We present the experimental results on the measurement of temporal and steady-state light-induced absorption change in undoped and rhodium-doped barium titanate (Rh:BaTiO3) crystals at different wavelengths and intensities. Theoretical calculations based on a two-center charge transport model agree well with the experimental results which supplement the earlier studies carried out using photorefractive BaTiO3 crystals. We also report a wavelength-specific light-induced effect that modifies the absorption dynamics in a peculiar manner. This can be attributed to light-induced thermal effects. However, the possibility of additional photorefractive centers becoming active cannot be ruled out. © 2003 American Institute of Physics.