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Lighting design software

Software is one of the key tools used by lighting designers to simulate lighting scheme into space. To illustrate a lighting design from its concept to specify luminaries and determine the optical layout in a project, software is typically used. The common software in lighting design can be divided in four categories:

1- Software for graphic design:
· To illustrate the analysis in pre-design stage
· In concept design stage
· In post-production

The most common software:
– Adobe Photoshop
– Adobe Illustrator
– Corel DRAW

2- Modeling software:
· In some complicated design, the modeling software is helpful.
The most common software:
– Sketch Up
– Autodesk-AUTOCAD
– Autodesk- 3D MAX

3- Professional lighting software:
· Lighting calculations are very complex, and carrying them out without software is unfeasible due to the enormous amounts of time that would be required.
· Lighting design software  calculate and visualize light for single rooms, whole buildings, streets, outdoor areas and day lighting.
The most common software:
– Dialux and Dialux evo
– AGi32 Lighting software
– Relux
– Radiance
– Revit

4- Rendering and animation software:
· To have an attractive presentation, rendering software are beneficial. Making movie or rendering a special view play an important role to create a clear image about the future of the project and its lighting.

The most common software:
– Autodesk- 3D MAX
– Maya
– Lumion
– Blender
– PowerPoint: to make a simple animation

Guiding people with landscape lighting

Way finding is one of the main goals in landscape lighting. When you can find your way and control your surroundings, you feel secure and enjoy your time. Besides, over-lighting leads to light pollution and causes different environmental problems. Illuminating the floor is one of the environmental-friendly tips in landscape lighting. Preferred luminaire groups are in three main categories. The first category is floor wash lights, which provide orientation by illuminating the floor. The second category provides orientation by being arranged into lines or by marking out areas. The third category illuminates a line light in the landscape. They can be wall-mounted, recessed floor and bollards.   

For guiding people, there are some elements which can be highlight with light:
– Stairs and slopes (for safety)

-Monuments and sculptures as a focal point in landscape.
– Entrances
– Routes and the hierarchy between different routes in landscape.
– Emergency exit route


A diffuser (also called a light diffuse or optical diffuse) is any material that diffuses or scatters light in some manner to transmit soft light. A diffuse is usually a screen between the light source and the space being lit.  As the light enters the diffusing material, the light beams are scattered, resulting in a soft-edged, widely distributed light.

The major purposes of diffuses:

  • Eliminates invisible hot spots
  • Light-scattering
  • Eliminates harsh shadows
  • A rest for eyes
  • Applicable in very flat, homogeneously illuminated light elements

Diffuses are typically made from palisade materials such as Poly carbonate (PC), Acrylic or poly methyl methotrexate (PMMA), Polypropylene (PP), Polystyrene (PS).

Poly carbonate (PC):

  • As it is more durable and impact-resistant, it has a longer life span making it cost-effective.
  • It provides a soft, diffused light.
  • Fire-resistant
  • It is very light and thin to handle during manufacturing.
  • Can be used to create complex shapes like curved light diffuses.
  • Available in UV stabilized grades for outdoor use.

Acrylic or poly methyl methotrexate (PMMA):  

  • It has superior optical properties and illuminate.
  • It has the highest light transmission.
  • It is naturally UV stable, and this property can also be enhanced.
  • It has excellent weather resistance and good high-temperature performance.
  • It provides design flexibility.
  • An acrylic plate has excellent weather ability and high surface gloss.
  • It is low cost.

Polypropylene (PP):.

  • Its toughness is similar to that of PC.
  • Its light transmission is equivalent to that of PC, and can reach about 85 per cent.
  • Less dust absorption than PC.
  • Production operations are relatively simple.

Polystyrene (PS):

  • It is very low on cost.
  • It is wear resistant and scratch resistant.
  • Its chemical stability is good.
  • It has good surface anti-static properties to prevent dust adsorption.
  • It provides good optical transmittance and strong refraction.

Diffuses can be apply on ceiling, floor, wall and furniture in design and make a unique place.




