75k free IES profiles for interior rendering

What is an IES profile for rendering? An IES profile works like a way to record the physical behavior of an artificial light source. That is an invaluable resource when you are working on a project, and the client is asking for a night view of a room. It also helps a lot when the primary objective for visualization is to evaluate artificial light placement and bulb types.

To use such a resource, you have to find a specific light bulb model you wish to use and find if the manufacturer offers the download of an IES file for a particular model. Most of them have that option, but with a unique cataloging system.

Wouldnt be nice to have a central location to search and download thousands of those profiles from manufacturers all across the globe? Luckily for us, we have a great resource to search and get those IES profiles called IES Library.

That is a project from developer Juergen Furrer which collects and catalog thousands of those profiles.

He provides the IES profile that is a small text file containing information on each light type and a preview of each model. By the time we publish this article, the system is close to 75K different profiles, according to Juergen Furrer, the goal is to get at least 160K profiles.

Can we use IES profiles in Blender? Sure, you can easily use such an option for lights in Blender. It only works with Cycles. Select a light and make sure it has the Nodes option enabled:

  1. Open the Shader Editor with the light selected
  2. Press SHIFT+A and from the Textures group add an IES Texture Node
  3. Connect the Fac from the IES Texture to the Emission Strength socket
  4. At the IES Texture press the External option and locate your IES file with the small folder icon

That will attach an IES profile to your light source in Blender.

The hardest part of this process is to pick a single option among thousands of available lights.

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  • Harvester

    Hello! The main issue with IES lights, expecially where there are so many to choose from, is that to make a meaningful choice you should start from the type of/image of the lamp holder. Then you can pick the proper IES file. If one day someone will create an add-on for IES lights this shall provide a way to visualize and choose the right lamp and lamp holder.

  • cscacy


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