Light Effect Basics

In this tutorial i will show you the basics of light effect in photoshop (CS, CS2, CS3, CS4).
The most important thing about light effects is your imagination, do not be afraid to try different things.


Just create a new photoshop file “CTRL + N” and set the size to your needs.
light effect 1

Now we have a blank background we can work on.


Go to “Filter -> Render -> Lighting Effects”.
light effect 2

Now you see the “Lighting Effects” window: Now we can create a spotlight effect.
Select the colors you would like in the areas as shown below, and click OK. (remember just play with the colors).
light effect 3

I selected the color red and this is the outcome.
light effect 4

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Now lets create a second spotlight.
Create a new layer “CTRL + SHIFT + N” and press “G” to open the “Paint Bucket Tool” and fill the layer with white.
Set the layer mode to “Pin Light”.
light effect 5

Now repeat STEP 2 but use different colors and settings, just use you fantasy.
Repeat STEP 2 and STEP 3 till you are happy. Try using different layer modes for some layers.

I ended up using 5 layers:
light effect 6

light effect 7


I loaded a picture of the iPhone on top of the layers. You can use whatever you like.
light effect 8

We will create some nice glowing lines around the iPhone.


Creat a new layer by pressing “CTRL + SHIFT + N” and Press “P” to open the “Pen Tool” or “Freeform Pen Tool” and draw some nice lines on top of the iPhone.
light effect 9

Select the “Brush Tool” press “B” and set the brush settings as shown below.
light effect 10

Now press “P” again to get back to the “Pen Tool” and right click the canvas, and click “Stroke Path”.
light effect 11

This window will popup: Select Brush and Simulate Pressure.
light effect 12

Click OK and click “delete” on your keyboard.
This is the result.
light effect 13


Now we need to delete some parts to make it look like it is hidden behind the iPhone. Use the “Eraser Tool” “press P” for that.
light effect 14


Now we need to make the stroke look like a light beam.
So right click the stroke layer and click “Blending Options”.
light effect 15

Set the “Blending Options” settings as shown below.
light effect 16

Inner Glow:
light effect 17

You can use the same settings, but you can just play with it.

light effect 18


We will duplicate the the stroke layer: right click the stroke layer and click “Duplicate Layer”.
light effect 19

Clear the layer style of the duplicated layer.
light effect 20

Duplicate the duplicated layer again.
light effect 21

Now i have 3 stroke layers and my creation looks like this.
light effect 22

To finish it, just use you fantasy. You can put some sparkles around the stroke, ad a second stroke or ad some brushes behind the iPhone, just anything you think is cool.


I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and dont forget to show off your end result in a comment.

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    Posted by Faisal Awan on September 12, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    Thank you so much for the Tutorials. Its one of the best tutorials ever, i was using photoshop for almost first time and i understood it 100%. I would love to see more tutorials coming from your side.


    Posted by chris on September 13, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    #FAISAL: Thank you, this is good to hear 🙂 I do my best 😛

    Posted by theman on September 12, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    Ye the light and that is great, but i have no idea how to put an iphone in and how to resize picture and so on… so this tutorial is actully uslles for me

    Posted by FRED on September 13, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    Just look for a different tutorial for pasting the iphone in the picture.. It’s easier if you just use a little bit of your brain:)

    Posted by Ivan on September 14, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    You are not too bright, are ya? You should know the basics before attempting tutorials like these. It is quite easy to do, just try it. Thanks for great tutorial!

    Posted by Stephanie on October 8, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    I love it when a bunch of newbies say this tutorial is “USELESS” to them because they dont know basic cutting, extracting and transforming.

    Anyway, I tried this with a Absolut Vodka bottle instead and it came out perfect. Especially with the design of the bottle. Great tutorial

    Posted by chris on October 9, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    Hi Stephanie, i am glad you liked the tutorial, maybe you can show us your outcome?

    Posted by Steve on October 13, 2010 at 6:06 am

    Give this guy a break.

    You guys are all calling him dim witted, a noob etc when you mis-interpreted what he said which is then hypocritical on your sides.

    He said the tutorial was useless ‘for me’, not that the tutorial is useless in general. So as for your remarks towards him, he may not be too bright, but it seems like you people aren’t either.

    Posted by Lasse on September 16, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    Thank you for a great tutorial! I am in the process for learning Photoshop – this is the kind of things that helps a lot in that process.

    Thank you!

    Posted by TJ on September 23, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    mine came out ok the line was my weekest part

    Posted by TJ on September 23, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    My weekest part was with the line, but it came out ok im satisfied with the end results.

    Posted by Xaby on November 2, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    Very very nice! thanks!

    Posted by hoodlord on November 4, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    Hey, nice tutorial !! I’ve been using photoshop for a while now! I found this tutorial really very easy to understand ( lets say in a glance) ! Simple and Easy!!

    Posted by bmsanu on November 6, 2009 at 4:49 am

    Nice tutorial. thnx for this.

    Posted by tuna on November 13, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    very cool effect, thanks..

    Posted by BILL on December 8, 2009 at 8:35 am

    I only have photoshop elements 6.
    Can this be done.

    Please advice.

    Thank you.

    Posted by bill on December 8, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    I am just looking for a way to put the glow lines around the iphone.
    Can this be done using elements 6.

    Posted by duu on December 15, 2009 at 4:18 am


    Posted by victoria raven on January 4, 2010 at 8:32 am

    thank you so much… words cannot adequate how thankful i am. your tutorials come in handy.. i will surely try this..
    thank you for sharing your knowledge with us(me and my brother)..
    its good to know there are people who want to help others and not selfish enough to share what they have learn..

    thanks again and again..

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