LightTools Enewsletter

March 2016

LightTools 8.4 Available Now

LightTools 8.4

We are pleased to announce that LightTools® version 8.4 is now available. This release features the following major enhancements, along with other improvements:

Customers in the U.S., Canada, and Other Direct-Sales Locations 
Software and license key files for LightTools product customers in the U.S., Canada and other direct-sales locations are available on the Synopsys SolvNet website. You will need the following to install LightTools version 8.4:

  • License key file: You will need version 8.4 license key files for this LightTools release. This will replace your existing LightTools license file. You can download license key files from the SmartKeys page on SolvNet at

Complete instructions for installing LightTools are available in the LightTools Installation Guide.

To learn more about navigating SolvNet to obtain LightTools software and license key files, view our SolvNet overview video.

International Customers 
For international customers working with distributors, you will continue to obtain your software and license key files from your local LightTools software distributor. See the Synopsys Optical Solutions Group Global Contacts page for contact information. If your country is not listed on this page, please contact us at for instructions.

If you encounter any problems with this release, please send an email to

New Features in LightTools 8.4 Release

LightTools 8.4 includes the following key new features.

Hybrid Simulation Option

In addition to forward and backward simulations available in previous releases, LightTools now also provides a hybrid simulation option specifically designed to deliver efficiency improvements for models with predominately scattering surfaces. To benefit from this new feature, models must exhibit specific characteristics; for a description of these characteristics, see the LightTools 8.4 Release Notes.

Ray trace efficiency for models that can benefit from a hybrid simulation can be significant. For example, running all three simulation types to perform a spatial luminance analysis on a test model produced the following results. [Tested on an Intel Xeon HP computer with 12 cores (6 core for each CPU) and 12 GB of RAM.]

Forward Simulation

Forward Simulation

2B Rays Traced in 48 Minutes

Backward Simulation

Backward Simulation

2B Rays Traced in 35 Minutes

Hybrid Simulation

Hybrid Simulation

7.5 M Rays Traced in 1 Minute

Hybrid simulations are useful for evaluating the illuminance and luminance on diffuse surfaces like luminaire and dashboard panels.

Capability for Creating and Managing Configurations

This version of LightTools provides a capability for defining configurations, which allows you to create and store variations of a design in a single model. You can define and manage configurations that include parts with different sizes, shapes, properties, or arrangements -- to evaluate performance, for example, or to create multiple designs for related uses. You can switch from one configuration to another with a mouse click to analyze and optimize any variation of the model. (Note that to perform an optimization, you must have a valid license for LightTools Optimization Module.)

Managing Configurations

Light Guide Designer

The new Light Guide Designer helps you create and optimize light guide systems for spatial uniformity of flux extraction (within a specified cone angle) and for angular centroid pointing direction. This utility can make light guides, add prism extractors created using 3D textures, and add receivers, sources, and reflectors, as well as other items needed for designing light guide systems. The Light Guide Designer has been added to the LightTools Utility Library under Geometry.

Light Guide Designer

Note: To use the Light Guide Designer, you must have a valid license for the LightTools Optimization Module.

Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) Needed for This Version

To run this version of LightTools, you must have installed Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) or later.

Update Required for Floating License Users

The Sentinel Floating License Manager used by LightTools has been updated to version 8.6.x. Please note that:

  • Sentinel Floating License users must upgrade to version 8.6.x in order to run LightTools 8.4.

  • Sentinel Floating License Manager version 8.6.x supports LightTools versions prior to 8.4.

  • If other Sentinel Floating License Managers are installed on the network with versions prior to 8.6.x, the WLMAdmin program installed with version 8.6.x cannot be used to administer them.

For details about installing and using the Sentinel Floating License Manager, see the LightTools Installation Guide.  

Final Release Supporting 32-bit Windows

LightTools 8.4 is the last version to support both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows. Future versions of LightTools will support systems with 64-bit Windows only.

For More Information

For additional details about the content of the LightTools 8.4, see the LightTools 8.4 Release Notes.  If you have any questions about features in this release, please contact

LightTools User Group Meetings - Submit Your Topic Ideas

You have an opportunity to help determine the topics during the annual LightToolsUser Group meetings.

What topics would you like to see discussed? What features in LightTools would you like to know more about? How could we help you be more productive in LightTools?

We welcome all ideas and will take those into consideration as we plan for the user group meetings. Help us make the user group a truly worthwhile event for you. LightTools User Group Meetings are currently planned for September 2016, to be held in Sunnyvale, CA, and Marlborough, MA.

Send your brilliant topic ideas to, or join our LightTools Group on LinkedIn to submit your ideas there. We look forward to hearing them!

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