Monday, October 16, 2006

Let There Be Light

When it comes to lighting in the sim, it has been something of a Catch 22 situation. To really see the great graphics, the room needs to be fairly dark. However then reading an approach plate becomes nigh impossible. Some small lights on the sides have at least made approach plates visible, but the radio stack was still pretty much of a black hole.

One of the sim customers came up with the idea of utilizing rope lights to create sufficient ambient light to see the radio stack while still allowing the room to be dark enough to see a runway materializing out of the gloom. He brought in a piece of rope lighting that was long enough to go from one side of the cockpit enclosure, across the top, and down the other side. The lights are actually behind the pilot’s head, so they aren’t in the field of vision. He selected light green for the color, which happens to be a great color in a cockpit. The effect is great, and the visibility for the pilot is very good.

It was a great idea on his part, and I think it will really solve the problem of providing enough soft ambient light to see the radio stack and controls but not interfering with the graphics.

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