It’s one of the mysteries of flying: why do airplane cabin lights are dimmed at takeoff and landing? Well, wonder no more as we have the answer for you and it comes from the most reliable source; an actual pilot.
In an interview to The Telegraph, Patrick Smith, a pilot and author of Cockpit Confidential (Get it from Amazon) reveals that lights are dimmed as a safety measure in the event of an accident.
“Dimming the lights allows your eyes to pre-adjust to darkness, so that you’re not suddenly blinded if something happens and the power goes out, and you’re dashing for the doors in darkness or smoke. The emergency path-lighting and signs will also be more visible. And it makes it easier to see outside, which helps you to maintain at least a basic sense of orientation – i.e. which way is up.” (the article continues after the ad)
By the way, this is the same reason why you are asked to raise your window shade during takeoff and landing.
“It helps you remain oriented, and also makes it easier for the flight attendants to assess any exterior hazards, such as fire or debris, that might interfere with an evacuation”
This comes as no surprise since the human eye can take up to 10 minutes to adapt to darkness (remember when we talked about Why Pirates Wore Eye Patches?). Because this could get pretty tricky in case of emergency, pilots dim the cabin lights so your eyes are adjusted.
If you like what you read, then you will definitely love this one: These Are The Safest Seats On An Airplane
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Sources: Why do flight attendants dim the lights for takeoff and landing? | Why Airplanes Dim Lights on Takeoff