Circadian lighting reduce Jet lag

The next generation of private airplane is set to feature ‘the most advanced circadian lighting system in aviation’.  The Dynamic Daylight Simulation feature can help to reduce jet lag. Dynamic Daylight Simulation uses specific combinations of red and blue light wavelengths that studies have shown can help to stimulate or suppress the production of melatonin – which assists in regulating the sleep-wake cycle and can help contribute to synchronizing passengers’ circadian rhythms to the time at their destination.
Dynamic color-changing lighting has for several years been used on commercial aircraft, and were pioneered on the Boeing 787 Dream liner. Today, major manufacturers have options for such lighting but are reluctant to make scientific claims, such as that it assists with reducing jet lag.
The Global 7500 is one of the airplanes, which applied circadian lighting in their cabin. Peter Likoray, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Bombardier Business Aircraft, said: “The Global 7500 jet is the world’s longest-range purpose-built business aircraft with an unrivalled cabin experience. Along with the aircraft’s master suite with a full bed, stand-up shower and exceptionally smooth ride, the Soleil lighting system helps passengers arrive at their destination feeling more rested and refreshed.” Additionally, in a large commercial aircraft, long-haul passengers typically have originated at a variety of different time zones and are often heading to different final destinations, making it difficult to tune suitable lighting.
Therefore, in the private airplanes controlling the circadian lighting to reduce the jet lag is more effective. lighting in the £58 million flagship G700 will recreate sunrise and sunset through thousands of white and amber LEDs, ‘gently coaxing’ its high net worth passengers into their new time zone and ‘greatly reducing the physical impact of traveling halfway around the world nonstop’, says the company. This new technology based on scientific researches try to solve the jet lag problem for passengers.

The links of this news:

Dark Sky friendly lighting:
The advantages of reducing light pollution include an increased number of stars Visible at night (dark sky), reducing the effects of artificial lighting on the environment, improving the well-being, health and safety of both people and wildlife, and cutting down on energy usage.  

To minimize the harmful effects of light pollution:
– Light what you need (full-cutoff fixtures)
– When you need it (turn off unnecessary lights after midnight)
– No brighter than necessary
– Fully Shielded to point downward
– Color temperature less than 3000K  

Types of lights and dark sky: 

Low-Pressure* Sodium (LPS)

High-Pressure Sodium (HPS)

Metal halide


(+)  Energy efficient

(+)  Energy efficient

(+)  Energy efficient

(+)  Energy efficient

(-) narrow spectrum of orange-colored light

(-) narrow spectrum of orange-colored light

(+)  CRI

(+)  CRI

(-) Undim able

(-) 360° Light emitting

(-) UV and IR

(+) Low CCT

(-) Low CRI

Low CRI (better than LPS)

(-) 360° Light emitting

(-) High CCT

(-) 360° Light emitting

(-) High CCT

(+) Dimmable

(+) Without UV and IR

(+) Full-cutoff fixtures

* An excellent choice for lighting near astronomical observatories and in some environmentally sensitive areas.

*For more information:

Human Centric Lighting or Biodynamic Lighting Systems

Light is essential for humans and plays a key role in our lives.  2002 demonstrated the existence of the special ganglion cells as a third photoreceptor in the retina alongside the cones (for color vision) and rods (for night vision) already known. Although, these special ganglion cells are light-sensitive, they are not used for vision. Human Centric Lighting (HCL) is based on the discovery of this third receptor in the eye that controls the human biological clock. These light-sense cells of the human eye are not there to see, but to control the production of melatonin. Human Centric Lighting, the trendy theme in the lighting industry, focuses on “healthy” light and the effect of light on performance and well-being. Human Centric Lighting is, therefore, about “circadian lighting”, a lighting concept that mimics the natural course of daylight, changing color temperature and intensity throughout the day. In very simple terms, it is brighter and whiter in the morning and dimmer and warmer in the evening. Human Centric Lighting should be considered a top priority for any environment in which people spend a significant amount of time without enough daylight. In addition, this method would be helpful for night-shift employees working in buildings situated in specific geographical locations with long nights during the winter in the extreme northern latitude and places. Human Centric Lighting in educational institutes and offices enables customizing lighting for students, teachers, and workers to achieve a pleasant atmosphere. Improved comfort and well-being, less sleepiness, less anxiety, better concentration capabilities, improved task performance and productivity, reduced error rates and less time and energy waste, enhanced motivation, reduced stress level, and increased energy-saving are some of the advantages of Human-Centric Lighting.  This lighting solution also offers customized lighting for patients and staff at medical facilities, which provides benefits such as improved biological rhythms, better healing process, lower rates of depression, shorter treatment time, better sleep-wake cycles for the patients and improved visual acuity of staff, reduced work-related stress level, and improved task performance for the staff members. At home, this imitation leads to relaxing and sleeping more healthily and soundly. LED technology and digital control of light have paved the way for this new dimension in lighting design.


