There are ways to mimic a soft light in SFM. Mainly through radius (shadows enabled) and quadraticAttenuation settings. Neither are sufficient when you work with upwards to 50-70 lights because you have to mess with a lot of values to differentiate the lights.
Another issue is lighting up world environments with a light bulb or a spotlight. Often or not the light will give a full bright look even if you try to space the lights evenly between each other. This is sadly because the light texture itself has a huge white spot in the middle which means if two light textures overlap you’ll get a full bright effect instead of a smooth middle ground between the two lights. Using the PFM export option is a solution but who wants to spend the entire day color correcting an image?
Here is the solution to all of these problems. A new light texture that does not have high contrast areas. It is entirely gradient!
Comparison between the lights:
No more full bright from overlapping lights:
These two packages can be downloaded and moved to your workshop folder. You should pick the one that benefits you the most.
Affects all lights:
If you choose the manual option you’ll have to right-click the light you want to modify and then click Modify in Element Viewer > Light and then type in the custom texture you installed for every light you create:
I will release a better light pack in the future.