LightTools Enewsletter

March 2017

LightTools 8.5 Available Now

Key New Features in LightTools 8.5

LightTools 8.5

Conformal Surface Receivers

LightTools 8.5 introduces an expanded set of mapping options for surface receivers on non-planar surfaces, known collectively as conformal receivers. The available mesh mapping types now available are:

  • XY mapping for planar surfaces and lens surfaces
  • Cylindrical mapping for cylinders and cones
  • Spherical mapping for ellipsoids, toroids, and spheres
  • UV mapping for all other surface types

New for this version are spherical and UV mesh mapping options. These two new options eliminate the need to project illuminance data collected on complex surfaces onto planar meshes, making interpretation and optimization much easier. You can vary the number of bins in the mesh or set the desired bin size, and use the same filtering, analysis, and optimization capabilities that exist for planar meshes.

Expanded Visualization of Illuminance Results in the 3D Design View

LightTools provides a capability for displaying a raster image of illuminance output in the design view so that you can visualize the orientation and distribution of the illuminance data relative to model geometry. In previous releases, this was available for receivers on indicator planes. In this release, illuminance visualization has been extended to receivers on most surface types. In addition, the appearance of the illuminance data can now be controlled by the settings in the LumViewer for color scheme, scaling, contours and mesh lines, smoothing and lit effects, and linear and logarithmic settings.

New Parameter Sensitivity Analyzer

The Parameter Sensitivity Utility has been replaced with the Parameter Sensitivity Analyzer. The new tool provides improved functionality for analyzing the impact of system variables on specified performance metrics, including:

  • Configuration support allowing you to analyze a parameter across multiple configurations
  • Parameter lists and wild card selection
  • Ability to run scripts after variable values are changed (but before evaluation) or after each evaluation cycle is complete
  • Updated charting, including multiple chart views
  • 2D chart now displayed directly in the analyzer
  • GIF generation capability for graphics
  • Save and restore generated data

Freeform Designer

For freeform lens, an option to Include Second Lens Surface has been added on the Source tab in the Design Feature Manager. This option allows you to add a conic surface between the source and freeform surface to provide greater flexibility in defining the input surface, including the ability to define a flat surface displaced from the source. This new feature can help increase the collection efficiency of point and extended light sources.

Light Guide Designer

Enhancements to this utility include:

  • Additional, integrated, non-circular profile shapes
  • Bezier scaling of profiles along the length
  • User H,V target grid for centroid pointing direction targets
  • Use of light guide surface as the receiver (with light guide receiver filter)
  • Easy change of receiver/texture bounds at the ends of the light guide
  • Non-uniform spatial targets are easier to use, and can be set using bin areas, user Bezier curve or user values

Street Light Utility

Enhancements to this utility include:

  • Capability for defining IES Type sources, which can be specified using the Longitudinal and IES Classifications types (e.g., Medium II) or by manually setting the related parameters (e.g., Peak Intensity Location, Half Intensity Locus Radius, etc.)
  • Charting has been added to illustrate the source settings
  • IES sources can be used by the Freeform Designer to create the corresponding freeform lens that creates a specified light pattern

Source Array Utility

You can now use the Source Array utility to create radial or rectangular geometry. In previous releases, the only option was rectangular.

Software and License File Instructions

Direct-Sales Customers
Software and license key files for LightTools direct-sales customers are available on the 
Synopsys SolvNet website.

  • License key file: You will need version 8.5 license key files for this LightTools release. This will replace your existing LightTools license key. You can download
  • license keys from the SmartKeys page on SolvNet at

Distributor Customers
For customers working with distributors, you will continue to obtain your software and license keys 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 the Distributors page referenced above, please contact us at for instructions.

For More Information

The following resources are available on our Customer Support Portal:

Floating License Manager Updates

Floating License Manager
A new OSG Floating License Manager is now included on SolvNet as a separate download along with the LightTools product. The new Floating License Manager adds support for the LucidShape® family of products, and is compatible with LightTools 8.5 and all past releases of LightTools.

  • It is not required to upgrade to this Floating License Manager for LightTools 8.5.
  • The Floating License Manager used for previous releases is still available on and is compatible with all versions of LightTools.

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

GetHostID Utility
A new GetHostID utility, version 11.0, is included with LightTools 8.5. For details about using the GetHostID utility, see the LightTools Installation Guide.

IODC Illumination Design Competition

The International Optical Design Conference will occur on July 9-13 in Denver, Colorado this year. The illumination design problem has been posted on the website, and entries are due by April 1, 2017.

International Optical Design Conference

Submit your entries today! For more information, please visit their website: