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Virtually prototype your optic designs

Reduce design and development cost.
Accelerate product development.
Deliver better products.
Use photopia.

Fewer Physical Prototypes

Every physical prototype costs time and money. It must be designed, built, evaluated and iterated on. Instead, iterate virtually, allowing for fewer physical prototypes.

Reduced Testing Costs

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

Less Scrapped Tooling

Avoid scrapping optic tools that didn't perform as you expected by simulating and optimizing the performance before tooling.

Better Designs, Faster

Over the same development time period, with Photopia you can test and iterate over many more design options, allowing you to get to the most optimal design more quickly.

Physical Prototypes, No Raytracing

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

Virtual Prototypes with Photopia

With Photopia, you shouldn't need to iterate after your first prototype, saving time and money. Also, you'll be able to complete more virtual iterations, leading to a better product.

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

Why Photopia?

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 1200 fully measured lamp models by LTI Optics

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

Over 1100 fully measured materials by LTI Optics

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

Relevant, standard compliant output

Typically don't generate standard compliant IES files

Fast, millions of rays in minutes

Could take hours to trace 100,000 rays

Parametric Optical Design Tools

Rely on more user intervention

Expert Customer Support

Provided by junior engineers, not the product manager

rendering of color over angle simulation

An 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.

lamp and material library for raytracing

Fully 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.

BSDF data for library

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.

False color showing RGB separation

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 window inside of Solidworks for Fresnel lens Optical Design iside of Solidworks for PODT collimator

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.

contact lti optics

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.

What our customers are saying:

"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.”

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