This version of LightWave uses a software-driven licensing scheme, applicable to Windows 64-bit, and Macintosh OS X. This approach facilitates online purchase and prompt delivery, without any need for a physical shipment (although a hardware dongle can be purchased on request when so desired).

Although no longer required, those upgrading from older versions that required a hardware key can continue to use it if they wish (see note in the section Upgrading From a Prior Version). Note that commercial plugins that use the SDK* to reference a dongle will now work without one. Also as before, multiple LightWave instances can be run concurrently on the same machine.

New purchasers of LightWave can purchase a hardware dongle on request but it won’t be necessary, meaning that LightWave can become a completely digital product making purchasing licenses much simpler since no physical product will need to be shipped.

Purchasing and Activation

The website is open 24/7, 365 days a year, so you can you buy a new LightWave license or upgrade to the latest version at your convenience. LightWave is also available through your favorite reseller, if you prefer.

To check out pricing, visit the Store pages at; you don’t need to be logged in to do so. Click Buy Now to display the price, including sales tax, in your local currency. If you wish to make a purchase, enter your payment details and hit next. A confirmation page allows you to review the details and make any necessary edits, and then you can hit next again. After a few moments to process your payment, you will be presented with download options for LightWave and the license.key file.

If you already have the trial version of LightWave (11.0.3 or more recent) installed, you only need to download the license.lwk file, and apply that to your Trial Edition for it to become a full license.

To apply the license.lwk, just launch either Layout or Modeler, drag the lwk file icon over the window, and drop it. Afterward, to restart LightWave to activate your license.

Note: If you lack Internet access, send a letter containing your address, LightWave serial number, your reseller’s details, and what sort of computer you will use LightWave on to:

Attn: Customer Service
5131 Beckwith Blvd
San Antonio, TX 78249


Will my dongle continue to work?
Dongles will continue to work and can continue to be used. If you are still running Windows XP you will have to keep using the dongle. Software licensing needs Vista or more recent.

Will my commercial plugins work if I don’t use my dongle?
Commercial plugins tied to a dongle should* work equally well with the software license.

I usually have several Layouts open and a couple of Modelers. Will I still be able to do that with a software dongle?

Multiple LightWave instances can be run on a machine using the software lock. However an alert is shown if multiple instances using one license are run on different machines on a single network.

What happens if I run multiple copies of the same license on different machines on the network?
You will get a message that your dongle could not be found and then a message saying that the number of licenses owned has been exceeded. You can either buy additional licenses or close other copies.

I like the dongle. Will I still be able to buy new seats using it?

Yes, you can purchase a dongle if you wish. Please allow adequate time for your order to arrive (you may, of course, use the fully-featured trial edition before your order arrives,).

I would like to upgrade an older license of LightWave that I bought from someone to the latest version. Will I be able to?
Yes.  As long as you bought a full version with a dongle you can upgrade it. Purchasing an older version of LightWave without a dongle means that the owner is selling an upgrade, not a full version.

If I want to drop my LightWave on a USB key and take it to a job can I?
Yes, but you will continue to need to use your dongle. The software license only works when you install LightWave locally using the provided installer.


* Commercial plugins getting the Lock ID using the SDK will normally work without changes. Plugins using their own scheme may need to be updated.