMI) that can disturb flight deck equipment as well as cabin entertainment systems.”
Coon said the LED conversion is not specific to the Falcon 900 aircraft. He said most any aircraft with existing fluorescent lighting can be retrofitted with the LED technology.
The B/E Aerospace E-Z LED Lighting System installed by StarPort is small enough to replace the existing 8mm fluorescent tubes in the overhead panels and valance downwash. With the plug-and-play design, the existing headliner was utilized as part of the retrofit. In addition, an LED retrofit of incandescent or halogen reading lights is also advantageous with longevity, energy and heat savings.