Hide Table of Contents


You can adjust the direction, intensity, and color of light in the shaded view of a model. You can add light sources of various types, and modify their characteristics to illuminate the model as needed.

You can change the appearance of the model to enhance or reduce the effect of lighting properties.

Light Types

There are several types of light source:

Ambient light

Illuminates the model evenly from all directions. In a room with white walls, the level of ambient light is high, because the light reflects off the walls and other objects.

Directional light

Comes from a source that is infinitely far away from the model. It is a columned light source consisting of parallel rays from a single direction, like the sun.

Point light

Comes from a very small light source located at a specific coordinate in the model space. This type of light source emits light in all directions. The effect is like a tiny light bulb floating in space.

Spot light

Comes from a restricted, focused light with a cone-shaped beam that is brightest at its center. A spot light can be aimed at a specific area of the model. You can adjust the position and distance of the light source relative to the model, and you can adjust the angle through which the beam spreads.

System Lighting Defaults

By default, the Lights fm_lights_cameras_folder.png folder under Scene, Lights, and Cameras in the DisplayManager contains one Ambient light and three Directional lights. The default lights are set by the scene.
When PhotoView 360 is added in, the Lights folder is renamed to SOLIDWORKS Lights fm_lights_cameras_folder.png and a PhotoView 360 Lights folder also appears. Point, spot, and directional lights and sunlight appear in both folders.
  • You can turn the Ambient light on or off, but you cannot delete it or add additional Ambient lights.
  • You can turn the Directional light sources on or off, or delete them. You can also add additional Directional light sources.
  • By default, directional, spot, and point lights are on in SOLIDWORKS and off in PhotoView 360.
  • The maximum number of light sources in any document is nine (the Ambient light and eight others in any combination).

Provide feedback on this topic

SOLIDWORKS welcomes your feedback concerning the presentation, accuracy, and thoroughness of the documentation. Use the form below to send your comments and suggestions about this topic directly to our documentation team. The documentation team cannot answer technical support questions. Click here for information about technical support.

* Required

Subject:   Feedback on Help Topics
Page:   Lighting
*   I acknowledge I have read and I hereby accept the privacy policy under which my Personal Data will be used by Dassault Systèmes

Print Topic

Select the scope of content to print:


We have detected you are using a browser version older than Internet Explorer 7. For optimized display, we suggest upgrading your browser to Internet Explorer 7 or newer.

 Never show this message again

Web Help Content Version: SOLIDWORKS 2015 SP05

To disable Web help from within SOLIDWORKS and use local help instead, click Help > Use SOLIDWORKS Web Help.

To report problems encountered with the Web help interface and search, contact your local support representative. To provide feedback on individual help topics, use the “Feedback on this topic” link on the individual topic page.