What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that occurs at a certain time each year, usually in the fall or winter.

• Feeling sad, grumpy anxious or moody (getting angry or sad without warning)
• Losing interest in your usual activities
• Gaining weight
• Sleep and appetite problems
• Less social interaction
• Difficulty concentrating and making choices
• Feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness

The specific cause of seasonal affective disorder remains unknown. The reduced level of sunlight in fall and winter may disrupt the body’s biological clock and lead to feelings of depression. In addition, reduced sunlight can disrupt the balance of the body’s level of melatonin in and serotonin, which play an important role in sleep patterns and mood.

Risk factors:
There are some factors, which increase the risk of seasonal affective disorder. In people with family history or having major depression or bipolar disorder, changing in season may be more likely to cause SAD. Besides, SAD appears to be more common among people who live far north or south of the equator.  SAD may begin at any age, but it typically starts when a person is between ages 18 and 30 and more often in women than in men.
Treatment: SAD can be effectively treated in a number of ways, including light therapy, antidepressant medications, psychological treatments or some combination of these. Light therapy mimics the missing natural daylight of winter. There are two different ways of light therapy:

1. A light therapy box emits very bright light around 10,000-lux and filters out harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. It usually requires 15-30 minutes or more a day, typically first thing in the morning, during the winter.

2. A dawn simulator is a device that gradually increases the amount of light in your bedroom in the morning to simulate the rising sun and wake you up. This is helpful for your circadian rhythm and improve your mood. 

Flicker Free
What is the light flicker?
According to IES (Illumination Engineering Society), flicker is the rapid variation of light source intensity. It is caused when the voltage supplied to a light source changes or when the power line voltage itself fluctuates. The main factors in flicker are:
·The frequency of the voltage fluctuates.
· The amount of a voltage change
·  Type of light (LED, HID, fluorescent, incandescent)
· The gain factor of the lamp, which illustrates the amount of voltage fluctuates with changing light intensity.

When light flicker is recognizable?
Most of the people can recognize the light fluctuating when the frequency is up to about 50 flashes per second (50Hz). Some people such as people with autism can detect more flashes per second and light flicker is too irritating for them.

Is light flicker harmful for human health?
– Yes. Even if it is so fast that you cannot see it and are unaware of it, it can be harmful.

The main health problems are:
– Seizures (from epilepsy, traumatic brain injuries, concussions, etc.) Headaches, fatigue, blurred vision, eyestrain
– Migraines
–  Eyestrain  and reduced visual task performance
–  Increased autistic behaviors, especially in children
–  Distraction
–  Stroboscopic effect[1]

What are the standards and flicker measurement?
• Flicker frequency (Hz or kHz): measuring the relative difference in brightness between the maximum and minimum brightness exhibited during a flicker cycle. 
• Flicker index: (0=no flicker to 1): measures cyclic variation while considering waveform shape, defined as average light intensity of  the  waveform surface area divided by average light intensity over the total surface area.
 Flickerindex = Area 1 / (Area 1 + Area 2)
• Flicker percentage (0 (no flicker) to 100%): measuring relative cyclic amplitude variation of the light source (A – B)
referenced to the total of maximum and minimum values (A + B).
 Flickerpercentage = ((A-B)/(A+B))* 100%.

How to test light flicker at home?
There are two simple ways to test light flicker at home:

1. Smartphone: Use its camera and aim it at the light source. If dark and light bands appear, then that light has flicker.

2. Flicker test app: there are many applications that help to measure the flicker of lights.

Main result:
 flicker- free lights (no flicker) are the healthier lights and more recommended.  
[1] Change in motion perception induced by a light stimulus, the luminance or spectral distribution of which fluctuates with time, for a static observer in a non-static environment.