Lights.rad location problem

After I recently compiled some maps, I decided to change some settings in the rad file, but they do not seem to stick. I deleted every lights.rad file I had except for the modified one and vrad still outputs the lighting values from the original file. Using it as an additional rad file doesn’t work either because despite vrad claiming to load the values from it, it still does not apply them.
I can only assume hammer or vrad loaded the original file into their memory or some other insanity.

How do I fix this?

Are you using brush lights because that’s the only thing that lights.rad affect? Also hammer doesn’t even load the lights file

I had the exact same issue a few weeks ago. The only way I could get it to work is put lights.rad on the D:\ drive and use the “-lights D:\lights.rad” option on vrad.exe.

You could probably use Sysinternals Process Monitor ( to watch vrad.exe and see where it’s loading lights.rad by default from.

Placed prototype2.rad in the C:\ drive. vrad claims to have read it but did not applied the lights.
I checked the process monitor, which read the lights.rad file at Half-Life 2/hl1/, which is where my modified file is located, but it did not applied the modified settings.

As Sam said, this only matters with brush lighting. The last two maps I’ve done used brush lighting as the exclusive form of lighting. Creates such a cool feeling/effect but a pain in the ass if you need to change the lights.

I ended up emailing TopHattWaffle for help and after a few suggestions I finally got it working. Although… I’m still not ENTIRELY sure how. I know I had to add -lights and directory, but I think it still only works in certain directories? Could be completely wrong. I just made a custom.rad with ONLY the light textures I wanted to change and copied it to anywhere I thought it would work. Compiled with “-lights custom.rad” and eventually I think it worked. I’m interested in hearing what you figure out. It took longer than I’d like to admit to get it working.

I already tried that, like I said before, it does not seem to work. Do you remember what folders work and what do not?

I THINK that I put the custom.rad rile right in the game’s root folder. Which was, for me, hl2. I think I also tried it with the ep2 Hammer and hl2dm Hammer. I also think the actual light texture I was editing made a difference because some worked and others didn’t. I’ll see if I can make it happen again to figure out what worked.

[editline]30th April 2014[/editline]

Okay, this is what I had to do. Using hl2.

Create the custom.rad (mine only has the lights that I want in it, which is lights/white003)

After I made the changes, nothing was happening. I Renamed the map then ran it in the “Normal” compiler on full. Still, lights were the same.

For some reason, I can’t do a advanced full compile with a newly saved map name, that’s why I did it in normal first.

Then I ran a full final compile, in the $light_exe I added: -lights custom.rad

loaded game, and it worked.

-lights (name).rad is what I have been doing all this time. It does not work.

Did you follow all the steps I did exactly? That was the only way I could make it work.

Nope. Did not worked. Even with the “save with a different name” thing failed.

Anyone has more ideas?

Well, plan b time. I am going to try compiling with a refreshed rad file. I will later post the results

Well plan b was a bust. But I realized something:
Lights with values in the rad file seem to glow ingame, even if they do not emit actual light. I managed to get one of them to emit light, but it is not very much, and in fact fails to illuminate anything. But it is there. Together with the compiling messages, I now know that hammer is, in fact reading the light files and applying the values, but, for some reason, the lights come out much weaker than what they are supposed to be.
I will continue my investigation.

Post you custom.rad lines here, so we can check what are you doing.

what I do is just have mapname.rad and stick it where your vmf is. works every time. Only downside is that if you have a new map name, you need to rename the rad too.

Ok, turns out the glow in the dark textures were a result of a self-illumination tag in the vmt. Well that just bites. I still do not know why the trn_lt1 text has some small illumination as taking the rad file off did not affect it in any way.
I am starting to get completely lost. I just don’t see what the problem is.

[editline]9th June 2014[/editline]

I tried that. it did not work.

the custom rad I am using:

~tracklite 255 255 128 2400
~LIGHT5F 255 255 50 2500
~trn_lt1 253 219 172 2000
~spotred 128 0 0 6000