Obstruction lighting is used for warning pilots in case of danger. There are two colors: red and white. A system must have a backup method, because it must function at any time, even when there is a power failure. There are situations in which lights can be hard noticing, such as in bad weather conditions. There are special markings that will help pilots in case of low visibility.
White and red beacons have a main purpose: they are meant to protect pilots from accidents. Usually, the lights are installed on high terrain, on various buildings and towers. The beacons must be placed in such a manner to make them visible in every direction. Nowadays, the technology used for the devices is LED, as it is durable and cost effective. More types of indicators have to be used for offering better visibility if night goggles are used.
Some structures can have multiple systems in order to ensure better visibility. The lights can be positioned all around a structure, in order to define its shape. Pilots may not see the buildings, but they will surely see the lights. During the day, a different type of visibility markers can be used, as LED signs may be hardly noticed.
A good example of alternative navigational indicators could be colored stripes, which are painted and may be quite common. Aviation hazards are indicated in a chart. Because of markings, pilots can maintain a plane on course. Exact markings can be good, as they can offer more safety. There is a standard for the navigational lights, made by the International Civil Aviation Association, or ICAO.
Manufacturer companies of obstruction lights can give their clients tips for helping them install and use the devices correctly. More help could be received from aviation officials. In general, the items are placed in clusters of minimum two pieces. The best implementations of a beacon may be on wind turbines, tall buildings, cranes and chimneys. Before the use of LED, incandescent filament bulbs were used for guidance.
Obstruction lighting is also used at ground level and for helipads. Beacons that are placed on tall structures, the visibility range can be of a few miles. Not all lamps are the same when it comes to light intensity, as there are different levels. Red lamps may be turned on continuously, or they may be intermittent. White versions can use xenon technology.
Some companies offer energy efficient LED solutions that are solar powered. For mounting the devices to the ground, there is special attachment hardware. The body of a lamp is made from materials that are highly resistant to environmental agents. Cast aluminum could be one of the best materials for a device body. The visibility could be improved by quality lens and the items can be bought already wired, for rapid installation.
According to the International Civil Aviation Association, obstruction lighting is meant for ensuring guidance and safety for pilots. LED beacons are very intense and they can prevent pilots from entering hazardous situations. If the placement of the devices is made considering the standards in the field, accidents can be avoided.
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