FEATURE: Lighting roundup


The industry’s lighting suppliers share their developments designed for brilliant illumination in private aircraft interiors – encompassing everything from a new reading light to a tool to aid in the selection of soft goods.

Scalable solution

The smart cabin lighting system from Prizm Aircraft Products offers a way for aircraft operators to modernise and customise cabins to offer “unlimited” moods, modes and animated scenes. Additionally, the white light temperature can be adjusted to between 2,500K and 7,000K to complement soft goods. Prizm can be controlled with existing cabin switches, all major cabin management systems, or with the Prizm app from any carry-on device.

The solution is designed to be easy to acquire and install, and holds PMA status. The scalable solution is suitable for everything from a TBM700 to Gulfstream, Falcon or Global types. It is also currently installed and flying in airliner-size aircraft. The solution comes with a three-year warranty and Prizm Aircraft Products reports it has never had a hardware failure. More than 150 systems are flying in multiple aircraft types.

Prizm light booth with material samples inside

A Prizm light booth used at Duncan Aviation to check materials

New reading light

The new Opal Cover reading light from Schott introduces new materials as a design feature. Developed in cooperation with PriestmanGoode, it is available in leather, synthetic leather and fabric variants. An orientation light is optional.

“This slim light can now perfectly match seat colours and materials or offer a desired contrast,” says Philip Fischer, head of Schott Aviation. “The Opal reading light is almost invisible when turned off, making it fit harmoniously into the overall seat design. Passenger-friendly usability is achieved thanks to a covered on/off dimple.”

Leather-finished reading light

Schott’s Opal Cover reading light, with a leather finish

Plug-and-play mood lighting

Aircraft Lighting International (ALI) shares that its new Aura mood lighting system has quickly gained traction throughout the North American market, crediting this to its features and an installation process designed to be seamless. “With a standard three-wire system, the installation hours and labour are reduced drastically, and any delivery date can be accommodated,” says Stephen Gavrielidis, product manager at ALI. “The system itself includes variable colour temperature; access to more than 15 million colours; and individual zone control for infinitesimal combinations of lighting.”

The three-wire system allows for plug-and-play replacement on any aircraft that may have older fluorescent or even LED lighting. This includes Challenger, Learjet, Hawker, Gulfstream, Falcon, Embraer and even BBJ aircraft. Aura lights are controlled by ALI’s proprietary app, but can also be integrated for CMS compatibility.

ALI has also been expanding its catalogue to include exterior lighting. “Removing an entire exterior lighting fixture is inefficient and costly,” says Gavrielidis. “That’s why ALI provides plug-and-play LED replacements for the old incandescent lights. PAR 36, 46, and 64 taxi/landing lights have all been developed and are ready to go.”

Business aircraft interior with blue mood lighting

Aircraft Lighting International’s Aura mood lighting system allows for plug-and-play replacements

Wireless development

The drop-in LED mood-lighting system, Cobalt Spectrum, which launched nearly a decade ago, can now be implemented with an optional wireless controller.

Cobalt Aerospace says the battery-powered wireless controller utilises Bluetooth-type communication with the CMS. This functionality requires no changes to the aircraft wiring or software – once old lighting tubes are removed, Cobalt Spectrum is fitted and it is ready to use.

Crew members can select programmed light scenes from anywhere in the cabin. These include sunrise effects, brand colours, and even sequences mimicing the Northern Lights.

The controller is designed to be user-friendly and easily mounted. It can be stored in any crew area in the cabin.

Aircraft cabin with blue and white lighting

Cobalt Aerospace’s Cobalt Spectrum system. Image: Cobalt Aerospace


Flexible LED light

The Curve is a new flexible LED light from STG Aerospace, the first product of its Universal Lighting Family. The company says the product responds to a trend for more rounded cabin forms.

