Meade 8" Lightswitch ACF Telescope

  • Aperture: 203 mm (8")
  • Focal Ratio: f/10
  • Focal Length: 2030 mm
  • Excellent telescope for visual astronomy and observation
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  • Regular price $3,199.00
  • $1,999.00
  • You save: $1,200.00 (37%)

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Meade 8" Lightswitch ACF Telescope


  • Telescope Optical Design: Advanced Coma-Free
  • Telescope Aperture: 8"
  • Telescope Focal Ratio: f/10
  • Telescope Focal Length: 2032mm
  • Optical Coatings: UHTC
  • Telescope Tripod Included: Yes
  • Diagonal Included: Yes - 1.25" Star Diagonal
  • Telescope Eyepiece(s) Included: Yes - 1 Eyepiece Included
  • Finder Included: Yes - Red Dot Finder Included
  • Focuser Style: Internal Moving Primary
  • Focuser Size: Internal Focuser with 1.25" Rear Cell Adapter
  • Focuser Speed: Single Speed
  • Telescope Mount Type: Alt-Azimuth
  • Objects in Telescope Database: 100,000
  • Includes GPS Technology: Yes
  • Telescope Power Source: C Batteries
  • Telescope OTA Diameter: 9in.
  • Telescope OTA Length: 17in.
  • Telescope Total Weight: 30lbs.
  • Telescope Warranty Period: 1 year


The Meade Lightswitch is easy to align, easy to setup, and fun to use; providing a simple and fun observing experience for any novice astronomer. For a lot of telescope users, aligning the telescope is always a frustrating experience - even when it is considered a "Go To". There's always something you have to it the perfectly correct time, the date, your latitude or longitude. How many new users have been stumped by not knowing the names of the alignment stars? Or not being able to see an alignment star that is blocked by a tree or a house? All of these little things can add up to beginning an observing evening in an unpleasant way and that's not what enjoying astronomy is all about. Now imagine yourself setting up a very portable telescope called the Meade LS 8" ACF. Thanks to its new LightSwitch Technology, you simply turn it on and let it do the work. Inside a built-in Integrated Sensor Module (ISM) takes over the job and Global Positioning System (GPS) connects with overhead satellites to automatically recognize your telescope's position on Earth. Once this fix takes place, this means your telescope also understands the local time - without even looking at a watch! As silent as a cat on wheels, the Level North Technology (LNT) sensors take over and the Meade LS Telescope seeks out two alignment stars and automatically begins charting out a "real time" night sky map in its memory banks for your own personal time and location.

It's a marvelous experience to look through a telescope at a distant object - but nothing can match the experience of knowing things like how far, how fast, how hot, how high, etc. Thanks to The Astronomer-Inside, the Meade 8" f/10 LS-8 delivers like no other telescope on today's market can. Right at the telescope the user has the capabilities of a complete audio/visual library at their fingertips... just waiting to give you a full tour of the night sky. Thanks to a built-in speaker and video-out jack, the whole family can share in the fun! Just think of what a great outreach tool the Meade LS-8 can be...

Built on the foundation of Meade's superb Advanced Coma Free Optics in a size capable of revealing all the Messier objects and such a huge portion of the NGC catalog as to keep most observers happy for a lifetime, this telescope is going to offer outstanding planetary and lunar views at a professional level. What more could you ask? What's that you say? Eyes like a CCD camera? Then stop dreaming and take a look at tomorrow's technology... the built-in ECLIPS CCD Camera. Now you can take vibrant, high-resolution, low-noise images of objects right at the telescope and view them on the spot using the scope's video output function. What's more, you can also store them on an MiniSD card for later modifications - or sharing! Just exactly what does that mean? Can you imagine sending Grandma an email with a picture of comet you just viewed? Or how about an image of Saturn? For those who really like challenges, a built-in CCD camera means you can push the Meade LS-8 beyond its visual limits by taking timed exposures of objects far fainter than the human eye can see - and revealing them right at the telescope before your eager eyes!

