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LTI Optics Photopia Logo


Optical design and analysis software focused on lighting.

Photopia is a fast and accurate photometric analysis program that produces comprehensive performance evaluations for non-imaging optical designs. Photopia allows you to produce virtual luminaires in a fraction of the time and for a fraction of the cost of physical prototypes. With computer modeling, you can test a number of design variations without investing in tooling.

Photopia includes a built-in CAD system that allows you to create and manipulate components of your model, which interfaces with CAD packages such as SOLIDWORKS®, AutoCAD®, Pro/Engineer®, Solid Edge®, and Inventor® via file export and import. Photopia is also available as an add-in for SOLIDWORKS®.

Photopia is designed so that you don't need an optics PhD in order to understand the software. Use our library of pre-defined lamps and materials, use our design tools to generate optical geometry based on your design requirements, get output in industry standard formats.

Book a live online demo of Photopia with one of our expert optical engineers:

In 60 minutes we'll walk through a sample project, discuss your needs, and explain the important features of Photopia for your type of work.

Fill out my online form.

Photopia Parametric Optical Design Tools

Parametric Optical

Design Tools

Create reflectors and lenses based on optical parameters such as aiming angle, using a range of common construction types.

    Reflector and lens

    Full parametric control

    Aim by angle or point

    Many construction types

Photopia report output types

Meaningful Output

All the output you'll need for a design, including complete IES, Eulumdat, and TM-14 files, along with full spectral illuminance, color over angle, and DLC and Energy Star compliance data.

    IES, Eulumdat and TM-14

    Shaded Illuminance

    Color over angle

    DLC and Energy Star

Photopia color lamp model

The Library

The Photopia Library contains accurate measured data for over 1500 lamps and materials. Simply pick from the library and know that the raytrace will be accurate.

    Over 900 lamps

    Over 600 materials

    Complete spectral data

    No guessing

Photopia Type V Roadway LED Lens design

Advanced Raytracer

The all new Photopia raytracer has been completely rewritten to enhance speed and usability, while maintaining the accuracy of over 25 years of experience.


    Full spectral support

    Proven accuracy

    Extremely fast

Parametric Optical Design Tools (PODT) in Photopia

Parametric Optical Design Tools

Most Parametric Modeling relies on primitive geometry like lines or arcs or splines... but none of these directly relate to how you want to aim light. Our Parametric Optical Design Tools (PODT) give you a direct way to create and manipulate geometry based on how you want your final distribution to look. PODT can be used on anything from simple revolved reflectors to complicated lofted lenses made of multiple control profiles. PODT is all about getting you to a final design quicker. We use these tools everyday on our projects and they significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to optimize a design

 Learn more about PODT.

3D Raytracing for LED Optic Design

Spectral raytracing for LED Designs

Lamp and Material Library

The core of any optical simulation is accurate ray generation and accurate ray interaction, in other words, an accurate lamp model and accurate material properties. Instead of relying on our user to adjust theoretical material equations or use simplified lamp models with only ray data, we've spent the time to measure, analyze and model all 1500 lamps and materials in the Photopia library ourselves. With 25 years of history in raytracing, we know what is required to produce an accurate simulation. We use the software everyday in our own design work, so we have to trust it

 Learn more about library accuracy

relevant output reports for optical design software

Relevant Output

Photopia generates fully compliant IES, TM-14, and EULUMDAT files with every raytrace. Illuminance planes can be used to evaluate beam smoothness, full 3D ray paths can be used to identify areas for design optimization, and a host of plots can confirm your design. Photopia also has the latest output requirements like IESNA TM-15 and BUG ratings. There's also a report for analyzing color uniformity which includes industry relevant metrics like color change over beam and field angle as required by EnergyStar and DLC

CAD system for optical design

CAD System

Photopia has an integrated CAD system so that you can create and optimize your optical design without going back and forth from your CAD system. You can also import your mechanical parts from leading CAD software like SOLIDWORKS, Inventor, Pro/E and AutoCAD using STL and DXF/DWG files. Once you have an optimized design, you can export the geometry back to your CAD system as a 3DM or DXF/DWG file

There is also Photopia for SOLIDWORKS which is an add-in for SOLIDWORKS that lets you setup, analyze and view output directly inside of SOLIDWORKS

Fewer Prototypes

Instead of iterating with physical prototypes that you must spend time building and testing, iterate inside of Photopia, where the only cost is your own time.

