LightTools Enewsletter

July 2015

LightTools 8.3 Available Now

We are pleased to announce that LightTools 8.3 is now available. It features the following major enhancements, along with other improvements:

  • New Advanced Design Module
  • New Surface Light Sources
  • Temperature and Power Density Dependence of Phosphor Particles
  • User-Defined Volume Scattering API
  • Volume Scatter Logger Utility

Note: The default installation folder for LightTools 8.3 is C:\Program Files\Optical
Research Associates\LightTools 8.3.2

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 8.3:

  • License key file: You will need version 8.3 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 the Distributors page referenced above, please contact us at for instructions.

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

LightTools 8.3 New Features

LightTools 8.3 includes the following key new features.

LightTools 8.3

Advanced Design Module
This new module, which requires a separate license, introduces a set of tools for designing freeform optics for a wide range of applications. It includes these components, which are accessible from the LightTools Insert menu:

  • Freeform Designer – for designing reflective and refractive surfaces that tailor the resulting light pattern.

  • MacroFocal Reflector – for designing segmented optics.

  • Procedural Surface Lens – for designing surfaces with pillowed optical arrays.

  • LED Lens – for creating various types of LED collimator lenses.

New Surface Light Sources: Disk and Rectangle
This version of LightTools supports two additional surface light sources: disk and rectangle sources. These new types are available on the Insert menu and the command palette.

Temperature and Power Density Dependence of Phosphor Particles (Advanced Physics Module)
To account for temperature and power density dependence of volume scattering phosphor particles, the several input data sets for defining phosphor particles now have the option to specify a temperature and power density dependence. Selecting this new option enables you to specify:

  • Absorption Spectrum as a Function of Wavelength and Temperature
  • Quantum Yield as a Function of Temperature and Power Density
  • Emission Spectra as a Function of Temperature

User-Defined Volume Scattering API (Advanced Physics Module)
This version includes a new application programming interface (API) that enables you to create an application-specific user-defined volume scatterer (UDVS) using Windows Component Object Model (COM) technology. This feature extends the current LightTools volume scattering capability by providing a programming interface for developing custom volume scattering components that can be dynamically linked with LightTools. You can also use the API to create a tool to track and record scattering or phosphor interactions that take place in a material, such as the Volume Scatter Logger utility, described below.

Volume Scatter Logger Utility
The Volume Scatter Logger has been added to the LightTools Utility Library under Receivers. This new utility creates a log of scattering and phosphor conversion events to show what is happening in a scattering material (e.g., absorbed energy, lost energy, shifts in wavelength).

Enhanced Street Lighting Utility
The LightTools Street Lighting Utility has been enhanced with new optimization metrics such as hemispherical, semi-cylindrical and vertical illuminance, built-in roadway classification specifications from the EN13201 standard, and additional roadway luminance views.

LightTools 8.3 Release Notes and Training Videos

The following resources are available on our Customer Support Portal:

If you have any questions about LightTools 8.3, please contact