Meade LS-8 ACF LightSwitch Telescope Features

  • Single arm fork Altitude-Azimuth (Alt-Az) mount provides rigid structure with large precision roller bearings on both axis designed to carry large OTAs.
  • Precision worm gear drives with 4.875 main gears in both axis for smooth and accurate tracking and slewing.
  • Long fork arm length to allow clearance with the base for most cameras.
  • Runs on internal  cell batteries for 3-5 hours of portable field operation with hand control holder built into base.
  • Off-On LightSwitch and USB and other ports for accessory equipment.
  • Heavy-duty stable tripod with quick attachment of the mount
  • 8 ACF optical tube assembly (OTA) provides 8" clear aperture with 2000mm focal length for an f/10 system.
  • Advanced Coma-Free optical system for performance that only professionals or extreme amateurs have had.
  • Standard SC threaded back cell that accepts most existing accessories designed for all Schmidt-Cassegrain models over the last 30 years.
  • Integrated Sensor Module (ISM) with GPS and Level North Technologies (LNT).
  • Electronically Controlled Locate Identify Position System (ECLIPS) CCD imaging module.
  • Multimedia output includes professionally produced audio and video content for hundreds of objects and custom guided tours designed for your location, time and date.
  • Multimedia presentations feature the voices of Sandy Woods of Star Date astronomy radio program and George Woods, Hollywood actor and the voice on many productions.
  • Built-in speaker in drive base and audio out jack for audio instructions and object descriptions.
  • Video out for video presentations and images of many objects, instant display of images from the ECLIPS imager and easy on-screen menu navigation.
  • AutoStar III hand controller easily control telescope for automatic location of objects, tours and many other features including 100,000 object database.
  • ECLIPS CCD Imager is an essential part of the LightSwitch alignment system.
  • Sensitive wide-angle color 640x480 CCD imager for taking your own astrophotographs. Save your photos on a MiniSD card (user supplied).
  • With a video monitor connected to the video out jack, see real-time images of the objects you see in the eyepiece.
  • New electronics provide full USB support for accessories like additional DSI CCD cameras.
  • MiniSD card slot for easy software upgrades and storing your astrophotographs.

Included Technology

Advanced Coma-Free Optics (ACF)

Building from a classic RC design, Meade created a new design with coma-free pinpoint star images and flatter field. The ACF design reduces astigmatism and eliminates dffraction spikes found in classical RCs. TheACF is the perfect plattfor for the demanding researcher and imaging enthusiast with telescopes available in aperture of 6-inches, 8-inches,10-inches, 12-inches, 14-inches, and 16-inches

Ultra-High Transmission Coatings (UHTC)

Specialized Multi-layered coating that are preciesely designed to improve the performance of your telescopes optics. You'll see brighter star clusters, more fine details in nebulas, and more surface features on planets with UHTC than without. Averaged over the entire visible spectrum, total light transmission to the focus increases by 15%.


Aperture203 mm (8")
CD ROMs IncludedAutoStar Suite
Controller TypeAutoStar III
Diagonal Included 1.25" Star Diagonal
Exterior ColorMeade Crackle Blue Matte
Finder IncludedRed Dot Finder
Focal Ratiof/10
Free ShippingYes
GPS includedYes
Hand Controller includedYes
Head DesignAltitude Azimuth
Highest Useful Magnification480x
Limiting Stellar Magnitude14
LNT IncludedYes
Objects in Database100000 objects
Optical DesignModified SCT
OTA Length17"
OTA Mount TypeSingle Arm
OTA Outer Diameter9"
Telescope SeriesMeade LS
Tripod Type IncludedAdjustable with Aluminum Legs
Warranty1 Year Warranty


  • Meade 8" f/10 LS-8 ACF Telescope
  • Super Plössl 26mm
  • Autostar III Handbox with 100,000 objects
  • Speaker Built in Mount Connections USB
  • ETX Style Self Centering Field Tripod
  • Memory 256 Megabytes of Nanflash
  • Processor 400 Megahertz Blackfin
  • ECLIPS CCD Imager
  • Meade Two Year Telescope Warranty























Customer Reviews
3.2 Based on 6 Reviews
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J C.
United States United States
Motherboard fails yearly

Piece of garbage. I'm on my 3rd one since 2012. I extended-warrantied the first one and Meade replaced it under Warranty of course, then when that one failed after warranty they sent my third one last year. It is now failing - will not recognize the autoalign stars when pointing right at them! My final workaround was to do the manual 2 star align but that only worked after exiting autoalign, not by initiating 2 star. Anyway, since the scope won't Park either, I have just left it On pointing to Polaris outside so there's little diurnal wear and tear from tracking. Until there is a DC power failure and therefore needs restarting and realignment, highly unlikely. Collimation is also difficult but, sadly, it's finally very good to excellent now that the LS-8 is on its last legs. Meade's site says it's been discontinued, a plus.

Let the buyer Beware

There seems to be an entire production line of bad LS 8 scopes. All kinds of issues. After receiving my third defective Meade LS 8, I returned it for a refund and went with Celestron. What a difference in quality Celestron has over Meade Save yourself the grief and buy a Celestron from Optcorp.

Outstanding Scope

First, our family is fortunate to be able to purchase an expensive entry level scope and some of its accessories. Second, we own a 1.5 Meade refractor with an equitorial mount that my parents bought for me in 1978! We have taken it outside on occassion for our children (12 year old girl, 10 year old boy, and 8 year old boy. Third, we purchased the Meade 8 SCF with lightswitch software hoping that all our children (Dad included might get excited about astronomy. Fourth, we underestimated the technical ability of this scope. IT IS AMAZING. Even in the highly light-polluted Los Angeles Basin, this scope permits us to see countless deep sky objects, to say nothing of objects in this solar system. The software was easily mastered by the children. It's ability to self-align is excellent, taking less than five minutes -- and allowing eager little boys to promptly start scanning the heavens. Fifth, assembly is easy and the scope is well balanced (young children bump into things. The lenses are quickly interchanged by small hands. Similarly, the filters are easily ******* into place by small fingers. The narrative voice is interesting to children (though Dad would skip it. Battery power has held up so far to near nightly use, for about an hour, for three weeks. Finally, the optical quality of the images viewed through the scope is outstanding. The 8 aperture is well worth the money. We have experienced no problems whatsoever with this scope. Our biggest challenge is the 45F winter nights (very cold for So. Cal.. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED TELESCOPE FOR INSPIRING FUTURE SCIENTISTS!

