Why do Airlines Dim the Lights for Take-off?

Why are the Cabin Lights Dimmed for Take-off and Landing?

A look at the reasons that the lights are turned down for certain stages of flight

Why are the Cabin Lights Dimmed for Take-off and Landing?

Cabin crew turn down the cabin lights for take-off and landing to allow the passengers eyes to adjust to the darkness just in case an emergency occurs which requires the evacuation of the aircraft. If the passengers eyes are adjusted to the darkness, their night vision will be improved which will help them find a route out of the aircraft in an emergency in darkness.

After the cabin lights have been dimmed, you will have the option to use an overhead light which will give you enough light to keep reading but these lights are of reduced intensity so your eyes can still adjust to the lower light levels.

The reason for the cabin lights being dimmed isn’t the same reason the lights are turned down in the cruise (at high altitude en-route) – this is to let you sleep!

Other Cabin Crew Instructions

The Cabin Crew give all the passengers lots of instructions for take-off and landing, like turning off laptops, removing ear phones and ensuring the tray tables are stowed. They aren’t just being awkward, it’s actually for a very good reason – your safety and wellbeing if something were to go wrong.

Why do passengers have to put their laptops away?

If the aircraft came to an abrupt stop or there was an unexpected significant impact, loose articles could be launched around the cabin. Anything the size of a laptop could cause a very serious injury if it hit someone. Therefore, it’s in everyone’s interests that objects such as laptops are stowed in the seat pocket or overhead locker for take-off and landing.

Some airlines will allow smaller handheld devices to be used during take-off and landing as these are deemed small enough to not pose a significant risk, or, could be help onto in the event of an emergency.

Stowing Tray Tables

Cabin Crew ask you to ensure the tray tables are folded back into the upright position for take-off and landing as in the event of a crash, you could violently be pushed into it which could cause serious injury or death.

Raising the Window Blinds

You need to be able to see outside in the event of an accident to assess which side of the aircraft is safe to evacuate. It’s also to allow the Cabin Crew to be able to look outside and assess where any danger is (such as a fire) and therefore decide which emergency exits should be used.

Removing Your Earphones

Some airlines have stopped insisting on this, but some airlines still enforce it. Basically there may be an occasion where the Pilots or Cabin Crew command an evacuation of the aircraft even though the reason isn’t obvious. For example, a fire in the cargo hold. In this scenario they need you to hear the evacuation instructions immediately and clearly. You don’t want to miss half of it because you’re listening to your favourite band!

Seat in the Upright Position

In the event of needing to adopt the brace position, the seat in front of you needs to have its seat in the upright position to make it as effective as possible. So moving your seat into the upright position is actually for the safety of the person behind you, not for you!