Black light (UV) LEDs for instrument lighting?

Discussion in 'Instruments / Avionics / Electrical System' started by cluttonfred, Jul 27, 2015.

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  1. Jul 27, 2015 #1

    cluttonfred

    cluttonfred

    cluttonfred

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    It occured to me while looking at LEDs for another purpose that the ready availability and low cost of "smart" LED lights, and especially black lights, would make for an easy and inexpensive way to add instrument lighting to an otherwise unlit panel of analog gauges. For example:

    AM-RB-x6-led-accent-light-store.jpg

    https://www.superbrightleds.com/mor...iniature-rectangle-accent-light-black/25/175/

    AM-OB-x6-led-accent-light-store.jpg

    https://www.superbrightleds.com/mor...ies-miniature-oval-accent-light-black/27/191/

    Anyone every mess around with black light for instrument lighting?
     
  2. Jul 27, 2015 #2

    Jay Kempf

    Jay Kempf

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    Interesting idea. Very 70s. Is the crux going to be printing dial faces in something that will illuminate under UV? Or is your premise that all the old steam gauge white highlights will already glow?
     
  3. Jul 27, 2015 #3

    TFF

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    You going to wear sunglasses at night?
     
  4. Jul 27, 2015 #4

    cluttonfred

    cluttonfred

    cluttonfred

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    Nope, no sunglasses, and yes, like a white t-shirt on the dance floor, I thought that the UV light would cause white markings to fluoresce.
     
  5. Jul 27, 2015 #5

    Jay Kempf

    Jay Kempf

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    Didn't think of dressing for black light. I guess the pilot would have to be in all black, no notebooks with white paper, etc... in the cockpit or it would be distracting.
     
  6. Jul 27, 2015 #6

    TFF

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    It would make them fluoresce It still is an an extra dose of UV by something designed to make UV.
     
  7. Jul 27, 2015 #7

    Aerowerx

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    IIRC, this is because of certain components in the laundry soap.

    So you would still have to use dials that will fluoresce at UV. Also, keep in mind the difference between short and long UV. You do not want to use short UV! Those will fry your eyeballs.
     
  8. Jul 27, 2015 #8

    bmcj

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    And end up with raccoon tan marks???
     
  9. Jul 27, 2015 #9

    TFF

    TFF

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    That is how everyone at Oshkosh would know you are cool.
     
  10. Jul 28, 2015 #10

    DeepStall

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    UV cockpit lighting was done in fighters in WWII, if not earlier. I'm not aware of it being common in designs newer than the '60s, and don't know what prompted the change away from it until CRTs took over from steam gauges.

    Good advice from Aerowerx about using eye friendly wavelengths. Retinal "sunburns" after UV exposure don't sound like fun!
     
  11. Jul 28, 2015 #11

    BJC

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    That is interesting. Do you have a reference where I can find details?

    Thanks,


    BJC
     
  12. Jul 28, 2015 #12

    Topaz

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    The little "post" lights that screw into the panel, one per instrument, aren't going to be much more difficult nor expensive to install. And they cast red light onto the instruments, which won't mess with your night vision.

    A "black light" flood lamp is going to create a galaxy of bright blue/green-white specks all over the cockpit, as everything that fluoresces under that wavelength does so, right down to the white threads in your blue jeans and the white laces on your shoes.

    Nice "out of the box" thinking, but not something that's going to work out in practice, IMHO.
     
  13. Jul 29, 2015 #13

    DeepStall

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  14. Jul 29, 2015 #14

    BJC

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  15. Jul 29, 2015 #15

    cluttonfred

    cluttonfred

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    Thanks, guys. As far as I know it all the UV accent LEDs are UV-A so quite safe. I know that UV-activated fluorescent markings were used in the past, including on some 1950s automobiles using ordinary incandescent light and opaque (to visible light) glass UV filters to activate the markings. But I guess you're right about the unintended consequence of making everything fluoresce that can. I hear you on the post lights, Topaz, but I actually think that those new smart LED strips under the glareshield would make even more sense, especially with a dimmer circuit.
     

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