Yes and no… Apparently it changes the exposure, which means it does have an effect on the metering, and therefore the recorded raw image:
" 7) Active D-Lighting
If you have a Nikon camera, you may have come across the Active D-Lighting setting. At its face, this seems like a JPEG-only setting. And, for the most part, that’s exactly what it is.
Assuming that you don’t change any other settings, your Active D-Lighting has no effect on the RAW data itself. However, it’s a bit more complicated than that.
Depending upon your Active D-Lighting settings, you will change your camera’s metering significantly. I don’t know why Nikon chose to have a JPEG setting affect the metering for RAW photos, but that’s what it does.
At the highest possible Active D-Lighting setting on my camera (Extra High), my metered exposure was a full stop darker than normal! Without Active D-Lighting, I had an exposure of 1/5 second. When I turned it on, the exposure was 1/10 second.
Again, Active D-Lighting does nothing to the RAW data itself. It only affects your camera’s meter. However, the effect is so significant that you need to be very careful to avoid ever setting Active D-Lighting if you shoot in RAW."
From reading the above, I wonder if I should just turn the function OFF unless I’m deliberately shooting JPG images. Maybe I should just configure two camera settings, one for JPG and the other for RAW, so I don’t need to remember all the things to consider changing when/if I switch between jpg and raw…