Niko182

How to install LED Strobes?

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I just ordered a whelen 650E Red and white Nav / Strobe light since the original lights are all slowly starting to die out.
I was wondering if there are any tips to installing them. I know the power supply for the Strobe needs to be taken out. since
i'm only doing one side as of now, theres no sync wire as of now, but when the other side dies out, I will install the sync wire.
How do increase the useful load too? is that as simple as weighing the Power supply and creating a new weight and balance?
 

Thanks Nik

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Nik, not sure I follow...are you saying you’re only replacing the left side with an OR650E and leaving the right side and tail as traditional strobes?  Not sure I’d recommend that...can I ask the reasons for considering that approach and not changing both sides?

I know many people who went with the OR650 lights who left their tail strobe in place, and they had to make sure they isolated the LED lights from the strobe power supply completely.  Are you intending to replace the tail strobe with an OR500 Orion light as well as your wingtips?  I’ve done a couple of these installs so am happy to help anyway I can.

Steve

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3 minutes ago, StevenL757 said:

Nik, not sure I follow...are you saying you’re only replacing the left side with an OR650E and leaving the right side and tail as traditional strobes?  Not sure I’d recommend that...can I ask the reasons for considering that approach and not changing both sides?  I know many people who went with the OR650 lights who left their tail strobe in place, and they had to make sure they isolated the LED lights from the strobe power supply completely.  Are you intending to replace the tail strobe with an OR500 Orion light as well as your wingtips?  I’ve done a couple of these installs so am happy to help anyway I can.

Steve

I'm replacing the lights as they go out one by one. In the end it'll all be LED, but yes, i'm switching out the first side. as time continues, the right side will be switched out when either the green nav or right strobe goes out.

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Then you cannot remove any of your two strobe power supplies yet.  You’ll also be costing yourself more time and work, as well as have a completely dissimilar look about the aircraft with two completely different light technologies.  Not saying you can’t do it, but I’d reconsider that approach.  As far as eventually having them signed off, all you need is a logbook entry for the new LED lights, and a sign off on the eventual power supply removal and W&B change, as @MIm20c and @RobertGary1 pointed out.

PM me and we can chat about it on a call if you want real quick.

Steve

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I'm replacing the lights as they go out one by one. In the end it'll all be LED, but yes, i'm switching out the first side. as time continues, the right side will be switched out when either the green nav or right strobe goes out.


I would check with Whelen before I did that. I don’t think they will approve that approach. You’ll have a high voltage power pack sitting on the same power feed as the LED you installed. Not sure it is an issue but I would check.


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Absolutely.  You cannot mix and match LED lights on a strobe power supply.  Particularly the Whelen HDACF power supply Niko has.  This is called out specifically in the install docs.

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I had mine replaced with Whelen LED's as the old ones died. The left one last summer, the tail this spring and the right one a few weeks ago. I had no issues with them being mixed and matched.

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11 minutes ago, ohdub said:

I had mine replaced with Whelen LED's as the old ones died. The left one last summer, the tail this spring and the right one a few weeks ago. I had no issues with them being mixed and matched.

First, I'd echo @StevenL757 and @Marauder above to verify the STC approval to change out a side at a time to verify the legality. But the ability to replace one at time shouldn't be a problem physically since you are replacing an entire side at a time, which does mean removing the old power supply for that side. I think some may have thought you might intend to replace a bulb at time which wouldn't work. But still I personally wouldn't want to update my Wt & bal 3 times for each light one at a time and the entire process could string out well over a decade meaning your future buyer might wonder about your maintenance practices - anyway just sayin... its your call.  

These are good questions though that really need to be raised with your supervising A&P before you start the work, not just ask for a signature after you've done the work. 

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Guest tommy123

So basically you want to install something not knowing if you’re complying with a STC and expect a IA to sign it off and file the 337 after the fact. 

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2 hours ago, Guest tommy123 said:

So basically you want to install something not knowing if you’re complying with a STC and expect a IA to sign it off and file the 337 after the fact. 

No need for a 337. This is a minor alteration. 

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8 hours ago, StevenL757 said:

Absolutely.  You cannot mix and match LED lights on a strobe power supply.  Particularly the Whelen HDACF power supply Niko has.  This is called out specifically in the install docs.

You will not connect the LED to a strobe power supply anyway.

What is the technical reason why it should not be possible to remove the power supply on one side an replace this with a LED?

