Pilot Reveals Why They Dim The Lights On A Plane For Takeoff And Landing

by : Tom Percival on : 18 Dec 2016 16:07

A pilot has revealed why they dim the cabin lights when taking off and landing – and it’s got nothing to do with making it more dramatic for the passengers. 


Yes, it turns out there’s actually a very good reason you can’t read your book during landing and it’s all to do with safety according to one pilot, The Daily Mail reports.

According to Chris Cooke, who flies with a major domestic airline, the procedure is a precautionary measure designed to allow passengers’ eyes to adjust to darkness quickly.

Adrian Pingstone

The human eye takes about ten minutes to adjust to darkness so by dimming the lights valuable time is saved in an emergency.


The idea being that if something goes wrong during the plane’s descent and an emergency evacuation is suddenly necessary it’s vital that people actually be able to see.

He explains:

Imagine being in an unfamiliar bright room filled with obstacles when someone turns off the lights and asks you to exit quickly.


Dimming the lights also makes the emergency path-lighting and signs easier to see and helps passengers maintain ‘a basic sense of orientation’.

Chris also went on to add this is the same reason why passengers are asked to leave blinds up during landing as unobstructed windows can bring in natural light if during an emergency the lights suddenly cut out.

So now you know!

Tom Percival

More of a concept than a journalist, Tom Percival was forged in the bowels of Salford University from which he emerged grasping a Masters in journalism. Since then his rise has been described by himself as ‘meteoric’ rising to the esteemed rank of Social Editor at UNILAD as well as working at the BBC, Manchester Evening News, and ITV. He credits his success to three core techniques, name repetition, personality mirroring, and never breaking off a handshake.

Topics: Life


The Daily Mail
  1. The Daily Mail

    Pilot reveals the REAL reason flight attendants dim the plane's lights before take-off and landing - and it's not what you thought