Developer Forum

Exclude light from objects?

Hello, i am moving to Blender from 3Ds Max, and there, in Vray, there is an option to exclude some objects from a light source.
Is that possible with cycles?
Just to exemplify, I want to make an area light that doesn’t affect my plane on the background.


That’s called “Light Linking” and it’s not possible yet I’m afraid, I think devs already knows this requirement and it will be implemented in the future (hopefully near future) :slight_smile:

Here you can see the task:


Oh, nice to know they are working on it.
Thank you!

yes, it is possible in cycles without any great effort, because Eevee is a little more complex to do.
you have my answer on chat #Blender Ask and Answer with example .blend file, i have new .blend file better result one

The best solution for what you want to do is to use the View Layer system to create render passes with different collections/objects enabled/disabled. So you can, for example, create a collection of lights for one pass, then another, and a few groups of objects, and you can disable a collection in the viewlayer, or even mask/holdout some collections.

It’s not exactly the same as light-linking, but it’s a flexible system, and you can get the same results with a little compositing. You can composite all the images together right there in Blender, too.

That involves rendering the scene multiple times, which means multiplying the render time for as many layers as you want, for a 1 minute per frame animation could be ok, for a 20 minutes per frame… it can be quite problematic, for a 2 hours per frame it’s a no go.

So it’s a workaround, but not a very efficient one.

Another workaround could be using lightgroups and compose the final render with those lightgroups, and use cryptomatte to mask out the desired object/objects from the light group you don’t want to affect them.

This is also a workaround and won’t exclude things like the shadows casted by that lightgroup, but at least you don’t multiply your render times :slight_smile:

The only real solution is the actual development of light linking :slight_smile:


I have been looking for a solution for this,
its nice to know its begin worked on, I hope its ready soon.

when we can have a time plan for light linking?

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can you share the link please?

many thanks

I have been doing 3D since the 80s. Blender is the greatest software, but ironically also the only one I’ve ever encountered without such a basic feature. It needs to be as simple as having an eyedrop icon in the light settings to select objects to exclude. It needs to be on both: Eevee and Cycles. Ideally also the same in the Object Settings to select lights to exclude. Or at least add an “Exclude” Node in the light node editor that allows to enter an object or list of objects between the Emission and Light Output node. That would be a solid user interface for a badly needed feature.


I agree on how widely it’s been available elsewhere. I’ve spent hours trying stuff and finally tracking this down today to get to this post. Disappointing…

It’s been more than a year now, even blender 3.0 is out now. Have they sorted out light linking yet?

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They’ve been working on trying to get it into master over the last couple releases.

Light groups is not actually light linking though. It allows you to group lights and realistically add or their effect in post.

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