Posted on 20/09/2015

Lighting calculations are a key part of any architectural design project. In this article we will be outlining the ready-to-use lighting features available with Iray+ and how it brings a new level of realism and accuracy to the architectural design process.  

Interactive lighting behaviour

Iray⁺ provides a range of lighting options and types. With a wide-range of ready-to-use lighting features, you can instantly see how your architectural designs react to different lighting behaviours. A range of pre-calibrated HDR images are supplied for both exterior and interior environments. For architects, this allows you to see how your interior designs react to both dynamic daylight and controlled artificial lighting. The physically determined sky is a true representation of natural light, letting interior lighting environments correspond to real-world settings.

With the importance of exploring different lighting options critical to any architectural design project, Iray⁺ allows designers to quickly and easily test different lighting iterations and behaviours. As lighting dictates the mood of a room, as well as the perceived size, designers can see how both exterior and interior light affects these factors in the design stage and how they work in conjunction with real-world materials and environments.

External and natural light

The ready-to-use lighting available with Iray⁺ gives real-time feedback on lighting behaviour. The Physical Sky provided can be wrapped around your design, creating a naturally lit scene giving you the ability to perform sun and shadow studies. The sky mimics the behaviour of the sun moving across the sky based on accurately measured light physics to see how natural light affects your design at all times of the day through different seasons. The physically based nature of the materials and environments available with Iray⁺ means the behaviour of the lights, and shadows, accurately represent how they would react in the real-world.

Whilst it used to be difficult to analyse light aspects precisely in architectural design, especially daylight and exterior light, Iray⁺ provides the tools to make this possible. Now you can see how natural light reacts with your design, seeing the effect that the light and shadows have on colour, material placement, furniture and more. Natural light can be an element of fundamental relevance for the design of space using Iray⁺ visualisation technology.

Interior and artificial light settings

With a range of different lighting features available, you can create specific light effects to produce your desired results with artificial interior lighting. Iray⁺ provides you with the ability to switch between different light types, such as point, spot and distant. Standard area light sources can be identified to represent bulbs, ceiling lights and other light emitting objects, giving you flexibility with lighting arrangements in your interior designs. With artificial light emitters integrated into Iray⁺, you can see how your interior lights interact with your design for both night and day mode.  

In addition to the ready-to-use lighting, designers can gain a deeper understanding of different lighting options by creating customised lighting profiles based upon the preset lighting features. Light emitters can be customised by adding specific light values into the system, allowing for greater personalised interaction with your interior designs. You have ultimate control over controlled artificial lighting, allowing for increased engagement with your designs.

Irradiance calculations

Iray⁺ has a special render mode for capturing real-world irradiance values, allowing lighting measurements to be taken. Accurate irradiance calculations based upon real-world lighting values can be used to check lighting levels for interior and exterior architectural designs. Combined with the physically based materials and lighting, Iray⁺ accurately predicts both the visual appearance and performance of your design at different times of the day and under different lighting conditions.  

With the need to measure both the aesthetic appeal and functional aspects of both exterior and interior lighting in an interior design project, Iray⁺ allows architectural designers the freedom to explore a multitude of different lighting iterations.

If you’d like to try to try out the Iray+ SDK visit, or to find out more about what we can offer regarding architectural design visit our creative services site here . For any more information on Lightworks or Iray+ contact one of our team at

Ready-to-use lighting for architectural design
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