This is a detailed step-by-step “How to” for creating a ceiling light for a room in Second Life®. This light is not just decorative, it will shine light on all the objects in a room. If you have a Second Life house with a dark room, or don’t like the light level in the room changing each time the light level of the region changes, this light will maintain a constant light level in the room. I also have instructions on this website for how how to make a totally invisible light source. The invisible light source lights up a room without any visible source of the light being present.
Instructions for making a Ceiling Light in Second Life
From the top Second Life Viewer menu select build and open the build editor. (Or press Ctrl+B to open the build editor.) Click on the floor to create a new “box” shaped prim. ”Prim” is just the name used to describe a building block or object in SL.
In the build edit window, click the “Move” button, select the “General” tab. Enter a name for the ceiling light if you would like. Using your left mouse button, click the blue arrow above the box and use it to drag the prim box up against the ceiling.
Select the “Stretch” button. Click on the “Object” tab. Under “size” set the “Z” to whatever thickness you want the light to be. Using 0.1 or 0.2 looks good. Now use your mouse to click and drag the red and green boxes to reshape the light to the size you want it to be.
Note: the size of the light fixture is only for appearance. Make it whatever size looks best. The light from it will illuminate the same amount of area regardless of how big the fixture is. This is because the light source is at the center of the prim. So a light that is 1m x 1m square will create the same amount of light as a light that is 10m x 10m. The 10m light will look bigger but will not provide more light. If you want to light up a bigger area you need to add more lights.
Select the “Features” tab. Click on the check box labeled “Light”. This will make the object you created into a light source. For the brightest and most intense light, set the Intensity = 1.0, the Radius = 20.0, Falloff = 0.0. You may want to play with these settings to get an affect you like.
- Intensity is how bright the light is.
- Radius is how far it shines from the center of the prim.
- Fall-Off is how quickly the light fades as it moves further from the center of the prim.
Important: The “light” is emitted from the center of the light fixture. This works as if there were a single light bulb right at the center, regardless of the size of the fixture. The light is emitted from all sides of the fixture, regardless of the color, texture, or transparency used. It doesn’t matter how big the prim is, the light will only be emitted from the exact center of it.
Click on the “Texture” tab and set the “Glow” to 0.10 or whatever amount of glow you would like. You may prefer more or less glow. Glow appears as a semi-transparent white “halo” around the object.
Click on the thumbnail showing the wood pattern and labeled “Texture”. This will open a separate Pick Texture dialog box. Click on “Blank” to remove the wood texture. If you wish, you can select a new texture rather than using blank. The texture you select will be shown on the sides of your ceiling light fixture. So a nice wood grain texture would make the light fixture appear to be in a wood cabinet. There are many textures in your Inventory. Look in the Library folder for a sub-folder called “Textures.”
Click on the thumbnail labeled “Color” to open the Color Picker dialog. Select any color you wish for the sides of the ceiling light fixture. If you used a texture in the step above, white is normally the default color to use with a texture. However you can be creative and use other colors for interesting affects.
Click on the “Select Face” button. This will allow you to edit the appearance of a single side/face of your new ceiling light fixture. Click on the bottom face of the fixture to select it for editing.
Now select a color for the bottom face of your light fixture. This color will determine what type of light it appears to be per the following:
- White: Fluorescent or halogen.
- Slight yellow tint: Incandescent.
- Slight blue tint: Xenon.
To create a slight tint select the color from the pre-set color boxes, for example you might choose the bright yellow. Then move the slider on the far right of the color picker up almost to the top. This will make it fade to mostly white with only a hint of the color. For interesting affects you can use other colors as well.
Note: The color selected will not impact the color of the light reflected from the fixture on the surrounding surfaces. It only impacts the appearance of the fixture itself.
Suggestion: Select the object tab and then check the box labeled “Locked”. This will lock the ceiling light settings so that they can’t be accidentally changed. If you ever want to make changes or move the light position you will need to remember to return to this setting and unlock the light first. Once locked the “Modify” permission of the light will not be checked, so don’t panic wondering why you can’t modify the light that you made and you own!
If you would like to have a light switch on this ceiling light you can get a script that will act as a toggle switch for it. The light will turn on or off each time you click on it. Remember that each item with a script in it creates slightly more lag for the surrounding area. So it is best to only install a switch in your light if you really will need to use it. Otherwise it is better to just leave the light on all the time (unlike the real world, leaving the light on all the time will not use any additional electricity!)
For a switch script just search for “LSL light switch script.” Right click on your ceiling light and select edit to open the editor. Click on Content, then select New Script. A file called New Script will be created in the Content folder. Double click on the New Script to open the script editing window. Delete all the default text that appears inside the new script. Copy and paste the light switch script into the editor. Select “Save” and wait for it to reply “Save Complete.” Close the script editing window and test by clicking on the light.
Don’t forget, you can also make a totally invisible light source. The invisible light source lights up a room without any visible source of the light being present. It is actually easier to make than a visible one as you don’t need to worry about it being ugly! Invisible lights are also attached to avatars to create a tiny light that is attached to the front of your avatar and shines on your face called a face-light. You can pick up several versions of face-lights free on Second Life Marketplace. Some are better than others, most use at least 3 tiny invisible light balls that float in front of your avatar’s face, they are attached to your chin or nose.