How Do I Use Lights in SketchUp v-Ray?

SketchUp is a powerful 3D modeling software that allows users to create stunning visualizations of their designs. When it comes to adding realism and depth to your models, using lights is essential. In this tutorial, we will explore how to use lights in SketchUp with the V-Ray rendering plugin.

Setting up V-Ray Lights

V-Ray offers a variety of lights that can be used to illuminate your scenes. To get started, you need to make sure that the V-Ray toolbar is enabled. If it’s not visible, go to “View” > “Toolbars” and check the “V-Ray for SketchUp” option.

Once you have the toolbar visible, click on the “Lights” button to access the different types of lights available in V-Ray.

Directional Light

The directional light is a type of light that emits rays in a specific direction, similar to sunlight. To add a directional light, click on the “Directional Light” button in the V-Ray toolbar and then click on any point in your scene where you want the light source to be placed.

TIP: You can adjust the intensity of the light by selecting it and modifying its properties in the V-Ray Asset Editor.

Point Light

A point light emits rays from a single point in all directions, similar to a light bulb. To add a point light, click on the “Point Light” button in the V-Ray toolbar and then click on any location where you want to place the light source.

TIP: You can adjust various properties of the point light such as intensity, color, and attenuation radius by selecting it and adjusting its settings in the V-Ray Asset Editor.


A spotlight emits rays in a specific direction, just like a directional light, but it also has a cone-shaped beam of light. To add a spotlight, click on the “Spotlight” button in the V-Ray toolbar and then click on the desired location in your scene.

TIP: You can adjust the angle and falloff of the spotlight by selecting it and modifying its properties in the V-Ray Asset Editor.

Positioning and Adjusting Lights

After adding lights to your scene, you can easily move them around by selecting them and using SketchUp’s native move tool. To access the move tool, press “M” on your keyboard or select it from the toolbar.

In addition to positioning lights, you can also adjust their properties to achieve different lighting effects. To do this, select a light source and open the V-Ray Asset Editor by clicking on the “Asset Editor” button in the V-Ray toolbar.

Within the Asset Editor, you will find various settings that allow you to control aspects such as intensity, color, shadow properties, and more. Experiment with these settings to create different moods and atmospheres in your renders.

Using Multiple Lights

In many cases, using multiple lights can help you achieve more realistic lighting setups. V-Ray allows you to use as many lights as you need in your scene.

To add additional lights, simply follow the steps mentioned earlier for each type of light source. You can position them at different angles or locations to create interesting lighting effects.

Creating Light Groups

If you have multiple lights in your scene and want to control their properties collectively, you can create light groups. Light groups allow you to adjust common settings for all the lights within the group.

To create a light group, select all the lights you want to include in the group by holding down the Shift key and clicking on each light. Then, right-click on one of the selected lights and choose “Create Light Group” from the context menu.

Once you’ve created a light group, you can easily modify its properties in the V-Ray Asset Editor. Any changes made to the group will be applied to all lights within that group.

Final Thoughts

Using lights effectively in SketchUp with V-Ray can greatly enhance the realism and impact of your renders. Experiment with different lighting setups, adjust properties, and don’t be afraid to think outside the box.

TIP: Remember to save your work regularly as you experiment with different lighting setups. This way, you can always revert back to a previous state if needed.

Now that you have a solid understanding of how to use lights in SketchUp with V-Ray, it’s time to start illuminating your scenes and taking your renders to the next level!