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Artificial light sources are too dim
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Whenever I try vehicles, or anything in the editor, the lighting is very dim, especially for heli and cars. I can barely see any lighting from heli.
and for the cars, the lighting only goes around 3 meters. {F16980} {F16981} {F16982}


Legacy ID
Steps To Reproduce

open arma editor

Set time to nights
put any cars
try it on, turn on lights.


Additional Information

Almost all artificial light sources are too dim; this includes vehicle headlights, flashlights, chemlights and street lamps.

Event Timeline

SweetMatix edited Additional Information. (Show Details)
SweetMatix set Category to Visual-Environment.
SweetMatix set Reproducibility to Always.
SweetMatix set Severity to Tweak.
SweetMatix set Resolution to Fixed.
SweetMatix set Legacy ID to 249644474.May 7 2016, 10:53 AM
Shaft added a comment.Mar 6 2013, 1:15 PM

Agree. Not only outside lights, but even at night light from vehicle's dashboard very dim. At twilight it looks like no light from lightsources at all. This thing related to all sources, fireplaces too.

True Shaft, I tried the vehicle from inside, almost can't see anything if you play around 21:00 (very2 dark night) and the road lights are pretty dim too :[ I guess the only best way to play if you play it around 00:00 while moon still on your head. And yeah I just noticed it is the lightsources problem, everything is so dim at around 21:00 (twilight, very dark night)

Tark added a subscriber: Tark.May 7 2016, 10:53 AM
Tark added a comment.Mar 9 2013, 2:10 AM

Same thing happens during storms as well.

It's not only the light itself but also the illuminated textures on the dash. This happens at daylight and/or at night.

cashxx added a subscriber: cashxx.May 7 2016, 10:53 AM

I just found this out last night when I was messing around with the editor. Got in the truck and couldn't see, the light barely shows over the hood when in cockpit view. The lights go out alot more than that in real life, same for the helicopter, those lights on a heli are very bright and it shows as a little small circle.

Also noticed no lights on the dash in the little bird. Had all the lights on and they never turned on.

Make sure to set your editor time to something after 21:30 and test again.

All dynamic light sources get completely crazy between 21:00 and 21:30.
This is described in issue 0003119 and 0002929.

I adjusted the title and added some additional information, since this issue seems to affect almost all artificial light sources.

Thanks MadDog, Hope it'll get fixed soon.

calrod added a subscriber: calrod.May 7 2016, 10:53 AM

HID lights are needed i guess.

Kumeda added a subscriber: Kumeda.May 7 2016, 10:53 AM

Have you tried in the editor to make a very dark night. Going into a town the natrium lamps are unrealistic dim, also they are supposingly good ligth sources XD

@Kumeda , yep XD it was very awkward. Its like I'm in a ghost town or something.

But when its working, its beautiful!

Alex72 added a subscriber: Alex72.May 7 2016, 10:53 AM

We should get low beam and high beam on vehicles. They are currently only low beam and very hard to see when driving as you only see 10-15 meters ahead.

Unknown Object (User) added a subscriber: Unknown Object (User).May 7 2016, 10:53 AM
Unknown Object (User) added a comment.Mar 26 2013, 8:06 AM

Agree, even though Alex72 has a good idea, i doubt it will make it into the final relase, however, i find stupid to see only 5 meters ahead of you in a civilian car at 3 am.

its just stupid, people all over the community praise the ArmA 3 lighting, i think they are WAY too dim

True, I did praise the arma 3 lighting, but there's alot of bugs need to fix about it especially at night.

I think I have a little more detail for this issue based on my observations.

Viewing with 3D view during when a chopper lands with landing & collision lights at night, the brightness appears similarly similar to real world. But I think the lights and flashing could be boosted slightly more. Once the chopper leaves the ground, the lights and flashing is significantly lessened for some odd reason. As if the computer programming is trying to similate a significant increase in distance, but in 3D view you're never really getting further from the 3D model, although slightly due to an auto panning effect. After leaving the ground, the lights likely need to be boasted significantly?

Probably have to take a light meter to the airport, but I'd probably end-up disappearing if I tried to myself.

Runway lights also appear requiring an increase with lighting levels. (ie. See FlightGear for some excellent nighttime lighting effects with airports, runways and aircraft collision lighting!)

Could also be that the programmers are using a basic generic graphical lighting effect functions for the time being, and might be using optimized graphical lighting effect functions later after alpha versions. (ie. Again, there are a couple of lighting effect engines within FlightGear that also demonstrate this.)

GhostDOC and a few others have also mentioned the crazy dusk and dawn issues with light levels. I have also posted Bug #0006275 "Flares Fail to Light Sky at Dusk and Dawn" and my flare bug sounds like a seperate bug for now, as it is very likely there is residual light with flares during dusk/dawn, just hasn't been programmed in -- which would mean it's a separate issue from what MadDog has stated. (In other words, flares only work if, it is night, and off during all other dusk/dawn/daylight times/types.)

I agree! There are times when I can't see 5 feet in front of me, even with a flashlight, because it doesn't light up enough area to be useful.

Lights aren't necessarely too dim but they don't illuminate enough. There are two light sources on the screenshot I uploaded... you can barely see the other one.

sure,even my non-tactical flash light can light up something about 50m away at night,and a few hundred meters should be easy for a tactical one.
but in A3,maybe just 20m for a tactical gun light...

Gips added a subscriber: Gips.May 7 2016, 10:53 AM

@CXN2615 Its even buggier in MP, the tactical flash light can sometime become too dim for other player.

@Blaerah wow, I wonder how its going to look like from far away, you probably wont even notice an enemy car coming towards you.

