Very strange buggy lighting behavior

I have a large cathedral scene with lots of objects and lights etc. Everything was working great until today, when I added 8 area lights, I noticed that in viewport render mode sometimes they wouldn’t appear unless I hide another collection or two of objects, then suddenly the area lights would come on. And all I had to do was hide maybe one or two random collections and it would affect my area lights (in their own separate collection) and turn them off and on. Finally it went away, but now its happening with my renders. The area lights appear in the viewport render fine, but when I render an image they are off! And low and behold, if I turn off the render layer (camera icon filter) for another collection with a lot of objects, my area lights are back in in the render! And what’s really strange, is one time I only turned off the render layer for one other collection (trying the one thing at a time approach), and then in my image render 2 of the area lights were on and the other 6 were still off! What in the world!?!? Is this a bug???!

Update: So I restarted my computer and that didnt fix anything. For fun I moved my collection with the 8 area lights up on my outliner – just maybe prioritizing it? And to my surprise the 8 lights came back on, but there are lights in the background that went off! lol. Facepalm!* I have NO idea what is going on.

There is a limit of 128 lights in EEVEE, could that be what you’re up against?
https://docs.blender.org/manual/en/latest/render/eevee/limitations.html

II just checked the logs and found this:

Fra:77 Mem:6706.21M (Peak 7664.12M) | Time:00:00.75 | Syncing Spot.034
Too many lights in the scene !!!
Fra:77 Mem:6706.21M (Peak 7664.12M) | Time:00:00.75 | Syncing Spot.035
Too many lights in the scene !!!
Fra:77 Mem:6706.21M (Peak 7664.12M) | Time:00:00.75 | Syncing Spot.036
Too many lights in the scene !!!
Fra:77 Mem:6706.21M (Peak 7664.12M) | Time:00:00.75 | Syncing Spot.037
Too many lights in the scene !!!
Fra:77 Mem:6706.21M (Peak 7664.12M) | Time:00:00.75 | Syncing Spot.038
Too many lights in the scene !!!
Fra:77 Mem:6706.21M (Peak 7664.12M) | Time:00:00.75 | Syncing Text.266
Fra:77 Mem:6706.21M (Peak 7664.12M) | Time:00:00.75 | Syncing Spot.039
Too many lights in the scene !!!
Fra:77 Mem:6706.21M (Peak 7664.12M) | Time:00:00.75 | Syncing Spot.040
Too many lights in the scene !!!

So I would say yes, too many lights! Argghh! ok I should be able to trim some. Didnt know of this limit. Good to know! Thank you!

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