The light output can be split into individually addressable 4in (10.2cm) segments. Each segment’s colour, transition and intensity is controlled independently with the choice of 16 million colours. Customers can build a highly bespoke aesthetic throughout the aircraft, including in wet areas. The product is also notable for its bend radius at 30mm (1.2in) convex and 50mm (2in) concave; and its 6mm x 15mm (0.2in x 0.6in) footprint. It is designed for reduced CMS data traffic, as 1 byte of data can launch a light sequence.

“We know our customers will be impressed with how The Curve solves current lighting challenges,” says Pierre Michard, sales and programme director at STG. “It has already been selected for an OEM application on a wide-body platform.”

Flexible LED lighting strip with blue and purple light sections

STG’s new Curve flexible LED lighting


Potential lighting applications

At Aircraft Interiors Expo 2023, Beadlight displayed ideas for potential lighting applications – including the use of lighting to illuminate a 3D-printed sculpture in a clear polycarbonate enclosure; and an ambient dual RGBW light with lighting scenarios controlled via a 5in (12.7cm) HMI screen.


99+ CRI wash lighting

The Hypergamut full-cabin wash lighting system from Collins Aerospace, revealed in 2022, is scheduled for certification by Q3 2023. Although it is also targeted at commercial aviation, Hypergamut’s launch customer will be a business jet operator.

John Alotta, associate director, business development, at Collins, says that installation will be of the AC-powered version of the product, and that several airlines have also expressed interest in retrofit applications.

Alotta says Hypergamut has 50% more LEDs than traditional systems, extending the colour gamut to enable “richer reds, deeper blues and more vivid greens”.

One of the key LEDs is a very specific wavelength of cyan, which Alotta says enables an enriched spectrum, specifically a CRI of 99+ (daylight is 100 CRI). Where some competitors use a blue LED, the use of cyan is a patented aspect of the Hypergamut system.

“The more cyan you have in a lighting system, the more awake an individual will feel, because it limits the body’s production of melatonin,” says Alotta. “If you remove the cyan, your body produces more melatonin, which makes you tired. So having the light adapt to the position of the aircraft, you can somewhat minimise jetlag.”

Hypergamut’s connectivity system syncs with real-time inflight data on the flightpath, time, weather and global positioning information, to enable predictive functionality and autonomous operation.

The wide spectrum allows adjustments to suit the cabin’s colour palette, Alotta says. Customers can visit Collins in New York for a lighting workshop where colour points will be picked in a cabin mock-up, and perhaps with reference to material samples brought by the customer. The system can save 96 colour points.

AC and DC applications will be possible for Hypergamut, and there are various lensing options to ensure near-field mixing of the LEDs; Collins can create customised lensing if required.

Airline cabin with wash lighting

Hypergamut from Collins is available for both commercial and business aviation


LED upgrades

PWI has designed LED lighting systems to completely replace all fluorescent cabin lights in popular business jets. Its solutions for the Dassault Falcon 900 and Cessna Citation 550 already have FAA PMA approval, and the company plans to offer the upgrades for the Citation 525 and 560, Bombardier Challenger, Bombardier Learjet and Gulfstream types in the future.

Many of these aircraft shipped with PWI fluorescent lights in the galley, lavatory and passenger cabin as original equipment. The company’s 100,000-service-hour LED kits use the original factory wiring and dimming controls already in the aircraft, for a smooth installation.

“The LEDs have a 5,000K colour temperature, providing a pure white light that is flicker-free, without hum or buzzing,” says Eric Dahlinger, business development and marketing, PWI. “There are no mobile device apps or other technologies to download and learn or update. As the installation often happens during a business jet’s scheduled maintenance, adding LEDs doesn’t delay the aircraft’s return to service.”

Dassault Falcon 900 cabin with LED lighting

A Dassault Falcon 900 cabin with LED lighting from PWI


This feature was first published in the July 2023 edition of Business Jet Interiors International.

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About Author


Izzy has been part of the Business Jet Interiors International team since its second issue, and the editor since 2011. She also edits Auditoria and Railway Interiors International. Outside of work, Izzy is rediscovering her love of art by learning how to paint with watercolors.

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