This Ecotect tutorial explains how to create a light object in your model, and display its output profile in the 3D editor.
You will need about 20 minutes to complete this tutorial.
Training and Accreditation
Successfully completing this tutorial fulfills one of the practical skills required for completing Level 1 of the Artificial Lighting training module.
To complete this tutorial, start a new Ecotect file.
Create a Light object
- In the new Ecotect file, click on the Light button in the modelling toolbar.
- To place a light in the model, just click anywhere in the 3D editor window. As there are currently no other points of reference in our model, the first point for the light will be inserted at the 0 height, or ground level.
Click on the 3D editor grid to insert the first point of the light.
- Ecotect now prompts you to specify the direction of the light. If the light is to point vertically downwards, just press the ESC key. Otherwise, you can click again to point the light object in the required direction (again, since there are no other objects in this model to reference, it's easiest just to point the light down at this stage, and then use the rotate transformation tool to adjust its direction later).
Click to point the light in the required direction, or just press ESC to point it vertically downwards.
- Select the light you have created. Use the Z nudge to move the light object to the required height, say 2400 above the zero plane.
Nudge the light to the correct vertical height.
Display the Light Output Profile
- You can adjust how much detail is shown for light objects inserted into your model. Go to the Display»Show Element Detail menu and choose from one of the following four options:
- None - displays just the light's insertion point and direction vector.
- Partial - displays a simple light cone in addition to the insertion point and direction vector.
- Full - displays the complete light output profile.
- Show Nodes - this option displays each node in model as a small red cross. This can be particularly useful when tracing complex objects and imported curves (but this option doesn't apply to light objects).
Change the Light Output Profile
- To change the type of light and luminaire used for a light object, first set Show Element Detail to Full. Then select the light, and go to the Selection Information control panel. Under the Pri Material option, click the arrow button and then click the Select Material... option.
- In the dialogue box that appears, choose the Halogen Uplight material and then press the Ok button. Note how the shape of the light object changes according to the type of luminaire selected (you may need to refresh the view by clicking in the 3D editor window and then zooming in slightly).
Adjusting Lighting Levels
- The output profile shown for the light object reflects the lighting levels for the zone it has been placed on, which can be adjusted. Go to the Zone Management control panel, and right-click on the zone you have placed the light on (in this case, the Outside zone). Select the Zone Properties... option.
- In the Zone Properties dialog box that appears, go to the Design Properties section and click on the drop down menu for Lighting Level. Choose the level most appropriate for the kind of space your zone represents - for instance, Corridor/Stairs (100 lux). Click Ok to return to the model. Notice how the size of the output profile has changed - this indicates the extent of lighting levels equal or greater than 100 lux.