Lightolve is an advanced visualization platform that simultaneously and interactively displays daylighting performance based on user defined goals. On January 22nd 2014, its first alpha release has been made available for download here.
This early release, compatible with both Mac and PC environments, is based on OptiX: a ray tracing development framework taking advantage of NVidia (TM) cutting edge hardware. Lightsolve mainly targets an audience of researchers, students and professionals interested in testing the tool and providing feedback for better addressing their needs.
Compared to other performance simulation platforms for daylighting, Lightsolve has the additional capability of allowing assessment of unconventional performances metrics too, such as health, contrast and variability. The aim of taking into account the health aspect is to integrate non-visual responses to light (such as sleep-wake cycles, based on the latest findings in photobiology) into a dynamic light-response model. The contrast and variability aspects are meant to help deepen our understanding of how lighting changes over space and time affect perception, through a dynamical analysis.
Finally, an expert system suggesting modifications to improve performances is at an early development stage, aiming towards creating an interactive knowledge base integrating interdisciplinary knowledge and capable of suggesting the best modification to make to the building’s envelope in order to improve the performance. The goal of this system is to make it possible to improve the quality of design based on pertinent recommendations comparable to those one would obtain from consulting specialists.
At his current stage, the application is functional, but it does not provide accurate results. A second release is planned for late Spring 2014 that aims to improve the lighting simulation accuracy, display more information and enhance the compatibility to mid-end GPUs.