Luxor Las Vegas casino shines so brightly, pilots in Los Angeles use it to navigate

  • Luxor Las Vegas light is visible from 275 miles away
  • Luxor Sky Beam even has its own nighttime ecosystem

The famous bright light atop the Luxor Las Vegas casino is so bright that pilots use it to navigate from as far away as Los Angeles, the Telegraph reports.

Luxor Hotel Las Vegas Sky Beam
Luxor’s Sky Beam in Las Vegas light is visible from 275 miles away. Photo: Luxor Hotel.

The Sky Beam is the world’s strongest light source, visible from 275 miles away. As part of the lights of the Vegas Strip, the Sky Beam can be detected in space, and the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States has declared the casino resort‘s landmark an official navigation beacon.

Sky Beam shines constantly for 23 years

The Luxor Las Vegas hotel and casino has been one of the Vegas Strip’s most iconic features for over 23 years. The property is owned by MGM Resorts International, and even today it is the ninth-largest casino hotel in the world.

The hotel features an Egyptian theme, complete with a resplendent 30-floor pyramid and adjoining 22-storey towers – though in recent years the ancient Egyptian trappings have been stripped back, and a more modern design applied to much of the 100,00 square foot casino premises.

One of the best-known features of the Luxor is the laser light which sits at the top of the pyramid. This 42.3 billion candela ‘Sky Beam’ is not only the world’s brightest light, but it is among the most energy-efficient. Thanks to a system of mirrors and focused light beams, it converts 315,000 watts of power into a powerful beam that costs just $51 per hour to run. Environmental researchers have tracked a full ecosystem to the light beam itself, with bugs, bats and owls all sustained by the column of visible energy.

Pilots use beam to navigate

The incredibly bright light tower can be seen right across Nevada, attracting visitors and providing an important navigational point. The Federal Aviation Authority includes the Luxor Sky Beam in its official list of flight waypoints, and pilots often use the light to navigate.

Some flight professionals report seeing the beam from as far away as Los Angeles – a five hour drive – when the skies are clear. Even when visibility is poor, the Sky Beam is still Nevada’s clearest reference point for navigation.

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