Reduced Testing Costs

Fewer prototypes means reduced testing time and expense. You can also test many configurations quickly versus building and sending each option to a test lab.

Better Designs, Faster

Over the same time period, with Photopia you can test and iterate over more designs than with physical prototypes, which lets you get to the most optimal design.

A good investment?

Any piece of business software should pay for itself quickly, or it is not worth having. You already invest in CAD software because the productivity gained versus manual drafting is beneficial to your bottom line. The same should be true of optical design software. By allowing you to reduce physical prototypes, reduce testing costs and achieve more optimal designs, optical design software like Photopia should be a positive addition to your business.

Without Photopia, after your initial design, you'll likely need to build, test and refine on a physical prototype several times, costing you significant time and money.

Step Time Cost
1. Design a luminaire 1 day to 1 week your cost in hours
2. Build a prototype 1 to 6 weeks $500 to $75,000
3. Photometer the prototype 1 day to 3 weeks $300 to $700
4. Refine the design 1 hour to 1 day your cost in hours
5. Five design iterations (steps 1-4) 6 to 47 weeks $4000 to $400,000
Totals 6 to 47 weeks $4000 to $400,000

With Photopia, you shouldn't need to iterate after your first prototype, saving time and money.

Step Time Cost
1. Design a luminaire 1 day to 1 week your cost in hours
2. Build a prototype 1 to 6 weeks $500 to $75,000
3. Photometer the prototype 1 day to 3 weeks $300 to $700
Totals 1 to 10 weeks $800 to $75,000

Many optical programs on the market are targeted towards imaging optics with non-imaging as a side feature. Photopia is specifically designed for architectural lighting as well as most other illumination based, non-imaging optical design tasks. The majority of the companies in the architectural lighting industry who sell performance driven products use Photopia. A few of the major companies include Philips and its may subsidiaries, Acuity Brands, Cooper Lighting, General Electric, Havells-Sylvania, Cree, Hubbell Lighting, the Indal Group, R-Tech (Schreder), Toshiba, Gerard Lighting, AB Fagerhult, ETAP, LG Electronics, iGuzzini, Louis Poulsen/Targetti, Luxo and many others. For those customers who have switched from other software, the speed and accuracy of the raytracing were the most important reasons. If you can't trust your results, then the entire point of simulating your designs in the first place is lost.

Photopia Features Other Raytracing Software

 Over 900 fully measured lamp models by LTI Optics

Not as extensive if included, or relies on a third party library

 Over 700 fully measured materials by LTI Optics

Not measured in-house, relies on third party data source

 Relevant, standard compliant output

Typically don't generate valid IES files

 Fast, millions of rays in minutes

Could take hours to trace 100,000 rays

 Optical Design Tools

Rely on more user intervention

 Expert Customer Support

Provided by junior engineers, not the product manager

Extensive, Accurate Lamp Library

Photopia includes the most comprehensive library of lamps for the architectural lighting industry. The current library includes over 900 source models with a large selection of LEDs, and also includes sun and sky dome models for daylighting device designs. This extensive library avoids the need for the user to create their own lamps and guess at their properties. Having accurate source models is essential to getting accurate simulations of the entire luminaire. Other programs that rely heavily on ray sets may not be as accurate as models in Photopia's library.

Extensive Measured Material Properties

Other software allows you to define BRDF (BSDF) data via parameters of various mathematical functions, but knowing what parameters to set is an open question and even then the scattering behavior of many materials isn't accurately represented by a mathematical function. Although BRDF/BTDF data for standard materials is now being distributed by manufacturers, it is also very important that the optical software company is able to measure custom materials, such as formed aluminum with various levels of polish and anodizing processes. LTI Optics has provided this service since the late 1980’s, longer than any other company, and has more experience in characterizing the important optical properties of materials. Having measured BRDF/BTDF data for the actual materials used in your products is critical to being able to produce accurate simulation results.

Meaningful Output

Photopia provides a range of industry standard output right out of the box. You don't need to jump through hoops to generate standards compliant IES, EULUMDAT & TM-14 files, rather, Photopia creates these every raytrace. You'll get indoor and outdoor CU tables and plots, roadway iso-illuminance plots, a photometric report with detailed analysis results. You can view multiple illuminance planes along with candela distribution data after a single raytrace since our data collectors don't block each other.

