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What LEDs for a light signalling system that needs to be visible at over 1000 yards? Answered

I'm building a light signalling system for a gliding/soaring club that will be used for indication to the winch driver. This is done by means of flashing lights where the on/off timing indicates the launch phase (take-up-slack, all-out or stop). The original plan was to use car spotlights (2 x 55W) but I am considering LEDs. Assuming LEDs would be suitable for this application (I have no experience of using high intensity LEDs) can anyone enlighten me (pun intended!) on what would be the best type to use i.e. colour, brightness, quantity etc. The light will be located at the launch point (i.e. where the glider starts from) and needs to be easily seen by the winch driver who is over 1000 yards away. It needs to be usable in bright ambient light conditions e.g. on a summer's day (yes we do occasionally get them in the UK!). Thanks

2 Replies

caitlinsdad (author)2009-05-07

Wouldn't it be better to use a pair of walkie-talkies since you have line of sight for better communication. Plan B is a spotter with binoculars looking at a flagman with colored signal flags? I guess you can look up the output of car spotlights in terms of lumens and if that works, calculate out for what would probably be an array of LEDs. Maybe use optics to concentrate and reflect the light into a tighter beam. Good luck.

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caitlinsdad (author)caitlinsdad2009-05-07

maybe a high visibility rescue battery powered safety xenon strobe

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