Purpose. The aim of this study was to determine the influence of different surface loadings during curing with various irradiation times on hardness and diametral tensile strength of a light-cured composite. Material and methods. A mold was fabricated to allow loading during curing of cylindrical specimens of a composite. Four surface loadings of 0, 0.35, 0.87, and 1.73 MPa and four irradiation times of 20, 40, 60, and 180 seconds were used ( n = 15). Each specimen was subjected to a microhardness test and to a diametral tensile strength test. Results. Surface loading during curing affected both hardness and strength properties, whereas irradiation time influenced only the hardness of the material. Both parameters gained between 15% and 20% improvement when the material was loaded with 0.87 MPa surface pressure and cured by 60-second irradiation time. Higher loading or longer irradiation times did not improve these properties. Conclusion. Loading composite during curing improves its mechanical properties, probably through decreasing flaws and air voids of the material. (J Prosthet Dent 1997;77:573-7.).