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 This is a legacy documentation space! Please refer to V-Ray Next for Rhino help for most up-to-date information.

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


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

Copying a light source automatically creates an instance of it. This means that all the copies will be listed as one entry in the Asset Editor's list of lights. In order to make it a separate light, use the CopyToClipboard and Paste options.

Mesh light instancing is done by putting the mesh into a block component and instancing the component.



Types of Lights

You can create these lights using the Lights Toolbar:

  • Area lights shine from a light source contained within a specified area or boundary. There are several types of Area lights.
  • A Sun light simulates the sun, creating a single bright light for daytime exterior and interior scenes.
  • Photometric lights use IES files to determine the shape of the light cone and light falloff.
  • Ambient light is the kind of flat, evenly-distributed light seen at dusk and dawn in real life.

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


Rhino Light Sync

Rhino and V-Ray Lights have all their common settings synced together. Adjusting any of the Rhino Light properties will update them in the V-Ray Asset Editor's Light list and vice versa.
Three additional buttons are added to the Rhino Light properties for enhanced light instancing control.


Edit in V-Ray Asset Editor – Opens the Asset Editor and lets you adjust the settings of the currently selected light. 

Select Instances – Selects all instanced lights. 

Make Unique – The selected light instance is made unique.


Asset Editor Light list

Each of the V-Ray lights types can be turned off/on by clicking on their respective icon. The icons have an enabled/disabled state.


Light Icons at a Glance


Omni light



Rectangle light



Spot light


Dome light



Sphere light



IES Light


Mesh light



Sun light



Directional 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 Omni Light or Point Light | LightOmni.


Rectangle or Area Lights

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 Rectangle Light | LightRectangle.


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 | LightSpot.


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 | LightDome.


Sphere Light

The Sphere Light 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 | LightSphere.


IES Lights

IES 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 | LightIES.


Mesh Lights 

The Mesh Light 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 Mesh Light | LightMesh.


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 Sun and Sky System | VRaySun.

Directional Lights 

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