LightTools Enewsletter

November 2015

LightTools 8.4 Release Candidate (RC) Available Now

LightTools 8.4 RC

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

  • Hybrid Simulation Option
  • Capability for Creating Configurations
  • Light Guide Designer

The LightTools 8.4 RC is a fully-tested early version that we are making available to customers who would like to begin using its new capabilities now. If you encounter any issues with this release candidate, we encourage you to report them to Critical issues discovered during the release candidate period will be addressed in the final version of LightTools 8.4, scheduled to be released in a few months.

Obtaining LightTools 8.4 RC Software

LightTools 8.4 RC is available only by download from the following links. Note that the final version of LightTools 8.4 will be the last version to support both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the Windows operating system. Subsequent versions of LightTools will support systems with 64-bit Windows only.

Obtaining LightTools 8.4 RC License Files

Your LightTools 8.3.0 license file is valid to use for the LightTools 8.4 RC. If you do not have a LightTools 8.3.0 license file, you can obtain one from the Synopsys SolvNet site at For details about how to download a LightTools license file from SolvNet, see Obtaining CODE V and LightTools Software and License Keys.

New Features in LightTools 8.4 Release Candidate (RC)

LightTools 8.4 RC 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

Configuration Manager – This video describes the use of the Configuration Manager. The Configuration Manager allows you to set up multiple configurations of a model in a single file, simplifying the design of systems with multiple variations.

Light Guide Designer

The Light Guide Designer has been added to the LightTools Utility Library under Geometry. This new utility 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. It 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.

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

For More Information

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