Marc J. Zeitlin
Also you need some sort of panel lighting to make your instruments visible at night...
While it is certainly reasonable to have lighting to see your instruments, 14 CFR Part 91.205(C) says nothing about requiring instrument lighting.
extra fuses (if used instead of circuit breakers) conveniently located in flight
91.205 does require this.
and an extra source of light (flashlight or light that clips to your hat) on board.
and 91.205 says nothing about extra sources of light, however reasonable having one might be.
As for legality, once the aircraft is equipped with the required equipment, then at least in Central Texas a logbook entry modifying the restriction for VFR day use to allow night VFR operations suffices.
Only the federal government determines what is and is not required to legally fly an aircraft at night, or what might be logged. I'd be very interested in hearing what jurisdictional organization in Central Texas believes that they can tell someone what they need to put in their aircraft logbook.
Unless your Operating Limitations (as issued by the FAA, an arm of the federal government (see the "F" in "FAA") state that a logbook entry is required to allow the plane to be used at night/IFR (and there may very well be some OL's that state this, depending upon what year they were issued), no logbook entry is required.
Remember, entries for work on experimentals can be done by anyone competent...
There is no requirement for competency - only a signature and a date in the maintenance logs, and a certificate # is one is available.
Only conditional inspections need be done by an A&P.
They are "condition" inspections, not "conditional" inspections - they are not conditional on anything - they inspect the "condition" of the airplane.
A DAR requiring TSO equipment on an experimental simply does not know his business.
Some equipment does need to be TSO'd, and some just needs to meet the TSO specification, which some non-TSO'd equipment does. For lighting, a TSO is not needed, but the specifications of the TSO are, and unless the non-TSO MFG is willing to supply documentation that the non-TSO'd equipment meets the requirements of the TSO, a DAR may not be willing to accept your word for it.