The Inside Scoop On In-Flight Lights

Have you ever thought about the lighting on your flight? Between stuffing your luggage in an overhead bin, fidgeting with the air vents, and making sure that your seat is in a full upright position, lighting definitely does not take top priority. But how do we know when we are able to put our folding trays down and remove our seat belts? Passenger information lights display this information to us as one of the many roles that interior aircraft lighting plays in our flight experience.

After safety, passenger comfort is an airline’s top priority. Research shows how the proper use of cabin illumination can actually improve your flight experience. By changing colors and light intensity, airlines are to control the mood and ambience on board. For example, a mood setting function with colored accents provides a relaxing transition between cabin lighting phases for passengers. Cabin sidewall and ceiling lights are used to provide smooth light effects. Using OLED lighting, which is soft and diffused, aircraft designers will have more options available to them.

Furthermore, the lighting can be used to artificially shorten the day during the flight so that passengers’ can acclimate to their destination’s new time zone. But what is one to do if you wish to stay awake while the cabin lights are dimmed? The reading spotlight is available above each passenger seat, and uses fiber optic and LED technology to allow passengers to adjust the intensity of the light as needed, without bothering their neighbors. And if you have ever needed to find your way to the restroom in the middle of an overnight flight, you can thank the contour lighting, which accentuates the aisle, seats, overhead bins and other features of the cabin for effortless navigation.

Interior lighting isn’t only for passengers; it is a vital component in the cockpit as well. There are control panels located on the lower center pedestal that include knobs to control functions such as intensity of the primary and multifunction flight displays, which provide flight information, integral lighting for the instrument panel and side panel, floodlighting, and floor lighting.

The passengers’ experiences and the pilots’ operations are undoubtedly affected by the state of interior lighting. With new technologies on the horizon, interior lighting will continue to transform the airline industry.

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