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AGi32 Version 14* – New Features

AGi32 wins Lightfair 2013 Innovation Awards category "Research, Publications, Software".

Daylighting in AGi32 version 14.4
Click here for AGi32 version 14 - Quick Solutions!

Mesopic lighting calculations per IES TM-12-12

Human visual performance in low-light environments has been shown to improve under whiter light sources (those with S/P Ratio > 1). Until now, lighting professionals have had no way to quantify this effect. IES document TM-12-12 provides us with a system to revise our calculations to show this improved visibility.

Basis:

  • The eye has two types of photoreceptors, Rods and Cones.
    • The rods are more numerous than cones and scattered across the retina, primarily outside of the Macula (Fovea is the center of the Macula). Rods are more sensitive to light, but do not provide color information, and are active during very low-light situations.
    • The cones are concentrated in the fovea. Cones are active under medium and high light levels, are necessary for on-axis viewing, and are responsible for color perception.
  • Vision during the daytime or indoors under average light levels corresponds to the Photopic luminous efficiency function, with spectral sensitivity peaking at 555 nm wavelength (yellow-green). This is “cone vision,” where the cones are most active.
  • Vision in darkness (moonless night, no exterior lighting) corresponds to the Scotopic luminous efficiency function, with peak spectral sensitivity at 507 nm (blue-green). This is pure rod vision.
  • Exterior lighting occurs in the area between Photopic and Scotopic vision, called the “Mesopic” range. Here both rods and cones are active.
  • The IES defines Mesopic vision to occur at adaptation luminance levels less than 5 cd/m2 and greater than .03 cd/m2 (IES)
  • Generally, lighting design photometric calculations are based on the lumen and derived quantities (candela, footcandle, lux), which are based on the photopic luminous efficiency function. This means our lighting calculations are optimized for photopic conditions, or interior lighting.
  • Using mesopic multipliers as detailed in TM-12-12, we can correct our calculations for low-light applications like outdoor lighting.
  • The spectral performance of a light source can be expressed in terms of its Scotopic luminous flux divided by its Photopic luminous flux, or S/P Ratio. Whiter light sources typically have S/P ratios >1.

Implementation in AGi32:

  1. Assign the correct S/P Ratio to the light source in AGi32 (Define Luminaire dialog). S/P ratios should be obtained from the luminaire or source manufacturer. If not available, some typical examples are provided in TM-12-12, Annex C.
  2. An object must be placed as the pavement (or ground) surface with accurate reflectance value, as the metric is luminance based.
  3. Place the calculation points using AGi32’s Automatic Placement command with “Calculation Type” of “Photopic/Mesopic.” AGi32 will automatically create four grids of calculation points: Photopic Luminance, Mesopic Luminance, Photopic Illuminance, Mesopic Illuminance. Mesopic Illuminance is visible by default.
  4. Calculate using the Full Radiosity method. All grids are calculated.

Results:

The “Effective Luminance” (Mesopic Luminance) is computed from the Photopic Luminance weighted by the S/P Ratio of the source. The Mesopic Illuminance at each point can then be back-calculated as the luminance is diffuse (not direction sensitive). The results in terms of Mesopic Illuminance are displayed by default (any of the grids can be made visible using Project Manager) and can be readily compared to the Photopic Illuminance numbers.

As mesopic effects are magnified for lower light levels, it is typical to see the minimum value rise appreciably under sources with S/P ratio >1. This, in turn, affects the uniformity ratios of Avg/Min and Max/Min in a positive way. The inverse is true for sources with S/P ratio <1. Mesopic results are actually worse than Photopic and uniformity ratios degraded. For S/P ratio = 1, there is no mesopic effect.

The AGi32 implementation of TM-12-12 is valid for exterior environments such as parking areas and residential streets, where speeds are less than 25 mph (40 kph). This is due to the nature of the visual task. The effect of spectrum on vision at mesopic light levels is in off-axis and peripheral vision, both of which play a larger role when the observer is stationary or moving slowly. In addition, the TM-12-12 calculation methodology has not been adopted for roadway lighting, where there may be other factors involved in the computation of adaptation luminance such as observer location, roadway pavement properties and veiling luminance. Lighting Analysts is awaiting guidance from the IES for implementation of this next step.

LEED v4 SSc6 “Light Pollution Reduction” compliance report added to the Obtrusive Light command.