Fast Raytraces

This is very important if you want a detailed evaluation of a design. We have several customers who previously used other optical software and they said it typically took several hours to trace 100,000 rays. Photopia can typically trace millions of rays in minutes and the speed is not linearly related to model complexity. Also, since some programs store all rays in memory, the max number of rays you can trace is a function of your system resources. For detailed candela distributions and illuminance plane data, you need to be tracing 5 to 10 million rays. Tracing an inadequate number of rays can lead to insufficient detail in the results and therefore an incorrect conclusion about the actual performance of the product.

Optical Design Tools

Photopia's Parametric Optical Design Tools (PODT) module provides an environment to design reflector and refractor geometry that can be controlled by meaningful optical parameters as opposed to mechanical parameters that you define in parametric solid modelers. The geometry is created based on how you decide to aim the light. Because of these tools, you will typically import your housing and outer lens geometry once and then create and modify your reflector geometry inside of Photopia. You won't typically be modifying parts in your CAD software and re- importing them over and over. The PODT module has been developed as a direct result of LTI Optics’ own experience on optical design consulting projects over the past 20 years. The methodology used in these tools is therefore proven to produce results for a wide range of product types. The scope of these tools also continues to evolve so they can address as many types of designs as possible, since the design process is greatly shortened when these tools are utilized.

These tools are unique among all optical design software on the market, with other programs simply offering “optimizers” that attempt to optimize starting point geometry that the user provides. If parameters of that geometry can’t be modified to reach the desired goal, then they won’t converge on a design. The use of such optimizers is therefore strongly dependent upon the skill of the designer providing the starting point optical geometry.

Customer Support

LTI Optics puts a very high priority on customer support. The main person providing technical support to our customers is the lead designer for the Photopia software, its product manager since its inception, and our most senior optical designer. Many companies pass the job of technical support to a junior level employee. Having designed almost every type of luminaire within our industry, we have a clear understanding of the types of projects our customers are creating and can help them in a more meaningful way. Although we can't comment on how our competitors handle support since we have not been a customer of theirs, we can say that we get a lot of positive feedback on our support.

Mark, I wanted to extend my sincere thanks for your help the other day and all the help that you and your folks have provided me in the past. The speed of your responses and the thoughtfulness of your explanations has gone a long way towards helping me to better understand the workings of Photopia. Your dedication to customer service stands as an example that others should follow. Please extend my thanks to all.

Serge Holoduke, The Light Factory

We are very happy with the accuracy of Photopia. We have our own goniometer and have made many comparisons between the predicted and measured results. We have found Photopia to be so accurate that whenever we have seen a difference between the measured and predicted performance, our measurements have turned out to be wrong.

Photopia user

I have purchased and learned software for the past 10 years and I have never had the quality of tech support I received from Mark [Jongewaard].

Ken Osborn, Dir. of Engineering, PMC Lighting

I've been a fan of Photopia for several years. It provides me with useful results within minutes which allows me to look at many design iterations in a short amount of time. I find it invaluable for refractors which are nearly impossible to prototype.

Photopia user

We've used Photopia for several years and believe it has been the second most important purchase made for product development, second only to to the purchase of an automated punch press.

Photopia user


Base program includes all lamps, and all perfectly specular reflective and perfectly clear transmissive materials.

Choose between a standalone interface or a SOLIDWORKS interface.

General Materials Library

Adds on over 500 scattering reflective and transmissive materials. This is real measured data.

General Refractor Module

Allows you to trace refraction, which is necessary if you're designing or analyzing lenses that bend light using refraction.