Only that the other side is on the same supply wire ? The whole aircraft is on one supply wire ...

If thats the case than the high voltage supply would be a massive EMV disturber which disqualifies it as an aircraft part.

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Sorry to disagree with some of my esteemed colleagues.  There is nothing in the install manual or STC that I’ve read says that you must install the Orion LED in groups of 2 or 3 .

I’ve done several this way as owners have wanted them done.

Clarence

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23 minutes ago, M20Doc said:

Sorry to disagree with some of my esteemed colleagues.  There is nothing in the install manual or STC that I’ve read says that you must install the Orion LED in groups of 2 or 3 .

I’ve done several this way as owners have wanted them done.

Clarence

I'll go with M20doc's opinion as from what I have seen so far on this website. he seems to know what he's talking about.
I'm guessing it's as simple as taking out a single power supply out of the 3 and installing the led straight in.

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I replaced my position / strobes last month. There’s no electrical reason I could not have done one side at a time.   

Weight savings of 4 pounds by removing the two strobe power supplies.  

The new LED assemblies do look ever so sleek.  Why do just one?   

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Forgive me as I haven't looked into this before posting, but if there are no strobes currently on the wings and therefore to power supply to remove, what is involved to replacing the nav lights with 650s? Not worried about them not being synced .

I guess what I'm wondering is are they remove and replace or is new wiring needed?

Thanks in advance.

Edited by Jmr324

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If you want to control the strobe and nav lights independently you will need to route a separate switched + line to each wingtip.   

 

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Apparently, some people missed that I said you "cannot mix and match LED lights on a strobe power supply"Let me clarify This actually came from Whelen's tech support guys via a couple of phone calls I had with them during the installation on my aircraft (I found my original notes), not from the Orion install sheet as I mentioned, so my earlier statement was incorrect.

I do understand how one can mix "flash-tube" strobes with LEDs (and reading here about others who have done it), but the LED ACL and POS lights cannot be connected to a Whelen power supply.  Whelen did mention that several people who have called in for support tried to install their Orion-series LEDs by connecting them to their Whelen power supply and ruined their LEDs, so they wanted to ensure I understood this before starting the project.  Just trying to help others avoid that predicament who may not be aware.

Besides cost, I'd still like to understand (for those who have done it) why you would install an Orion on one side and not another.

Steve

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2 hours ago, Jerry 5TJ said:

If you want to control the strobe and nav lights independently you will need to route a separate switched + line to each wingtip.   

 

The aircraft on the ground will really appreciate the extra wire to each strobe as you come in for a night landing. 

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Changing out one lamp at a time to LED?

Wow is this the CB club or what....this is the craziest thing I have heard.  You already have the plane apart and are in the light changing mode.  How many times do you want to visit this problem?  Yourself or the mechanic is there with all the tools ready to go...just do them all for crying out loud and be done with it forever....

I would love to see the guy who is selling a plane with partial lamps changed.  What else did he go CB on?  I would run away....

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The three of them will run you $1197.84 and will add 6.3 pounds to your useful load. I did mine last year.

83601440_ScreenShot2018-09-09at9_08_01PM.thumb.png.47fd5b078f9251cd74e3e4f611c25988.png

 

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Lance,

AS needs your help...

the Red light costs less than a green light...

The green light picture is very red for a green light...

 

More importantly, did your ship already have a wire to synchronize the flash from the original lights?

:)

-a-

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12 hours ago, Jim Peace said:

Changing out one lamp at a time to LED?

Wow is this the CB club or what....this is the craziest thing I have heard.  You already have the plane apart and are in the light changing mode.  How many times do you want to visit this problem?  Yourself or the mechanic is there with all the tools ready to go...just do them all for crying out loud and be done with it forever....

I would love to see the guy who is selling a plane with partial lamps changed.  What else did he go CB on?  I would run away....

Exactly.

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I did this upgrade a year ago and ordered the part numbers @LANCECASPER has listed.  The pictures do not match what you get.  Aircraft Spruce will ensure you get the Red and Green (correctly) if you order them that way as he has them listed.  My 231 did not have a sync wire but I purchased 50' of the yellow unshielded wire with my order.  My A&P had no problem running the sync wire after I pulled the inspection panels and belly off for him.  The only issue was threading the wire into the wire guides up near the wingtip but once we got it down the wing, everything else was super easy.  Like others have said, added 6lbs of useful load.

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