Light up the night!

Light up the night!

Installing heli lights is easier than on fixed wing aircraft as there is complete access to the wire leads and the heli’s framework. The heli light package comes with two additional LEDs that should be installed in the nose of the helicopter’s canopy. These look like search lights or a pair of high-intensity landing lights. The green and red navigation lights go on the upper sides of the canopy near the main shaft, and a single white taillight goes on the top of the tail boom or fin.

Light up the night!Left: the lighting system is very easy to install inside the heli’s canopy. Here, foam tape holds the wire in place away from moving parts.
Light up the night!Above: a simple cable tie holds the taillight securely to the tail boom.

Solder a connector for the leads to the main power leads on the ESC. Cable ties can be used to secure the tail light wires to the model’s boom and frame, and the rest of the lighting system should be installed with Velcro or double-sided foam tape to the inside of the canopy. This system is extremely lightweight and won’t affect your heli’s balance.

To make holes in the plastic canopy, use a thin soldering pen to melt the holes instead of drilling them out. Slip the lights into place and secure them with a small dab of Goop. You can also install rubber grommets in the holes then slip the lights into the grommets. This way, the lights will easily slip out of place if you need to work on the system. Be sure to secure any excess wire with tape or cable ties to keep it out of the way of any moving parts. Snip off the ends of the tie wraps and you’re done.

Using an onboard lighting system in your backyard flyer or helicopter is a great way to add excitement to your flying experience. Besides being able to fly at night, you’ll also have increased visibility for low-light conditions, which can greatly extend your daily flying time, even if you don’t want to fly by moonlight. Have fun!

Updated: July 27, 2015 — 10:50 AM
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