Region Environment Settings

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KBnote.png Note: As of version 2.8, region environment settings are part of the Second Life Beta Viewer.


Region environment settings provide region managers the ability to customize the environment settings for their region. Residents who enter the region automatically see those settings unless those they have chosen personal overrides. So, for example, a gothic castle might have a dark and gloomy environment or a tropical island might be always bright and sunny.

You may also see this feature referred to by its old name, Windlight Environment Settings.

What changed

Previously, you had to use either default environment settings OR customized personal environment settings, which did not affect anyone else. Thus, there was no easy way to share distinctive environment settings.

Now, region environment settings enable you to define visual environments to match and enhance regions you manage.


Please join the Windlight Region Testers SL group if you are testing this feature. If you are an estate manager and have customized settings on a region, send a notice to the group to let other members know so that they can come and experience what you've done.

Feedback is welcome on the opensource-dev mailing list, group chat in the above group, the discussion page for this article, or in private email to Oz Linden.

Outstanding issues

There is a list of the outstanding known issues in Jira.

What are environment settings?

Environment settings control how you see the water and the sky (including the air around you) in Second Life. When you enter a region, by default, you see the environment settings that have been configured for that region. If no region-specific settings have been configured, you see the default Second Life environment.

The environment controls provide some example pre-defined settings, but you can create your own settings and either use them as personal settings or apply them to any region for which you are an estate manager.

There are three kinds of environment settings:

  • Water Settings: the color of the water, how transparent it is, and how turbulent it is.
  • Sky Settings: the color of the sky, the color of the light, the color and behavior of clouds, and how hazy the atmosphere is.
  • Day Cycles: a sequence of sky settings that control how things look at different times in the Second Life "day".


For each of the three environment settings you can define a specific configuration as a named preset, saved locally on your computer along with other preferences. If you access Second Life from multiple systems or multiple accounts, each combination of system and account will have its own collection of presets.

KBnote.png Note: Region enviornment settings differ from the Phoenix parcel settings in an important way (other than being region rather than parcel scope): in the Phoenix parcel feature, you and the parcel owner must both have the same definition for the named setting stored locally in your viewers. If either of you have modified the setting values for that name, then you'll be seeing different things. The region settings are stored on the server and returned to each viewer entering the region, so everyone is assured of getting the same values.

Choosing the settings you see


By default you see the environment setting that the region manager has set. If you prefer, you can change the default so you see the environment settings you specify. To change this option:


  • Use region settings to see the shared region settings (the default).
  • Customize my environment to see personal settings that affect only you:
    1. Choose a Water Setting preset.
    2. Choose a Sky/Day Cycle preset; either:
      • Fixed Sky, displayed regardless of the time of day.
      • Day Cycle to display an environment that changes continuously according to time of day.

Click OK to apply your selection.

  1. Choose World > Enviroment Editor > Environment Settings.
    • Click Use region settings to see the shared region settings (the default).
    • Click Customize my environment to see personal settings that affect only you:
      1. Choose a Water Setting preset.
      2. Choose a Sky/Day Cycle preset; either:
        • Fixed Sky, displayed regardless of the time of day.
        • Day Cycle to display an environment that changes continuously according to time of day
  2. Click OK.

Sun settings

Instead of using the environment editor, you can choose from a set of four predefined "shortcut" fixed sky settings that affect only you. These are the same fixed presets available in the release viewer.

Choose World > Sun; then choose:

  • Sunrise
  • Midday
  • Sunset
  • Midnight

This selection does not affect anyone else and overrides any previous environment selection.

Working with presets

To create, edit, or delete a preset:

  1. Choose World > Environment Editor
  2. Choose either
    • Water Presets
    • Sky Presets
    • Day Presets
  3. Follow the steps below.

To create a new preset

  1. Choose New Preset...
  1. Enter a name for the preset in the Preset Name field.
  2. Adjust settings until you have the effect you want.
  3. Click Save to create the new preset

To edit an existing preset

  1. Choose Edit Preset...
    The Create a New Water Preset, Create a New Sky Preset or Create a New Day Cycle window opens.
  2. Select the preset to modify from the Preset Name dropdown.
  3. Adjust settings until you have the effect you want
  4. Click Save to store the new preset.
KBcaution.png Important: Editing a preset does not affect regions that are already set to use it; to do that, you must go to the region and re-apply the modified preset as described in Choosing environment settings for a region.

