If you are a new drone pilot, it is necessary to keep your drone visible and in sight during your flying session. This helps you to fly safely without losing your drone. But how to make your drone more visible in the sky so that you can easily spot it? I am going to tell you 8 different ways to make your drone more visible while flying.
To make sure your drone is visible in the sky, buy a more colorful or larger drone if possible, add lights to your drone (static or throbbing), apply colorful stickers, reflective taps, or decals, use colorful prop guards. It would help if you also tried to fly with the sun on your back for more visibility.
Let’s discuss each of these methods and in more detail. Let’s go.
How to make your drone more visible in the sky
Drones are a fun and innovative way to execute aerial photography for both personal and commercial use. You must keep your drone visible in the sky so it does not collide with other objects or people, but how do you ensure your drone is seen easily?
There are many different ways to help ensure your drone is always seen. Follow these steps on how to make your drone more visible in the sky.
Buy a colourful drone
If you want to make your drone stand out and be seen easier in the sky, you should buy a more colorful drone. This will help others see it better and fly with caution if they notice it. If you use a drone with more vibrant and bright colors, such as blue, red, or orange, it will be easier to spot in the sky.
You can also buy drones that have built-in reflectors. These can be light strips or just stickers on the sides of your device. If you want to make sure people see where you’re flying, this is a great way to make commercial camera drones more visible in the sky. Reflective materials such as silver and gold are also good colors for making them stand out.
Cho0se a bigger drone
The bigger the drone is, the more visible it will be in the sky. If possible, buy a drone with a bigger surface area so that even if it flies high, you can still see them. DJI drones like the Phantom are pretty visible at several hundred feet above the ground. If you color the white arms or put color stickers on them, the visibility will further increase.
Bigger drones often come with larger batteries and are capable of flying long-range. So, it works in your favor. With smaller drones, you can not fly them too high or too far away because of the smaller battery size and flight range. I have written an article about how far can drones fly if you are interested in the range of different drones.
On the other hand, smaller drones become invisible above 300 feet, so you will have to use one of the below methods to make sure they remain visible.
Attach extra lights (if flying at night)
If you are looking for how to make your drone visible in the sky when flying at night, look for one with LED lights on them. If possible, they can be programmed so that they flash and stay lit up while flying. This is an important feature if you want to keep safe while flying at night, where there may not always be enough light from the sun to see your drone clearly.
Commercial drone pilots are required to install strobe lights to see their drones in the sky by the FAA. These LEDs will make your drone more visible and help you fly safely since it’s hard for a pilot to see a small object from far away. It also helps other manned flight pilots to detect flying drones from far away.
These lights are easily available online for a few bucks. I would recommend this one on Amazon.
Use colorful Stickers
If your drone is white or muted in color, you can make it more visible by decorating the body with artistically designed colorful stickers. These stickers are cheap and easily available online. You can order one for your drone on Amazon as well (LINK)
When choosing your drone sticker, make sure you get a color that is highly contrasting and reflective. This will make sure the stickers serve their main purpose (improving visibility) while being decorative.
Add colorful propeller guards
A propeller guard is a piece of brightly colored plastic or metal that attaches to your drone’s rotor blades so you can fly with confidence, knowing that even if someone doesn’t notice your flashing lights or hear your drone’s engine, they will still be able to see your drone easily since it has brightly colored propeller guards.
Not only do these colorful propellers make how drones stand out in the sky, but they also protect your expensive propellers and motor from damage in case you crash your drone. Prop guards are easy to replace even if they break.
If you are going to fly with prop guards on (like most new pilots prefer to), make sure they are bright in color so that they add additional visibility to your drone.
Chose a better time of the day to fly
This one is a no-brainer. If your drone is particularly invisible due to its size or color, you should try to fly it in a good light. Flying early in the morning before dawn and in the evening after sunset will make it difficult to spot in the low light.
Flying in low-light conditions is particularly dangerous if you don’t have strobe lights on your drone. So make sure you fly in good lighting conditions when the sun is up. If you are into aerial photography, you might prefer to fly in good light conditions as well. I have a blog post about the best time of the day to fly your drone for photography. Check it out.
Fly with the sun on your back
If you are flying with the sun directly above your head or in front of you, its intense glare will blind your eyes (just like deers freeze in front of strong car headlights). When you are staring into a strong light source (like the sun), your pupils contract to limit the amount of light entering your eye. This also makes you partially blind to small things around the sun (like your drone)
To make sure you see your drone at all times, it is a good idea to keep the sun at your back so that you are not staring directly at it during your flight session.
Fly during clear weather conditions
Bad weather can decrease your visibility and hence hinder your ability to see your drone during flight. Especially if you are flying early morning or on a particularly cold and foggy day, you won’t be able to see past a few dozen meters.
If your drone is white in color, make sure you don’t fly it during a foggy day. If it is necessary (or you live in a foggy area most of the time), make sure you install highly contrasting strobe or LED lights on your drone to make it a bit more visible.
When you are a new drone pilot, it is important to keep your drone in sight during the flying session. This will help you fly safely without losing your expensive investment. We discussed 8 different ways that I use to make my drones visible when they’re up in the sky and out of sight. If you need any more ideas or have any questions about this blog post, feel free to let me know!