Lighting Equipment

Exterior Lighting


Exterior lights on the F-4E include position lights found on the wings and tail, join-up lights on the wings, fuselage lights, the anti collision light, and the inflight refueling receptacle light; the control for these are found on the right console. Additional in-flight lighting is provided by the formation lights, which have a separate set of controls above the right console. Further lighting is available for landing and taxi when the gear are lowered, and the controls for these are found on the left sub-panel.

pilot_exterior_lights_panel Pilot Exterior Lighting Panel

Position and Join-Up Lights


The wing and join-up lights are controlled by a single switch, with options for OFF, DIM, and BRT. These lights do not have a flash function. The tail light is controlled by the Flasher Switch in STEADY or FLASH position.

Anti-Collision and Fuselage Lights

Fuselage lights on topFuselage lights on bottom

Three white anti-collision lights are found behind the rear cockpit canopy, and one below each of the engine intakes.


A red anti-collision light is found on the vertical stabilizer.

These are all controlled by the three position FUS switch (1), which can be set to OFF, DIM, and BRT. The red light on the stabilizer only illuminates when this switch is selected to BRT. The fuselage lights only function with the Flasher Switch in STEADY or FLASH, and cycle when in the latter setting.

Landing and Taxi Lights


The landing and taxi lights are found on the nose gear door, and only illuminate when the gear are in the down position.

In-Flight-Refueling Receptacle Lights

To assist operators with boom alignment, lights illuminating the IFR receptacle will power on when it is raised by placing the Air Refuel Switch into EXTEND.

Formation Lights


Electroluminescent formation lighting is found along the fuselage, wing tips, and vertical stabilizer. These are activated using the control panel above the right console, and have options for ON, OFF, and MOM (for momentary).

Interior Lighting

Interior lighting consists of several floodlights, panel back-lighting, gauge edge lighting, and several dimmable warning and indicator lamps.

Both cockpits are fully night-capable and have separate controls for adjusting brightness.

Most controls for interior lighting can be found at the aft end of the right consoles.



For general cockpit illumination, the aircraft features several red floodlights and also a battery-powered white floodlight.


White Floodlight

The White Floodlight switch (1 Pilot, 4 WSO) acts independent of all other controls on the panel, and is either ON or OFF. It activates a separate emergency floodlight (also called Thunderstorm Light) that illuminates the cockpit in white. The lamp is energized through the Battery Bus to ensure it is always operational, even in case of total power loss.

🟡 CAUTION: Do not forget to turn off the light before parking the aircraft for a longer time, as it will otherwise drain the battery.

Red Floodlights

Red floodlights can be switched individually for the consoles and the instrument panel. Controls are found on the right console and the right wall.

Red Floodlight Switches

💡 The WSO has no controls for the instrument floodlight. The light is also controlled by the pilots switch on the right wall.

All three positions of the switches are powered by different buses to ensure maximal availability:

BrightEssential 28V DC Bus
MediumLeft Main 14V AC Bus
DimLeft Main 115V AC Bus

💡 Floodlights are turned off by selecting the DIM position and moving the Console Brightness knob to OFF.

Panel Lighting

To ensure that all panels and gauges are readable during night, back- and edge-lighting can be enabled by either crew-member individually for the consoles and instrument panel.


Controls are located on the right console.

Back-lighting Controls

Console lighting is provided by the Left Main 115V AC bus, while instrument panel lighting is powered through the Right Main 115V AC bus.

Flight Instrument Lighting

Additionally to general panel lighting, the brightness for the following six flight instruments can be controlled individually by the pilot using the Flight Instrument Brightness Knob on the front panel, and the six knobs on the right wall.

  • AoA Indicator
  • Airspeed Indicator
  • HSI
  • ADI
  • VVI
  • Altimeter
Flight Instrument BrightnessFlight Instrument Light Intensity
Flight Brightness KnobFlight Instrument Lights Intensity Panel

The Flight Brightness Knob acts as master control. On the fully CCW position, lighting of all six instruments is turned off.

The knobs on the wall can be used to tweak brightness for instruments individually, where the fully CCW position turns them off and moving the knob CW progressively increases brightness until it reaches the level dictated by the Flight Brightness Knob.

💡 The WSO has no controls for the instrument lighting. Instead, the brightness is also controlled by the pilots knobs.

🚧 The flight instrument lighting is currently linked to the Instrument Panel Knob on the right console instead. The correct controls will be made available later during Early-Access.

Warning and Indicator Brightness

Additionally to controlling Flight Instrument Brightness, the pilots Flight Brightness Knob also controls the intensity of all warning and indicator lamps in both cockpits.

In the fully CCW position, all indications are given at full brightness. Moving the knob out of this position will result in dimmed lamp intensity. No variable brightness setting is available.

Some lamps, such as the Fire and Overheat lights are excluded from the circuit and will always show at full brightness.

💡 Warning and Indicator lamps can not be turned off fully, only a bright or dimmed setting is available.

💡 The SHOOT lights have no dimmed setting and are turned off entirely when the knob is moved out of the fully CCW position.

Rotate-To-Dim Lamps

Both cockpits feature multiple lamps that can be dimmed individually by rotating the lamp. Rotation will move a shutter in front of the lamp, resulting in a reduced intensity.

Some of those lamps can also be pushed-to-test.

For the pilot, these lamps include:

CMS IndicatorLeft Console
Flare IndicatorLeft Console
RecorderLeft Sub-Panel
Marker BeaconFlight Director Group
Pull-UpOverhead Indicators
KY-28 Mode PRight Sub-Panel
KY-28 Mode CRight Sub-Panel
Radio CommandRight Console
TACAN CommandRight Console
IFF ReplyRight Console
IFF TestRight Console

The WSO cockpit has the following rotate-to-dim lamps:

Radio CommandLeft Console
TACAN CommandLeft Console
Chaff IndicatorLeft Console
Flare IndicatorLeft Console
APX ChallengeLeft Sub-Panel
Combat-Tree ChallengeLeft Sub-Panel
Marker BeaconUpfront Indicators
KY-28 Mode PUpfront Indicators
KY-28 Mode CUpfront Indicators
INS AlignRight Console
INS HeatRight Console


Some panels and systems have individual lighting controls not tied to the general console or instrument brightness knobs.

For the pilot, these additional brightness controls are:

SAILeft Wall
Station LampsWeapon Management
Range Indicator DisplayWeapon Management
HUD ReticleDSCG Controls
DSCG ScreenDSCG Controls
DSCG ScaleDSCG Controls
RWR DisplayRight Main Panel
RWR ButtonsRight Main Panel
Standby Compass LightRight Console
AoA IndexerRight Wall

While the WSOs brightness controls are as follows:

RWR DisplayUpfront Indicators
RWR ButtonsUpfront Indicators
Standby Compass LightRight Console
AoA IndexerRight Console
DSCG ScreenPedestal Group
DSCG ScalePedestal Group
Pave Spike ReticlePedestal Group
Pave Spike PanelPedestal Group