When will Asobo finally fix lighting inside cockpit?

Using the FBW A320 and any other Airliner(Don’t know about GA planes) it seems to be unrealistically too dark during bright days inside the cockpit. It’s very annoying because it also hides the texture quality of the cockpit. It seems to be very dumb as when it’s very bright and clear outside, it seems to get darker inside cockpit.

It should be the other way around and not so much darkness where you can’t see the texture quality.

Only way you can get a moment where you can really see the quality of the textures is in golden hours dusk or dawn. You can see why devs like Fenix and PMDG mostly have to take screenshots of the cockpits during these times.

So, hopefully SU9 has some of these fixes cuz it’s been 2 years now with this and I’m no computer/software genius, but I’m sure it can’t be too hard for the guys that are experts to fix this.


I fully agree with the cockpit beeing too dark if flying in bright sunlight. For me it is less the texture but more the difficulty with reading gauges and instruments.


I disagree, I for one, think that MSFS does the best job in conveying the stark contrast between the extremely bright sunshine outside and the relative darkness of the cockpit.
And, just like in real life, your eyes take a second to adjust to each one. There’s nothing worse than a bright, washed out cockpit that is almost as bright as the environment outside.
MSFS is by far the most accurate depiction out of all the simulators, Asobo please don’t change it.


I was reading through the SDK the other day and there is a part in there that states that developers can add an AO map (shadows & highlights) to the red channel of a texture to add to the in game AO to help define light and dark areas, maybe by deleting the contents of said red channel in a texture might help you ?

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Slightly disagree.
Think of real life inside a car on a very bright sunny day. You can see outside and the car is equally bright inside.
The only time you can not see inside your car well is when you are driving towards the sun when it is low in the horizon and is blinding you. This is indeed very well simulated.
But Asobo have extended this phenomenon to every time in the day.


Although you are slightly correct, it is still a bit too dark. There should be no reason at all for textures to be almost covered completely because of the darkness/shade that is currently showing. I’m not saying it should be removed, but it definitely needs to be adjusted.

Why do you think 90% of cockpit screenshots are always taken at dusk or dawn from big dev companies? It’s because it’s the only time you can actually see the fine textures of the cockpit while on pilot view. It looks horrible at any time during bright day.

Furthermore more, it gets even darker when you use HDR on 4K. That’s what I use.

With HDR on, outside looks very good, but then the cockpit looks too dark.

With HDR off, outside looks to washed out, but then inside cockpit looks a bit more brighter and normal but still needs fixing.

It NEEDS to be changed. Many people have been asking for this for a long time.


Yep, exactly!!


Nah, I like it where it is right now. No need for change imo.


I have had good results changing the Color Grading to 0 in User.Cfg.opt

This effect is bizarre. It’s simulating the reduced dynamic range of a camera, vs the human eye.

In reality - just like in the car example above - this problem does not exist in aircraft (unless you’re pointed right at the sun, just like in your car). Why would it?

At noon on a sunny day, the cockpit is brightly lit, and the outside world is brightly lit… because the human eye has a far greater dynamic range than a camera.

I’ve always found it bizarre that they added camera effects to views in this simulator. Why? Are we simulating being a human being in an aircraft, or being a camera in an aircraft? What’s with the lens flare, the bloom, and yes, the reduced dynamic range?


Because the light intensity at FL 350 is at the extreme level our human eyes can handle. Comparing it to the light levels on the ground is simply incorrect. It is a factor three off.

In a car, even at midsummer noon, in a perfectly clear sky, you will still be able to at least see a bit of your feet on the pedals. In an airliner in the same conditions, everything below your knees will be black if you have just been looking outside. Pilots do not see their feet when they are above the top cloud layer.


Yes, the internal lighting of the vast majority of aircraft looks and is in fact quite precarious; In addition to that, when turning on the light switches on the panels, we still have a very sharp drop in performance (overlaying textures (normal + lit).

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Really interesting, because in Xbox is the other way arround. The inside of the cockpit is too bright and you don’t need to turn any floor light, just the light of the instruments.

And the light of the instruments, even at minimus, is still too bright.

Not quite: they do not “not see” their feet because of their eyes are adjusted to the bright light, they do not see their feet because within the compartment where the rudder pedals are there is darkness because very little light - compared to the rest of the cockpit - reaches into the compartment. Everything else is brigtly lit and you are able to see details in surface texture. And this even though you wear (high quality) sunglasses. Can one of the real airline pilots chime in here to give us real life facts?

I agree. I get that they are trying to model how the human eye reacts to light changes. The end result is that the cockpit is too dark and the textures lack contrast and look pixelated.

There is always a compromise between realistic modelling of human eyesight balanced with what users perceive as “looking good”.

It would be most realistic if the cockpit was blurred when looking out the window into the distance, and vice versa when you look at the cockpit. But that just isn’t done.

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So… I fly 737s for a living, for a legacy US airline.

Have you ever flown a jet?

Yes, I can see my feet at work. :grin:

You are correct that the light is more intense at altitude; that means it’s more intense everywhere, both inside and outside the cockpit. Thus, while you may have a greater desire for sunglasses, there is no more variation in light from inside and outside the cockpit than there is inside and outside your car.

Edit: and of course this effect exists in all MSFS aircraft at all altitudes, and so even if it did happen at altitude (which it does not), by this argument it would still be incorrect in a GA aircraft in the pattern.

Basically, it’s ridiculous.


Ha. I guess that sums it up. Like we have been saying all along; the game reflects what a camera lens does and not a healthy human eye. Great Post.

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Are you using your periphery?

If you tilt your head down and your eyes focused into the foot well you would see your feet clearly, but if you used your periphery to “see” outside you will lose detail to blown out highlights and the sky will be white.

Alternatively, when you lift up your eyes and focus outside, the sky will return to blue again and the foot well in your periphery will be much darker and you will lose detail.

Eyes perform this feat instantly and it’s not easy to detect unless you know how to see it. The human eye does not have the dynamic ability to see in full sun and shadow at the same time.

I love why Asobo is implementing this feature but I don’t know if people will ever love it unless it was an eye tracking feature that worked the same as it does in real life… Automatically and unaware.

Pro photographer for 20 years, my career is evaluating and capturing light.


As I said, this effect is how CAMERAS see. Not how you as a human being sees.

Yes, I can see my feet with my peripheral vision, while I’m looking outside. Straight into the sun? Of course not. With mid-day, overhead sun? Of course.

If you can see it in your car, you can see it in the jet. There is no difference in luminance differential inside/outside a cockpit at altitude than there is in your car. Total luminance difference, yes. Differential? No.

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It’s not realistic at all. On a bright, day, the ambient lighting alone would light up the cockpit. In sim, the panel is unrealistically dark and almost impossible to read without panning the camera down in numerous aircraft.