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Lighting Analysis for Revit expands to include Custom Daylighting

October 22, 2015

Lighting Analysis for Revit (LAR) now features a Custom daylighting analysis type and a free preview of the Solar Analysis for Revit (SAR) plugin all in one installer.  The new release is available through the LAR product page and the SAR Labs page, and will soon be posted to the Exchange Store.

LAR Animation 

The new Custom Analysis type in LAR has been our top request since the tool was released over a year ago.  Now you can go beyond the automated settings of LEED 2009 and v4 and select your own dates, times, thresholds, and analysis plane height, opening the door to generate results for other certification programs, review performance at other key times of the year, and to more easily analyze direct sun access for standards like SEPP65.

We’ve also made it easier to control other custom settings, like furniture visibility and whether to include electric lights in your analysis, so you can run analyses on your lighting design and view conditions in transition times with both daylight and electric lights.  No more ‘config file’ settings!

Analysis Type

To set up a custom analysis, choose Custom in the Analysis options, then select your date and times (for up to 2 analysis times) in the Environment panel.  You can use the weather data automatically provided through your specified Revit location (defined in Manage>Location>Internet Mapping Service), or enter values from your own weather data. LAR will use the sun position for the dates you choose based on your Revit project Location.

Environment Settings

If you choose to use custom settings for the Threshold, those values will be used when calculating the summary performance in the Lighting Analysis schedules.  The Analysis Plane Height will define the offset from the Revit Floor objects.  For LEED, the working surface is defined at 30 inches.

Illuminance Settings

Here are some new workflows that are possible with the Custom analysis settings:

1. Electric lighting analysis

  • Select the Settings icon and uncheck Override “Lighting>Scheme.”

            Override Lighting Scheme

  • In the 3D _Lighting Analysis Model View select the Rendering Settings properties, change the Lighting>Scheme to Interior – Artificial Only so electric lights are used in the analysis model and sunlight is not.

            Rendering Properties

  • Be sure that the lights in your space use relevant IES Photometric Web Files for proper light distribution.  If you want to see the combined effects of electric lighting and daylighting, choose Interior – Sun and Artificial and select a daylit time for the analysis.

2. Visualize contextual impact

  • See the effects of furniture, trees and other non-permanent model categories by turning off that automatic override in the Settings dialog.

            Permanent Model Categories

3. Direct sun access analysis (such as SEPP65)

  • For standards requiring a minimum number of hours of direct sun in rooms on a target day, run an analysis for each hour of the day with the DNI Solar Data value set to 1000 and the DHI Solar Data value set to 1 (minimum).  The GHI Solar Data value won’t have an influence, so it can be set to 1.

            Direct Sun Access

  • Set the Lower Threshold value to 4,000 Lux (very low angle direct sun, but higher than reflected sunlight in a space) and the Upper Threshold value to 130,000 Lux (equivalent to about 1000 W/m2 on a direct horizontal surface).


  • When Generating Results, your schedule will show the percentage of the space that has direct sun by the area between threshold values.  Note or export these values for each hour of the day, and aggregate all hours of the day in a separate spreadsheet for a total number of hours.  To view graphical results in the model, create an Analysis Display Style with the same threshold values as the Analysis settings.  At this time we only allow 2 analysis times per run, so be sure to save your model to a new name or save screenshots of the results if you would like to save the results for each analysis iteration.