Version: 2019.4
Light Mode: Mixed
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Light Mode: Baked

This page describes the behavior of a Light component when you set its Mode property to Baked. These are also known as Baked Lights.

Unity performs the calculations for Baked Lights in the Unity Editor, and saves the results to disk as lighting data. This process is called baking. At runtime, Unity loads the baked lighting data, and uses it to light the SceneA Scene contains the environments and menus of your game. Think of each unique Scene file as a unique level. In each Scene, you place your environments, obstacles, and decorations, essentially designing and building your game in pieces. More info
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. Because the complex calculations are performed in advance, Baked Lights reduce shading cost at runtime, and reduce the renderingThe process of drawing graphics to the screen (or to a render texture). By default, the main camera in Unity renders its view to the screen. More info
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cost of shadows.

Baked Lights are useful for lighting things that won’t change at runtime, such as scenery.

Baked Light behavior

  • Unity bakes both direct lighting and indirect lighting from Baked Lights into lightmapsA pre-rendered texture that contains the effects of light sources on static objects in the scene. Lightmaps are overlaid on top of scene geometry to create the effect of lighting. More info
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    . For more information on using lightmaps, see lightmapping.
  • Unity bakes both direct and indirect lighting from Baked Lights into Light Probes. For more information on using Light Probes, see Light ProbesLight probes store information about how light passes through space in your scene. A collection of light probes arranged within a given space can improve lighting on moving objects and static LOD scenery within that space. More info
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    .

Limitations of Baked Lights

  • You cannot change the properties of Baked Lights at runtime.
  • Baked Lights do not contribute to specular lighting.
  • Dynamic GameObjectsThe fundamental object in Unity scenes, which can represent characters, props, scenery, cameras, waypoints, and more. A GameObject’s functionality is defined by the Components attached to it. More info
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    do not receive light or shadow from Baked Lights.

Note that if you disable Baked Global IlluminationA group of techniques that model both direct and indirect lighting to provide realistic lighting results. Unity has two global illumination systems that combine direct and indirect lighting.: Baked Global Illumination, and Realtime Global Illumination (deprecated).
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in your Scene, Unity forces Baked Lights to behave as though you set their Mode to Realtime. When this happens, Unity displays a warning on the Light component InspectorA Unity window that displays information about the currently selected GameObject, asset or project settings, alowing you to inspect and edit the values. More info
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.

Light Mode: Mixed
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