I am currently in the process of supporting a simulator certification (Prepar3d V1.2) and one of the tests involves checking the frame rate of the simulator with lots and lots of light points. I originally created a matrix of lights using the fx_beaconwhi effect. The lights are nice and bright, but when I put a whole bunch of lights on the scene (much more than would be seen on a normal runway) the frame rate drops to around 3 fps.
I've been experimenting with different types of effects and spacing between lights to try and find a setup that maintains 24 fps, I'm attaching them to square planes (2d objects, not aircraft) that are about 3x3 meters and the lights need to be visible from at least 1000 meters away or so. A lot of the lights just don't show up when I attach them to the objects. I've tried some different taxi lights and the fx_beacon_sml and am not able to see these types as I do the fx_beaconwhi effect. It seems like attaching effects is kind-of a crapshoot, I haven't been able to locate any documentation on what these effects are supposed to do. If the effects were being obscured by the objects then I would expect the white beacon to also be obscured.
Does anyone have any idea what light I could use that would actually show up in the scene, render very efficiently, and be visible during the day. I am generating the scenery with 3ds max 2011 32 bit and P3d SDK 1.2. However, I am viewing the scenery in P3d V2.2.