When you add lights to an axes, MATLAB® rendering software determines the effects these lights have on the patch and surface objects that are displayed in that axes. There are different methods used to calculate the face and edge coloring of lit objects, and the one you select depends on the results you want to obtain.
MATLAB supports three different algorithms for lighting calculations, selected by setting the FaceLighting and EdgeLighting properties of each patch and surface object in the scene. Each algorithm produces somewhat different results:
Phong lighting — Interpolates the vertex normals across each face and calculates the reflectance at each pixel. Select this choice to view curved surfaces. Phong lighting generally produces better results than Gouraud lighting, but takes longer to render.
This illustration shows how a red sphere looks using each of the lighting methods with one white light source.