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This article contains outdated information that is inaccurate for the current version. It was last updated for AP-398142. Unreflected changes in the discussed game mechanics are detailed here: AP-419840 • U33-473720
This article contains outdated information that is inaccurate for the current version. It was last updated for AP-398142. Unreflected changes in the discussed game mechanics are detailed here: AP-419840 • U33-473720
This article is a stub. You can help Oxygen Not Included Wiki by expanding it.

The interior of your planetoid is mostly pitch black, though your Duplicants appear to function just fine. Producing light, however, can increase Duplicant workspeed at certain workstations, improve the decor of wherever it shines, and cause specific plants to grow; light also disturbs the sleep of most Duplicants and can prevent the growth of certain plants that need darkness. The exterior of your planetoid, accessed by breaching the surface at the top of the map, has natural sunlight that brightens and dims over the course of every cycle, which can be used to gain power through solar panels.

Use the Light Overlay to see which tiles are lit at any time. Brightness is measured in lux, and if a cell is lit by multiple sources of light, the cell's brightness is the sum of all lux values.

Point sources of light only emit for a limited range of cells, losing brightness over distance. They are blocked fully by most solid tiles. Window tiles and pneumatic doors allow light to pass through them at all times. Airlocks and bunker doors also allow light through while they are open. Sunlight has no maximum range, but is partially or fully absorbed by some gasses and liquids as well.

Duplicant Interactions[]

Light interferes with most Duplicants' sleep, so lights near their beds can negatively affect their stamina recovery. Dupes will even attempt to sleep in unlit areas if they pass out on the floor. The exceptions to these details are Duplicants with the Loud Sleeper trait, who are indifferent to light when sleeping, and those with the Nyctophobic trait, who require light to peacefully sleep.

In addition, long exposure to very bright light can cause stress relief (the "Bright and Cheerful" status at 40,000 lux and the "Intensely Bright" status at 72,000 lux) or stress (in the form of sunburn after 120 seconds of "Intensely Bright" status) in Duplicants.

Lit Workspace[]

While working at a building, a Duplicant can get a +15% speed bonus if they occupy a cell with at least 1 lux of light. This "Lit Workspace" status effect can be viewed when selecting a Duplicant, and generally applies to almost any operation that has a progress bar, which includes eating at a Mess Table, using a Lavatory, and pouring a drink from the Espresso Machine.


Any brightness over 0 lux provides a static +15 to decor for the alighted cell, ignoring the quantity of light sources or their cumulative intensity.



A few plants require some light in order to grow, while a few cannot grow in the absence of any light—most plants are indifferent to light, unless they have specific mutations (only in the Spaced Out! DLC).

  • Bristle Blossoms require any amount of light over 0 lux.
  • Gas Grass requires 20,000 lux of light, which generally relegates its location to the planetoid's surface as sunlight is the only feasible and efficient way to acquire light of that intensity.
  • Dusk Caps and Bog Buckets (only in the Spaced Out! DLC) require darkness; even 1 lux of light prevents growth.

Oxygen Generation[]

Algae Terrariums produce 10% more oxygen when in any amount of light above 0 lux.


Beach Chairs are reactional buildings used by Duplicants to gain +5 morale, but if the bottom-left corner of a Beach Chair building (its cell of interest) is over 10,000 lux, then the Duplicant gains +8 morale instead.

Light Levels[]

Brightness [Lux] Category Effect
0 Pitch Black Lit Workspace status removed
Up to 100 Dark
Up to 1,000 Dim
Up to 10,000 Well Lit
Up to 50,000 Bright Above 40,000 Lux: Bright and Cheerful status for Duplicants, Beach Chair morale bonus
Up to 100,000 Brilliant Above 72,000 Lux: Intensely Bright status for Duplicants (Sunburn after 120 seconds)
100,000 and beyond Blinding


Light-Emitting Object Light Range
Printing Pod
Printing Pod
Printing Pod light range.png
Mini-Pod light range.png
Shine Bug
Shine Bug
Shine Bug Light Range.png
Lamp light range.png
Ceiling Light
Ceiling Light
Ceiling Light light range.png
Sun Lamp
Sun Lamp
Sun Lamp light range.png


Sunlight shines down from the top of the world. Unlike other light sources, which either have a circular or a cone shape, and lose their intensity with distance from the lightsource, the sun's light travels downwards indefinitely, if not absorbed by some element. An element's effective absorption () is its potential absorption factor () multiplied by its mass () / 1000 g for gasses, kg for liquids (maximum 1). The resulting percent of absorbed light is relative to the base intensity of the sunlight (), not the intensity of the light present in the cell (). Hence, shaded light doesn't just approach 0 intensity, but can quickly turn pitch black.

The actual proportion of unabsorbed light is on average around 0.2% lower than what the above calulations would suggest. This is in most part due to the fact that the game maps the light exposure percentage (1 - the sum of the effective absorption of all cells above) to an integer between 0 and 255, truncating the decimals, and in lesser part because of floating point conversion errors result in slightly off values in the elements' potential light absorption factors ().

The intensity of sunlight gradually changes by time of day. During 12.5% of the cycle (during night) the intensity is 0. In the remaining 87.5%, it follows a sine wave with a half-period of 0.875 cycles and a maximum of 80000 Lux.

Sunlight Intensity Graph.png


  • LU-356355:
    • Some rooms now require a Light source to be considered a room.
    • Duplicants work 15% faster when working in a lit space.
    • Loud Sleepers sleep too deeply to be bothered by light while they sleep.
    • Duplicants' sleep is disturbed by sleeping in a lit space.