Visual Software for Outdoor Lighting Design – Part Three



In the previous Article “ Visual Software for Outdoor Lighting Design – Part One”, I explained the Visual program interface. 

Also, I explained Step#1: checking the default settings for the program which must be done before starting “your first project” in Article “Visual Software for Outdoor Lighting Design – Part Two “.

Today, I will explain how to start a new design for outdoor lighting by using Visual professional edition software as follows.



Step#2: Starting a new Project

There are two ways to start a project in Visual as follows:
1- Upon entering the application, the following window will appear: 



  • Select NEW INTERIOR FILE or NEW EXTERIOR FILE as appropriate. 

Note: in Outdoor Lighting design we will choose NEW EXTERIOR FILE. 


2- From within Visual, the same procedure is initiated by selecting NEW from the FILE MENU or clicking on the NEW Button on the FILE TOOLBAR.



Note: The difference between the appearance and operation of Visual in the Interior and Exterior modes is minimal and primarily a matter of convenience.



Step#3: Enter the project data


  1. Selecting PROJECT from the FILE MENU will launch the Project Properties Form. 
  2. Add Information about your project in Project Properties window, as in the following table for example: 

Title
Acme Widgets Warehousing
Description
Building A, CEO Office
Number
123-4567-xx
Company
FKTC engineering
Designer
Ali Hassan
Keywords
Acme Widgets - Building A, CEO Office
Comments
Initial design for Client meeting


Notes:
  • All fields are optional and this information may be entered at any stage of the modeling process. 
  • Project information is used to uniquely identify Visual lighting models and to expedite the documentation process. 



Step#4: Preparing the design Environment

After select NEW EXTERIOR FILE from the visual starting screen. The Design Environment will appear with a blank screen and await your first command. You need to do the following:



  1. The Incremental Snap should be “On” and set to a value of “10”. 
  2. Set the Snap to "5". As you move your mouse in the Design Window, its location in absolute coordinates is reported in the lower right-hand corner of the design screen. 
  3. Be sure that The origin of the coordinate system (0,0,0) should be near the lower left-hand corner of the Design Window. 



Step#5: Importing a Background File

The first objective is to import a DXF file of the site for which we are to build the lighting model.



  1. Select IMPORT from the FILE MENU. 
  2. Navigate to the “C:\Program Files\Visual 2.0\Tutorials” directory and select the file “Tutorial B.dxf.” 
  3. Click Open. 
  4. The Import Layer Dialog will appear. Left-Click the mouse on the IMPORT button to import all layers. 
  5. All imported information will become background information in Visual. The screen should now look like the image below. 




Step#6: Constructing a Structure

You will now construct a three-dimensional structure 30 feet high using the background lines for reference. Do the following steps:



1- Select ROOM\STRUCTURE then POLYGON from the CONSTRUCT Menu. The Status Bar will prompt for entry or selection of the first vertex in a series that will define the polygonal base of the structure. The Property Bar will prompt for a description, a height (the height of the structure above the X-Y plane), and a reflectance value to be used for the entire structure as shown below.


2- Enter the description by placing the mouse cursor in the text box and typing. The default height of 30 feet should be correct. The default Reflectance value of 0 will remain unchanged because the calculation of reflected light is not typically performed in exterior lighting models unless specifically requested.



3- Left-Click on the Design Window to indicate that you are finished editing and ready to enter coordinate information. The mouse pointer will change to a crosshair.


4- Before you select vertices, you need to change some Drawing Aids settings as follows:




  • Select OBJECT SNAP from the TOOLS MENU. Turn on the Endpoint Object Snap by Left-Clicking on ENDPOINT. 
  • It is also necessary to toggle the Incremental Snap to “Off”. If the Incremental Snap Button is depressed, Left-Click on the button to turn it off. The mouse crosshairs should move smoothly in the Design Window. 


5- Now begin constructing the building. 




  • Right-Click the mouse, then Select the lower left-hand corner of the building outline (by Left-Click on it) and proceed to select adjacent vertices in a counterclockwise fashion. The Endpoint Object Snap will cause the mouse crosshairs to jump to the nearest end of any line that is clicked on. Therefore, you only need to get close to the building corners; the Endpoint Object Snap will re-position the crosshairs at the exact location. 
  • Continue selecting vertices until you have gone all the way around the building. When you reach the initial vertex, the building will be constructed. 


6- To verify the construction of the structure, choose the Southwest view on the 3-D VIEW TOOLBAR. The screen should look like the graphic shown below.



