Placing a Wall Light Away from a Wall

Reference Number: KB-00478 Last Updated: 12-09-2014 08:19 AM

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors or Chief Architect Lite


I am attempting to add a light to a ­piling in a ­pier that I am designing; however, when I do, Chief Architect produces an error message stating that lights can only be added to a wall. How do I add lights to a piling when Chief will only allow me to add them to a wall?


In Chief Architect, wall lights cannot be added to a plan unless they are placed on walls. It is possible, however, to place wall lights in special locations such as on a pier piling using an Invisible Wall. In a 3D or elevation view, it will appear as though the lights are mounted directly to the pilings.

To place lights on pilings

  1. Open the Chief Architect plan in which you would like to place lights on a piling and determine the location where you would like to add the pilings and place the lights.

  2. From the menu, select Build> Wall> Exterior Wall , and then click and drag to draw a wall.

  3. Click on the wall using the Select Objects  tool to select it and display its edit handles. If necessary, use these edit handles to position the wall precisely where the pilings will be located. Don't draw it off to one side or another - it needs to occupy the same space the pilings will.

  4. If you already have pilings in your drawing, move them to the side, and draw a wall where the pilings once were. This wall will serve as a mounting platform for your lights; but don't worry, you won't see it in any of your 3D views.

  5. Next, it's time to add the lights. These will need to be mounted to the wall we have just created. In this example, we will add a Caged Lantern to the drawing.

  6. From the menu, select View> Library Browser  to open the Library Browser.

    • In Chief Architect X5 and prior, the Library Browser can be found by going to Library>Library Browser

  7. Navigate to Chief Architect Core Catalogs> Architectural> Lighting> Wall Mounted and click on a light fixture you would prefer to use. In this case we used Caged Lantern. When you have the object selected, a preview will display and you can click on it to select it. 

  8. With the library object selected, you can click in your plan to place it on a wall. Move or close the Library Browser if it interferes with your work in floor plan view.


  10. To adjust the placement of the light, click on it using the Select Objects  tool and click and drag on its move edit handle. When the move edit handle is selected, the cursor will display as a four-headed arrow .

  11. Once you have added a light or series of lights to your plan, click on the wall using the Select Objects  tool.

  12. Either double-click on the wall, or click the Open Object  edit button to open the Wall Specification dialog. On the General panel, place a check in the box beside Invisible and click the OK button to close the dialog and apply the change.

  13. Although you cannot place a wall light on a wall that has already been specified as Invisible, a wall with lights mounted on it can nevertheless be made Invisible.

  14. When the wall is converted into an invisible wall, the Caged Lanterns that are attached to it will appear to float in space in a 3D view.

  15. It's now time to click on the piling and drag it to the correct position. Click the Select Objects  tool and click on a piling to select it and display its edit handles. Click and drag using the central move handle to position the piling in the proper location. To move the piling through other objects such as the wall, hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard.

  16. Repeat this process with the other pilings. If needed, adjust the position of the lights so that they each line up with a piling.

  17. In a 3D view, the lights will now appear to be mounted on pilings.

  18. To create a new or different piling, open the Library Browser and navigate to Chief Architect Core Catalogs> Architectural> Shapes.

    • Click the plus  sign beside Cylinders.

    • Select Vert (faceted), Vert Cylinder (large) or Vert (round). A preview will display, and you can click on it to select it. Any of these vertical cylinders can be resized to create a piling type to meet your needs.

  19. Click in floor plan view to place a cylinder, and then click on it using the Select Objects  tool.

  20. Click the Open Object  edit button to open the Geometric Shape Specification dialog, and specify the Height that you want the piling to be. Click OK to close the dialog and apply the change.

  21. With the cylinder still selected, click the Copy/Paste  edit button and click where you want exact copies of this piling to be located. 

To place pilings using Transform/Replicate 

  1. Select the piling you have placed in your plan and click the Transform/Replicate Object  edit button to open the Transform/Replicate Object dialog.

    • Place a check in the box beside Copy and specify the number of pilings you wish to have along your wall.

    • Place a check in the box beside Move and specify the interval at which you would like your pilings to be spaced.

  2. Click OK to close the dialog and create your copies.

  3. To see the lights and pilings in a 3D view, from the menu select 3D> Create Orthographic View> Full Overview .