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Adding LED lights to planes

Matthew Sanders

Well-known member
Happy 4th of July everyone! Ok. So i know there have most likely been many posts on the forum about adding lights to planes. There have been a couple of flite test videos on it as well, but 99% of the stuff went over my head. So just a question: what do I need to put led lights on an airplane, and where can i find the stuff? Thanks!
ebay is also a good source for LED light strips. I'd suggest going with a solid color strip for your first time (possibly green on one wing and red on the other for help with orientation). The LED strips that can change colors require driver boards, whereas the solid ones just need power. Most strips are 12v LED strips, which will still light up on 2s at about 50% brightness (which will be plenty at night), and work at full brightness on a 3s battery with full voltage. They also do sell 5v strips, but then you'd need to step down the power, which isn't hard, but adds more equipment and weight. The strips themselves are really easy to use - they'll have sticky tape on the back which you just peel and stick. They can be cut every 2-3 inches (depends on how may LEDs per meter). The closer together the LEDs, the more power they require, so I usually go with strips with less LEDs per meter. At every location that you can cut there will be solder pads, which are pretty easy to solder to... just pay attention to which is positive and negative from the leads on the factory end (LEDs are polarity sensitive). If you choose to buy waterproof LED strips, just beware that soldering cut sections on them is a LOT harder - the waterproofing silicone is hard to cut off even with a super sharp knife, and solder doesn't stick very well without using rosin to clean the joint first - and even then it's a challenge.


Master member
To keep things light I use wire that is used for wrapping our electric motors cheap to buy for connecting to the battery I use the same JST connectors that plug into the balance lead of the battery.

Matthew Sanders

Well-known member
Thanks for all the help, I'm pretty bad (and new) to soldering. Are there any pre-soldered led strips? And do I have to solder them to the esc or do what bricks does with plugging it into the balance lead?