Global Lighting

The Lighting service contains properties that you can adjust to update and customize the global lighting in an experience. There are five categories of lighting properties:

  • Color — Configures hue within the experience.
  • Intensity — Configures the intensity or amount of light hitting the camera.
  • Shadows — Configures how a user experiences shadows within the experience.
  • Environment — Configures the conditions of the experience's world, such as the time of day and geographic latitude.
  • Technology — Configures the lighting technology Studio uses to render lighting and shadows.



The Ambient property sets a hue for the entirety of an experience. This property affects the lighting for both outdoor and indoor environments.

Lighting with Ambient property of [0, 0, 0]


The OutdoorAmbient property sets a hue for outdoor areas of an experience. This can help simulate how the ambient color of real-life lighting changes throughout the day. For example, sunlight in the early morning or late afternoon is usually warmer and more pink and orange in tone, while late evening is usually cooler and more blue and purple in tone.

In the following images, note that the lighting inside the garage and cafe doesn't change like it would if you were changing the Ambient property.

Lighting with OutdoorAmbient property of [255, 150, 50]


The ColorShift_Top property sets a hue that reflects from surfaces facing the sun or moon.

Lighting with ColorShift_Top property of [0, 100, 255]


The ColorShift_Bottom property sets a hue that reflects from surfaces that are facing away from the sun or moon.

In the following images, note the hue change on the sandstone wall facing away from the sun.

Lighting with ColorShift_Bottom property of [255, 0, 220]



The Brightness property sets the intensity of illumination. This can help increase the contrast between brightly illuminated areas and shadows, simulating bright sunshine and warmer weather.

Lighting with Brightness property of 0.5


The ExposureCompensation property applies exposure to an experience. Exposure is the amount of light that reaches the camera.

A lower value is similar to under-exposure in photography, while a higher value is similar to over-exposure.

Lighting with ExposureCompensation property of 0



When enabled, the GlobalShadows property renders shadows.

Lighting with GlobalShadows property enabled


The ShadowSoftness property adjusts how blurry shadows are from a value of 0 (hard edges) to 1 (soft edges).

Lighting with ShadowSoftness property of 0


ClockTime and TimeOfDay

The ClockTime and TimeOfDay property both represent the current time of day in hours, and they are directly related; if you change one property, the other also changes.

The only difference between these properties is their numeric value; ClockTime represents time from hour 0 through 24 while TimeOfDay represents time through a 24 hour string.

Lighting with ClockTime of 0 (TimeOfDay of 00:00:00)


The GeographicLatitude property represents the geographic latitude in degrees. Note that while this property changes the position of the sun and moon, it does not change the ClockTime and TimeOfDay properties.


The EnvironmentDiffuseScale property determines how much ambient light is derived from the environment.

In the following images, note how the ambient light changes, particularly inside the kitchen of the ramen shop.

Lighting with EnvironmentDiffuseScale property of 0


The EnvironmentSpecularScale property determines how much specular light is derived from the environment. When set near a value of 1, smooth objects better reflect the environment and metal appears more realistic.

Lighting with EnvironmentSpecularScale property of 0


The Technology property determines the lighting system for rendering the 3D environment. There are four available lighting systems, in order of fidelity and performance impact from highest to lowest:

  • Future — Features the most advanced technology for high-fidelity lighting and shadows.

    • Extends detailed shadow support to all types of lights, with complex shadow technology for sun shadows and a more realistic lighting and shadow technology for point lights.
    • This is the most realistic lighting mode, but its high fidelity might result in a negative performance impact, especially on low-end devices.
  • ShadowMap — Features shadow mapping that produces more realistic and sharper shadows from sunlight or directional light sources. For any other types of light, such as PointLights, it uses voxel grids with less precision and performance impact.

  • Voxel — Divides the 3D world into a 4×4×4 voxel grid for light and shadow calculation.

    • Each voxel represents a small cubic volume of space. The grid contains information on light presence in each voxel and helps determine how light interacts with your 3D environment and objects.
    • Provides less precise lighting and softer shadows compared to more advanced shadow mapping techniques like ShadowMap.
    • Only recommended for low-end devices.
  • Compatibility (not recommended) — Simulates the deprecated legacy technology using the Voxel system.

Lighting with Technology setting of Future