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Darren FS

Help Lighting Issue V5

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I recently purchased P3D v5 after a spell away from simming using MS sims in the past and have consistent issues with lighting at airports. Default airports are very dark with no approach lights and similar issues with add on sceneries such as JustSim LEBL. Initially had an issue with UK2000 but with the exception of the runway lights/approach lights that seems to have resolved. 
 

I have to be missing something in my settings or installation. I’ve searched the forums but can’t seem to find a definitive way to resolve this. Can anyone shed any light (excuse the pun). I don’t want to spend anymore money on P3D addons if I can’t get it to work. 

Thanks in advance 

Darren

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Runway / approach lights generally turn off during the simulated 'day' - some airports do override this, but most do not. If it's happening at night then that's a different issue, but if it's dawn / dusk / early AM it's more likely that you are perceiving it to be darker than it 'is' in the sim due to the other issue - HDR. If you have Enhanced Atmospherics on (which is now the default) then High Dynamic Range is on and Auto Exposure will be on. That will render the scene rather darker (depending on what else is in the scene) than you will be used to. It's most noticeable inside the VC where panels may look like it's night-time despite it being midday. 

There have been arguments about whether this is down to LM to fix or developers to fix their models, but there are a few things you can do:

  • Turn off auto-exposure and manually tweak the brightness setting in the HDR area (on the Lighting settings page) until it's bright enough for you. You can tweak the saturation etc too to affect colour balance. If you play around enough you can probably get a setting you're OK with.
  • If your display is not HDR-compatible and HDR mode annoys you then you *can* turn it off even with EA on, but not via the UI. Go into your Prepar3d.cfg file (this will be in c:\users\<your user name>\appsettings\roaming\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3d v5\) and find the line that says HDR=on (or true, I can't remember which it is) and set it to HDR=off (or, if it says 'true' now, to 'false'). That will turn off HDR even with EA on. EA may look a bit odd, though, without it. Note that if you go back to legacy atmospherics and back to EA again, this will overwrite your manual change and you'll have to make it again. 
  • Turn off EA altogether and go back to legacy atmospherics, and then you can manually turn off HDR from the UI.

You will need to restart the sim each time you make a Prepar3d.cfg change for it to take effect. 

The approach lights issue specifically, if you're looking for lights at times that the sim considers 'daytime' and there's no setting available in the airport config, there are a couple of settings you can use to prolong 'night-time' at either end of the day which will often (but not always) keep the airport lights on later. Details on this thread:

how to make night lights turn on earlier - The Prepar3d Forum - The AVSIM Community

(Note that you'll have to *add* these lines to your Prepar3d.cfg as they are not there by default in v5, but they do still work. At least for me!)

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Hi Neil

Thanks for the prompt reply and for those suggestions. I’ve had a play about with those settings but it doesn’t make a difference. When I’m at the gate, the ramp is completely dark and I still don’t have any approach lights during the night. It’s just frustrating as I’m sure there has to be something I’m missing. 

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To turn off HDR add or change in p3d.cfg the following -- HDR=0.

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I may have figured out the approach lights. They only appear when the aircraft is close by. As for the airports with no lights turning off HDR doesn’t make a difference. You can’t see anything outside. 
 

*UPDATE*
 

when scrolling through the time preview, once the sun sets it goes dark until the airport lights turn on and the same at sunrise when the airport lights turn off too soon. I’ve seen a fix for earlier versions of P3D but it doesn’t work in 5.1. 

Edited by Darren FS
Updates

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6 hours ago, pgde said:

To turn off HDR add or change in p3d.cfg the following -- HDR=0.

Yes. I should have just looked at my .cfg file but my sim PC was turned off when I answered this 😞

4 hours ago, Darren FS said:

I may have figured out the approach lights. They only appear when the aircraft is close by. As for the airports with no lights turning off HDR doesn’t make a difference. You can’t see anything outside. 
 

*UPDATE*
 

when scrolling through the time preview, once the sun sets it goes dark until the airport lights turn on and the same at sunrise when the airport lights turn off too soon. I’ve seen a fix for earlier versions of P3D but it doesn’t work in 5.1. 

Did you try the config change from the other thread I linked to? To adjust the night and day settings? That definitely keeps the airport lights on later into the morning and turns them on earlier in the evening for me.

On approach lights - yes, you only see them when you're near enough for them to render. I think it may depend on how the airport has been built and your scenery complexity level, too. 

Edited by neilhewitt

Host PC - 9700K @ 4.8GHz, 32GB DDR-3200, 512GB NVMe + 2TB NVMe storage, RTX 2080 SUPER primary + GTX 980Ti secondary GPU, AIO cooling
Client PC - 8700K @ 5GHz, 32GB DDR-3200, 512GB NVMe + 2TB NVMe storage, GTX 1080Ti GPU, AIO cooling
Software: Win10, P3D 5.2, tons of ORBX, ASP3D / FSGRW, SPAD.neXt, Immersive Display Pro and just too many others to mention...

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Hi Neil

I’ve had a play around with the cfg file using the day and night settings. No matter what value I put in, the lights come on at 17:49:39 and go off at 06:59:45. This is using UK2000 EGCC. This means there’s about an hour of darkness between the lights and sunrise/sunset.  When I go to my Just Sim LEBL the ramp lights don’t switch on and  remain off all night. Similar to the stock airports. 
 

Rgds

Edited by Darren FS
Typo

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After playing around some more, I find that whenever the clock says it's dawn or dusk, the airport lights aren't reflecting on the ramp. The actual lights appear to be on however, the ramp is completely dark. Runway lights and taxi lights appear to be on although quite dark from where I can see. 

The LEBL issue was rectified with a reinstall but the lights remain off during dawn/dusk time windows.

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Hi Darren,

Make sure you have dynamic lighting enabled in 'Lighting' settings.

If it is, then make sure the scenery you are using has dynamic lighting. Latest addon scenery usally comes with it by default, but if not then there are sometimes updates available for it.

Also check out iniBuilds dynamic lighting

Edited by Avionixz

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Hi @Avionixz 

Thanka for the suggestion. I can confirm that DL is enabled and my add on scenery has it. I also have issues at stock airports where the ramp/taxi/runway is really dark during the dawn/dusk period and only slightly lighter when it gets night. It seems that there is something which changes once the sim moves into night mode. I’ve done some more research and it seems to be a P3D thing with rendering at these times however it’s impossible to fly at those times. Im confident there has to be a setting I’m missing or something I need to do. I’m going to try delete the shaders folder later and see if that helps. 

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As a side note, for SODE airports, you can also turn on the rwy lights during daylight if you like this.

Look at  C:\ProgramData\12bPilot\SODE\xml   and find the the XML file for the airport. Look for a line  "<Condition ID="B" Variable="TimeOfDay" Value="DAWN;DUSK;NIGHT"/>"  and add DAY to it  =>  Value="DAY;DAWN;DUSK;NIGHT"

Edited by willy647

i7-7700K @ 4.9 GHz, 32GB DDR4, GTX1080, 2 x Samsung 1TB NVMe, 1 x 3TB HDD, Windows 10 Prof

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@willy647 thanks for the tip. I'll check it out when I get home. That might be the solution if it's only set to come in at night which seems to be what's happening. 

Will update I've I've had a look.

Thanks again

 

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Update.

I've deleted the shaders folder and rebuilt without success. I've tried the steps above and there is no entry in the airport file for the values given. I have found an entry in another scenery however dawn and dusk are listed as being on.

These three images show the difference between day, dusk and night. As you can see the lights don't switch on until night when it's fully dark.

https://imgur.com/a/qiBaCYg

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