Aircraft Lighting: What do they mean?

Aircraft Lighting

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As aircraft nerds, we keep watching in the sky for aircraft.
If you look at the Aircraft at night you will see different colorful lights. What is the purpose of these lights? Are those lights installed just to make the aircraft look good?

Let's take a look at various aircraft lighting & know about their purpose.

Aircraft Lighting

Navigation Lights:-

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Navigation lights are located at leading edge each wing tip. Navigation lights include two steadies(No flashing) colored lights. One is Green colored & other is Red colored. Greenlight is located at the leading edge of the Right wing tip, whereas the Red light is located at the leading edge of the Left wing tip. These lights help pilots of other aircraft to know the direction of motion of the aircraft.

Position Lights:-

Position lights could be located at trailing edge of each wing tip, at the end of the fuselage, trailing edge of the horizontal tail. They are white colored steady(No flashing) Lights. As these lights are located at the back of the aircraft it helps pilots of other aircraft to determine the direction of motion of the aircraft. The purpose of these lights is also to make aircraft visible at night to pilots of other aircraft.

Strobe Lights(Anti-Collision lights):-

Strobe lights are placed behind Red & Green Navigation lights. In some aircraft, these are also placed at trailing edge of the wing. These are high intensity flashing white lights. These lights flash at the rate of once per second. These are very bright lights. The purpose of these lights is to attract the attention of other pilots during flight.

Wing Lights:-

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These lights are located at wing root of leading edge(Generally white in color). The main purpose of these lights is to make wings visible. These lights make aircraft visible while take-off & landing. Also, these lights help the pilot to inspect frozen ice on wings & damages on wings if any.

Taxi Lights:-

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Taxi lights are located just in front of nose landing gear of the aircraft(Generally white in color). The purpose of these lights is to make runway visible while taxi, take-off or landing.These lights are generally used for aircraft ground operation purpose.

Anti-Collision Beacon lights:-

Image from: - Wikimedia

These are Red flashing lights(These lights rotate to produce the flash effect) located at top of fuselage & bottom of the fuselage. These lights flash at the slow rate. These are light which we watch from the ground, which flashes(Red flashing light). These lights are turned on when the pilot starts an aircraft engine. And remain on until the engines are turned on. When all engines are turned off these lights stops flashing. The purpose of these lights is to warn the ground person that engines are working.

Logo Light:-

Image from: - Wikimedia

Logo light is not compulsory light (Generally white in color). But these lights are used to show Company logo printed on the tail of the aircraft. Also, these lights could be used for advertisement purpose. These are located on the horizontal tail of the aircraft. 

Landing lights:-

Landing lights are used in aircraft to make runway visible while landing at night time or in low visibility region or foggy time. These lights could be located in front of the fuselage, at bottom of the fuselage, at the root of the leading edge of each wing tip.

Runway turnoff lights:-

Runway turnoff lights are located on leading edge of the wing tip. These are white colored lights. It provides front & side visibility of runways while taxiing, & turning on the runway.

Thanks for reading!
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