Real reason why cabin crews dim lights during a plane's takeoff and landing
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It’s late in the evening, our neck pillow is in place, our seat belt is fastened, and the lights have been dimmed; it’s time for the plane to take off and fly us to better weather.
And it’s a familiar scene for anyone who has ever been on a flight.
But why do the aircraft lights actually get dimmed at take off?
And come to think of it, at landing too?
We all accept it as part of the routine of getting the plane ready and as some kind of safety procedure, yet most of us don’t actually know what the purpose is.
However, a senior pilot from a major U.S airline is on hand to solve this riddle for us by revealing why those lights get dimmed.
“You want your eyes acclimated,” Jon Lewis told Conde Nast Traveller.
“During night-time take offs and landings, you dim the lights so that you have some night vision going on.”
It’s not so necessary to dim them during daytime but it does help to conserve some engine power ahead of flying.
But aside from saving the plane’s power, dimming the lights is also linked to when the cabin crew go round making sure our window shades are up.
Ahead of taking off and landing, we’re asked to make sure those little blinds are fully open, and this is all to help with safety, just in case of an emergency.
The Telegraph reports that our eyes can take between ten and 30 minutes to fully adjust to a dark setting.
So, the cabin crew get those lights all romantically dimmed to help our eyes pre-adjust to lower light.
Basically, if it’s night time and we suddenly have to evacuate, it’s obviously going to be dark and the time it takes for our eyes to get used to the conditions is all too important.
Too long for us to adjust to the lower light will slow down a safe exit of the plane.
Plus, the dimmer light helps make the emergency lighting and illuminated pathways they point out in the little routines more visible.
It’s not just us passengers either, as Lewis says the pilots do the same thing in the cockpit.
And if there’s a lightning storm, he raises the lights in there to high.
He says: “That way, if you get a big lightning flash, you aren’t flash-blinded. What you are trying to do is utilize the outside cues.”
So maybe keep your eyes open until the plane is up cruising the skies next time you board.
Featured Image Credit: Pexels/Vitaliy Todo/Alireza Akhlaghi