Lighting Effects in Photoshop CS

Written by lauren miller
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Lighting Effects in Photoshop CS
You can add spotlights to images by using the lighting effects in Adobe Photoshop CS. (Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Adobe Photoshop CS graphic design software gives users powerful tools, such as lighting effects, for editing images. Over 15 different types of lighting effects are preinstalled in Photoshop. You can access the effects by selecting the Render option in the program's Filter menu. The three main types of lighting effects include Spotlight (circular light), Omni (light from above) and Directional (light from far away). You can also adjust the intensity and direction of the effects.

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Spotlight Effects

If you use the lighting effect filter without changing the settings, your image will have a medium-intensity white spotlight with a wide focus. This default setting is the same as the Crossing effect, but with the light coming from the opposite angle. The 2 o'clock Spotlight allows you to position a yellow spotlight of medium intensity and a wide focus on an image. The Circle of Light shines four spotlights on an image in white, yellow, red or blue. The Crossing Down effect shines two spotlights of medium intensity with a wide focus. Use the Five Lights Down/Five Lights Up effect if you want to have five white spotlights shining down or up on an image.

To simulate floodlights, use the Flood Light effect, a white spotlight of medium intensity with a wide focus. RGB lights produce a tricolour effect of red, green and blue lights of medium intensity and wide focus. The Soft Spotlight effect has a light of full intensity and wide focus. The Three Down effect includes three wide-focus spotlights of a soft intensity. The Triple Spotlight effect also shines three lights on an image with a weak intensity and a wide focus.

Omni Effects

Two different types of omni effects can be applied to images. The Blue Omni is an overhead full-intensity light that that can make an image appear to have a white hot spot. The Flashlight has a yellow light of medium intensity and resembles the beam of a flashlight. The Soft Omni has a medium-intensity light from above.

Directional Effects

The Parallel Directional effect can make an image look like there is a blue light at full intensity shining on the image. The Soft Direct Light effect has two directional lights, one white and one blue. The white light of the effect has a soft intensity, while the blue has a medium intensity.

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