Light sources
Types of light

Lights

Unity displays different properties in the Light Inspector depending on the render pipeline that your Project uses.

Properties

Light settings

Property: Function:
Type The current type of light. Possible values are Directional, Point, Spot and Area. For information on these values, see Types of Light.
Range Define how far the light emitted from the center of the object travels (Point and Spot lights only).
Spot Angle Define the angle (in degrees) at the base of a spot light’s cone (Spot light only).
Color Use the color picker to set the color of the emitted light.
Mode Specify the Light Mode. Possible modes are Realtime, Mixed and Baked. For information on these values, see Light Modes.
Intensity Set the brightness of the light. The default value for a Directional light is 0.5. The default value for a Point, Spot or Area light is 1.
Indirect Multiplier Use this value to vary the intensity of indirect light. If you set Indirect Multiplier to a value lower than 1, the bounced light becomes dimmer with every bounce. A value higher than 1 makes light brighter with each bounce. This is useful, for example, when a dark surface in shadow (such as the interior of a cave) needs to be brighter in order to make detail visible. If you want to use Realtime Global Illumination, but want to limit a single real-time Light so that it only emits direct light, set its Indirect Multiplier to 0.

Shadows

Property: Function:
Shadow Type Determine whether this Light casts Hard Shadows, Soft Shadows, or no shadows at all. Hard Shadows produces shadows with a sharp edge. Hard shadows are not particularly realistic compared to Soft Shadows but they involve less processing, and are acceptable for many purposes. Soft shadows also tend to reduce the “blocky” aliasing effect from the shadow map.
    Baked Shadow Angle If Mode is set to Baked or Mixed, Type is set to Directional, and Shadow Type is set to Soft Shadows, this property adds some artificial softening to the edges of shadows and gives them a more natural look.
    Baked Shadow Radius If Mode is set to Baked or Mixed, Type is set to Point or Spot ,and Shadow Type is set to Soft Shadows, this property adds some artificial softening to the edges of shadows and gives them a more natural look.
    Realtime Shadows These properties are available when Mode is set to Realtime or Mixed, and Shadow Type is set to Hard Shadows or Soft Shadows. Use these properties to control real-time shadow rendering settings.
        Strength Use the slider to control how dark the shadows cast by this Light are, represented by a value between 0 and 1. This is set to 1 by default.
        Resolution Control the rendered resolution of shadow maps. A higher resolution increases the fidelity of shadows, but requires more GPU time and memory usage.
        Bias Use the slider to control the distance at which shadows are pushed away from the light, defined as a value between 0 and 2. This is useful for avoiding false self-shadowing artifacts. See Shadow mapping and the bias property for more information. This is set to 0.05 by default.
        Normal Bias Use the slider to control distance at which the shadow casting surfaces are shrunk along the surface normal, defined as a value between 0 and 3. This is useful for avoiding false self-shadowing artifacts. See documentation on Shadow mapping and the bias property for more information. This is set to 0.4 by default.
        Near Plane Use the slider to control the value for the near clip plane when rendering shadows, defined as a value between 0.1 and 10. This value is clamped to 0.1 units or 1% of the light’s Range property, whichever is lower. This is set to 0.2 by default.

Additional settings

Property: Function:
Cookie Specify a Texture mask through which shadows are cast (for example, to create silhouettes, or patterned illumination for the Light).
Draw Halo Tick this box to draw a spherical Halo of light with a diameter equal to the Range value. You can also use the Halo component to achieve this. Note that the Halo component is drawn in addition to the halo from the Light component, and that the Halo component’s Size parameter determines its radius, not its diameter.
Flare If you want to set a Flare to be rendered at the Light’s position, place an Asset in this field to be used as its source.
Render Mode Use this drop-down to set the rendering priority of the selected Light. This can affect lighting fidelity and performance.
    Auto The rendering method is determined at run time, depending on the brightness of nearby lights and the current Quality settings.
    Important The light is always rendered at per-pixel quality. Use Important mode only for the most noticeable visual effects (for example, the headlights of a player’s car).
    Not Important The light is always rendered in a faster, vertex/object light mode.
Culling Mask Use this to selectively exclude groups of objects from being affected by the Light. For more information, see Layers.

Details

If you create a Texture that contains an alpha channel and assign it to the Cookie variable of the light, the cookie is projected from the light. The cookie’s alpha mask modulates the light’s brightness, creating light and dark spots on surfaces. This is a great way to add complexity or atmosphere to a scene.

VertexLit shaders cannot display Cookies or Shadows.

Directional Light Shadows

Note that shadows are disabled for directional lights with cookies when forward rendering is used. It is possible to write custom shaders to enable shadows in this case; see documentation on writing surface shaders for further details.

Hints

  • Spot lights with cookies can be extremely effective for creating the effect of light coming in from a window.
  • Low-intensity point lights are good for providing depth to a Scene.
  • For maximum performance, use a VertexLit shader. This shader only does per-vertex lighting, giving a much higher throughput on low-end cards.
Light sources
Types of light