Night lighting in cities

here is no doubt that the night lighting is much worse than it was before … it looks like XPLANE now !!! Where the colors are???, everything is two-tone!!!, you cannot see the movement of cars, lights, cities look lifeless … and those empty spaces where there was lighting before…


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Doesnt look like xplane to me but very interested in tech alpha version - thanks Asobo this update for me was great and the AA is awesome now - dont change that :slight_smile:

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Mine looked pretty good even cars and their lights look wonderful. Whats your setting like, mine is mostly ultra and high percentage traffic


Looks BETTER now and I find xplane great at night lighting - now some lights at airports I would be a happy camper


Looks like it will be impossible to satisfy everyone.

Loved the new AA…


You nailed it - its way better now

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Oh, yes, so much nicer. :crazy_face:

Besides the large city in the distance, these are all rural/country roads, none of them should be lit up like a ■■■■ runway.


In my case I was referring over the city and downtown which looks really good.

Agreed. Way different in night time lighting and not in a good way but odd way. Hard to explain. Blocky feel best way to describe.

I run vid settings in 4k on High-end so very apparent to me. Sorry, no before or after, but seeing others posts, I am just concurring.

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Just for comparison’s sake, here is Chicago from above at night.

New York at night landing.

A few things… I have been flying around Seattle and Vancouver:
I think that the night lighting is getting there, but it needs a few adjustments.

  1. PG tall building lights need to be a bit brighter. The windows probably, but there might need to be some kind of random accent lighting or something that illuminates the buildings vertically to sort of simulate what you see in a typical downtown area - maybe even just some brighter multicolored “grid” that they use on PG taller buildings. Not sure, but in comparison to the new street lighting the taller buildings are drowned out (which isnt totally wrong) but without any kind of accent lighting its almost hard to even see these buildings.

  2. One of the problems with the lights and why it looks too uniform is that while they are understandably located a bit too high off the ground, this leads to a problem that I will describe as the lack of the “twinkle effect”. In real life, when you are looking out over a city in a moving airplane you will probably see lights that look like they are turning on and off because they are being occluded or obscured from view by trees and buildings - because they are generally located at street level or on the side of buildings, so they will not be as static as they are in this sim. When they are static points 100 ft in the air, they will naturally never be obscured by anything other than a building 100 ft or more high. There may be a way to simulate this effect.

  3. The irregularity of the lights needs to be increased by id guess about 15-20%, or at least there should be irregular irregularity or something if that make sense. Some streets regular and some irregular. I dont know how their light classes are generated, but anything main street related should probably be roughly perfectly linear which is how it is now, along with freeways. Anything smaller than oh, a two lane on both side street, should have id say the 20% irregularity because its not only simulating street lights, but in many places where it obviously isnt simulating streetlights, it is simulating the lights of houses and gates and walkways that are near the street, and yes these exist even in rural areas. Very rural areas along roads should probably still have lights, but made extremely irregular and MUCH further apart to simulate how rural areas have house and farm lights near the road for their entryways and such and perhaps a bit dimmer. The lights that are in the middle of the roads are id imagine meant to simulate car headlights and the red taillights, these should be fairly more irregular than the streetlights because they are not static regular objects IRL. I know thats a crappy explanation, but thats what I look for when im looking at familiar areas.

  4. Different cities are different. Some really are much more dense and uniform than others, like chicago as seen above in the video. Others id imagine like in europe are much more organic in feel, and also have completely different “color temperature” characteristics due to the differences in common lighting technology. Id be interested to know how they generate these differences.

Overall I think that there has been an improvement, but, yes some of the character was lost. Im not sure we need to go back to the old way, but they especially need to work on rural roads - and whatever light class that is not “street” and more “building” to give them less uniformity.

Just my current thoughts. Going to do some more flying.


That looks terrible… What is going on…

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I’ve only flown at night once before the patch, and while I was annoyed that some main rural county highways had lights on them, I don’t recall EVERY SINGLE ROAD having lights on.

This is rural Wisconsin, and while I live near a town called Belgium, we don’t have every road in the state lit up like the country of Belgium.


I was the opposite, i found myself flying IFR more at night since it looked so much better then FSX. or did.

I agree… i quickly took a night flight around New York right after update, and it is beautiful!!

Absolutely correct… i’m going to fly more now… but what I’ve seen, night lighting and water reflection is dramatically better without any frame loss.

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That is the key… it is much better now… Asobo is never going to make everybody happy. So, I hope they don’t take the complaints to heart.

ASOBO… your doing a great job!!

The lighting is close but I feel could use the following tweeks

  • The red orbs gone completely (or much dimmer). You don’t see brake lights that much in real life… maybe in LA or NYC
  • The white lights dimmer
  • The bright yellow lights dimmer but still brighter than the current dim yellow lights (which are good as is)
  • Rural and small roads didn’t have lights at all
  • Airport taxiway (blue and green) lights much dimmer
  • Not sure if there’s a way to do directional lighting, but the papi/vasi lights should only be visible when looking down the runway, not 360 degrees miles away.
  • More variation in the lights in both size and brightness
  • All light orbs a bit lower to the ground

Is there a config file somewhere that we can tweek for these lights?

There is also a weird “fisheye” effect going on with the moon depending on camera angle/position (same with lens correction on and off). Not sure how that can be fixed. But PLEASE do not ever change the star map… best I’ve ever seen in any game or sim!

Did anyone else’s lights (runway, street lights, etc.) turn to squares and rectangles after the update? It took me a moment to notice it but yeah…mine are all squares and rectangles now.

I think it’s better overall. Looks like the lights have more intensity than before.

One thing though I have consistently noticed and even more so now that the lights have been notched up is how dark all the skyscrapers are in large metro areas.

There is a screenshot posted today of NYC and Manhattan area looks like a blackout ha occurred compared to the outlying areas. All the buildings are very, very dimly lit. Same thing happened to me this evening flying from Toledo to Chicago’s KMDW. Was panning around trying to find the downtown area on the lake. The only way I knew right where it was was because of the large dark area surrounded by lights.

I took some screenshots I’ll post later. We all know (those who have flown) IRL what effects millions of different types of lights have on large metro areas. They glow like nobody’s business and throw vast light pollution up into the atmosphere that reflect upon the clouds under the right conditions.

I’m just learning about making 3D scenery and am delving in more now about lighting effects. In a sense, with large metro areas reversing the light source for area lighting and having it illuminate upwards instead of downwards might have the desired effect of reflected big city lights in the large downtown areas. Like I said, I’m just learning. What I’d like to accomplish is applying this to building types which would be used universally in such areas but with photogrammetry in play I don’t know how this would be accomplished. With winter settling in I think I may try to somehow make this one of my priorities.