IES Light Tutorial using V-Ray for SketchUp


By Nomer Adona

V-Ray for SketchUp (ver. 1.48.66) has the new added feature of IES Lights and Spotlights. V-Ray works within the SketchUp environment allowing users to be able to efficiently incorporate the task of rendering within their current workflow. IES (Illumination Engineering Society) is a standard digital file in ASCII format, which measures the distribution of light, in other words the intensity of the light and its shape. Lamp manufacturers create these files for accurately simulating their lights and now we have the ability to add IES profiles (for light accuracy).

I have a new second tutorial, just published called Basic IES Light Tutorial using V-Ray for SketchUp. I use V-Ray release version 1.48.90 in it, which is a much better and  stable release.


In this simple tutorial we are going to set up three basic pin lights using imported IES files. You can download IES files files of your own choice from here GE Lighting and more here IES Maps and a SketchUp light fitting here. More IES files here if those don’t work for your particular version of V-Ray.You can also download the GE Light*Beams 3.0 software at the bottom of this page. Its a powerful lighting design aid for GE directional reflector lamps. Included is a complete database of IES files for current GE products. Another collection of IES files can be found in the links below:

Here is the room set up. A simple box with 3 pin lights as shown in the image below.


Room Setup

Follow the steps highlighted in the following images below.


Steps 1-2


Steps 3-4-5


Step 6

And here is the render where I used 3 different types of IES light data. You will see the rendering time using default setting with no sky and no physical camera, the rendering time is just 14.7 seconds. You can also see the difference in the spread and intensity of the three lights.


Render with 3 different types of IES light data

Some sample render scenes using what we have learned in this tutorial.


Image 1


Image 2


Image 3

I hope you enjoyed this short tutorial and find it useful in your future projects.

Check out my second tutorial on IES lights (Basic IES Light Tutorial using V-Ray for SketchUp) which uses a less ‘buggy’ release version of V-Ray for SketchUp. Also here is another short tutorial on using IES lights in a 3ds Max work flow, may be useful in helping you understand the concept and use.


Nomer Adona

Some of Nomer Adona’s other tutorials here at SketchUpArtists:

Don’t forget to check out Nomer’s own website for more of his inspiring work and free resources.

62 Responses to “IES Light Tutorial using V-Ray for SketchUp”

  1. daniel on March 19th, 2010 8:10 am

    in fact i just wanna know how i instal this ies lights?
    is it a plugin ? where i can find it ?

  2. rcossoli on March 22nd, 2010 6:45 pm


  3. Ruturaj patil. on March 31st, 2010 6:48 am


    Yes , its fantastic tutorial ……………

    But I’m using all material And component Bed, Sofa, TV etc.
    and sketchup is close down ……… what happen i don’t no ….. ?

    Please help me ………………..

    Thank you,

  4. Jonny on April 26th, 2010 2:00 am

    Which plugin you used? been of the maxwell?

  5. antonio on April 26th, 2010 1:54 pm

    how to controll the intensity of the light,coz when i render the scene ,the lights are totally white ,an iu change the intesity like the tutorial ,sorry for my english

  6. DEEPAK on June 9th, 2010 3:16 am

    how do we load ies file in step 4??
    plzz tell

  7. dewa on June 9th, 2010 10:04 am

    is it a plugin ?
    where i can find it ?

  8. admin on June 9th, 2010 11:28 am

    @daniel,Jonny,dewa… IES lighting is a new feature that comes with the latest version (ver. 1.48.66) of V-Ray for SketchUp.
    @ deepak…while the IES light is chosen, right click and select ‘edit light’. Under ‘Sampling’ browse for the file to load it.

  9. Edwin on June 17th, 2010 5:31 pm

    I still dont get the no.4 step.. where is the ‘sampling’ folder? i couldnt find it.. or should we download first?

  10. admin on June 18th, 2010 12:53 pm

    @Edwin… yes then browse for it on your computer where you downloaded it too…

  11. Duu on June 23rd, 2010 3:26 am

    Sir, where can I get the IES file?

  12. admin on June 23rd, 2010 12:54 pm
  13. brigitta heni on July 28th, 2010 5:19 pm

    thank you for your information. i need your help because i’m just student now..

  14. sergio on September 16th, 2010 12:44 am

    for future amateurs of vray for su: GE ies files didn’t work with my vray 1.48.89 so i thought that these ies files may be wrong and tried these ones . works like a charm.

  15. admin on September 16th, 2010 11:18 am

    Thanks Sergio for the link, will add it too the tutorial…

  16. chrisler on September 23rd, 2010 4:24 pm

    Thanks for these helpful hints with regard to IES, I would just like to ask if this V-ray for sketchup ver.1.48.66 could be used both for Sketchup 6 and Sketchup 8? And if they would be possible is it now ready for them again to be installed with the IES files after? Thanks, I hope you could help me be cleared with these.

