Aircraft lighting systems, at first glance, seem like the most banal part of an aircraft. However, both the interior and exterior lights are actually very important. Without them, things like landing at night, inspection of icing conditions, safety from midair collision, and pilot and crew operations can be very difficult.

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It’s not hard to imagine why an airplane would have external lights. It should be the same reason that automobiles or marine craft have them, visibility. Indicator lights give information on the vehicle’s position, heading, and status, making it easy for nearby vehicles and personnel to be aware of what’s happening. For airplanes, there are 5 different types of indicator lights: navigation/position lights, strobe lights, a red rotating beacon, taxi & landing lights, and logo lights.

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Aviation is all about safety; one of the biggest reasons that air travel is a common and practical means of transportation is that accurate flight instruments allow pilots to fly safely without maintaining visual contact with the ground. Instead of trying to gauge their altitude and heading by constantly referencing the ground, pilots can just gauge their cockpit instruments to find out all the information they need.

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