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Light Simulation's Special Role in Smart Systems Design

Consumers and society are hungry for smart products with lighting systems that reduce energy consumption, maintenance and costs.

Ansys SPEOS 2020 R1: Powering Dynamic New Lighting Advancements.

For example, let’s consider streetlamps. Traditionally, they turn on and off based on timers and/or photocells that detect the illumination of the surroundings.

This means that the lamps will be on for long periods of time without serving any benefit. The longer these lamps are on, the more energy they waste and the sooner they will need to be replaced.

However, the streetlamps of a smart city might only turn on after they, or the smart systems around them, detect people, animals and vehicles in need of illumination. A system like this could help a city save on many costs.

But lights aren’t limited to our cities. They illuminate our interiors, workplaces, vehicles, electronics and equipment. When designing these systems, engineers can utilize light simulators, like Ansys SPEOS, to test and validate their prototypes digitally.

To learn of lighting examples and luminaire development, watch the webinar: Ansys SPEOS 2020 R1: Powering Dynamic New Lighting Advancements.

How Light Simulation Can Help Design Smart Products

A simulation of streetlamps in a park

Light simulation can help engineers ensure that lighting systems interact properly with smart products and their surrounding environments. They measure and quantify light by modeling lighting material, design interactions and multiphysics behavior.

Think of it as a virtual photometric laboratory. The simulation can mimic the luminaires in various thermal, optical, mechanical and electronic settings.

This enables engineers to virtually test many luminaire iterations before creating a physical prototype. For instance, they can develop the components and optimize their number, material and position within the luminaire. These components include:

  • Light sources
  • Primary and secondary optics
  • Diffusers

Through these iterations, engineers can obtain the most efficient lighting distribution for their application. As a result, they can design systems that are optimized for performance, assembled rapidly and pleasing to look at.

By testing their design digitally, engineers can create a customized product that gets to market fast and on budget. Additionally, they avoid design mistakes by testing the light in a virtual environment before moving to physical prototyping.

For instance, let’s go back to the streetlamp example. Engineers can design the lamp’s internal mechanisms, lighting systems, sensors, smart systems and communication devices and input them into a simulation. They can then integrate the simulation into a virtual street corner and assess how the design performs under various environmental conditions and situations. As an example, they can test if the lights illuminate animals on the road and turn on for oncoming people and vehicles.

To learn of other ways to use light simulation to design smart systems, watch the webinar: Ansys SPEOS 2020 R1: Powering Dynamic New Lighting Advancements.

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