This page provides information on V-Ray Mesh Lights.


The V-Ray Light Mesh can create light sources that have volume and shape without the need to use self-illuminated objects and global illumination.

If the V-Ray Light Mesh is close to other surfaces in the scene, it is best to use it with GI enabled so V-Ray can use combined direct and GI sampling of the mesh light. Without GI, the light might produce noisy results for surfaces that are very close to it.


UI  Path


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




Enabled – Enables the mesh light.

Invisible – Controls whether the shape of the Mesh Light source is visible in the resulting render. When disabled, the source light is rendered in the current light color, otherwise the light source itself is not visible in the scene. For illustration, see the Invisibility example below.

Note: This parameter only affects the visibility of the light when seen directly by the camera or through refractions. The visibility of the light with respect to reflections is controlled by the Affect Specular and Affect Reflections options.

No Decay – When enabled, the intensity of the light has no fall off with distance. Normally the light intensity is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the light (surfaces that are farther from the light are darker than surfaces which are closer to the light). For more information, see the No Decay example below.

Doublesided – Controls whether light is emitted from both sides of each face. For more information, see the Single-Sided vs. Double-Sided Lights example below.

GeometrySpecifies the geometry that will be turned into the Mesh Light.

Lightportal – Specifies if the light is a type of light portal.

Normal Light – The Mesh Light behaves like a normal light.
Portal – The Color and Intensity parameters are ignored; instead the light takes its intensity from the environment behind it.
Simple Portal
 – Tells the V-Ray Mesh Light that there is nothing of interest behind the light itself, and so the environment color can be used directly. Normally, the portal light takes its color from whatever objects are behind it. In order to do this, the light traces additional rays, which may slow down the rendering. Using this options makes the rendering of portal lights faster.

Use Texture – Allows the light to use a texture for its surface. If there are surfaces which are close to a texture-mapped light, it is best to have GI enabled. This allows V-Ray to use combined direct and indirect sampling for the light, reducing the noise for surfaces close to the light. 

Texture – Specifies a light texture.

Cache Texture – When enabled, V-Ray samples the texture and produce a lower resolution one to be used for the lighting. This greatly speeds up the rendering of mesh lights with textures.

Cache Resolution – Specifies the resolution at which the texture is cached.

Intensity – Multiplier for the light strength; this is also the light intensity in the units set by the Units parameter.

Units – Specifies the light units. Using correct units is essential when using the V-Ray Physical Camera. The light automatically takes the scene's unit scale into consideration to produce the correct result for the scale you are working with. The possible values are:

Default – The color and multiplier directly determine the visible color of the light without any conversion. The light surface appears with the given color in the final image when seen directly by the camera (assuming there is no color mapping involved).
Lumens – Total emitted visible light power measured in lumens. When this setting is used, the intensity of the light does not depend on its size. A typical 100W electric bulb emits about 1500 lumens of light.
Lm/m/m/sr – Visible light surface power measured in lumens per square meter per steradian. With this setting is used, the intensity of the light depends on its size.
Watts – Total emitted visible light power measured in watts. With this setting, the intensity of the light does not depend on its size. Keep in mind that this is not the same as the electric power consumed by a light bulb for example. A typical 100W light bulb only emits between 2 and 3 watts as visible light.
W/m/m/sr – Visible light surface power measured in watts per square meter per steradian. When this setting is used, the intensity of the light depends on its size.

Use Color Texture – When enabled, replaces the Color attributes with a texture slot.

Color – Specifies the color of the Mesh Light.

Subdivs – Controls the number of samples V-Ray takes to compute lighting. Lower values mean more noisy results, but render faster. Higher values produce smoother results but take more time.

Note: The actual number of samples also depends on the DMC Sampler settings. By default, this parameter is controlled by the Min Shading Rate in the Image Sampler. To specify a value, enable the Use Local Subdivs parameter under the DMC tab in the V-Ray Renderer parameters.

Object ID – Specifies an integer object ID for the Mesh Light.


Example: Invisibility


The example below shows the difference between an invisible mesh light and visible mesh light. 






Enabled – When enabled, the light casts shadows. Disable this option to turn off shadows for the light.

Color – Controls the color of shadows for this light. Note that anything different from black is not physically correct.

Bias – Moves the shadow toward or away from the shadow-casting object (or objects). Higher values move the shadow toward the object(s) while lower values move it away. If this value is too extreme, shadows can "leak" through places they shouldn't or "detach" from an object. Other effects from extreme values include moire patterns, out-of-place dark areas on surfaces, and shadows not appearing at all in the rendering.

Shadow Mask – Specifies a texture for the shadows for this light. If used, it overrides the Color parameter of the Shadows rollout. 




Emission Color – Specifies the color of the light rays and of the light source itself when visible in renderings.

Shadow Color – Specifies the color of the shadows produced by the light. 


Affect Diffuse – Determines whether the light affects the diffuse properties of the materials.

Affect Specular – Determines whether the light affects the specular of the materials. This means glossy reflections.

Affect Reflections – Determines whether the light appears in reflections of materials, for both perfect and glossy reflections.

Diffuse Contribution – A multiplier for the effect of the light on the diffuse component.

Specular Contribution – A multiplier for the effect of the light on the specular component.

Motion Blur Samples –Specifies the number of samples used to sample the light for motion blur.

Caustics Multiplier – A multiplier for the generated caustics by the selected object. Note that this multiplier is cumulative - it does not override the multiplier in the Caustics Tab of the V-Ray Render Settings.

Caustics Subdivs – Only used when calculating Caustics. Lower values mean more noisy results, but render faster. Higher values produce smoother results but take more time.

Cut-off Threshold – Specifies a threshold for the light intensity, below which the light is not computed. This can be useful in scenes with many lights, where you want to limit the effect of the lights to some distance around them. Larger values cut away more of the light; lower values make the light range larger. When this value is 0.0, the light is calculated for all surfaces.

Ignore Light Normals – Usually, the surface of the source emits light equally in all directions. When this option is disabled, more light is emitted in the direction of the source surface normal.

Store With Irradiance Map – When this option is enabled and GI calculation is set to Irradiance map, V-Ray calculates the effects of the V-Ray Mesh Light and stores them in the irradiance map. The result is that the irradiance map is computed more slowly but the rendering takes less time. The irradiance map can also be saved for later use.



Example: No Decay


The example below shows the difference when No Decay option is enabled or disabled. 





Example: Single-Sided vs. Double-Sided Lights

This example demonstrates the difference between a single-sided and a double-sided planar area light.






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