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runway lights

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by flykelley, Aug 10, 2009.

  1. flykelley

    flykelley LawnSite Member
    Posts: 186

    Hi Tim
    The problem with aviation lights is the price, and the pilot controlled light is just not going to happen because of cost. We looked at Oshkosh this year while we were there and the cost of aviation grade lights is just too high. Lets look at it this way, instead of a 1000 ft runway lets just call this a 1000 ft driveway, what would you use?

    Thanks Mike
     
  2. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,104

    Well generally I am very anti-glare or am against open filaments being seen.* However, in this instance the pilot will need to be able to see these lights from a minimum 3/4 to 1 mile out for navigational purposes.* So unlike a driveway or walkway where the light source would be concealed this would not be the case here.* Give me a few days to ruminate on this, I bet this lights could be made.* I would start with maybe a simple, low pagoda style line voltage fixture, take the top and pagoda shield off and find some clear glass jars to retrofit over the top somehow.* This may take some research and trial and error but could probably be done much less than your typical Aviation lights.* Just thinking out loud here.* There would be no UL listing for the modifications obviously.
     
  3. flykelley

    flykelley LawnSite Member
    Posts: 186

    Hi Tim
    This is what we have so far. 4x4 post with a glass mason jar as the shell. thought about using 12 volt automotive side marker lights for the fixture itself. We have a supplier of these sockets and bulbs if they will work. The light controller is the real question at this point, as I said before we are worried about voltage drop along a 1000 ft run.

    Thanks Mike
     
  4. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,104

    Yeah, the voltage drop is going to be the kicker here. Thats why I wouldn't even mess with the lower voltage lighting in this scenario. Why not just pick up some simple A19 socket bases which are just for your typical screw in light. You would have a wide range of lamping options that would be very bright at that point. I guess if I was going to make these for my own use (and I stress my own use). I would drill out some 2' long 4x4 posts and run my romex up through the middle and bury and concrete them in the ground 18" deep. I would then get one of those galvanized post anchors you get at the hardware store that you use to fasten your post to concrete, only we will be using it upside down. I would drill through the middle of the plate and run the romex up through this also. When you fasten the plate to the top of the post I would leave a good 1" of open space for air circulation and to dissipate heat away from the wood post. Next, wire your med base socket and attach to the plate using sheet metal fasteners. Next step is attaching your mason jar. Turn the screw on lid upside and down and fasten the top ring to the metal plate around the socket. Put your light bulb in. Put a nice fat bead of outdoor rated silicone all around the inside of the ring you just attached. Screw the mason jar onto the lid and vwaila.... one homemade landing light.

    I would control this on a dusk to dawn photocell. He could still put this on a manual swith if he didn't want it on all the time. Before he takes off from his strip he would just need to turn on the wall switch to energise the unit which would come on at dusk. or he could use an RF controller he activates from the air. Should have pretty good line of sight from above. Just thinking out loud here though, you may already have it nailed down.
     
  5. flykelley

    flykelley LawnSite Member
    Posts: 186

    Hi Tim
    Thanks for the thoughts. This is pretty much what I was hoping for, some great ideas to pass along to Ivan.

    Regards Mike
     
  6. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    I'd like to make sure here for legal reasons that I am clear- I absolutely do not reccomend home made runway lights, or rigging this yourself. in the event of failure, I am on record here. this needs to be done by a qualified professional in runway work, with lights and a system that were specifially designed for this purpose. It is absolutely insane to be talking about feceposts and mason jars and rigging this. It is not just possible, but likely that someone's life may depend on these lights. They are expensive for that very reason. I am done with this thread.
     
  7. flykelley

    flykelley LawnSite Member
    Posts: 186

    Hi david
    Thanks for your input but there are several reasons for doing them himself. The major reason is the chance of anyone using this runway in the advent of a in flight emergency is slim to none, as I stated before this runway is way too short for a GA type plane. He wants the lights more for looks than a praticial standpoint. Most Ultra lights and expermentals just don't fly at night. One the other side of this there is a GA airport not more than 2 miles north of my friends runway which is where most pilots would try to land if they had to, now say that the plane is not in gliding distance of this GA airport the pilot will find a suitable landing spot and I can tell you being a pilot a 1000 ft runway is not a suitable landing spot. Is it better than a forest full of tree's, yes but most pilots will find another place to land, a field, road, even the edge of a lake if they have too. So take a chill pill and think of it as a very long driveway.

    Regards Mike
     

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