Lit appearance modeling of illumination systems

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In illumination systems the look and feel are often more important than objective criterion, such as uniformity and efficiency. The reason for this is two fold: the lit appearance often sells an item and substantial variation in the illumination distribution (up to 50%) over a broad region is not noticeable to an observer. Therefore, subjective criterion, such as the lit appearance, typically plays a crucial role in the development of an illumination system. Additionally, by using computer models to ascertain the lit appearance before manufacture of the system, it allows the designer to modify the system while not demanding investment to produce prototypes. I discuss methods of determining the lit appearance for illumination systems. This modeling includes the inclusion of material and surface properties, such as surface finish, spectral transmission, and internal scattering; the response of the human eye; and the amount of rays that must be traced. By archiving the ray data, animations as a function of position and angle can be developed. Examples are developed to highlight the utility of this technique. These examples include taillights for the automotive industry and a backlit LCD screen for a laptop. Animations of these models demonstrate their luminance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-73
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002
Externally publishedYes
EventNovel Optical Systems Design and Optimization V - Seatle, MA, United States
Duration: Jul 9 2002Jul 9 2002


  • Illumination
  • Lit appearance
  • Optical design
  • Rendering
  • Unlit appearance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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