Have you never noticed how some drones have more lights than others, but in the majority of cases the color red dominates?
This red color is more than just an aesthetic choice.
Navigating the skies can be a challenge for drone flyers, particularly as drones become more sophisticated and widely used. The “drone traffic” in other words is going up. Just like the lights on planes, lights on drones are also very important.
They help ensure that drones can be seen and tracked by other pilots, and they can help prevent collisions with other objects in the air.
In this article, we’ll explore drone lights in more detail, including why they have red lights and the role of other colors of lights.
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What are drone lights?
Drone lights are simple individual LED lights that are attached to drones to make them more visible. There are several types of drone lights, including navigation lights, strobe lights, and anti-collision lights.
Navigation lights are used to help pilots keep track of a drone’s position and direction of travel, while strobe lights are designed to flash quickly and draw attention to the drone. This is the first type of light you are likely to see at night if there is a drone flying nearby.
Anti-collision lights, meanwhile, are brighter and help prevent collisions with other aircraft.
Why do drones have red lights?
One of the most common colors of drone lights is red. But why?
The red light here is simply a red colored LED light. It doesn’t have any other properties such as the infrared or the light used in those red light therapy at home devices.
First, red is a color that is easy to see in low-light conditions. You may have noticed that the primary color on the wings and tail of airplanes is also red. When a drone is flying at night or in low-light conditions, the red lights help other pilots keep track of its position and movement.
Second, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires drones to have red lights in certain situations. Specifically, drones that are flown at night must have red lights that are visible from at least three miles away. This requirement helps ensure that other pilots can see and avoid drones that are operating in the same airspace.
Finally, red lights can also help prevent collisions between drones and other objects, such as buildings or trees. The red light can help the pilot judge the distance and speed of the drone more accurately, reducing the risk of a collision.
Other colors of drone lights
Are other colors as useful as red? Well, not really. The red light is the only one that is a requirement. The other lights tend to be more for aesthetic purposes or to actually illuminate an area.
The green light is a bit of an exception because this is usually a common light generally used for navigation. It is easy to distinguish from red lights and it also provides a visual contrast.
White lights, meanwhile, are sometimes used to illuminate the area around a drone, making it easier for the pilot to see and avoid obstacles.
Finally, blue lights are sometimes used on drones for aesthetic purposes. Blue lights can create a cool, futuristic look that can be appealing to drone operators and their clients. This may be useful when creating special photography effects or to illuminate certain areas used for videography.