Adjusting the Sunlight

Reference Number: KB-00922
Last Modified: September 26, 2023

The information in this article applies to:

Home Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or HomeDesigner Suite


When I take a camera view of the exterior of my house, the shadows are on the wrong side. How can I adjust the sunlight to come from another direction?

Rustic craftsman home in a dusk setting


When you create a 3D view, the program creates a Generic Sunlight source. It's easy to adjust the various aspects of this sunlight to properly reflect different times of day using the Adjust Sunlight dialog while a 3D view of your plan is open. The key to getting the sunlight effect you want is to adjust both the tilt angle and direction angle.

In addition to the Generic Sun, Home Designer Pro has the ability to place Sun Angles. Sun Angles let you specify an exact location, date, and time for sunlight and sun shadow generation.

To adjust the sunlight

  1. Take a Camera  view of the exterior of the structure and once the view is open and active, navigate to 3D> Edit Active Camera .

  2. In the Specification dialog that opens, check the Show Shadows box, then click OK.

    Check Show Shadows in the Specification dialog to display shadows in the view

    You can also navigate to 3D> Camera View Options> Toggle Shadows  to toggle the shadows on and off in a camera view.

  3. With shadows displaying in the view, select 3D> Lighting> Adjust Sunlight .

  4. In the Adjust Sunlight dialog that displays:

    Adjust Sunlight dialog

    • Use the Intensity drop-down option or the input field to control how bright the sunlight displays in 3D views.

    • Select the Color box to define the color of the light being modeled. The color white has the least effect on material colors and textures.

    • If you don't want the sun to follow the camera, uncheck the Sun Follows Camera box and proceed to specify your own tilt and direction angle.

      Note: If Use Generated Sky is in use as the backdrop in the current view and Sun Follows Camera is checked, the Generated Sky will not update if the camera is moved.

    • Change the Tilt Angle to specify the angle of the sun light with respect to the horizon. A value of 90 degrees means that the light is pointing straight up, whereas a value of -90 degrees means that the light is pointing straight down. 0 degrees is parallel to the horizon.

    • Set the Direction Angle to specify the direction that the sun light points toward. 0 degrees is measured horizontally on screen, pointing to the right. Positive values will then rotate in a counter-clockwise direction, while negative values rotate clockwise.

    • Select the Restore Initial Settings button to restore the original settings.

  5. Click OK to apply your changes and see the results update in your open camera view. 

    Starting in Home Designer 2024, a separate Move Sun tool can also be used to adjust the Tilt and Direction Angle of the sun light. Navigate to 3D> Lighting>  Move Sun, then use the left mouse button to adjust the sun light.

In Home Designer Pro, you have more control over how the sun displays by utilizing the Sun Angle Specification dialog, where you can give the program your latitude and longitude along with the date and time, and the program will then automatically set the correct Sun Angle for you.

To place a Sun Angle in your plan, navigate to CAD> Sun Angle , then click in the drawing area where you want the Sun Angle to be displayed. The Sun Angle Specification dialog will appear where you can specify your desired information.

In Home Designer Pro 2023 and prior versions, navigate to CAD> Lines> Sun Angle

Earth Data panel of the Sun Angle Specification dialog

You can then choose to utilize the Generic Sun or a Sun Angle in the Adjust Sunlight dialog.

Adjust Sunlight dialog in Home Designer Pro

For more information on Sun Angles in Home Designer Pro, please refer to your program's documentation by navigating to Help> Launch Help.