Why Does the Cabin Crew Dim the Lights During Takeoff and Landing

As a passenger on a commercial flight, you may have noticed the dimming of the cabin lights both before takeoff and in the final moments of descent before landing. This procedure not only happens in the cabin, but also in the cockpit as part of an important safety measure for all on board. If you are curious as to what dimming the lights has to do with safety, read on as we discuss why this simple procedure takes place on commercial flights.

Besides simply signifying that the plane has been cleared for takeoff, the dimming of the cockpit lights is done for the purpose of helping the pilot’s and passengers’ eyes adjust to the natural light outside which is especially important for evening flights. This can be compared to shutting off the overhead lights when driving an automobile. By dimming the cockpit lights, the pilot can clearly see the various lights and signals ahead of them. Aside from preparing the pilot to fly in the dark, this also acclimates the passengers so that they will be ready in case of an emergency situation. Fully adjusting your eyes to a dark environment can take between ten and thirty minutes depending on the amount of light beforehand. However, dimming the lights can help your eyes pre-adjust to lower light so it takes far less time for them to fully adjust to the night sky. In an emergency situation, even a few minutes less of this acclimation period can make a huge difference when leaving the vessel.

Though dimming the lights is less necessary during the day, it does conserve some engine power as the plane hurtles into the air. Decreasing the amount of electrical power being used by the engine decreases the load on the overall system so it takes less time to become airborne. In addition, many passengers are more comfortable during takeoff and landing if they can see outside, and note their orientation to the ground. Whether day or night, having the lighting of the cabin more closely match that of the outdoors makes it far easier to discern your surroundings. Furthermore, by allowing natural light to flood the cabin, a sudden exit into the sunny outdoors is much less disorienting for the passengers and crew alike. The hope is that this would make it easier for passengers to evacuate during an emergency landing. In a related manner, the light in the cockpit may actually be brightened in the case of lightning storms so that a sudden flash will similarly be less disorienting to the eye.

While dimming the lights is a relatively simple procedure, it can make a big difference for passengers, pilots, and crew alike during emergency situations alongside average daily flights. As such, it is important to have a working lighting system on aircraft that travelers and crew can depend on. For access to airplane lights that have been tested for fit and function, you can rely on Plane Parts 360 for all your procurement needs. Hosting a vast inventory of aircraft components from a widespread network of trusted manufacturers from across the globe, we are well-equipped to offer premium service as your sourcing partner. Get started today when you browse our online catalog of available parts or send an RFQ form with details about your operational needs. Our dedicated team of experts are available 24/7x365 to answer customer inquiries and requests, so you can expect a response within just 15 minutes of sending a completed RFQ form.


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