Light* Tutorial

Tony Quach

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This is a tutorial in Light* (formerly Lightscape), the best radiosity rendering application in the market today.

Keep in mind this is not a tutorial for beginners. You are expected to have basic knowledge of Light* before the starting this exercise. I will not go through the modeling process of the project. It is up to your own discretion as to what package you use for modeling. For architectural projects, I normally use AutoCAD r14.

A. Importing the model

  • As preparation for importing your model into Light*, during the modeling process, try to spread out your objects in many layers rather than grouping everything into a few layers. This will reduce the processing time in the SOLUTION stage.
  • Light* ‘s radiosity calculation is based on each physical lights. So put each type of lights on a separate layer. For example, I usually follow this naming convention for my projects:

All my downlights are named: LT-DN-##

All uplights are named: LT-UP-##

You can use whatever system that is more comfortable to you. The key point I’m trying to make is ORGANIZATION. You will import your lights separately after all your other layers are imported.

  • When importing your objects, try to do only a few layers at a time. This will minimize errors that might occurs when you have a lot of complex objects.


  • Figure a shows the dialog box for DXF import in Light*. Take notice of the File Units box. I see a lot of people forgetting to set the right units and their model gets import as the wrong size. Don’t worry about the Block Creation pull-down at this time. I will go into that later.

Figure b
shows the dialog box for 3DS import for Light*. It is very similar to the DXF import box. As in the DXF import, ignore the Block Creation pull-down at this time.

  • Continue importing all the DXF files until the entire project (with the exception of the light layers) are in Light*.
  • Now all is left to import are the lights. Follow the same import procedures as above. But this time, you are going to fill out the Block Creation informations.

Note: Since we’re creating a block & defining the photometrics of each light (luminaire) in Light*, you only have to export one of each lights from your modeling application. Also when exporting those lights from your application, export only one light at a time.

  • Pick As One Block in the Block Creation pull-down and name the block the same name with the same layering system for each luminaire.

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