HID Landing Lights…First Look

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Well, I got a couple fun things on the doorstep today.

First, a bag of fifty 1″ scotchbrite wheels from Surplus Sales of Nebraska. $15 for the whole bag (instead of $6 per wheel from somewhere like Avery…) I have to credit Bruce Swayze with the find, though. Thanks Bruce.

Full disclosure, these are 5AF wheels, so they are a little softer than the 7AM wheels that most of us have from the aircraft tool suppliers.

50 Scotchbrite wheels. Good buy.

Then, I have a more mysterious box.

I figure it’s my new DDM Tuning HID raptor kit.

After a ton of reading (and especially after seeing a couple videos), I’ve decide that the leading edge light is really the way to go. Now, I think I am going to put a single HID (PAR 36 style enclosure, ordered from Duckworks) in each leading edge for landing lights. These won’t wig-wag. I went ahead and ordered a Raptor HID kit from DDM Tuning.

They had a whole bunch of bulb type options, and a $10 upgrade to 55W (from the $30 35W version.) You can also choose your bulb temperature. I chose 5000k based on the graphic they have.

To summarize, I ordered 55W, 5000K, H3 style bulbs. For $40, it’s worth trying these inexpensive HID lights instead of the $250+ lights from “aviation” companies.

Here’s Don Hall’s video (from this post)…fast forward to 1:15 into the video for the same light setup I’m looking for:

Anyway. Here’s the box.

Kind of discreet. I don't see a packing slip or any directions. Hmm.

Oh, then I took the rest of my primed right ribs and hung them up on my right wing spar.

Just to get them out of the way.

Crap, I didn’t take any good pictures of the lights, but here is one light after fitting it into the H3 enclosure from Duckworks.

Looks good here.

I hooked up my truck’s battery and noted 12.6V.

12.6 VDC

Then, I stuck the lamp in the mount from duckworks and propped it up on the table.

I originally had the blue and black wires switched. Apparently black is positive and blue is negative.

Here it is all fired up. You remember how bright my garage is, right?


Then, after letting them cool, I took some video. I let it cool so you could see the warm up speed.

It’s a bad video, and poorly set up, but you’ll get the idea. When I get a multimeter that can measure more than 20 miliohms, I’ll set it up in series and capture loads.

At first, I have the light pointed too high, and you can’t tell how bright it is. After a second, I move it around, and you can see how well it is lighting up the yard accross the street (sorry, neighbors!). I’ll try to do a better setup next time, maybe with two lights, and maybe next to my trucks low and high beams for a comparison.

Off the bat, though, I am super happy about going with the two leading edge lights.

0.5 hours tonight. Not really build time, but I’m going to count it. (Hey, I put 7 clecos (with the ribs) into the right spar.)

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2 Responses to HID Landing Lights…First Look

  1. Bob Vosburgh says:

    Andrew, good stuff… slow going here, too much travel, hoping to get some more buffing and priming of the horizontal stab done today.

  2. Andrew says:

    Hey Bob.

    Are you doing the Zinc Chromate thing or just the spray can self-etching primer? (I’m loving the self-etching stuff. So easy.)

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