Lighting : Lighting April 2014 - Vol 34 Issue 2
26 LIGHTING MAGAZINE | April/May 2014 April/May 2014 | LIGHTING MAGAZINE 27 26 LIGHTING MAGAZINE | April/May 2014 Lightingsimulationsoftwarehastransformed the way that lighting professionals design interior and exterior spaces such as buildings and roadways. Such technology has been around – albeit in a simplified format – from the 1980s, and has grown in both complexity and capacity in the years since, helping designers make complex calculations about how to distribute light within a given space. Perhaps the best known, and most widely used lighting simulation software packages on the global market are AGi32, DIALux, Relux and Visual 2012 – but they are by no means alone. Google ‘lighting simulation software’ and you’ll find an absolute By CLAIrE ThompSoN Forget the numbers: The future of lighting simulation software feature multitude of companies developing highly specialised simulation programs and plug-ins, both in-house and for the global lighting market. The capabilities of these programs mean different things to different people, depending on where you’re standing along the spectrum of a lighting design brief. A move away from numeric-lighting-only programs to software that offers both numeric results and architectural visualisation began in the early 1990s, creating a new generation of computing programs that could produce simulated images of what a project might look like upon completion. According to Ian Ashdown, Senior Scientist for April/May 2014 | LIGHTING MAGAZINE 27 Lighting Analysts (Colorado, USA), this new breed of software responded directly to the age-old cry of clients everywhere: “Forget the numbers! What is my design going to look like?” Certainly, the advent of simulation software has altered the way that clients and designers interact. Matthew Flood, Business Development Manager for Traxon and Siteco at OSRAM Australia and a former lecturer in Lighting Design Software at University of Sydney, says that clients are increasingly demanding architectural visualisations of their projects. “What I find today is that on many occasions, it’s not enough to tell a client that you know your solution will work based on past experience. Clients tend to now only believe you after some sort of computer calculations have been done,” Flood says. The issue of dependence becomes even more problematic when it extends to the designers themselves. From his teaching experience, Flood has seen first-hand that the availability of so many programs with the capacity to perform even the most basic calculations could be creating a generation of lighting professionals who are computing experts, rather than bona fide designers. “When I started in lighting, much of my design work was based on knowledge AGi32 renderings using different source colour temperatures of 2700k, 4300k and 6500k respectively, with a reference white point of all three images at 6500k (daylight). The glass partition has a subtle grey-green tint. Images courtesy of AGi32. The future of lighting simulation is in the ongoing development of cloud-based software packages.
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Lighting June 2014 - Vol 34 Issue 3