|Microsoft DirectX 9.0|
Lights in Microsoft?Direct3D?emit three colors that are used independently in the system's lighting computations: a diffuse color, an ambient color, and a specular color. Each is incorporated by the Direct3D lighting module, interacting with a counterpart from the current material, to produce a final color used in rendering. The diffuse color interacts with the diffuse reflectance property of the current material, the specular color with the material's specular reflectance property, and so on. For specifics about how Direct3D applies these colors, see Mathematics of Lighting.
The type of color that applies most heavily to the system's computations is the diffuse color. The most common diffuse color is white (R:1.0 G:1.0 B:1.0), but you can create colors as needed to achieve desired effects. For example, you could use red light for a fireplace, or you could use green light for a traffic signal set to "Go."
Generally, you set the light color components to values between 0.0 and 1.0, inclusive, but this isn't a requirement. For example, you might set all the components to 2.0, creating a light that is "brighter than white." This type of setting can be especially useful when you use attenuation settings other than constant.
Note that although Direct3D uses RGBA values for lights, the alpha color component is not used. For more information, see Color Values for Lights and Materials.