Having now completed your training and past your flight test you now a PPL, you can fly a light aeroplane or helicopter in daylight hours with reasonably good weather.
Wether you just want to fly for fun or business you should consider upgrading you're PPL to include ratings that allow you to fly at night or even in less favourable weather conditions. Such flying conditions are knowns as Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC). If you intend to become a Commercial pilot, the night rating is a mandatory step.
The Night Rating course comprises of 5 hours of night flying including some navigation and circuits at an aerodrome. There is also a small amount of theoretical knowledge instruction, however there is no Witten exam. This rating only allows you to fly at night when the weather conditions are good, or known as Visual Flight Rules (VFR).
Therefore, a Night rating qualification does exactly what it say it allows you to fly after sunset.
The IR(R) Rating allows you to continue your flight and land in more challenging weather conditions than those normally permitted when flying under Visual Flight Rules (VFR).
The IR (R) course consists of 15 hours of flight instruction, theoretical knowledge lessons and an exam, and an IR(R) Rating Skills Test with an examiner.
The privileges of the IR(R) Rating can only be used within the UK – a full Instrument Rating is required if you wish to fly in marginal weather across Europe.