twitter youtube facebook linkedin email
Connect with:


Spatial Daylight Autonomy (sDA) and Annual Sunlight Exposure (ASE) are two important metrics for better understanding annual daylight availability and quality, as well as glare and overheating potential.

Read more about the two metrics here.

LEED v4 has adopted both metrics to help designers and engineers determine the impact of daylighting within their building. Follow the steps below to get started with sDA and ASE in Revit with the latest Insight plugin. Also be sure to use these resources for guidance when setting material properties.


  1. Open a building element model in Revit and make sure that your location is set. In order to get results for sDA and ASE, you must have rooms specified in your model.
  1. From the Analyze tab, select Lighting from within the Insight panel.



  1. The first dialog that appears provides resources and best practices for conducting a lighting analysis study. These best practices are not required, but will help you achieve more representative results. Select Continue.
  1. Next, you will have the ability to run a new analysis type or recall previously saved results. Select <Run New Analysis> and then Go.


  1. The Lighting Analysis in the Cloud dialog box will allow you to set your study settings.

There are two daylight autonomy analysis types:

– LEED v4 EQc7 opt1 will automate settings for LEED v4 EQc7 opt1 criteria

– Daylight Autonomy (sDA preview) is a lower cost preview of the full LEED v4 EQc7 opt1 Analysis results will be comparable to the LEED analysis results, however a sampling of typical hours will be used to calculate results. This is a good option for when you want to get a baseline of daylight autonomy values, reduce cloud credit consumption, or test the impact of different design options.

Regardless of which daylight autonomy analysis type you select, the settings will be defined as follows.


A. The time range will be automatically set to a full annual simulation, from 8am to 6pm, which will result in 3650 hours for the analysis.

B. Per the LEED requirements, sDA300/50% for at least 55% or 75% regularly occupied floor area is achieved. Additionally, ASE1000/250 of no more than 10% for the occupied floor area that is daylit per sDA300/50%. LEED requires the analysis occur at 30 inches above the finished floor. The analysis plane automatically is generated at this height for LEED studies.

C. sDA and ASE calculations require at 24 inch analysis grid, which is automatically set.


  1. Select Start Analysis to begin the simulation. Cloud credits will not be charged until the analysis is complete.

Since the sDA and ASE simulation is more intensive than a single point in time, the analysis will cost more Cloud Credits and take more time than a single point in time analysis. Select Check Price before submitting the model for analysis to see the required number of cloud credits for the analysis.

  1. After selecting Start Analysis, the model geometry will be uploaded to the cloud rendering engine. Do not close the project or Revit during this process.

Once the model is successfully uploaded to the cloud, it is okay to close the project or continue working in Revit. Note that any changes you make to the model geometry or material settings will not be reflected in your analysis results, as the model has already been uploaded for analysis.

  1. Revit will notify you once the results are ready. Accept or Decline the cloud credit charges at this point. It is recommended you also save the project, so you will be able to recall the lighting analysis results after exiting Revit.
  1. Open the _Lighting Analysis Model View under 3D Views. Note that any “_Lighting …” views are automatically created to easily access results in plan, 3D, and as a schedule. Analysis results will populate in whatever 3D view is currently active.


  1. From the Insight panel select Lighting to access your analysis results. This time, select the results for the analysis that has been completed and select Go.


You’ll be prompted with a dialog box with a summary of your results.

Results summaries will provide guidance on how to improve design to achieve LEED requirements as well as more information about the metrics.




  1. You can use the Section Box to view the results in 3D or open the corresponding “_Lighting” floor plan.



Visual results and schedule results will present sDA300/50 and ASE1000/250 results, sDA and ASE Annual Hours, as well as combined metric results.


  1. You can toggle between different analysis visualizations by selecting the analysis plane, and changing the Analysis Configuration in the Properties


  1. Open _Lighting Analysis Room Schedule. To get more detail for the rooms included in the analysis.


Any changes made in the schedule do not require you re-run the analysis. Simply select Lighting and access the study results to regenerate results considering the information updated in the schedule.




Stephanie Egger

Stephanie Egger is a building scientist and engineer, and passionate about reducing building energy use through education. She works on the Autodesk Building Performance Analysis Team where she exposes customers to the latest high performance building design tools and provides training on to how best use them. Previously she co-authored and launched a series of online courses that educate the next generation of designers. These courses and related certificate programs (Autodesk Building Performance Analysis Certificate) teach architects and engineers the basics of sustainable design and building performance through simulation and analysis tools. Stephanie pairs the creation of these educational offerings with the commitment to continuous improvement of building-design technology to enable designers to create sustainable and meaningful designs.


View by:
Most Recent Oldest
  1. AvatarJose.Garcia.Arup



    Hi Stephanie. Thank you for your response.

    I understand that ASE has to be calculated with shades open. However, LEED requires that shades (with their operation schedules) must be included for sDA simulations. If not, the simulation is not taking into account the annual hours in which the glare is too hight in perimetral zones and the use of shades is neccesary. In that hours, the illuminance level in interior zones would be decreased if shades are modeled to reduce the glare.

  2. AvatarJose.Garcia.Arup



    Hello, does anybody know if Revit uses default shades or blinds for the sDA calculation? And if so, is it possible to give properties to these shades? I’m not sure if I should create the shades and then run two different analysis (with and without shades). Can anyone help me with this? Thank you!

    1. Stephanie EggerStephanie Egger (Post author)



      Hi Jose–One of the differences between the sDA calculation (opt1) and the single point in time calculation (opt2) is that for sDA, shades actually need to be modeled, versus just expanding the threshold limits. Currently Revit doesn’t include shades, but it’s worth noting that including shades shouldn’t change the results that much. Actually, including automated shades won’t reduce the direct sun (ASE) liability (ASE has to be calculated with shades open). Hope this helps!

  3. Pingback: LEED sDA & ASE studies with Insight Revit 2...