Customers do not see the normal LED scanning when the Access Point (AP) first boots, leading them to believe they have faulty hardware.
It appears this issue is related to a manufacturing bug on the new APs. New units were shipped from manufacturing with the LEDs disabled after bootup.
This issue is documented in Cisco bug ID CSCsc63217.
The default configuration on the units has the LEDs disabled. Once the AP registers with the controller, the LEDs should become enabled. If the AP registers but the LEDs remain disabled, issue the config ap led-state enable configuration command from the controller to enable the LEDs. This command needs to be issued on the controller to which the AP is joined.
This issue is first found in version 3.0(3). It is fixed in version 4.0(155) and 3.2(116.21).
One reason for this issue could be that the APs are in site survey mode. In site survey mode, the AP acts as an autonomous unit and only shows ethernet link status until manually configured.