© 2016 The Authors. The optical and optical/near-infrared pseudo-bolometric light curves of 85 stripped-envelope supernovae (SNe) are constructed using a consistent method and a standard cosmology. The light curves are analysed to derive temporal characteristics and peak luminosity Lp, enabling the construction of a luminosity function. Subsequently, the mass of 56Ni synthesized in the explosion, along with the ratio of ejecta mass to ejecta kinetic energy, are found. Analysis shows that host-galaxy extinction is an important factor in accurately determining luminosity values as it is significantly greater than Galactic extinction in most cases. It is found that broad-lined SNe Ic (SNe Ic-BL) and gamma-ray burst SNe are the most luminous subtypes with a combined median Lp, in erg s-1, of log(Lp) = 43.00 compared to 42.51 for SNe Ic, 42.50 for SNe Ib, and 42.36 for SNe IIb. It is also found that SNe Ic-BL synthesize approximately twice the amount of 56Ni compared with SNe Ic, Ib, and IIb, with median MNi = 0.34, 0.16, 0.14, and 0.11 M⊙, respectively. SNe Ic-BL, and to a lesser extent SNe Ic, typically rise from Lp/2 to Lp more quickly than SNe Ib/IIb; consequently, their light curves are not as broad.