Enscape is not currently mapped to all light settings for ArchiCAD light types, and their individual settings are beyond the remit of this article.
For a fuller description of ArchiCAD’s lights, please refer to this article.
There are two types of lights in ArchiCAD:
The Light Objects can be categorized into four basic light source types:
Lamp Tool button location
To open the light options you need to first select the Light Tool from the More section of the ArchiCAD side Toolbar.
Light options in Info Box
This will display the Lights option in the ArchiCAD Info Box near the top of the active ArchiCAD view port:
Clicking on the light icon in the Info Box will open the ArchiCAD Lamp Default Settings window where you can choose the type of light source you want to place, so begin by selecting the General Light Sources category from the ArchiCAD Library in the Lamp Selection Settings top left menu structure.
You will then see seven different light objects, however we will only deal with the four object types already set out above.
ArchiCAD's Default Lamp Settings
Despite the amount of options available for lights in ArchiCAD, Enscape is currently only mapped to the basic settings of switching the Light on/off, the Main Intensity, as well as the lights Color settings, as highlighted here.
ArchiCAD's Basic Light Parameters
The Absolute Light Intensity can also be adjusted and you can choose between using candela and lumen as the Unit.
Chosse between Candela and Lumen Light Intensity Units
Once you have selected the type of light you want to use, placement of the light is indicated by a dark rectangular area indicating the footprint of the object. This placement indicator will follow your mouse movement. In the following screenshot you can see that we are wanting to place our light on the ceiling.
Light Placement Indicator
Once placed ArchiCAD will, depending on the light type, show you the control points for adjust the light position, rotation, fall off (for spot light).
Emits uniform light rays in all direction from a single point in space
General Omni Light in Enscape Window
General Omni Light in ArchiCAD Viewport
Emits light from a single point in space and provides a cone that can be adjusted to a specific direction as well as allowing you to define the lights fall off
Spot Light in Enscape Window
Spot Light in ArchiCAD Viewport
Emits soft light that uses a two- or three-dimensional surface as its source
Area Light in Enscape Window
Area Light in ArchiCAD Viewport
Emits an infinite light in a consistent parallel direction
Parralel Light in Enscape Window
Parallel Light in ArchiCAD Viewport
To Move the Parallel light, grab the node at the end of the direction arrow.
Adjust the Parallel light direction
If no *.ies light profile file is loaded, then ArchiCAD will default to the Omni light.
IES Light in Enscape Window
IES Light in ArchiCAD Viewport
The option to select the IES light profile can be found under the Photometric File Name option:
Click on the Details and Help… button for further information about where to place the IES files once you have downloaded them to your hard drive.
Select IES Profile file.
If you then want to adjust the light you can click on the its control nodes which can be seen as colored points on the light cage:
Light Adjustment Nodes
Once you have clicked on one of these adjustment node you will be shown various options, depending on which control point you click.
By clicking on node nearest to where you’d originally placed the light you’ll be given the option to drag, rotate, mirror, or multiply the light.
Light Node Placement
If you press TAB on your keyboard you can then numerically adjust the parameters.
Light Placement Properties
By clicking on the node at the end of the light cage arrow, you can adjust the direction of the light.
Light Node Rotation Control
ArchiCAD comes with a good selection of pre-modelled lamps that can be used for both interior and exterior situations.
These are accessible by selecting either Interior Lamps:
ArchiCAD's Interior Lamps
or the Street Lamps categories
ArchiCAD's Street Lamps
Placement of Interior and Street Lamps is exactly the same as is with the Light Objects
ArchiCAD's Street Lamps
All lamps can have their surface overridden via the Lamp Default Settings window under the Model option. In the following example we have given the lamp a Metal Brass material:
Interior Lamp Placement
Using the control nodes, both the interior and the street lights basic geometry can be adjusted. For instance, here we can extend the cable between the roof position and the lamp, the menu option to adjust the size becoming available:
Interior Lamp Adjustment
With a standing light we can adjust the overall height of the light, shown here before and afterwards.
Interior Light Height Adjustment
The same method can be used when adjusting Street lamps.
Street Light Height Adjustment
The following video shows a light being placed in ArchiCAD.