This is the base program including the entire library of over 900 lamps and a material library that is limited to perfectly specular reflector materials and clear transmissive materials. The main restriction is that the material library does not include materials that scatter light upon reflection or transmission. Scattering materials are part of the General Materials Library.

specular materials for use in Photopia

The library consists of BRDF/BTDF data for over 500 commonly used reflector and transmissive materials commercially available from major material vendors such as Alanod, ACA, Anofol, Sacall, Foremost, Reflek, Abrisa, Cryo, ALP, White Optics, Brightview and others. If you use materials such as semi-specular aluminum, white paint, textured aluminum, prismatic lenses, white diffusing lenses or perforated steel, then this module is required. LTI Optics also provides material measurement services for custom materials you use in your products.

scattering BSDF materials for use in Photopia scattering BSDF materials for use in Photopia

Refractors are modeled by drawing the actual prism or lens geometry in Photopia or your CAD program. Photopia uses the index of refraction and the extinction coefficient of the material to accurately model refraction into the material, Fresnel reflections from the inner and outer surfaces of the material, total internal reflection (TIR) effects and losses due to absorption within the material. The Refractor Module can be used for LED modeling and lens design, roadway refractors, Fresnel lenses, light pipes, signaling lenses or any other design for which you need to control light using refraction.

Note that homogeneous prismatic lenses, white translucent lenses and perforated surfaces are available in the General Materials Library and do not require the Refractor Module. For more information about the difference between the "transmissive" materials in the General Materials Library and "refractors" modeled with the General Refractor Module, click here.

lens design module for Photopia refractor materials for Photopia

CAD Interface

Full CAD system

Import STL, DXF, DWG

Export 3DM, DXF, DWG

Design with PODT

Parametric arrays


Design Tools

Aim by angle or point

Profile or 3D

Extruded or revolved

Complex Lofted

Easy adjust interface


Over 900 lamps

Over 600 materials

Full measured data

Spectral data


Custom Angle sets


Candela polar and xy

Illuminance planes


Variable # of rays

Variable # of reactions


Color aware

Lamp array optimized


Full PDF User's Guide

4 Beginner Tutorials

9 Advanced Tutorials

Phone and email support

Support website

The first step to evaluating if Photopia is a good fit for your company is to schedule an online demonstration where one of our expert optical engineers will discuss your work and give you a walkthrough of the software. After the online demo, we're happy to provide a 1 week trial license so that you can use the software on your own projects or show it to others in your office.

Free Guided Demo

Fully Featured

Limited to 1 Week

Many Tutorials

Use with your own projects

Questions to Answer During Your Trial

  • Does the lamp library have the lamps you use?
  • Does the material library have the materials you use?
  • Can you import your models into Photopia?
  • Does the reduced prototyping and testing expense justify the cost of the software?

Want to start a trial?

  Request a Trial License

Where to Buy?

We sell direct and through a network of international representative.

In order to provide a quote please contact us and we'll either provide one or put you in contact with the correct representative.

Multiple Copy Discounts

  • 50% off regular price for additional copies at the same physical office
  • 25% off regular price for additional copies or new modules for auxiliary sites, affiliated companies, or sister companies
  • Network Licensing

    All licenses can either be used on a single workstation, or shared from a license server for a single concurrent use, accessible by anyone at your site. There is no additional charge for network licensing. Please review the License Agreement when installing Photopia for details on restrictions.


    LTI Optics offers an Annual Design and Update Package which provides the following for a 1 year period:

    • Major program updates for all owned modules
    • Lamp and material library updates
    • Access to Parametric Optical Design Tools
    • Technical support provided by our top-notch team

    Other Options


    If your need for Photopia is occasional or you want to spread out payment, we offer an option of leasing our software.

    Leasing is typically done in 3 month increments with a portion of the lease payment applied towards a future purchase. Contact us for lease pricing.

    Have Us Analyze Your Design

    If you already have a design and just want a quick analysis, we can import your CAD model, setup the Photopia analysis and provide you the output. This allows you to get a quick, accurate simulation without needing to learn or purchase the software. Contact us for information about this option.


    If your need for optical design is occasional and you're not an expert in optics, it often makes more sense to make use of our consulting services. In additional to being proficient users of Photopia, we have vast knowledge of optical design and can likely provide very good insight and solutions for your project. Contact us for an optical design quote.

    Lighting Fundamentals

    How Photopia Works

    CAD Import

    Analysis Basics

    Optical Design

    Most customers learn all they need from the User's Guide and Tutorials.

    Training is always just for your company.

    This allows us to tailor the training content and work on your own projects.

    It's basically 2 days of consulting, but you'll learn Photopia by the end of it.

    Training costs depend on location (your office or ours), number of students, and length of training (typically 2 days).

    Please contact us for a quote and to schedule training.

      Request a Training Quote

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