To delete a preset

  1. Choose Delete Preset...
  2. Select the preset to delete from the dropdown.
  3. Click Delete and confirm the action when prompted.

There is no way to undo deleting a preset.

KBcaution.png Important: Deleting a preset does not modify any regions that already use it; You must go to the region and choose another setting as described in Choosing environment settings for a region.

Working with day cycles

A day cycle consists of a sequence of up to twenty sky presets, each assigned to be displayed at a selected key time in the Second Life "day." Between the key times, the environment settings are gradually modified in a smooth transition between the settings for the two times. For example, if the sun is on the eastern horizon at one key and overhead in the next, it will gradually rise between them. To create time periods during which the environment does not change, create key times at each end of the desired stable period and select the same sky preset for both key times.


The small downward-pointing triangle above the timeline indicates the time in the Second Life day that is currently displayed; drag it left and right to see how things will look at different times during the day. While the timeline is shown with a familiar 24 hour day, the actual Second Life "day" is four real hours long (a full day cycle repeats every four hours).

KBnote.png Note: You cannot vary water settings in a day cycle; they are fixed throughout the day, but at most graphics levels the appearance of the water will, like real water, change depending on the light and how the sky above it is reflected on its surface.

Key times

Key times are displayed on the yellow timeline as round markers.

To create a new key time, click Add Key. The new key is created at the current time in the day and is automatically selected.

To select an existing key time, click the marker. The time and sky setting for the selected marker are displayed below the timeline.

To move a key time, click on it and drag, or change the value in the Time box by typing a new time or clicking the up arrow or down arrow buttons.

To delete a key time, select it, then click Delete Key.

Choosing environment settings for a region

If you are an estate manager of a region, you can choose the region's environment settings:

  1. Choose World > Place Profile > Region/Estate.
  2. Click the Environment tab.
    • To use the default Second Life environment and day cycle, click Use Second Life default.
    • To use custom settings, click Use my settings, then:
      1. In the Water Setting list, choose a water preset . This will update what you see, but the change is not yet permanent or visible to others.
      2. For Sky/Day Cycle, chose either:
        • Fixed Sky and choose a sky preset to be displayed regardless of the Second Life time.
        • Day cycle and choose a day cycle preset.
          This will also update what you see, but the change is not yet permanent or visible to others.
      3. Click Apply to make your selections permanent; they will then affect anyone in the region.

Click Cancel or close the window before clicking Apply to return the region environment to its previous settings.

To apply the same settings to more than one region, just go to the Region/Estate Environment tab for each region and apply the same saved setting.

KBwarning.png Warning: Two server issues affect this feature:
  • If you choose Use Second Life default, you may (depending on which channel your region is in) get an error message and no change will be made to the region. Instead, you must choose to apply a custom day cycle and select the "Default" day cycle.
  • For Use the following settings, shortly after you click Apply, the names of the presets may change to the name of your region; your settings have been properly applied, but the copy saved in the region has been renamed.
These issues will be fixed soon; how soon will vary from region to region.

Region boundaries

The environment you see depends on the region you are in at the time. If adjacent regions have different environment settings, any parts of the adjacent region you can see will still appear with the environment of the region you are looking from. When you cross a boundary into a region with different settings, the environment transitions smoothly over a few seconds to the new local settings.


When you teleport into a region, there may be a brief period during which you see your previous environment or the default environment before the local environment settings are established.

Viewers Without Region Environment Settings

What will users on older viewers that lack this feature see in my region?

  • If you select any Day Cycle setting for your region, then older viewers will see the normal Second Life default day cycle.
  • If you select any Fixed Sun setting for your region, then older viewers will see the default Second Life day, but with the Sun fixed at the time of day chosen in your Fixed Sun.

Test Regions

The two adjacent regions Akasha and Scheherazade are open for testing, each has a different custom windlight setting, they are also set up for Phoenix windlight parcel settings, with a different atmosphere.

The Hippotropolis and Hippo Hollow regions are adjacent and have different settings. The developers are using these regions heavily for testing so these settings may change at any time. They are a good place to see what region crossings look like.

The BlakOpal region is a standalone region using some exotic custom water settings and day/night cycle.

Caledon is a large multi-region 19th century Victorian & Steampunk community using different settings across the many regions.

~*Forest Floor*~ Forest Floor is a forest sim with horse riding, a place to wander and relax.

Bora Bora is a beach sim with unique normal water maps and sky preset.