So I am following a tutorial on making text that uses lighting effects (http://psd.tutsplus.com/tutorials/text-effects-tutorials/using-light-a nd-shade-to-bring-text-to-life/ )
Any ideas or advice?
Are you running XP? We had to disable the GPU version of the Lighting Effects filter for XP systems due to GPU driver bugs.
If you are running Win7, then you'll want to check that you have the latest GPU driver installed from the video card manufacturer, and that your video card is supported. See this FAQ for more info: http://forums.adobe.com/message/4289204#4289204.
Addendum to your original post regarding the tutorial. They are using the older Lighting Effects plug-in, which is planned to be distributed once we ship Ps CS6 for XP users and those that don't have supported video cards.