Anyone who has been on a flight during the hours of darkness will know the drill.

Before you take off, the lights will suddenly go dim and only once you’re in the air will they come back up again so you can see what is going on around you in the cabin.

If you’re coming in to land, you’ll know that you’re getting close to the airport before the lights will go dim once again until you’re back on the ground - when they’ll be turned back up in preparation for you leaving the plane.

But have you ever wondered why that is the case?

There is actually a reason why the lights go down when you are taking off or landing outside daylight hours, which is largely to do with safety in the unlikely event of something going wrong.

Should the worst happen, there is every chance that the cabin of the aircraft would go dark, so by dimming the lights beforehand, your eyes have been given the opportunity to become more accustomed to the dark - something which is scientifically proven to be take around ten minutes or so.

If your eyes are already adjusted to the dark, then should you suddenly need to exit the plane quickly, you’re less likely to find yourself disorientated if the lights were to go out.

By dimming the lights, emergency lighting to guide you to the nearest exit will also be more visible - again something which would help you to get your bearings if required.

The reason why you need to keep your window blind open for both take off and landing is pretty similar, as it ensures that you retain a basic sense of orientation as you come in to land and will be aware of what is happening outside the aircraft.

All pretty simple and straightforward when you think about it…