@Harold , its useless for now >_< lol

@Roger +100

It would be also nice if BIS could make the collision-/beacon-/taxi- and landing-lights on helicopters/aircrafts visible at daytime. Especially for the collions- and beacon-lights. The reason should be clear ;)

rogerx added a comment.Apr 8 2013, 9:05 PM

PhunkMaZ: Oh, you mean brighter collision lights during the daytime so pilots will be able to more distinctly see each other, similar to driving with your headlights on while driving your vehicle, in an attempt to avoid collisions.

Excellent point. Maybe if the lighting is effective and bright enough within the game, it might indirectly influence some of the young people to drive their privately owned vehicles more safely in real life, by driving with their headlights on.

In other words, lead by example. ;-)

I just thought, what if the graphics developer could increase the flash intensity of the collision lights, to the point other pilots within vicinity could see these intense flashes within daylight, especially when the other aircraft are out of line of sight. This would further encourage players/pilots to utilize the collision lights while always flying around the airports and landing zones, or even while outside combat zones for safety.

For example: Pilots out-of-line of sight of other aircraft having their collision lights on, would be able to see an extremely brief white flash, giving the real sense of something flashing just outside their peripheral vision. I know for a fact this is true, but am unsure of the effective distance during day time. Very similar to emergency vehicle flash/strobe lighting.

I slept on how to integrate this programming wise, of which graphics programmers likely already figured it out.

When another aircraft gets within vicinity of another person, create extremely brief flash photography reflection effects on screen. Even if the aircraft is completely out of view of the player, the player should still see some flashing indicating the vehicle with active collision lights is near or within the vicinity, with intensity depending on building obstructions and distance.

Hence, a likely reason high intensity flash strobes are utilized, they're very good lighting indicators when working around obstructions. And, without this effect, the flash collision lighting is completely inadequate.

I confirm this issue too.

But I have noticed that at different times of the night the lights are either brighter or dimmer.

Put your clocks to Feb.

3am the lights are as bright as they should be.

5am the lights are a lot dimmer in the pitch black.

6am lights very dim

7am/daylight lights are still on, not showing any signs of light.

lights are absiloutly useless...

as much power as a zippo at the moment

seany added a subscriber: seany.May 7 2016, 10:53 AM
seany added a comment.Apr 20 2013, 5:16 PM

I noticed this recently in a night mission with no NVG. When it gets dark and you try to use the Flash light it feels like the batteries are about to run out.

Artificial lights at certain times are too dim.

The latest developer version, glow lights at night look extremely bright and awesome when at ground level! They also help light-up the forest at night.

Glow lights also adequately light-up the terrain and for targeting for landing for operations in route. We did notice, there was a bad "popping" effect when approaching the area by chopper. At first, viewers see no or little glow light from the air, then the glow suddenly appears. The glowing stays at a minimal until landed on ground. I found glow lights extremely beneficial for finding landing zones. I also found, I was able to fly without night vision, and only by moon light and looking for glow lights!

Also, the glow lights only appeared to work brightly during early evening for one or two hours, and their effectiveness or usefulness dramatically waned after those two hours, rending them useless. Flares display similar levels of effectiveness. Pretty much carrying dead weight, after the first two hours.

One thought, they should fit the mortars to launch glow sticks. I know it sounds crazy, but you would be able to light-up landing zones ahead of time, or suspected areas of enemy infiltrations within unlit areas for either targeting or insertions. Troops are restricted to carrying a limited amount.

tpw added a subscriber: tpw.May 7 2016, 10:53 AM
tpw added a comment.Apr 26 2013, 2:31 AM

I had high hopes for nights/lighting when the alpha was first released, with the initial ligthing and effects looking like a vast improvement over A2.

Unfortunately the whole night and lighting experience has gotten worse and worse as the alpha dev builds have gone on. The sky remains dark blue even when the environment is pitch black, and the artificial lights are now absolutely useless. Script placed light source are also giving off almost no light.

This should be fixed as a matter of some urgency, as it stands the ambience of night missions is pretty much ruined.

Unknown Object (User) added a comment.Apr 26 2013, 8:28 PM


that's not an issue, have you never turned on a flashlight in the middle of the day? there is no light coming out of it

I can't see ANYTHING when driving a car at night, even with lights on.

rogerx added a comment.May 2 2013, 7:48 PM

MulleDK19: You're not using a recent version. Almost sounds like you're using the initial release.

@rogerx: I'm most certainly using the recent version.

mantls added a subscriber: mantls.May 7 2016, 10:53 AM
mantls added a comment.May 4 2013, 2:20 PM

@rogerx: He is. Just yesterday we were wondering about the extremely weak flares, you had to shoot them a few meters above the ground in order to atleast light up something.

rogerx added a comment.May 5 2013, 2:40 AM

If I'm not mistaken, I already made mention of that here.

During the first few hours of nighttime sometime after dusk, lightness from the flares works awesomely and lights up the ground as expected. After the first few hours of nighttime and which lasts the most of nighttime, the flares are significantly weaken. (Because of simulated moonlight?) I'd say for about 75% of nighttime of the later part, flares are essentially useless and considered dead weight when considering carryon items. (This doesn't include dusk and morning when flares are also useless, for obvious reasons but should still see some light?)

Yes, another method of using the flares, is to launch them into the ground at 200-300+ feet out ahead. Really lights up a forest. Smokey the bear won't be happy. Wonder if they'll simulatea forest fires next. ;-)

Static lights like on streets in town seem to fade in - this is unrealistic. They should emit a standard number of lumens irrespective of time of day. At night (evening)this means they would be full bright as soon as they come on. During the day they would most likely be off or if on they would have little effect due to ambient light. Time of day should not influence static light or vehicle light brightness. Lights look bright at midnight - seems light are linked to timer and gradually increase brightness to full at 2400. Likewise they fade out towards dawn. Crazy programming!

This was resolved a while ago.

Mass close.