Using A2A Simulations’ 3D Lights With Add-On Aircraft

After the recent release of A2A Simulations’ 3D Lights, we got several requests from the community for a tutorial on how to install this unique feature in add-on aircraft. The following how-to will work on most add-on aircraft, however there is a running list on the A2A Simulations forum.

Please note we strongly recommend backing up your configuration files (panel.cfg & aircraft.cfg) before making any changes.

First, open your Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition game folder which can be found here:

C:Program Files (x86)SteamsteamappscommonFSXDLC

There, you should see a list of numbered folders, each of which corresponds with an add-on you have in your Steam library. The easiest way to find out which number refers to the add-on you want to configure is to visit the corresponding Steam store page. The six digit number in the URL is the number of the folder you are looking for.

For example, the screenshot below is the Steam store page for the A2A Simulations’ He 219 Uhu.

Untitled

The number in the URL is the number of the folder for that add-on, in this case, 379549.

Within the numbered folder, open the SIMOBJECTS folder, then the “Airplanes” folder, and then the folder of the desired variant (if applicable).

See below:

morelights

The two configuration files you need in order to install 3D Lights are the aircraft.cfg file (see above) and the panel.cfg file which is located in the “panel” folder.

Use NOTEPAD to open and edit them.

Please be sure to make a backup prior to making changes!

To add 3D Lights to add-on aircraft make the following additions to the aircraft’s aircraft.cfg and panel.cfg files:

PANEL.CFG

Add the following line at the bottom of the [VCockpit01] section changing ‘XX’ to the next available number:
gaugeXX=shockwave_lights!SW Lights, 1,1,1,1 //shockwave light

or if the landing lights are attached to the UC legs or doors and they go out automatically on the stock lights when
the UC is raised then:
gaugeXX=shockwave_lights!SW Lights_gear, 1,1,1,1 //shockwave light

Add the following line at the bottom of the [lights] section changing ‘XX’ to the next available number
light.XX = 5, 0.7, -5.7, -2, fx_Shockwave_landing_light // Shockwave light

The coordinates above are as follows:

– Light type (must be 5 for landing lights)
– Position fore and aft(- = back, + = forward)
– Position left and right (- = left (in cockpit view) + = right (in cockpit view)
– Position up and down (- = down, + = up)

Numbers have to be adjusted for each aircraft you add lights to and are measured in feet from the model origin point. If the aircraft has more than one light then set up one first then copy and paste the line for the second one. For symmetrical lights in the wings you would just need to increment the light # and add or remove the – sign in the 3rd position numbers to switch between port and starboard.

Here is an example of the Cessna 172 aircraft.cfg file with the 3D Lights installed:

[LIGHTS] //Types: 1=beacon, 2=strobe, 3=navigation, 4=cockpit
light.0 = 3, -2.76, -18.11, 2.97, fx_navred
light.1 = 3, -2.78, 18.11, 2.95, fx_navgre
light.2 = 2, -3.13, -18.31, 2.95, fx_strobe
light.3 = 2, -3.11, 18.31, 2.95, fx_strobe
light.4 = 1, -20.51, 0.00, 6.20, fx_beacon
light.5 = 4, -2.27, 0.00, 1.45, fx_vclight
light.6 = 5, -2.0, -9.2, 2.5, fx_Shockwave_landing_light // Shockwave light

Getting the light to be exactly where you want it will take some trial and error, but it’s pretty straightforward.

The way we added lights is we opened the desired aircraft.cfg file, and then started FSX: Steam Edition. We started a flight with the desired aircraft, and then switched FSX to Windows Mode by hitting the ALT (right)-ENTER keys.

We can then view both the aircraft.cfg file and FSX: Steam Edition at the same time. The process goes like this:

  • Edit aircraft.cfg file.
  • Save aircraft.cfg file
  • Reload aircraft in FSX to see changes. (You can set up a reload key function to reload just the aircraft by assigning keys to the unused ‘Reload Aircraft’ command in the settings window – CTRL+SHIFT+R works well).

Once you get the hang of it you can add lights quite quickly!

For AI aircraft, do the same as above except you don’t make the PANEL.CFG changes.

Lights Overview

Fx_shockwave_landing_light
Standard landing halogen light – this is our standard landing light and should be tried first.

Fx_shockwave_landing_light_old
Older bulbs with less brightness and with a touch of yellow.

Fx_shockwave_landing_light_small_xenon
Latest technology in lighting and quite bright, if not blinding. You have undoubtedly seen cars at night with that
bright light with a hint of blue. We put these in the Mooney. They look best on smaller, luxury, aircraft.

Fx_shockwave_landing_light_light
This is an actual ambient light we place below and forward of the aircraft. This lights up the front lower part,
representing the reflections and light that slips out of the side of the bright landing lights and results in the
lighting up of the actual aircraft. Placing this ambient light just right takes a lot of trial and error to look right.
This technique is new for Redux.

Fx_shockwave_landing_light_short
Shorter beam – we placed these in the Lear to improve the smoothness of the beam (reduce the ripples on the fuselage) when close and below the aircraft.

Fx_shockwave_landing_light _narrow
Narrow beam that works well when a light is placed right next to the fuselage (reduces the ripple on the fuselage).

Fx_shockwave_landing_light_l
Larger beam spread.

Fx_shockwave_beacon
Shockwave beacon, first used on Accu-Sim aircraft. Beacon light fades down after lighting up.

Fx_shockwave_beacon_b
Used when below the fuselage, “b” stands for “below”.

Fx_shockwave_beacon_h
Used when above the fuselage, “h” stands for “high”.

Fx_shockwave_beacon_l
Large beacon, “l” stands for ‘large”.

Fx_shockwave_beacon_nl
Doesn’t cast any red ambient light, “nl” stands for “no light”.

Fx_shockwave_beacon_lowl
Casts a shorter light, “lowl” stands for “low light”.

Fx_shockwave_beacon_rotating_red
Simulated rotating beacon, nice for older aircraft. This light swells, pulses, then diminishes with every flash.

Fx_shockwave_navgre
Shockwave green nav light. First used on A2A Simulations’ Accu-Sim aircraft

Fx_shockwave_navred
Shockwave red nav light. First used on A2A Simulations’ Accu-Sim aircraft.“nl” and “old” variants of the lights also exist.

Fx_shockwave_strobe
New strobe effect – modeled after what the eye actually sees when viewing a real strobe. Light flashes fast
twice.

Fx_shockwave_strobe_2
Slightly longer timing – allows the light to slightly drift out of sync with the standard strobe.

Fx_shockwave_strobe_3
Same as Fx_shockwave_strobe_2, except further out of sync.

Fx_shockwave_strobe_l
New strobe effect – modeled after what the eye actually sees when viewing a real strobe. Large, single flash. Good for airliners.

Fx_shockwave_strobe_nl
Strobe flashes but does not cast light.

Fx_shockwave_vclight
Standard cockpit lighting. Aircraft VC light positions were slightly altered for better results.

Fx_shockwave_vclight_l
Large cockpit lighting.

If you have any questions about how to install 3D Lights Redux, either pop them in the comments section below or click here to visit the A2A Simulations 3D Lights Redux support forum. 

Happy flying!

FSX Admin

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