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Technical environment
Technical environment
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Light simulation

Using virtual luminaires for the planning process

For the light simulation, designers use data on three-dimensional light intensity distribution and geometry to determine the illuminances and the luminance levels. They also use them to evaluate the visual impression of a luminaire in the room.

IES / Eulumdat

IES / Eulumdat

The IES data format is an internationally accepted data format used to describe the light distribution of luminaires. It can be used in numerous lighting design, calculation and simulation programs. Originally, the format was the standard of the IESNA (Illuminating Engineering Society of North America). The current version is IES LM-63-02.
Eulumdat is the European lumen data format as the equivalent of the IES.



The DXF format stores the geometry of a luminaire; the materials and light distribution are not saved in this exchange format. This data format can be imported into most CAD systems. DXF data with 2D elements are used in the planning process to enter the luminaires on the ceiling plan. DXF data with 3D elements give an accurate impression of the luminaires in spatial representations.


i-drop is a technology provided by the software manufacturer Autodesk. Using the "drag & drop" function, it enables contents to be imported from the Internet into the software application. For the light simulation, virtual luminaires can be downloaded with the relevant photometric data directly from the website of the luminaire manufacturer and included in the simulation program. The data comprise the 3D geometry, photometry and textures. A luminaire can be "dropped" directly into the required position in the light simulation scene. To align the luminaire automatically with the room surfaces or any surface normal, the "autogrid" function needs to have been previously activated. Using inverse kinematics, the luminaire is aligned with the target of the light source.
i-drop works with programs including VIZ 4 VIZrender, 3ds Max 5 and 6, AutoCAD, and DIALux. System requirement is the Microsoft Internet Explorer and activation of the Active X functions.

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