Lighting TD Arvid Schneider has a great tutorial series, getting new Arnold users up and running with rendering. This latest installment offers a look into creating and using emissive shaders in Arnold. You may know it as self-illumination, incandescence, or possibly another term. Emissive materials are ones that can physically produce light in the scene.
Arnold render has two methods for creating emissive shaders. one is emission based on a shader. The other is a mesh light. What are the differences between them? The Arnold documentation compares them making note of render quality, noise levels, rand ender times extensively.
Arvid walks through creating self illuminating aka incandescence in Autodesk Maya 2017 and how to set up emissive shaders, mesh lights, and self illuminating objects.