Table of Contents

This page introduces the various ways a VRayLight object is used to create area lights of different shapes, with specific uses of the different VRayLight types linked below.



The VRayLight is a V-Ray specific light source object that can be used to create physically accurate area lights of different shapes. Shapes are selected through options when creating the light via 3ds Max's Create panel (or Create menu), or, after the light is created, through the 3ds Max Modify panel.

A VRayLight can be set to any one of the following types:

  • Plane light – A flat rectangular light.
  • Disc light – A flat circular light.
  • Sphere light – A spherical light.
  • Mesh light – A mesh object converted to a light source.
  • Dome light – A spherical or hemispherical light that shines inward from outside the scene extents.

The light type is set or changed with the Type parameter in the VRayLight General rollout.



VRayLight Types

A Plane light is a rectangular light source. This type of light is suitable for representing some recessed ceiling lighting, accent lamps, and other area-dependent light sources. Its light cone can be adjusted with the Directional parameter in the Rectangle/disc rollout. See the Plane - Disc - Sphere Light page.



Plane lights wireframe

Rendering with Plane lights only (with slight Bloom Effect)




A Disc light is a circular light source with functionality similar to that of a rectangular-shaped Plane light. Its light cone can be adjusted with the Directional parameter in the Rectangle/disc rollout. See the Plane - Disc - Sphere Light page.



lights in viewport

Rendering with Disc lights only (with slight Bloom Effect )




A Dome light shines light evenly inward from an area shaped as a spherical or half-spherical dome that surrounds the entire scene. A dome light is commonly used with a high-dynamic range texture to shine light of various colors into the scene (image-based lighting). See the Dome Light page.



Dome light in viewport


Rendering with just a Dome light




Sphere light is an area light whose surface area is shaped as a spherical surface that shines in all directions. See the Plane - Disc - Sphere Light page.



Sphere lights represent light bulbs in hanging fixture


Rendering with Sphere lights only (with slight Bloom Effect)




A Mesh light creates a light source from an object's surface area. It is useful for representing odd-shaped light sources such as string lights or lanterns. See the Mesh Light page.



light wireframe


Rendering with lighting from Mesh light only



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