Get one of these!
Using a programable TX, ONE RC channel, you can get two channels of lights, with 6 or 7 "modes!" You can make the lights blink, turn off, and turn on all independantly per channel. The switch acts as an "interupt" in the signal on the negative side. That's how it turns the lights off, or blinks them. BE Careful, if you wire the switch wrong ( you won't if you follow instructions below) it will not work right ever again (trust me, I know
) Mine is set to have the wings one one channel, and center / nose light on the other.
Wiring of your lights:
What you need: A soldering iron, preferably a variable temperature one.
Some experience soldering.
An old pair of unused headphones / crap earbuds, etc.. that you can steal wire from.
Your LED strips
Access to your ESC connector.
a dead servo, or extensions to get two plugs from.
Switch from Robot marketplace.
Most LED strips are 12v, and work great w/ a 3S battery, which is why we solder to the ESC connector. Perfect for many PZ and HZ planes.
The headphone wire is awesome. These usually have a coated shiny red / green wire. If so you are in luck, it doesn't really need the outside insulation for this purpose. You can save that insulation weight for really light planes, and even embed the super thin wire into the frame w/o it showing at all. The wires are already twisted on themselves and won't conduct unless they are tinned w/ solder. Since there's barely any current going through, these wires work perfect for lighting small to mid sized craft. If a short were to occur, it will melt quickly like a fuse. Don't Sue, if you don't know how to tin or solder, stop what your doing, and seek assistance!
Cut to length plus an inch or so (incase you melt some), tin each cut end w/ a low temperature soldering iron. Being careful to have your soldering gun low enough to melt solder, but not the wire (it's that thin).
I soldered this thin wire from the ESC's (+) connector. To do that properly, you probably need to turn your soldering iron up, melting the solder on the ESC, and place the wire into the soldered connection. Quickly remove the iron, or you'll unsolder your connector or melt the wire you are trying to solder. Solder the other end to the light strips (+) connectors in parrallel for each strip I was using (feel free to "T" for cleaner wiring). Make sure Polarity is correct! If you want allways on, just wire your lights (-) in parralell to the ESC's (-) connector the same way you did the (+) one.
If you use the switch I mentioned, measure out where your switch will go. Here's where the two servo plugs come in.
The negative wire from the ESC should get spliced to the servo plug's Brown or black wire
On the opposite side of the servo plug, (the orange wire in the type pictured in the link,) should be spliced to the negative side of your light strip or series of strips. How you plug them in to the R/C switch won't matter, since the switch is just breaking just the negative conductor. Wire the positive side of the light strips to the positive side of the ESC connector. Plug the switch from Robomarket place into a spare channel. I chose the gear channel. That's it! Now plug in your battery and flip the gear switch around. It may be helpful to plug it in to a rudder channel to see where the functions you want exist, test, etc... then move it to a spare channel later.
Now program your TX to get the lighting functionality you are looking for w/ some creative mixing like getting the channel to sit at different levels on the flap switch, you can use a flap switch, Gear, & Aux switch to give you about 7 or 8 different functions from one R/C channel!
What I did was use the "gear" channel like an on off switch, and the flap positions to add or subtract x from the gear position. This is easy to see if you have a computer radio by looking at the "servo position" screen and can really help you get those settings dialed in fast. The setting I usually fly on is blinking the nose light w/ steady wing lights. I turn off the nose on final approach.