Glass Light (Portal 2)

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Wall Glass Lights.

Glass Lights in Portal 2 replace the Recessed Wall Lights from the original first Portal. They are used in almost every Portal 2 test chamber and often are the main source of lighting along with Observation Rooms. In this tutorial, you will learn how to create these glass lights for your test chamber.

While recessed wall lights can still be created in Portal 2, it's usually a better idea to use the "new" glass lights for the sake of continuity.


This is often much easier than creating every light strip manually. Create a hole to place the instance in. If your walls are thin, you will have to cover the sides in order to seal leaks.

There are various instances in the instances/lights folder. The relevant instances begin with light_panel_.

Manual Creation

Step 1

Create a standard room.

Step 2

Cut a hole, 128 units wide, 32 units high, into that wall. It is recommended that you do not carve.

Step 3

Create a solid, also 128 units wide and 32 units high. Move it inside the hole you just cut, but retract it into the wall (watch out for leaks). Texture the face pointing inside the room with lights/light_panel_cool (or the neutral or warm variants). Texture the remaining faces with tools/nodraw.

Step 4

Create a prop_static. Set its world model to models/props_lab/glass_lightcover.mdl and set 'Disable Shadows' to 'Yes'. Use it to cover up the hole inside the wall and rotate as needed.

Step 5

Another job well done. Rinse and repeat.

Editing Brightness

It is possible to edit the brightness of the light by selecting the Texture Application (Shift+A) and adjusting the scale of the light texture. The higher the number, the dimmer the light. 2 is much darker than .25

This is 3 lights in a basic room with a texture scale of .25 and this is the same room, but with the scale turned up to 2.

Note: Make sure that mat_fullbright is set to 0 in your console in order to see the changes to lighting.