Meade LS 8

Not sure why I bought a Meade again after horrible customer service and no parts on my older telescope, but I was attracted to the ease of this one. Flip a switch and ready to go. Unfortunately, flip a switch and no go. Second time it has crashed. First time took almost a full day to figure out how to download and fix firmware issue. Second time, just crashed and now just beeps, auto star dead and just a mocking, expensive piece of junk. Website is a joke. Do yourself a favour and stay away. P.S. mine came with a free CCD monitor that I wrote away for that when the telescope works, flashes to lime for a milisecond then dies. You are better to take two thousand dollars in bills and let them fly away on a windy day. A complete joke.


I had a very rough start with this scope. My biggest mistake was not buying it through OPT. I went with another (closer dealer, and it took four months to get my scope. Their communication skills were definitely lacking, and I won't be going back there ever again. The night it arrived, I took it up to the mountains, set it up, flipped the switch, and got the dreaded firmware error message. After two hours on the phone with Meade Tech Support the next morning, I had to send it back for a replacement. Got the new scope two weeks later and it works great. No problems with alignment, and it is ready to go within 8 to 10 minutes. You don't have to align anything. Aside from flipping the switch, you don't have to touch the scope. It does everything by itself, and is one step removed from being self-aware. Once I got comfortable with the hand-controller, I was slewing around the universe with reckless abandon. Double stars, galaxies, nebulae, and of course planets like Saturn and Jupiter. The first time I saw Saturn through this scope I almost fell over. Got chills looking at Jupitier for the first time three nights ago. This is the easiest scope in the world to use. It will take you on a tour of what is in the sky each night, as it knows where it is and the date and time (so it knows what is up there and will find it for you. You can also tell it what you want to look at it and it will take you there. Aside from the initial problems, this scope has worked exactly as expected. GREAT.

Meade LS-8 ACF

After years of study (8, 10 or 11 SCT or 8 or 10 Dob, my wife and I finally decided on a telescope to buy. For decent apeture and a package that doesn't weigh too much or take up a lot of room while transporting, the Meade LS-8 ACF fit our needs and budget. Both boxes arrived in perfect condition. Assembly and setup were easy and for the most part, fit and finish are excellent except for the super tight fit of the supplied diagonal going into the supplied eyepiece holder. I got the diagonal into the eyepiece holder but it will never come out again. An evening with high clouds and a waxing gibbous Moon are not ideal for a new telescope's first light but we couldn't wait to give it a try. The entire telescope mounted on the tripod was easy for one person to carry out to the backyard. After turning the power switch on and listening to the introduction, it took about 12 minutes for the telescope to tell us we were ready to explore the night sky. The second alignment star (Arcturus was in the center of the 26mm eyepiece. Saturn looked fabulous! We looked at a few other targets before the clouds filled the sky. The Astronomer Inside media is nice and will come in handy when we take our scope to our astronomy club public star parties. Can't wait for a really clear night without the Moon to really explore the capabilities of the LS-8 ACF. Images are bright and clear and collimation seems to be perfect right out of the box. I have access to some nice 2 Televue eyepieces so I have ordered a 2 diagonal. I have also ordered a few more 1.25 eyepieces, a 2x barlow and a scope cover to keep our new scope looking new while not in use. Only two things at the moment that I really didn't like - one, the red dot finder works OK but I would like to have the option of replacing it with a Telrad sight. Second, as I said earier, the supplied diagonal fit so tight into the supplied eyepiece holder that I cannot get the diagonal out of the eyepiece holder. These two items are why I gave the telescope a 4.5 star rating instead of a 5. Overall, for the price, the 8 ACF optics seem well worth it. The weight and size of the telescope make it easy to move and transport. The LightSwitch technology worked perfect from the first time and the telescope moves to and tracks objects very well. The Astronomer Inside is a nice bonus. Now, a few words about dealing with OPT. I called and ordered the telescope on Wednesday morning and it arrived in perfect condition Friday afternoon. Vinni and Ralph were very helpful and took time to answer my many questions. Also, if you are not a member of OPT's Rewards Program, by all means join. It is nice to save some money on a new telescope purchase. Overall, we are happy with our LS-8 ACF and we are looking forward to a lifetime of exploring the night sky! Thank you Meade for a great product and thank you OPT for exceptional customer serice. Rocky - Sandy, UT