[[quoteright:350:[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kefka_5076.JPG]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350: Smite evil? '''[[OmnicidalManiac SMITE EVERYTHING.]]'''[[note]][[http://little-foot.deviantart.com/art/Kefka-62339300 Kefka]] by [[http://little-foot.deviantart.com/ Little-Foot]].[[/note]]]]

%% One quote's enough; there's the quotes page for more
->''"I had always presumed white light to be pure and somehow chaste, to be noble and good. But this whiteness was unutterably evil, chilling, its purity an abomination."''
-->-- '''Literature/{{Eisenhorn}}''', ''[[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} Hereticus]]''

[[LightIsGood The Light seems like a good, kindly thing]], especially compared with [[DarkIsEvil that bad old Darkness]]. Whereas Darkness is usually concerned with [[KickTheDog kicking puppies]], [[EatsBabies eating children]], and [[EvilLaugh laughing its head off]], the forces of Light generally worry about nicer things, like [[FriendToAllLivingThings singing with the birds]], [[PetTheDog helping little old ladies cross the street]], and... well, you know, being a [[IdealHero Hero]]. Whereas [[EvilIsSexy the Dark is sexy and alluring]] and [[SensibleHeroesSkimpyVillains tends to dress that way]], the Light ([[BeautyEqualsGoodness while often quite attractive in its own way]]) tends to be a bit more conservative when it comes to clothing. Women serving the Light tend to really appreciate this, considering what [[{{Stripperiffic}} the Darkness usually makes its women wear]]. Whereas [[OrderVersusChaos the Darkness seems to revel in lawlessness and chaos, the Light tends to prefer law and order]], providing for properly maintained roads, a court system, and safe cities.

But in one of those instances where you should BewareTheNiceOnes, the Light isn't always what it appears to be. Sometimes, a battle with an obviously Light-wielding character will not result in [[DefeatMeansFriendship Defeat Meaning Friendship]] or an EpiphanyTherapy, but will just end with a laser-scorched corpse and the shiny happy killer skipping off to continue using their [[GoodPowersBadPeople sunshine-fueled powers]] to wreak decidedly '''un'''holy havoc. There is a reason why the word "Light Bringer," in [[AltumVidetur Latin]], literally means ''[[{{Satan}} Lucifer]]''.

It turns out that, just like how, sometimes DarkIsNotEvil, sometimes Light Is Not Good. Some will view the Light itself as natural, and darkness as nothing more than an absence of it. [[PerspectiveFlip Others will see Light as a destructive force]], a ''perversion'' of the infinite all-encompassing Darkness.

This Trope is an {{inver|tedTrope}}sion of the standard that "[[LightIsGood Light = Good]]". Like with DarkIsNotEvil, Light Is Not Good can {{subvert|edTrope}} or {{avert|edTrope}} a number of other Tropes depending on how it comes into play -- usually BeautyEqualsGoodness and GoodColorsEvilColors, among others.

Light and Dark are both [[LowestCosmicDenominator oversimplified metaphors]] for Good and Evil, not truly synonymous terms. Looking at the matter rationally, too much sunlight causes burns, sunstroke, skin cancer, and drought, which is bad; whereas nightfall and sufficient shade provide relief and rest, which is good. So, neither [[ElementalRockPaperScissors physical brightness nor physical shade]] can be all good or all bad. [[ElementalPowers Elements]] are properly value-neutral. [[note]]It should be noted however that there's no reason to think Humans equate light with good and dark with bad for any reason other than ''nature instilling it in us since we cannot see in the dark.''[[/note]]

The mildest form of this Trope involves beautiful, charismatic villains dressed in white and surrounded by religious symbols. A step further features a villain who wields [[LightEmUp Light as an elemental power]]. Whether by technology or [[FunctionalMagic magic]], they can bend physical light to their whims, displaying such powers as [[BishieSparkle beauty-enhancing sparkles]] or an angelic glow, [[MasterOfIllusion optical illusions and holograms]], MindControl through LaserGuidedAmnesia, [[BlindedByTheLight blinding flashes]], and [[FrickinLaserBeams laser beams]]. For artistic contrast and further deconstruction, they might be opposed by a hero who uses [[CastingAShadow shadows and darkness]] as ElementalPowers.