  17. chrisler on September 23rd, 2010 7:22 pm

    I would like to ask as well with regards to step no. 4, as I couldn’t find the Edit Light command sampling folder for me to upload the IES light that I have already downloaded on my computer. Again thanks.

  18. nomeradona on September 25th, 2010 2:07 pm

    @chrisler…et al. I wonder why lots of people are having difficulty with Step 4. All you have to do is click on the small box on the right of that box and browse the location were you saved the IES file on your computer.

    IES file sometimes have different values. I like those lights from lithonia and General electric. Some of the files available in the net are not true IES data, therefore i encourage you to play on the multiplier until you get the desired effect.


  19. Michal on September 29th, 2010 11:31 am

    I’ve tried to render example from this tutorial.. and I have only black picture rendered…. I’m using Sketchup 8 and V-ray 1.48.89, anyone can help me ?



  20. admin on October 2nd, 2010 4:49 pm

    Hi Michal
    I would ask this question over at the V-Ray Forum, here is the link There is a ‘V-Ray for SketchUp General’ sub-forum, ask there. SketchUp 8 is still relatively new so there may still be some little bugs when working with other software. I am sure they will know what is happening with ver. 8 and V-Ray….

  21. Scotty on October 19th, 2010 6:24 am

    Hi Nomeradona,

    thanks for this tutorial. I hate to be critical of anyone who makes the time and effort to educate those of us who are less knowledgeable on a product, but this tutorial could be a lot more helpful.

    With respect, this tutorial only shows how to ‘build’ the example shown. Personally, I would like more info on what the power setting range is. You use 5,000,000. I have no idea if this high, low or somewhere in between. Could you clarify what useable range might be and how one determines what setting to use. Also there are links to a number of very resource full sites containing IES files. I have no idea what ones to use (what is ARCHITECTURAL ARM-MOUNTED CUTOFF LUMINAIRE WITH SR3 REFLECTOR, BLACK INTERNAL HOUSE SIDE for example????). Is there a simple way to identify IES files for a particular application (interior / exterior / narrow beam / wide beam etc)? Also, you have used an IES file in the tutorial but not told us which one.

    Finally, you say to scale the light but, again, not provided info on how to do so in detail.

    I hope I am not being unfair. I have learnt so much from your tutorials but this one could do with a bit more!


  22. chrisler on October 24th, 2010 3:16 pm

    Could you please help me; even though I was able to install the Vray w/ IES and was at first able to render some of my works which I was trying to practice with but after some few more rendering practice with the same model, my sketchup would no longer render. The frame buffer no longer shows and after choosing the render icon it will have a prompt w/c would just say that the Vray is under process and that I’ll just have to wait and then after that it would just return to the previous command without my work being rendered? Please could you assist me on this? As I don’t know what shall I do. Hoping that there would be prompt answer to this query of mine. Thanks a lot

  23. robert on October 28th, 2010 8:15 pm

    is the receptacle really needed to to obtain the effect?,

  24. robert on October 28th, 2010 8:34 pm

    i down load the ies skp, and tried out all on the tutorial, but the light doesnt come out in the render, unlike when im not using any receptacle, only that i dont have the effect as you shown in this tutorial… im lost.. pls. help, tnks.

  25. nomeradona on October 30th, 2010 7:09 am

    hi guys,

    first of all my apology for not coming back here often…

    just a context.. I have done this tutorial when 1.48.66 was released. this version was a little bit buggy and until now, asgvis is trying their best to come up with a better and stable one. I believe from 1.48.91, everything became much better. I will look again this tutorial using the latest build 1.48.95 and will give you a much better picture. i will also supply the ies file that i will be using here together with the file so you can do and check it on your own.

    there are some important steps that must be considered with IES with vray. I have also send these concern to asgvis particularly with the question of how come we need to create a million numbers to see the effect of ies.. so one answer was the IES should come out from reliable source like Lithonia.

    another thing to know is that you should turn off the vray sun and vray physical camera. vray sun is a big omni light and the vray physical camera is a counter balance to correct the exposure. because of this. the light intensity of all lights ( omni, rectangular and ies) were all affected when using vray physical camera. I found out by turning the physical camera off and sun, I remove the burden of playing the balancing act with my physical camera. now you can only concentrate on the intensity of your lighting (in this cas ies lighting).

    as for the question of robert. You can actually have the same effect whether you put the ies inside the receptacle or not. the idea of using the receptacle was to ensure that observer can see the light source.

