Airplane Lighting Placement and Color
The most recognized aircraft lights are the aircraft navigation or position lights. These lights are located on the wingtip of the aircraft, and are red, green, and white - the navigation light on the left wing is red, while the navigation light on the right wing is green. The final navigation light is located on or near the tail, and is white. The color choice serves to aid pilots in determining the direction of travel of an aircraft, as well as assist in following aerial right-of-way rules.
The airplane anti-collision strobe lights are another easily recognizable light. These lights are flashing white, and are also generally located on the wing for smaller aircraft, or on the fuselage for larger aircraft. These lights are intended to draw attention to the aircraft, ensuring it is not overlooked at night or in poor visibility.
The rotating beacon is a very important light. This light is red, and on many commercial airliners, can be seen on the belly of the fuselage, as well as on the tail. This light is activated just prior to engine start, and will be left on the entire time the engines are running.
The airplane landing light may be one of the most powerful lights on the aircraft, especially on commercial airliners. This light may be seen for miles away when an aircraft is approaching the runway to land. This white light is generally encased in the nose, or in the wing root, and projects a concentrated beam like a flashlight forward.