LED runway light

LED runway light

In 2017 the Airfield Engineering team completed phase two of the installation of the main runway LED lights – making Gatwick among the first airports in the world to be making such extensive use of them on a runway. The new lights need less maintenance, use less power and provide a whiter light than traditional halogen lights, offering better visibility for pilots flying in darkness and low visibility. The breakthrough came after more than a decade of work.

Trials for the use of LED lighting on runways started back in 2011. Our Principal Engineer for Electrical Systems, was one of 15 specialists from across Europe, who produced a detailed scientific and engineering report for the CAA’s assessment. Gatwick gained CAA approval and went ahead, replacing 565 ‘threshold and approach’ lights that guide incoming aircraft.

LED lights provide a crisper light output which has received positive feedback from pilots. The LED lights last 50,000 hours and are 50% more energy efficient than the previous halogen lights. In 2012, the main runway lighting was switched to LED, so Gatwick’s runway lighting, around 1,100 individual lights, is now 100% LED.

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