  26. Pablo on November 2nd, 2010 1:45 am

    Nomeradona! Can´t adjust the value on the power value in Edit Light dialogue box. Where ypu put 5000000, It only allows me to type zeros but no other number on the box……………… Help me please!

  27. nomer on November 12th, 2010 9:13 am

    Pablo, that must be a bug in your version. what version are you using? Can you read my latest tutorial on this.

  28. vida on December 29th, 2010 4:31 pm

    i m totally a beginner n i tried really to do so what u said, first i was having almost good result, not exactly like yours but i don’t know what did i change that now i don’t receive any light, i changed again everything , start from beginning but no lights anymore….

  29. nomeradona on March 17th, 2011 12:25 pm

    vida…did you turn on the physical camera

  30. azrin on March 23rd, 2011 12:01 pm

    hi..i want to know how i can get the plugin ies light for vray sketchup?? satisfied already I find but still has not found..plz give me your if you have..thank you

  31. nitesh on March 25th, 2011 6:06 am

    I tried your steps… the lighting on the walls are ok but i just cant make the lighting fixture glow… it just appears as a black dot..
    is there something that i am missing???

  32. nomeradona on May 8th, 2011 4:52 pm

    azrin.. upgrade your vray sketchup
    nitesh .. lightin fixture normally i used another plane on the mouth of the fixture i use emissive material
    abhimayu.. use the vray physical camera

  33. Lilo22 on May 19th, 2011 1:37 am

    Hi Nomeradora
    I’m working in a window display project for a store and I’m just getting started in this… I have problems with the lighting of my project and I’ve read thousands of tutorials but all of them seem so difficult to me. Then I found yours and I found it very practical and easy, i understood all the process and I did it in my project but for some reason it doesn’t work! All I have to do is to make a simple spotlight but when I render it doesn’t show any lights at all, and I turned off physical camera as you said and still nothing. Please help me with this, I’ve tried to figure out what’s wrong but still have no clue. Please contact me, my email is

    Thank u

  34. dwing on August 31st, 2011 5:42 pm

    the light ies is too big….the intensity is out of scale..please help sir..thanks! cheers for your tutorials…

  35. cesar_agp on September 6th, 2011 5:47 am

    Hi, i’m new using vray for SU and i have a problem to see the IES lights in the render… I download several .ies samples from diferents web sites, I increment up to 50,000,000 the power, and still not working.
    I´m sure that the problem its simple but i cant fix it.

    kind regards

  36. e.b on September 9th, 2011 9:18 pm

    where i can find the ies file

  37. pi on September 10th, 2011 3:37 pm

    when i choose this link : , i still can’t understand where i can download the ies file :'( Can u give more specification step about that?? i think that would be more easy if you enclose the image of that page (as u do for this page). sorry n thank u so much =)
    best regards

  38. ziad on September 13th, 2011 10:28 pm

    i followed your steps and just got a black image no light at all.

  39. admin on September 14th, 2011 2:35 pm

    @pi There is not a specific file for this tutorial, the links are suggested sites to download ies files from. Here is another site with a large selection

  40. karolina on September 14th, 2011 10:38 pm

    change meteres into centimeters and you will see the magic ;D

  41. wahyu.onn on September 22nd, 2011 2:53 pm

    IES file? we kmake self or download? huh i dont know

  42. admin on September 22nd, 2011 7:42 pm

    No you don’t make them, you can download the files from the links in the tutorial. Check the other IES tutorials out as well to learn more.

  43. van on November 2nd, 2011 6:20 am

    karolina on September 14th, 2011 10:38 pm
    change meteres into centimeters and you will see the magic ;D

    That’s it…
    and try with different value with power
    mine only 1000
    hope this help

  44. van on November 2nd, 2011 6:27 am

    some ies :

  45. van on November 2nd, 2011 6:31 am

    more ies :

  46. Mauro on November 25th, 2011 4:10 am

    Excellent… this a real tuto!

  47. wahyu on January 28th, 2012 5:25 pm

    i using vray 1.49.01 , thank you for share ics file,, great work 😀

  48. Juan Pablo on February 21st, 2012 8:53 pm

    thanks, really useful, great tutorial!

  49. famy on March 30th, 2012 8:28 am

    How I want to know the types of ies file that you use in this rendering…i really want to know cause its hard to find the suitable one….thanks

  50. MAE on June 3rd, 2012 9:33 am

    I don’t have the browse button under sampling. What should i do? I only have it under options but there is no file for ies that I can browse

  51. dave on June 7th, 2012 8:13 am

    Hi does this work in sketch-up 8?i just follow all the instruction and still all i can see is black render, I almost make it to 9000000 power.Also, does all ies file have the same same pre-sets?Your reply is really appreciated .Thank you

  52. hoang on July 21st, 2012 11:13 am

    i need some light

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