Vintage RCA “ON AIR light

I recently acquired two vintage RCA MI-11717 “ON AIR” warning lights in original condition from a 1950’s TV studio that was demolished. I fell in love with radio back in the 1970’s, and have enjoyed a career in broadcasting and communications. I love these great old art deco “on air” lights, and I’m curious to know more about them and what they’re worth. I know there are replicas out there, but these are the real item. I plan to use one in my office, and another in my home theater (if I ever get it installed).

No Comments

  1. Hi Steve80-

    Stumbled on this old article of yours. Interesting. I’m an aficionado of 50’s post modern stuff, and also write music in a home studio, although not professionally.

    I’m sure you have those 2 on-air lights installed by now, but if not let me know! I would love to find a way to afford one for my place. I’m not a wealthy collector or anything, but at the very least I would appreciate some photos if you ever have time. That way I can look for one online somewhere. These things must show up from time to time, particularly in california with all of the studios, movie industry, etc..

    Anyway, thanks for you time. They sound pretty cool.


    • steve80 says:


      Thanks for your message. Actually, I still have them both exactly where they were when I wrote that post back in ’08. I haven’t done the home theatre (yet). Five kids tend to rearrange those priorities, and I’m a long way from retirement. The other is not going in my office after all. So they’re both here safely in mothballs. I also got ahold of a set of original replacement bulbs for them. I still have no idea what they’re actually worth today. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to get them when they demolished the old TV station, and I know I will keep at least one of them. Any suggestions about where I could find out their current value?


  2. steve80 says:


    If you want to let me know an e-mail address to which I can send a photo or two, I’d be glad to share.


    • steve80 says:

      Still have these two mint condition vintage RCA studio ON AIR warning lights. Latest value appears to be around $800 each. Does anyone have a source for pricing? I’m not interested in the pay sights. Thanks for any help!

      • Veronica says:

        I am looking for an original ON AIR light and it sounds like you may have 1 available. Can you please e-mail a picture over?
        Is the cost $800?