IRender Tutorial - Lights

This Lights Tutorial explains how to add lights to your SketchUp model for use with IRender , and how to place lamps in your model or components to create your own lights.

There are several ways to add lights to a SketchUp model:

  1. Place a lamp or light bulb as a component - See: Creating IRender Lamps and light bulbs
  2. Create a light fixture with the wizard - See: Creating your own light fixture components
  3. Treat an object or surface in your model as a light source - See: Treating an object as a light source
  4. Download a light from the 3D Warehouse - See: IRender Ready lights


Place and Render Ceiling light

For the first part of this tutorial, we will place a ceiling light in the ceiling.

Step 1: Load a model with a ceiling, or get this model from the 3D Warehouse

  1. You can load this model from the 3D Warehouse: Simple Room for Rendering Tutorials
3D Warehouse model

Step 2: - Load the Lamp Wizard and place ceiling light in ceiling.

  1. If IRender nXt is nt yet installed, see: How to Download and Install
  2. Load IRender nXt from the SketchUp Plugins menu
  3. Click the Create Lamp icon on the toolbar
  4. Select the first tab - Ceiling Lights
  5. Click Place to place a lamp component in the ceiling.
Create Lamp Wizard

Step 3: - Set Lighting Defaults for an interior scene with lights.

  1. Load the setup wizard using the Setup Icon on the toolbar
  2. Load the Presets tab
  3. Select the Interior no Sun Preset.
Lighting Preset Setup Tab

Step 4: - Render model with new lamp

  1. Click the Start Rendering icon.
  2. If this is you first rendering, a dialog will come up to review rendering settings - Click OK
Rendered image with lights

See Create Lamp or Light Fixture for more information

Creating your own light fixture components


You can create a Light Component by placing a lamp in any component.

You may need to remove some objects that would block the light or make the items which would block light transparent.

IRender automatically prevents light from a lamp from being blocked, or casting shadows, from any entities which are placed in a group with the lamp. Only one lamp can be in each group, so if you have a component which holds two lamps, you will have to break it into separate parts and group them together.


There is also a Create Light Fixture Wizard which will create custom table lamps and floor lamps.

Treating an object as a light source

If you have a component which contains a surface, or bulb which you want to make glow, you can use one of two methods to treat it as a light source.

  1. Create a Light Source Material, or
  2. Use Object Properties to mark it as a light source.

Create Light Source Material

Glow tab on IRender nXt Material Wizard

In IRender nXt , you can use the Material Wizard to create a material which is a light source. Either right click on a face or object containing that material to load the Material Wizard, or use the Material Placement Wizard to select a material from the model and define a glow for the material.

When a light source material is placed on a surface, the surface acts as an omni-directional light source. If you want to create a diffuse light (with direction) or a spot light, you will need to use Object Properties to define the light.

Note:Sometimes omni-directional lights create hot spots, especially when the light is close to another surface - such as a ceiling light. A diffuse light type is better for lights on walls or ceilings. These hot spots will resolve if you let the scene render for enough passes.

Object Properties Light Source

Light and Object Properties.jpg

You can right click on a component instance, group or face and set its Object Properties to treat it as a light source.

Adding lighting to an existing component

Here is a step-by-step example of creating a light with object properties.

Pila Wall Sconce.jpg
  • 1. Select a component to use as a light. Here we have selected a light component form the 3D Warehouse - Pila Wall Sconce.

  • 2. Assign light properties to the component.
We are assigning the properties to the entire component, since the black parts will illuminate as black (no light), and should work properly. If you want only part of the component to cast light, then assign the lighting to only part of the component - bu editing the component and selecting a sub-component, group, or surface to be the light.
Sconce-object properties.jpg

Long Fluorescent Light

IRender Ready lights

Some IRender Ready models in the 3D Warehouse.

IRender Ready is a collection on the Google 3D Warehouse of object, such as light fixtures, which have lights placed in them so they can be used directly with IRender

TO view and download IRender Ready models, visit: IRender Ready Collection

There is also a Google Group for discussion of the IRender Ready models. IRender Ready Group. Visit it if you would like to make comments or suggestions for models for us to make IRender Ready.

See also

External links