help with lighting interior scene

In this scene I have a directional light acting as my sun and I also created a skylight with an hdri. Things aren’t working out as expected. I’ve watched the unreal arch viz interior scene videos and I think I’m pretty much doing the same thing, but still being very new to unreal, I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong. As you can see from the image, as soon as I turn on the skylight my entire interior is blown out with light. I’m expecting light to only come in through the doors and a few overhead ceiling windows. Turning down the intensity doesn’t really do much.

You can also see that the background is black. I thought that the HDRI would provide a background. Under the rendering settings I have visible selected. If I deselect that it completely shuts off the light. So I’m guessing I’m misunderstanding that setting’s use. I expected that to show the background.

The other issue I’m running into is light leaking in mainly around the floor, but also a bit around the ceiling. I’ve made sure that my ceiling and floor completely intersect with the walls. What else do I need to do to eliminate this?


Did you bake lighting after enabling your Sky Light? By default, with both Static and Stationary lights of all types, they will be completely dynamic until you bake lighting. When they’re dynamic, you lose certain features by default, like occlusion/shadows from the Sky Light.

And the Sky Light is completely separate from the background as it does not do anything but capture the background, or an assigned HDRI like you have, and reproject as a light. If the background is black, the capture will be black. You can place a skybox(there’s multiple in the Engine Content) and scale it up so it’s outside of the distance threshold for the Sky Light, or reduce the threshold so it can pick up the skybox(but if you go too low it will capture other geometry nearby, which might not be wanted). From there you can make any necessary material adjustments so the Sky Light captures it or use the same HDRI in the Sky Light and try to match up their directions.

Yes I did build the lighting but it’s not much different. I downloaded the latest arch viz interior example scene from unreal and used that to try to piece some things together. I then spent a good amount of time filling in all of the windows with rectangular lights and spots for the ceiling lights. It’s much better now. I guess I just expected the directional light to provide a lot more ambient light inside the scene.

Have you gone through the learning portal tutorials for lighting essential concepts. It’s useful as a reference for how directional lights, skylights, and the other lights basically work. Other settings can magnify the brightness of lighting from the different lights, especially directional and skylights. There might be post process settings that are interfering with the proper light attenuation and brightness under both World Settings and the Post Process Volume if it’s in there. Is the scene using a Lightmass Importance Volume? That can also do it if it’s not placed properly and settings are wrong. It concentrates photons in the area it covers, so it could be “funneling” in a lot more light than intended.

Skylight has a property called “Lower Hemisphere is Solid Color” with a checkbox and below it the RGB color values. If it’s unchecked, the lower hemisphere captures the entire skybox, which is mostly white, so the light reprojection would be bright compared to if it’s checked and the color is black. Click “Recapture” after changing the skylight settings or other lighting settings. Since this background is black, it is probably doing something to the lighting from skylight’s interaction with the background if “Lower Hemisphere is Solid Color” is checked.