Notes:
  • The orientation and appearance of the coordinate axes icon. It is indicating that the mouse crosshairs are moving in the X-Y plane and that the positive X, Y, and Z directions are as shown. The Z (height) dimension is presently fixed at a value of 0.0 (at grade) as indicated by the absolute coordinates.
  • The green highlight along the base of the building indicates that it is coincident with the plane in which the mouse crosshairs are moving. 
  • The other buttons on the 3-D View Toolbar may be pushed to yield various 3-D and elevation views. You are encouraged to experiment with the different views. 



Step#7: Building a Luminaire Schedule

The next step in constructing the lighting model is to define a Luminaire Type in the Luminaire Schedule. Do the following:




1- Select SCHEDULE from the LUMINAIRE MENU. The Luminaire Schedule Editor will appear.

2- Select NEW from the TOOLBAR. A dialog box will appear for the selection of a format photometric file.

3- Navigate to the Visual 2.0 directory on your hard drive under the Program Files folder (or to wherever Visual was installed on your computer). There, you will find the Tutorials folder. Open this folder.

4- A list of photometric files will be displayed, including catalog numbers, luminaire descriptions, and lamp descriptions. We want to light the parking lot, so select the file with catalog number KSF2 400M R3 and then press the OPEN button to load the information and return to the Luminaire Schedule Editor


The schedule should appear as shown below.




5- The various elements of the schedule entry can now be modified as required and as follows:
  • Select a Light Loss Factor (LLF) of 0.72 for metal-halide lamp types. 


6- The design will require the use of a twin configuration, so you must change the Luminaire symbol as follows: 




  • Move the mouse pointer over the Symbol graphic at the left of the schedule entry. Left-Click on the Symbol to display the Symbol Editor. 
  • Left-Click in the Height text box and type “0.75”. 
  • Left-Click on the drop-down arrow to the right of the Configuration combo box. Change the Configuration to “Twin” by selecting the appropriate entry in the list. 
  • Left-Click on the drop-down arrow to the right of the Size factor combo box, and select “3”. 
  • Click the OK button to return to the Luminaire Schedule which will be as in image below.




7- To aid in placement, you will assign a template to this luminaire. So, do the following:



  • Move the mouse pointer over the Template graphic at the right of the schedule. Left-Click on the Template to display the Template Editor. 
  • Left-Click the mouse on the grayed Status button for each of the illuminance values shown below. 
  • Left-Click the OK button to return to the Luminaire Schedule Editor. 



8- The lighting model will require the use of a forward-throw area Luminaire. Repeat the process (from step 7-2 to step 7-8) for a KSF2 400M R4 in the Tutorials folder. So, do the following:

  • Select NEW from the Luminaire Schedule Editor and select the KSF2 400M R4. 
  • Change the LLF to 0.72. 
  • Left-Click on the Symbol button in the schedule entry to display the Symbol Editor. 
  • Left-Click in the Height text box and type “0.75” using the keyboard. 
  • Left-Click the drop-down arrow to the right of the Configuration combo box. Change the Configuration to “Single” by selecting the appropriate entry from the list. 
  • Left-Click the drop-down arrow to the right of the Size factor combo box, and select “3”. 
  • Left-Click on the OK button to close the Symbol Editor which will be as in below image.


  • Apply the same template to this luminaire as to the previous one. 

9- The lighting model will also require the use of an architectural floodlight. Repeat the process for a KFL2 175M RM in the Tutorials folder. So, do the following: 

  • Select NEW from the Luminaire Schedule Editor and select the KFL2 175M RM. 
  • Change the LLF to 0.72. 
  • Left-Click on the Symbol button in the schedule entry to display the Symbol Editor. 
  • Left-Click on the “Flood” shape in the Luminaire Shape Listbox. 
  • Left-Click in the Length text box and type “2”. 
  • Left-Click the drop-down arrow to the right of the Mounting combo box. Change the Mounting to “Pole” by selecting the appropriate entry from the list. 
  • Left-Click the drop-down arrow to the right of the Size factor combo box, and select “3”. 
  • Left-Click on the OK button to close the Symbol Editor which will be as in below image.


  • Do not apply a template to this luminaire. 


now, the 
Luminaire Schedule  will be as in image below.




Note: 
the Luminaire Templates are not turned on for the Type C Luminaire. 


10- Left-Click the OK button to return to the Design Environment.



In the next article, I will explain Step#8: how to insert Luminaires in the outdoor Area. Please, keep following.



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