Aspects of Lighting Systems

  • Lighting is no longer a lamp in a fixture, but now includes the light source, lighting controls, and daylighting, all working together as a system to provide a desired illumination
  • Some aspects of lighting that are considered important at a professional level include:
    • Quality of the light (including intensity and colour temperature);
    • Effectiveness of light (does the lighting system provide the desired light throughout an area?);
    • Efficiency of the lighting system (including energy use and longevity of light source)
    • Initial cost of the lighting system; and
    • Does the lighting system meet certain standards (for example, The WELL Building Standard® and LEED Green Building Certification)?

Lighting Design Software

  • The role of lighting design software is to allow the software user (often an engineer or lighting designer for architectural or entertainment lighting) to plan the lighting system, including specifying and sourcing particular luminaires, controllers and feedback systems to meet the needs of the end user (as envisioned by the architect) using CAD models to create low cost lighting maps and visual representations
  • In order to meet this need, the lighting design software must be:
    • Fast;
    • Photometrically accurate; and
    • Calculate, or provide data to calculate, the important aspects of lighting (outlined above)
  • Lighting design software consists generally of 3 components:
    • The lighting calculation engine (for example, SunTracker’s Cerise365™);
    • The CAD engine to model the light as calculated by the engine; and
    • Photometric data files that set out how the luminaires produce light.
  • The photometric data files are usually provided by luminaire manufacturers to allow lighting designers and engineers to specify and source luminaires for any given lighting project
  • As a result of these components licensing lighting design software can be complicated, and is accurate lighting design software very specialized.