What's the purpose of different aircraft lights?

What’s the purpose of different aircraft lights?


Each aircraft before flying through the sky must meet certain safety requirements. This also applies to aircraft exterior lighting. The main purpose of exterior lighting is to provide visibility for pilots and guide them through the sky. However, there exist different types of exterior lights that can be found on aircraft.

Let’s start from the most important ones – landing lights. Landing lights are located on different sections of the wings (nose or fuselage) and are visible from a very long distance. Landing lights help guide pilots into their landing, they also can be used during a take-off.

You have probably noticed bright white lights in the sky during the night. These intense lights are called strobes and are used to identify the aircraft’s location during the night, when visibility is very low.

Another type of exterior aircraft lights are anti-collision beacon lights. Those can be found in the middle of the fuselage and can be identified by their orange lighting. Those lights are sometimes called warning lights and are only shut down when the engine is not working. Constantly working beacon lights help the ground engineers identify whether the aircraft engine works properly.