High-power flood lights for airport runways

By: Secom
21 de February, 2023
Reading time: 5 min

It goes without saying that the lights on airport runways must meet a number of safety requirements. The main purpose of these lights is to enable planes to take off and land. Therefore, they must guarantee optimum visibility for pilots and any other airport employees involved in the manoeuvres. We must also remember that these devices function for many hours a day, making LED technology by far the best choice.

In this article we will talk about...

  • What are the runway lighting requirements?
  • The types of lights we find on runways
  • Types of LED light systems
  • SECOM high-power flood lights

What are the runway lighting requirements?

Runways must meet the requirements outlined below.


Safety means providing the best possible indicators to help planes land and take off safely with no unforeseen issues.


This is all about guaranteeing correct vision at all times with no flickers and shadows that could distract or confuse pilots.

Limited energy consumption

The installations on airport runways need to consist of lights with high performance levels that consume as little energy as possible. This is why LED technology is the best choice.

The types of lights we find on runways

All runway lights have to be air-tight, impermeable and resistant to wear and tear. Investing in quality lights equals creating optimum visibility and safety conditions for aircraft in transit. Below are just some of the lights we can find on runways. They are organised according to function.

Runway end

These lights show the pilot where the runway ends. They are fitted in pairs along the sides of the runway and flash on and off in unison. When these lights are unidirectional, they are angled towards the plane as it approaches the runway. They can also be omnidirectional.

Runway edge

These lights run parallel to each other right along the edges of the runway and there is a fixed distance between each one. This distance never exceeds three metres. Intersections (areas where different runways cross paths) are not fitted with these lights. Their function is to indicate in which direction planes must land and take off.

luces pistas de aterrizaje

Touchdown zone

These lights begin at 900 metres, except on runways that do not exceed 1,800 metres in length. When this is the case, they are brought forward so that they are not beyond the half-way point. They are installed in pairs and symmetrically along the axis. Light bars consist of at least three lights with a maximum separation of a metre-and-a-half between each bar. These are unidirectional lights that are permanently lit and they can have a variable white colour.

Each light has a specific function. They help provide the crew in the cockpit with information to ensure that they can land the plane safely. Installation must be performed by a team with expert knowledge of all the technical implications.

Types of LED light systems

A range of LED lights can be used on airport runways. Below are some of the main ones.

Approach systems

These lights give the flight crew the visual information they need to start bringing the plane in to land. They help the crew position the aircraft so that it is facing its destination. Pilots use them to determine where the entrance to the runway is.

Path indicators

This system comes after the approach lights. These lights have a role to play once the plane is positioned facing the runway and landing is about to begin. At this point in the manoeuvre, the crew needs a series of reference lights to guide them and these lights are key during this stage of the descent.

Iluminación en pista de aterrizaje aviones

Taxiway lights

These lights have a role to play one a plane has landed safely thanks to the lights on the runway. The taxiway is the stretch of track along which planes travel to reach terminals or hangars. These lights are blue and they are not as bright as the ones used on the runway itself. In addition, they are positioned such that they can only be viewed by the crew from the cockpit but not while the plane is in the air.

All the lighting systems on airport runways are carefully designed based on functionality criteria. They are a means of communication that support the teams coordinating landings.

SECOM high-power flood lights

At SECOM, we have top-quality, powerful products that are ideal for airports and runways. For example:

  • Protek Q1. The luminous efficiency of this small LED technology luminaire is 153 lm/W. It is very elegant and works well indoors and outdoors. It is robust and resistant because it is manufactured using injected aluminium that is 2.5 mm thick. It also has a polycarbonate IK08 (or optional IK10) cover with a superior light output.
  • Esdium / Innvictum LED. These are powerful, high-performance outdoor flood lights.
  • Balma Led. This is a high-quality outdoor floor recessed light that with an infinite line effect.

The lights on airport runways have to be top quality and perform their task to absolute perfection. High-power flood lights are ideal because they provide the necessary luminous flux. In illumination projects of this kind, the choice of device must be based on safety, energy efficiency and visibility criteria.

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