UK-based aircraft lighting specialist STG Aerospace has certified a square reading light and secured floor path lighting contracts with China Eastern Airlines and Icelandair.

The square-beam liTeMood LED reading light has been certified for the Boeing 737NG and 757, entering immediate service with UK carrier Titan Airways and Romania’s Blue Air, which helped with the certification trials.

Rather than the traditional circular beam, which can overspill into neighboring passenger seats, STG Aerospace’s square beam is contained within the passenger’s own personal space.

This is the first time a square light pattern has been used for this purpose, STG Aerospace CEO Nigel Duncan told ATW at the Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg.

“There’s a slight red pigmentation, which makes food look fresher, magazines brighter, colors appear more vibrant and text appear sharper,” Duncan said.

The lighting requires no structural changes, additional wiring or new control systems, as it directly replaces the existing light unit. A passenger service unit of three lights can be installed within 10 minutes.

Aside from the obvious lighting benefits, Duncan said when the environment feels better, passengers will spend more onboard.

“It gives economy passengers, in particular, a sense of privacy and control over their environment. People get anxious about travel because they lack control, so if you give them more control, they will be in a more relaxed state and more inclined to spend. Also, if the crew is relaxed, customer service improves and that increases yield. I don’t believe our product should be on aircraft if there is no return on investment for the airline,” Duncan said.

As well as the square reading light certification, STG Aerospace’s blue-glowing emergency floor path lighting—known as saf-Tglo blu—has been certified by the FAA for more Airbus, Boeing and Embraer types. This is the first time a blue-glowing photoluminescent product has been approved, versus the traditional green glow. 

“Following the EASA approval last year, we’re delighted we now have FAA certification for the leading aircraft types and we are already seeing significant interest in the product from both OEMs and airlines across the globe,” STG Aerospace director of innovation Sean O’Kell said. At AIX, STG Aerospace announced that Icelandair has selected saf-Tglo blu for its new fleet of Boeing 737 MAX 8s and 9s, which will enter service from the end of 2017.

As a further boost, Boeing has selected the STG Aerospace’s saf-Tglo SuperSeal UltraLite (SSUL) floorpath lighting as a line-fit option for the 787, building on the two companies’ existing relationship on the 737NG.

SSUL has also been selected by China Eastern Airlines for retrofit across 125 737NGs, as well as line fit on new deliveries from Boeing. China Eastern Airlines opted for STG Aerospace’s PatternMatch product, where the strips also bear the aircraft carpet pattern.

Duncan said this required close cooperation with Boeing, which had to add these specific pattern strips to its catalogue to line-fit equip the aircraft. “We had to get it added because China Eastern didn’t want to go for the retrofit without the line-fit option,” he said.

The initial line fit China Eastern Airlines 737s under the contract will be delivered from Boeing in June 2017, and the first retrofit kits have already been dispatched to China Eastern.

STG Aerospace’s products are currently installed in over 11,000 aircraft, roughly one-third of the world’s passenger fleet.

Victoria Moores victoria.moores@penton.com