Lighting for Fixed Base Operators

a guest post by Lisa J. Reed, Lighting Designer

An FBO can gain a competitive edge and hopefully some new customers by upgrading lighting throughout the facility. Whether you want an updated design or your reasons are just for practical, functional, and energy-saving lighting, consider a lighting upgra

What is a fixed-base operator? Commonly called an FBO, it is basically a fueling station for airplanes, but an FBO can also offer all sorts of amenities, including hangar space, restaurants, lounges and restrooms for pilots and travelers. Most of the time, these are private or publicly held companies who are contracted to operate in an airport.

When we were in college, my husband worked as a lineman for a couple of different FBOs. This was a great job for him, because it satisfied his love of aircraft with the opportunity to be around airplanes - refueling, assisting pilots, and meeting other people with a passion for the aircraft industry. Today, as a lighting designer, I see how lighting upgrades could improve the day-to-day operations and profitability of an FBO.

How can lighting benefit a fixed-base operator?

  1. Lighting can make a great impression on customers. It is amazing how a lighting upgrade can change the way a space is perceived. Install new lights in public spaces, including restrooms, to make the space seem fresh, clean, and contemporary. Lighting can contribute to the ambiance you want in any space. Use warm color temperatures in table lamps and sconces to create a cozy, homey atmosphere. Install sleek linear products with cooler color temperatures to make a space feel ultra-contemporary. Experiment with RGB LEDs, which can be programmed to any color in order to custom-match a space with an important client’s corporate colors!
  2. Lighting can save energy and lower electricity bills. Using new LED sources or installing occupancy sensors in restrooms not only makes an old space feel new, but it lowers energy consumption and results in lower electric utility bills.
  3. Long-lasting LED light sources can reduce lamp maintenance costs. This point is especially important in hangar spaces. Not only do these spaces have very high ceilings, which make maintenance difficult, but also replacing lamps above an expensive aircraft is not a good idea. That means that in order to replace a light bulb, you first have to move all of the planes out of the aircraft hangar. Moving planes can mean that multiple employees are kept busy operating towing equipment instead of doing other work. Besides that, the hazards of maneuvering multimillion-dollar aircraft in and out of tight spaces are significant. Obviously, the less often you have to do this, the better it is.

An FBO can gain a competitive edge – and hopefully some new customers – by upgrading lighting throughout the facility. Whether you want an updated design or your reasons are just for practical, functional and energy-saving lighting, consider a lighting upgrade for your FBO.

Lisa J Reed photo - Lighting Blog

Lisa J. Reed has been attracted to lighting (like a moth to a flame) for 20+ years. She is the Founding Principal at Envision Lighting Design, LLC in St. Louis, where she designs, teaches, and writes about architectural lighting.


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