I know from experience It often happens to me that I resorted to at least two torches: one in my hand and another in the front pocket of the plane. Additionally, you may want to consider a head-mounted flashlight, which allows you to be hands-free while aiming the light at whatever you are looking at.
And you probably want a white light and a red light, or a flashlight that does both. The white light is bright enough to see during preflighting and the red light is weak enough to maintain night vision during the flight.
Let your eyes adapt
According to the flight manual of the FAA plane, it takes five to ten minutes for the rods of your eyes to adjust to the darkness. Once they do, your eyes are 100 times more sensitive to light than during daylight. And after 30 minutes, when your eyes adapt almost completely to the darkness, they are about 100,000 more sensitive to light than before. As you fly at night, keep in mind that looking directly at something, like another plane, can actually make the object disappear from your field of vision (it is one of the common night illusions). Look to the side instead.
Check the weather
It is quite easy to see bad weather during the day. At night, however, clouds, rains and thunderstorms are more difficult to see visually. Before you take off, you will want to be a little more careful about checking the weather, including current METARs, TAFs and area forecasts. A flight services specialist can be helpful in this regard, even for local flights.
Pay particular attention to the temperature / dew point diffusion. Night is a common time when fog is formed and can quickly form.
Extra fuel holder
It is not always necessary or even possible to bring extra fuel, but consider it when possible. And you might be grateful that you did this when you realize that the FBO has closed for the night and there is no fuel available for self-service.
Make sure the aircraft lights work
During the preliminary check, pay particular attention to the navigation lights (position lights) and to the landing lights and taxis. But also pay attention to the interior lights of planes, such as panel lights, which can be extremely scarce in some older aircraft. And if you’re a diurnal flyer most of the time, you should familiarize yourself with the positions of the knobs and levers, the on / off positions of the important switches and the dome lights, if any.
And it would not be bad to review the airport lighting systems. What color did taxiing lights return? How much runway did you leave when the runway lights turn yellow and then red?
Make sure you are up to date
FAA regulations state that at least three take-offs and landings must be completed up to a maximum night (one hour after sunset until one hour before sunrise) in the last 90 days to carry passengers. It is easy to violate this.