Runway, Approach, Apron Lights Off During VFR Conditions/Daylight Hours

Moderator Note:
This is a combined topic from @BlitheFob1 and @ThankyouMarlin8, who each contributed complementary ideas. Thank you, both!

From @ThankyouMarlin8:

Can you have a user setting to have the runway approach lights (REIL and ALS’) be only turned on from -XXmin before sunset to +XXmin after sunrise or during period of IMC weather ( < 3 miles visibility or clouds below 1000ft AGL)?
It seems right now that REIL/ALS are turned on during daylight hours?

Check out this video below for what I am referring to.


From @BlitheFob1:

I think the title says it all. I’m guessing they kept the lights in order to make things easier for beginners? My local airports / the ones I have been to around the world don’t seem to have their lights blaring with clear skies?

I think the title says it all. I’m guessing they kept the lights in order to make things easier for beginners? My local airports / the ones I have been to around the world don’t seem to have their lights blaring with clear skies? It was the first thing that bugged me since the first day of alpha. And it’s still an issue?


I couldn’t agree more. One of those things that I am just like “why?”


I agree, runway lights should be only on during night time or during poor visibility.

It looks weird when you are landing with runway lights on during bright sunny day :slight_smile:

In FSX, there was a logic implemented to turn the lights on/off based on certain conditions. If the same logic would be taken over to MSFS 2020, I would be very happy.


Real world ATC rules are: At CAT 1 weather between sun rise and sun down you can switch your lights off. But you needn’t.

I appreciate the feedback. Bro is an airline pilot states lights are NEVER on during the day. I pass by KSAN everyday and the lights are always off, unless the visibility is very low. Just something that breaks immersion in my opinion. Airports look much nicer during the day with them off as well. There should be an option to have them off or on. Looking at all of the current addons they seem to be forced on as well. Flightbeam states approach lights always on is a current bug in sim.

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yes, that’s correct. In my case I see airports with no lights even during the night in MSFS… (raised the bug in zendesk)


Interesting?? Ha ha! Sorry.

I’m wondering why all airport lighting is on during daylight hours. Runway lights and rotating beacons should only be on during IFR conditions during daytime. FSX had this modeled correctly. Hopefully this will be addressed.

The approach lights seem to always be on at every airport equipped with them. Day or night, IMC or VMC. I see how Microsoft/Asobo might have done this to help beginners find the airport but, for hardcore simmers and real life pilots it isn’t very realistic.

I would like a feature where you could toggle approach lights always on or realistic in assists. Anybody else agree?

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I agree. Lighting needs to be automatically controlled only for IMC and night time conditions when using an advanced setting. If Asobo wants to enhance the sim by adding pilot controlled lighting via the radio, that would be a plus.

Related to this is the approach lighting. It’s visible from 360 degrees and this is not realistic.


Never thought about ARCAL lighting that would be a cherry on top. I never noticed the lighting was visible from all around. That should be fixed too.

Hi TBCaptain,
I fully agree. The sequential flashing lights are way too bright during a daytime VMC approach. They should be ON only during periods of poor visibility.

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I’ve mentioned this since months ago. Submitted a ticket several weeks back. No changes yet… Wanted to buy Flytampa Copenhagen today, but every time I see their screenshots with all the lights blaring with clears skies… I think to myself that looks like ■■■■! Ha ha! Seems like an easy fix?


Upvoted; I’d like to see this too! :small_airplane: :smiley_cat:

I know the simulator is available for a month only, therefore it is expected every runway and taxiway marking is shiny new because it still smell fresh paint, but I also hope it will wear in time like the ones in the video too and won’t be repainted with every new update :slight_smile:

We need to start saving the light bulbs from burning out in the sim.

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Can You guys please! Pretty please! Turn off the lights during the day time? Or maybe make that possible for 3rd party developers?


Why we can t vote for this topic ? It is absolutly unreal to have always the lights on in daylight. Should be fixed and was alright in FSX and all versions before…


It is unreal to have the runway lights always on. During daylight and in good weather they should be off. In all versions before this was OK, but now they are always on…