At present, most airports in China use halogen navigational lighting fixtures. However, some insiders believe that LED lamps are the future of navigation lighting development. Because LED lamps have the advantages of energy saving, environmental protection, small size, as well as improving light visibility and long service life, thereby reducing personnel maintenance time. Statistics from Xi’an Xianyang International Airport show that during the night aviation lights from April 22 to May 22, 2014, the airport LED taxiway center line light is about 19.38% energy efficient compared with halogen lamps, and LED taxiway side lights are about 40.77% energy efficient compared with halogen lamps.

However, the actual use of LED navigation lighting lamps shows that there is still a big gap with the theoretical situation. Guan Peng, general manager of ADB China, explained that it is mainly because the traditional chopper dimmer and partition restrict the energy-saving advantages of LED lamps, and to achieve the best energy-saving effect of LED lamps, matching dimming equipment is also required.

Although many people are optimistic about the development prospects of LED lamps, there are also some different voices. For example, LED lamps do not have specific standards for use, and the one-time procurement cost is high, which affects the comprehensive promotion of LED lamps.

Why is there a dispute between LED lamps and halogen lamps in the field of airport navigation aids? This has to start with the characteristics of the navigation aid. Navigation aid lights are the body language of airports, which transmit information between the airport and pilots through language symbols such as configuration, color, light intensity, and effective range. The purpose of using navigation aids is to better guide aircraft to enter and land safely, especially at night and in low-cloud, low-visibility conditions, and airport lighting systems play an irreplaceable role.

Generally speaking, there are five aspects to the requirements of airports for navigation aid lighting systems:

First, the logo is obvious, which can make the flight area clearly different from other aviation lights in non-flying areas.

Second, the luminous efficiency is high and the light is soft. The lamp itself is required to have high luminous efficiency, sufficient brightness, clear light color, high resolution in certain visibility, and save electricity.

Third, the waterproof and heat dissipation performance is good.

Fourth, it has a certain mechanical strength, a certain corrosion resistance and anti-collision ability.

Fifth, the structure is simple, sturdy and durable, easy to disassemble and maintain, the system is stable, the failure is few, and it can support the flight in all-weather and full-time space, and the price is relatively cheap.

Halogen luminaires are used at most airports because of their simple structure, low cost, and easy brightness control and adjustment, but short service life and high energy consumption. Therefore, whether to use halogen lamps or LD lamps is a difficult question for airports to answer. But for airport indoor lighting, such as terminals, airport underground garages using LD lamps lighting is a good choice.

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