AeroLEDs Equinox Vs. the 4509 Landing Light

Product review.


Does the latest LED technology beat up on the ancient 4509 landing light for Experimental aircraft? You bet it does. Here’s KITPLANES editor in chief Marc Cook for a look at the AeroLEDS Equinox PAR 36 landing light with both spot and wide (taxi) beam patterns.

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Marc Cook
Marc Cook is a veteran special-interest journalist who started as a staffer at AOPA Pilot in the late 1980s. Marc has built two airplanes, an Aero Designs Pulsar XP and a Glasair Aviation Sportsman, and now owns a 180-hp, steam-gauge-adjacent GlaStar based in western Oregon. Marc has 5000 hours spread over 200-plus types and four decades of flying.


  1. I like the 4509. Works great. Lasts a long time, and it’s cheap. Those LED landing lights are big bucks. No way I’d pay for those. Fools game for minor differences. Actually at the airport when I see those LED ldg. lts. installed I laugh at yet another sucker who bought into the hyped up overpriced gimmick.

      • Cowling located incandescents often fail early due to engine & cowling vibration and ultimately inevitable normal filament thinning. Thus the filament becomes substantially more fragile with some hours of actual use.
        Wing mounted they last far longer.
        Depending on the offending harmonic vibration, orientation, up/down vs side to side, some users have found incandescents can last longer when the filament is oriented vertically, even though that’s not the ideal for beam angles. 4509 makes a wider beam in one axis than the other axis.
        If using for daytime bird and collision avoidance benefits, which can often be a very high priority, both LED and HID are typically far better achoices especially for longevity, ie. “Murphy” etc.

    • I think the only advantage the 4509 has is price. LEDs are superior in every other metric. I am building an S-21 and it will have LEDS throughout. There is simply no reason to use incandescent lights unless you also need heat with your light.


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