ElumTools is from Lighting Analysts, Inc. who produces calculation tools for the architectural lighting marketplace. Today, they author four design tools for the lighting industry: AGi32, Photometric Toolbox, FlashTools, and the newest addition, ElumTools, a fully integrated lighting calculation add-in for Autodesk Revit.
This new tool will be a much more efficeint way of doing point-by-point lighting calculations rather than importing 2D plans into AGI, creating 3D spaces and 3D objects that are representing the rooms in AGI, (which has already been done by the architect in Revit), so why redo that work? Then as the model updates and changes, you have to redo all that work of reimporting the 2D autocad file, and recreate the 3D spaces and 3D objects. That takes a lot of time. Using a software that is an add-on of Revit, you can do the calculations right within Revit, and not have to continuously update separate models. (Construction document Revit model, and the AGI lighting calculation model.) Then when you make changes to your light fixtures, you make those changes in the Revit model only, (one place) instead of making the changes in the Revit model and in the AGI model.
SNIP FROM THEIR WEBSITE:
The growth of BIM (Building Information Modeling) software is exploding, and in many architectural design and engineering firms it is almost completely replacing CAD software for the purposes of architectural and building system design. To date, the industry standard illumination design software programs lack the ability to easily exchange information with models in the BIM environment. The reason for this is two-fold: current illumination software utilizes a complete environment approach to the calculation of illuminance, which is burdened by the large size of the BIM model, and the complexity of exported geometry from BIM is beyond the needs of practical calculation of workplane or surface illuminance. With today’s illumination design software not getting the job done, there remains a need to quickly compute basic illuminance from electric sources within individual environments in a BIM model and tabulate the results in a way consistent with the behavior of the BIM software.
|What is ElumTools?|
|ElumTools is a calculation Add-in used to predict the performance of electric lighting systems within the Autodesk® Revit® Architecture or MEP software. With ElumTools the need to utilize external software to compute illuminance from light sources placed in Revit is no longer necessary.|
|When ElumTools is installed in Revit, it appears with its own tab on the top menu bar. Selecting the ElumTools tab reveals the icons for the various ElumTools commands.|
|How does ElumTools work?|
|The entire concept of ElumTools as a Revit Add-in is based around the ability to leverage content that is already present in the Revit model. Utilizing existing content from Revit allows the lighting software functionality to be simplified to only those tasks necessary for the accurate modeling of light.|
|Anatomy of a typical workflow|
|Manage luminaires – This is the process of assigning all of the necessary elements to each luminaire family within the Revit model that will be used for lighting calculations. Required input includes: a valid photometric file in IES format (LM-63), assignment of a light loss factor and a validity check on lumens and watts figures as retrieved from the manufacturer’s photometric file.|
|The ElumTools Luminaire Manager provides simple access to the necessary inputs for all luminaire families. The luminaire list can be shortened to show only luminaire families currently in use in the Revit model, if desired.|
|Map materials – ElumTools has access to the “Graphics Color” in Revit for all materials in the model, allowing the reflectance of the surfaces to be calculated from the RGB color.* If a Revit graphics color is not an accurate color from which to calculate reflectance, it is necessary to map that surface to a different and more appropriate color. Glass and other translucent or transparent materials must also be mapped to the appropriate surface type in ElumTools for accurate lighting calculations.|
|The Materials Mapping feature in ElumTools is very easy to use. All Revit materials are listed on the left side of the dialog and ElumTools materials on the right. The drop-down selection in the center allows individual materials to be mapped from Revit to ElumTools and vice-versa, or ignored entirely. Additional pull-down menus allow the selection of color, reflectance, surface transparency and more (Advanced Properties button).|
*As of the release of Revit 2012, the Revit Application Programmers Interface (API) provided by Autodesk does not provide access to the materials’ “Render Appearance” information. This may change in a future release providing more accurate material color and reducing the need to map some materials.
|Calculate Other Geometry – Occasionally it is necessary to select all the elements to be included in a calculation independently of Revit Rooms or Spaces. ElumTools provides the capability to select all elements to be considered manually using Revit commands and compute the propagation of light within this subset.|
|Interactive visualization – ElumTools provides a fully interactive visualization in a pop-up window as a by-product of every calculation. This rendering is designed to allow validation of lighting results (are all my luminaires included?) and a verification of the behavior of light and surface (scalloping from downlights on an adjacent wall). The visualizations are fully navigable, and additional evaluation tools are available, such as scaled pseudocolor analysis, radiosity mesh display and visibility of sampling points.|
|View point-by-point results in Revit – The illuminance values at all sampling points placed in the Revit model can be seen directly in Revit. The appearance of the value color can be changed using Revit’s Analysis Visualization Framework (AVF) to scale the gradient of illuminance values for improved readability.|
|Schedule – All illuminance statistics computed by ElumTools are available to be summarized with Revit’s schedule feature.|
|Exceedingly simple & efficient|
|The concept of computing the lighting results directly within the Revit environment using a Space by Space (or Room by Room) methodology fosters a fast and efficient workflow, removing the long calculation times associated with the whole-environment approach of external software. Designers can utilize the software as a design tool on an iterative basis as needed. Point-by-point results provide validation of required lighting criteria, and interactive draft visualizations yield an understanding of the lighting system only possible with radiosity rendering.|
Unlike many of today’s all-encompassing lighting simulation programs, the ElumTools software is exceptionally intuitive, streamlined and approachable. By design, the software can be productive for any Revit user with basic lighting knowledge, and very little if any training is required.
For the initial release ElumTools is available in a single user license configuration only. A single user license can be installed on one computer at a time. Once registered, ElumTools is licensed to that computer only. This is a perpetual license for use with Revit 2012 only.
ElumTools is sold initially with a free one-year membership to the subscription plan. This means all product releases are available for download from your account at no charge until one year from your purchase date. At that point you may elect to renew the subscription plan to continue to receive product releases.