Area Light

Area Light is a material type that will give you a wide range of light dispersion. This will function similarly to a flood light.

Color

Here, you can choose the color the light will cast. You can also place a texture in front of the light source to color and mask the emitted light.

The example below shows a planar area light with a Color Gradient texture.

For accurate lighting colors, use the Kelvin scale to select accurate lighting temperatures.


On this page

Color = 3000 KelvinColor = 4000 KelvinColor = 5000 KelvinColor = 6500 Kelvin

Power

The power of the light can be controlled in either Watt, Lumen or Lux. Lumen or Lux are recommended for best results. The choice between Lumen or Lux depends on the preferred workflow.

Lumen

When the Power unit is set to Lumen, then the light output is specified as luminous flux. Total light output will be constant for area light objects of different sizes.

The examples below show the effect of increasing the size of a square area light from 10 to 200 mm. Power is a constant 250 Lumen.


Size = 10 mm x 10 mmSize = 50 mm x 50 mmSize = 100 mm x 100 mmSize = 200 mm x 200 mm

Lux

When the Power unit is set to Lux, then the light output is specified as luminous emittance. 1 Lux equals 1 Lumen per square meter of light-emitting surface. Total light output will vary for area light objects of different sizes. Small area lights are dim, while large area lights are brighter, since the light-emitting surface area is larger.

The examples below show the effect of increasing the size of a square area light from 10 to 200 mm. Power is a constant 25000 Lux.


Size = 10 mm x 10 mmSize = 50 mm x 50 mmSize = 100 mm x 100 mmSize = 200 mm x 200 mm

Tip!

The softness of shadows from an area light is closely related to its size. A large area light produces soft shadows, while a small area light results in harder shadows with crisply defined, sharp edges.

Apply to Geometry

There are two checkboxes to make an area light emit from the front, back or both sides of the geometry. Which side of the geometry is interpreted as front or back depends on the orientation of the surface normals.

Toggling these options is most useful for surface geometry without thickness.

Apply to Front of Geometry

Select this to make the light source emit from the front side of the surface geometry.

The example below shows a planar area light, emitting from the front side.

Apply to Back of Geometry

Make the light source emit from the back side of the surface geometry.

The example below shows a planar area light, emitting from the back side.

The example below shows a planar area light, emitting from both the front and back side.

Visible to Camera

Here, you can toggle whether or not the light source geometry is shown in real-time window and renderings.

The examples below show the effect of toggling visibility to camera.

Visible to Camera = checkedVisible to Camera = unchecked

Visible in Reflections

Here, you can toggle whether or not the reflection of the light source is shown in real-time window and renderings.

The examples below show the effect of toggling visibility in reflections.


Reflections in Plastic materialReflections in Metal material

Visible in Reflections = checkedVisible in Reflections = uncheckedVisible in Reflections = checkedVisible in Reflections = unchecked

Visible in Shadows

Here, you can toggle whether or not the light source geometry casts a shadow in the real-time window. Disabling allows light to pass through the area light object. This option is disabled by default so as not to block any other light sources, including HDRI lighting.

The examples below show the effect of toggling visibility in shadows. The scene is lit by a large area light with a warm color (HSV: 30°, 90%, 100%) and a slightly smaller area light with a cool color (HSV: 225°, 35%, 100%) directly below it. Visible in Shadows is toggled for the smaller, cool area light.

Visible in Shadows = checkedVisible in Shadows = unchecked

With Visible in Shadows checked, the cool area light blocks the warm area light. As a result, the cool area light is the predominant light source in the scene, causing a clear blue cast.

With Visible in Shadows unchecked, light from the warm area light is able to pass through the cool area light. As a result, both area lights are contributing more or less equally to the scene's lighting. The cool and warm light now blend, causing a warmer cast.

Samples

Use this slider to control the amount of samples used in the render.


Limitation

ZSpheres transferred from ZBrush are not yet supported as Area Lights.