{{Crapsaccharine World}}s are often depicted as highly polished, brightly (sometimes too brightly, e.g. [[VideoGame/MirrorsEdge Mirror's Edge]]) lit, and cheerful almost to the point of cloying. Of course the true nature of the society is gradually revealed over the course of the narrative, making it an instance of this trope.

{{Anti Hero}}es generally fall under DarkIsNotEvil rather than this Trope unless they're a KnightTemplar, for instance a ruthless ChurchMilitant who works with the good guys. Light Is Not Good is when a character is [[{{Villain}} directly bad, directly villainous]] -- and ''still'' has Light powers. Depending on characterization, [[AntiVillain they might be sympathetic]], perhaps [[WellIntentionedExtremist well-intentioned but horribly misguided]]. [[AxCrazy Or the person could be the most]] [[OmnicidalManiac gleefully twisted bastard imaginable.]]

Commonly used with {{Fallen Hero}}es and KnightTemplar. Often used together with the PathOfInspiration or CorruptChurch. Perhaps might even go so far as to cast aspersions on a CouncilOfAngels. At the most extreme, it declares GodIsEvil. May well occur in a villain's YinYangBomb, in which case the heroes probably need to produce one of their own to combat it.

See also PureIsNotGood, FaceOfAnAngelMindOfADemon, ManInWhite[=/=]WomanInWhite, LawfulStupid, GoodIsBoring, GodIsEvil. May result in GoodPowersBadPeople. Often overlaps with HolyHandGrenade. Oh, while we're at it, FrickinLaserBeams are made of light too. [[KillItWithFire Fire]] can be applied to this as well, as well as [[ShockAndAwe electricity]] and [[AnIcePerson ice]], as well as the blinding flash provided by UsefulNotes/NuclearWeapons or an [[ApocalypseHow gamma ray burst or asteroid/comet impact]]. In this case, see also BrightIsNotGood, which only applies to colors. Not related to GoodIsNotNice, though the borders can be fluid.

Its counterpart in the whole OrderVsChaos scheme is OrderIsNotGood.

Keep in mind that stories where Light Is Not Good does not automatically enforce DarkIsNotEvil. In Fact, stories where DarkIsEvil and Light Is Not Good are commonplace to show that the light can be just as foul as darkness. In addition, some stories may use BOTH LightIsNotGood and LightIsGood at the same time, with good light based characters calling the evil ones {{Hypocrites}}.

This trope is ''not'' an ObviouslyEvil character such as a BedsheetGhost wearing white. To qualify a character must fit into two types:

* Has a attractive, and culturally good appearance like a youthful angel.
* The Villain uses powers traditionally thought of as good like Holy Magic.

Related to DaylightHorror. Occasionally the Sun expresses this trope in fiction, either as [[ThePowerOfTheSun sun powered villains]] or as [[TheFaceOfTheSun evil or creepy disembodied heads representing the Sun]]. See also HidingBehindReligion, which can be considered a more realistic
version of this trope.

Has [[IThoughtItMeant nothing to do]] with [[Manga/DeathNote Light Yagami]] not being good, although RuleOfSymbolism makes him an example.

* LightIsNotGood/AnimatedFilms
* LightIsNotGood/AnimeAndManga
* LightIsNotGood/ComicBooks
* LightIsNotGood/FanFics
* LightIsNotGood/{{Film}}
* LightIsNotGood/{{Literature}}
* LightIsNotGood/LiveActionTV
* LightIsNotGood/{{Manhwa}}
* LightIsNotGood/{{Media in General}}
* LightIsNotGood/{{Music}}
* LightIsNotGood/ProfessionalWrestling
* LightIsNotGood/{{Religion}}
* LightIsNotGood/TabletopGames
* LightIsNotGood/{{Theatre}}
* LightIsNotGood/VideoGames
* LightIsNotGood/WebComics
* LightIsNotGood/WebOriginal
* LightIsNotGood/WesternAnimation