Friday, December 1, 2017

Lighting Analysis Module at NDSU

This week I not only had the opportunity to present on Autodesk Insight's energy analysis workflows in two of our offices, but I also taught a module on lighting analysis in my BIM class at NDSU.

For professional quality point-by-point illuminance calculations in Revit, I teach the same software we use at LHB - ElumTools by Lighting Analysts, Inc. (LAI). As you will see listed below, these folks make a stand-alone product called AGI32 which has been around for over 30 years and is essentially the industry standard tool for lighting design professionals.

Students get free access to the software, so all the students have the software installed on their laptops. I often remind the students to...
incorporate the graphic results of things like lighting analysis into their portfolio, as this could give them an edge in getting that dream job!

To ensure all the important points of lighting analysis are touched on in Revit and ElumTools, the students work through a carefully developed tutorial I created - which is included with my Revit textbooks. The first image below is a page from this chapter...

The following images are just a few highlights on ElumTools and the process. Keep in mind this is an add-in for Revit and everything happens completely within Revit. There is no exporting or disconnected workflows to worry about.

There are three important aspects related to lighting analysis;

  • Geometry; the shapre of a room or ground surface
  • Reflectances; for each surface
  • Photometry; the accurate representation of a specific luminaire (light fixture)
The geometry is, of course, defined by the Revit model. The photometry is defined in the Revit lighting fixture family and modified or further defined in ElumTools Luminaire Manage dialog shown below. This dialog is also used to validate the light source... Revit's generic light sources (point, spot, etc.) are not valid for real lighting analysis.

Reflectances are also defined by the Revit material assigned to each surface. This can be overridden in ElumTools Material Map dialog. There is also an option to just use reflectance values by Revit category; e.g. all walls are 50%...

When performing daylighting analysis you can set the Visual Transmittance (VT) for the glazing in a similar way as reflectances. 

If you want to learn more about lighting analysis in Revit using ELumTools, you can get this tutorial when you buy one of my Revit books. You can also check out the fee-based recorded training sessions I have done for ElumTools: ElumTools Online Education

Current LAI Products
  • AGi32 – Industry standard point-by-point calculations using radiosity technology for any lighting application. AGi32 is a stand-alone microcomputer program.
  • ElumTools – Our same radiosity technology running inside of Autodesk® Revit®.
  • Licaso – (New!) Annual daylight simulations for AGi32 and/or ElumTools that execute in minutes, as compared to hours or days for alternatives!
  • Photometric Toolbox – Breakdown luminaire photometric files by standard performance metrics.
  • Flash Indoor and Outdoor – Web-based calculation tools for manufacturers.