As SketchUp has no lights of its own, Enscape provides lights that are accessed via the Enscape Objects window, either using the Extensions menu option in SketchUp or via the Enscape ribbon.
Enscape Objects button
Enscape Objects window
A sphere light is essentially an omni, or point light, which means that the light sends out light rays from a single point equally in all directions which results in a gentle fall-off in all directions.
The placement of a sphere light only takes two clicks: the first click selects the surface or axis from which the light sources placement will be based off of, and the second click places the light.
Select the surface/axis the placement of the light source is based off
Second click places the sphere light
You can then adjust the intensity of the light using the “Luminous Intensity” slider, which is then shown in SketchUp by the size of the light object increasing / decreasing respectively.
Adjust the intensity of the sphere light
You will also see the change in the Enscape window. Here we have created a simple white cube object in the scene so that the light has something to cast on to.
Intensity of the sphere light viewed in Enscape
Adjusting the radius of the light (in meters) will result in the central area of the light becoming brighter, and the light fallof stretching across a wider area. This adjustment is only visible in the Enscape window.
Adjust the radius of the sphere light
The following shows an Enscape Sphere light being placed into a project.
Placing an Enscape Light in SketchUp
A spot light is placed with four clicks, the first two clicks determining the end point and the second two clicks determining the direction of the light cone. It is sometimes easier to quickly place the light and then adjust it to how you want it to be after the initial placement.
So, to place a spotlight, click once to select the surface or axis off which the placement of the actual light source is based of.
Click 1: Pick Spot light source placement surface / axis
Moving the mouse will then allow you to define the axis or face that you wish the light to run along or be placed.
Once decided, make the second click to define the lights light source.
Click 2: Place the light source
Move the mouse again to select the surface or axis off which the placement of the light target is based of.
Click 3: Pick Spot light target placement surface / axis
Once you have clicked to select the face or axis, move your mouse to finally select the actual light target.
Click 4: Place light target
Once placement has finished you will see three red control points on the light. These can be individually clicked to alter the lights ‘From Point’, ‘Target’, and ‘Beam Angle’. You will also notice that more options become available for the light in the Enscape Objects window.
The Spot light is now placed
Now, you can see all of the above steps in action when placing a Spot light.
Full Spot light placement
Clicking on the SketchUp Select button, or hitting the ESC key on the keyboard, will result in the Spot Light’s control points being hidden. Double click the light to show the light’s three red control points again.
The Spot light with its control points hidden
As already mentioned, the Enscape Object window will show two sliders which will allow you to adjust the Luminous Intensity, which defines the brightness and range of the light (measured in Candelas), and the Beam Angle to control the width of the light’s beam.
Also available is the option to load an IES Profile file.
Spot light controls
Here, the light is shown in the Enscape window when a low Luminous Intensity and Beam Angle is set.
Low Luminous Intensity and Beam Angle setting
Now shown with a high Luminous Intensity and Beam Angle being set for the light.
High Luminous Intensity and Beam Angle setting
Rect (Rectangular) Light and Disk Light
These two lights behave in almost the same way, the only difference between the two being the shape of the beam.
The difference between these two types of lights and the Spot light, is that where the Spot light source is a single point, the Rect and Disk lights have the same shape at each end of the light.
Placing either is done in the same way as is done with the Spot Light, using the four click system.
There are some slight differences between the two lights, however.
Once a Rect light has been placed, you will get a number of control points which allow you to adjust the length and width of the beam.
Rect light control points
One difference with the Rect light is that it has one control point which is colored pink.
Rect light rotate control point
Clicking that point will make it turn blue, and will also display two blue arrows horizontally placed either side of your mouse pointer. You can then drag the mouse horizontally to rotate the light around the light direction’s axis. This rotation is based on the local co-ordinates of the light.
Rect light rotating
We can adjust the initial size of the Rect lights source by adjusting the the four control points, as shown here.
Adjust Rect light
We can also achieve the same result using the sliders in the Enscape Objects window.
Adjust light Width and Length with sliders
The same applies for the Disc light, although we have less parameters to control.
Disc light sliders
For both of these lights, we can adjust the intensity of the light via the Luminous Power slide, which is measured in Lumens.
Adjust the Luminous Power of a light
Line lights are linear lights that can be used to represent fluorescent lights that are tubular in shape. Only the lights length can be adjusted, up to 3 meters in length.
The placement is done using the 2 click method, and the light, once placed, can be further defined and rotated to fit your scene.
Here you can see the initial placement, and then through the use of the lights control points, length adjustment and the two possible rotational options available.
It is worth noting that rotation of the light is only available via the control points, or the native SketchUp controls for rotation.
Placement of a Line light
You can then adjust the Luminous Intensity of the light using the slider in the Enscape Objects window. This is measured in Candelas.
Adjust the Luminous Intensity of the Line light
Coloring lights is done via the use of the SketchUp Paint Bucket tool, whereby you can pick a color from the SketchUp Material Editor and apply it by clicking on to the light object in the SketchUp window. As you can see once a color has been applied you can then further adjust the color which will be seen directly in the Enscape window.
Adjust the color of an Enscape light
Lastly, one other lighting option that is not available in the Enscape Objects window are the Self-illuminated materials.
This feature can be implemented either by adding the keyword Emissive to the material name, or through the Material Editor, which allows you more control over the materials options such as luminance, intensity, and color. You can change your object material type to Self-illuminated. You can read more about how to use this technique by clicking here.