The new LEED (version 4) requirements for light pollution reduction will be similar in some ways to the IES/IDA Model Lighting Ordinance. AGi32 version 14 has the limitations for vertical illuminance and uplight (as UWLR, Upward Waste Light Ratio) built into the previously released Obtrusive Light command so users can instantly evaluate designs on a Pass/Fail basis. A formatted compliance report is provided to prove your heroics!

Scene Manager Rocks!

The new Scene Manager changes the way switching and dimming is handled in AGi32, making it easy to set up multiple lighting “Scenes” with luminaires classified by “Channel”. Create as many scenes as you like and then assign the appropriate channels from within Scene Manager. You can also assign channels when luminaires are placed or edited. Setting up switching and dimming scenarios has just become MUCH easier!

Once your scenes are created and channels assigned, switch from scene to scene using a pull-down menu in the main model area for easy comparison of calculated and rendered results.

Warning! Scene Manager can be addicting. However, using Scene Manager is completely optional; in other words, you can ignore this capability completely. But… Nothing ventured, nothing gained. We feel many users will find this capability extremely powerful, allowing calculations to be easily performed for a variety of lighting scenarios. Scene Manager also paves the way for some very powerful future enhancements.

 

New commands associated with Scenes:

  • Scene Manager
  • Change Channel
  • Channel assignment in Luminaire Toolkit
  • Sort by Channel
  • Channel assignments and editing now available in Project Manager, Luminaire Edit and Identify Entity

Watch the videos:

Other notable changes

We are excited to provide two radiosity related enhancements: Colorized Wireframe and Adaptive Patch Subdivision.

The new colorized wireframe mesh separates Patches (emitters) and Elements (receivers) by color so that you can intelligently evaluate the radiosity process by seeing the Elements and Patches on every surface. Patches are shown in Blue and Elements in red.

The Adaptive Patch Subdivision process happens automatically and further improves the calculation integrity of AGi32 by adding more patches in areas of high luminance (notice the additional patches above the indirect luminaires in our image). Furthermore, the effect that we call “patch leak” has been dramatically reduced.

For our friends down-under, we have made an important change to Roadway Optimizer: Vertical illuminance can now be added to any roadway criteria for optimization. This is a standard criterion in AS1158 for Category P roadways and walkways. If you find yourself in need of vertical illuminance calculations (in a horizontal plane) in combination with other roadway criteria, you can add the vertical illuminance capability to your favorite standard and optimize on it!

For floodlighting folks, we have a new command: Toggle Aiming Vector Visibility (Luminaire Toolkit). Now you can easily switch off and on the aiming vectors for floodlights with Toggle Single, Window or All selection options.

New Ray Trace capabilities: Fisheye view and Generate HDR image. These capabilities were developed by request to facilitate research in Daylight Glare Probability.

AGi32 version 14 uses a new Remodeled HINT system: all hints are now displayed in the lower-right corner of the screen under the Statistics, docked in the toolkit area. They no longer require a mouse click to clear! You can turn them off easily from the status bar at the bottom of the screen, and then back on again with a click. The Hints contain valuable information (especially for new users) and are now less obtrusive!

Our old Welcome screen and “Check for Updates” command have been eliminated and replaced by a new feature we call the Newsreel. The Newsreel is a web service that will appear automatically ONLY once, when we have something important to announce such as a maintenance release. It can be seen thereafter by selecting the “Updates and Newsreel” option from the Help menu.

We see this as a superior way to keep you informed of changes to the software, instructional videos, webinars and training classes coming your way. We have tried to keep it as minimalist as possible so as not to disrupt your work!

There are, of course, the usual numerous little things that will make your life easier or stop irritating you! A few examples:

  • When using the Automatic Placement command to enable calculation points, just navigate to the surface and click OK. You don’t actually have to turn the points ON anymore; we just assumed that’s what you wanted to do!
  • Now library objects you create will remain (as the new library object), as opposed to disappearing.
  • You can disable the Frozen Entity color so all entities remain their original color when frozen.

* Are you wondering about the version number? We decided our old practice of incrementing the product version by one tenth (2.2 to 2.3) for major releases was crazy. It should be a whole number to minimize confusion. Since AGi32 version 2.3 was the thirteenth major release of AGi32, we are releasing what would have been version 2.4 under the old scheme as Version 14. Incremental releases (maintenance) will be 14.1, 14.2 and so on…

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