V-Ray lights are designed specifically to work with V-Ray and optimize its features.



V-Ray includes a set of lights designed specifically for rendering with the V-Ray engine. 

Depending on the scene and the effect you are trying to create with light, you might choose to use only one type of light or any combination of lights.

Below you can find detailed information on creation, application and UI functionalities of the different V-Ray lights.




UI Path


||obj Network|| > V-Ray > Light


Light Icons at a Glance



Light Types

The  following light types can be created with V-Ray for Houdini:

Ambient Light

Ambient light permeates a scene and illuminates from all angles equally without providing contrast. For more information, see V-Ray Ambient Light.

Directional Lights 

The V-Ray Directional Light can create light sources that cast parallel light rays in a single direction. For more information, see V-Ray Direct Light.

Dome Light

A dome light (also considered an area light) creates light within a dome or spherical shape to create a traditional global illumination setup. This Light is frequently used to load HDRI environment images. For more information, see V-Ray Dome Light.

IES Lights

Photometric lights are designed to simulate a light source's distribution pattern exactly as they behave in real life by loading and using an IES (Illumination Engineering Society) file. An IES profile contains details about the light's behavior, such as how the light passes through fresnel lenses, its intensity, and its and falloff. For more information, see V-Ray IES Light

Mesh Lights 

The VRayLightMesh can create light sources that have volume and shape defined by geometry in the scene, without the need to use self illuminated objects and global illumination. For more information, see V-Ray Mesh Light

Omni or Point Light

The VRay Omni Light is a V-Ray specific light that can be used to create physically accurate lights that casts rays in all directions from a single source. For more information, see V-Ray Omni Light.

Rectangle Lights

The VRayLightRect, also known as the V-Ray Rectangle light or an "area light" is a planar light source with the shape of a rectangle or circular disk. Rectangle lights are useful for simulating man-made light sources in an interior environment, such as lamps. A rectangle light can have any one of two different shapes: plane or disc.  For more information, see V-Ray Rectangle Light.

Light Sphere

The VRayLightSphere is a VRay Light object in the shape of a sphere, casting light outward in all directions. For more information, see V-Ray Sphere Light

Spot Light

The V-Ray Spot Light is a V-Ray specific light source plugin that can be used to create a physically accurate light that directs a narrow beam of light with falloff. For more information, see V-Ray Spot Light.

Sun and Sky System

A Sun light is a spherical light source placed at a specific location which simulates the sun in the sky. A Sun light has some unique qualities:

  • Sun light rays that strike the scene objects are treated as parallel to one another regardless of how far the Sun object is placed from the scene objects, producing the parallel shadows that our own sun creates.
  • A Sun light is designed to be used with global illumination; when the light bounces around the scene, the resulting rendering looks very much like sunlight in real life.
  • A Sun light can work in conjunction with a Sky environment background to provide realistic lighting and coloring for the scene when used with GI. Often, Sun/Sky is the only lighting setup needed in the scene to produce a photo-real rendering.
  • The Sun/Sky combination is suitable for an exterior scene, or for an interior scene with windows or other openings through which the light comes.

For more information, see V-Ray Sun Light.


Using Textures with Lights

V-Ray Lights have several parameters that make use of textures. The example below illustrates how a texture is specified for the Dome Tex parameter of a V-Ray Dome Light. To do this, first create a V-Ray Material node inside a shop network. Inside the V-Ray Material context, create a V-Ray Image File texture node to specify the texture. Then in the V-Ray Light, specify the Image Texture node in the desired texture parameter (e.g. Dome Tex).




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