Getting lighting to work in Revit can seem like one of those things that are ‘possible’, but ‘too hard for now…’聽

We are all busy, so it can be challenging to really dig down into some of these deeper Revit topics and develop a workflow that is both predictable and efficient. However, Revit Wants you to make the most of the information that you have embedded in your model. If you can see any usefulness in performing lighting calcs directly in Revit, you should check out the online training courses that Dan Stine is running with ElumTools (Lighting Analysts).

Daniel Stine is an incredibly knowledgeable and highly experienced Revit professional. It is incredible how many books he has authored and co-authored 馃檪 Suffice to say that he definitely knows what he is talking about! See the outlines as linked below, and you can Register for the courses here.

Basic ElumTools for Interiors
March 9, 2017, noon-2pm CST

Basic ElumTools for Exteriors
March 16, 2017, noon-2pm CST

Main page:
ElumTools Software – Lighting Calculations in Revit by Lighting Analysts, Inc.


Sometimes it can be difficult to get Autodesk Rendering lights in Navisworks to work properly. When doing services coordination, you don’t really want to have to deal with placing new lights just so you can see things in the federated model. In this situation, you could try using these ‘Baseline’ settings:

  1. Options – Interface – Display – Autodesk – Shader Style, set to Basic
  2. Viewpoint set to Shaded
  3. Viewpoint lighting set to Headlight

These Headlight sliders seem to work pretty well:

Personally, I prefer using Gooch and Rendered with some nice lights if I can, but this can occasionally cause problems (depending on your Graphics Card and other material settings). That is when I fall back to the baseline settings above.

The problem – Appending a given NWC creates hundreds of lights in your NWF, as they were exported with light sources from Revit:

Update: scroll to the bottom of the Autodesk Rendering, Lights pane and select the last entry. Press and hold the Delete key on the keyboard – it will rapidly delete lights out of the Navisworks model.

One way to get rid of all these light sources is to use a macro recorder to delete them all. This is because Navisworks 2015 does not allow you to delete multiple light sources at once (sadface), and it doesn’t allow you to “Clear Palette” like Presenter did.

The immediate workaround is to use Shaded mode with Headlight only, as this ignores Light sources. Not pretty.

You could also down-save to 2013, delete the lights in Presenter, then save-up to 2015, but that seems a little too hacky, even for me.

Here’s the clicky mouse macro method:

  1.  Install MouseController (I used choco install mousecontroller)
  2. Open the problem NWF
  3. When it “Can’t resolve external references” for each .ies file, just click Ignore All
  4. Set up a macro to delete lights (see the Screencast below)
  5. My best result was using Time Stretch 3.0x and Repeat every 0.8 seconds
  6. Set it and walk away from your PC for a bit

Some other things to try:

  1. Look for a light source subcategory in your NWC export view
  2. Turn it off
  3. Re-export
  4. Append to a brand new NWF and see if the lights show up in Autodesk Rendering

Another thing to try:

  1. Navisworks Exporter settings/File Reader/Revit
  2. Untick “try and find missing materials”. Make sure that box is NOT checked.
  3. Also turn off light source as in step 1 above.
  4. Re-export
  5. Append to a brand new NWF and see if the lights show up in Autodesk Rendering

Some of the bugs that might show up:

Missing IES file references

Regenerating thumbnail image …

The only real fix (at this stage) is to open each Lighting Family and untick Light Source. Obviously, this is not really an option if you are doing lighting analysis or using the lights for rendering in Revit or 3dsMax etc:

Related forum links:

Visible Light Source – Autodesk Community

I received the following list of links and resources from a helpful Building Performance Analyst at Autodesk:
Autodesk FormIt Product Page: 3D Conceptual Design. Any time. Anywhere.
Building Performance Analysis Blog: Read all updates on BPA tools on this blog.
Revit 2014 Automatic Energy Analytical model Creation and Analysis. 路 Autodesk Project Solon Dashboard for Revit.

Get more information about Lighting Analysis for Revit from the following places.
Lighting Analysis for Revit Product Page
Lighting Analysis for Revit Students Page
USGBC Reference Page

This latest version 1.23 has the following updates and new features:
路 Analysis options now include LEED v4 EQ credit 7 option 2 in the Run Analysis dialog
路 New Analysis Display Styles are added for LEED v4 and other styles
路 Schedules are created using field id鈥檚 instead of text to fix bugs with some foreign language installs
路 Schedule names are changed to include 鈥淿鈥 in front so they are organized better in the Project Browser
路 AVF view settings (9am vs. 3pm) are preserved when clicking Generate Results
路 Analysis Display Styles are preserved except if type of analysis changed, and then a corresponding analysis display style will be selected automatically
路 Phase filter is set automatically for view plans (unless override flag is unset in config file)
路 View templates are turned off when _Lighting views are created (unless override flag is unset in config file)

Other reference material:
Revit BPA Help 鈥 Lighting Analysis help topic
Blog Intro 鈥 Includes video with older but still relevant workflows.
Video0 鈥 First instructional video on the release 1.0
Video1 鈥 Hour long video including Rendering Illuminance and Lighting Analysis workflows. 路 Article 鈥 Revit community overview article.

Creating lighting families for accurate rendering in Revit is challenging at best.  This recent post by Dave Baldacchino is a bit of an exploration of ways you can try to “fix” manufacturer content and improve the resultant rendering.  For example:

Original post (the five points at the end of the post are definitely worth keeping in mind, especially for manufacturers creating Revit lighting families):

HOK BIM Solutions: Manufacturer Content – Lighting

Have you ever had trouble with controlling your illumination levels on your Interior Renderings?  Perhaps the following guide from the site will assist you:
Google Translate

Translated version of the text of the German PDF document

Interior – rendering with Autodesk 360
The built-in Revit Mental Ray rendering engine – which is integrated among others in AutoCAD and 3ds Max – provides no explicit rendering and lighting skills excellent results in no time.
Yet often there is a requirement several perspectives – or more copies of a perspective view showing possible design options to render. This process requires when rendering locally active start the rendering process, after the elapsed before each process is complete.
With rendering in Autodesk 360 – a cloud-based service you use a total of 64 CORES SIMULTANEOUSLY. A rendering of the highest quality with the highest resolution then takes 10 to 13 minutes …… and: Your PC is in this time, with full performance at your service!
This allows, for example, different versions of a project to render a blow as you design maybe a fourth.
Read in this technical information on how to set the exposure values 鈥嬧- which is particularly important in interior renderings – and the possibilities of rendering issue in Autodesk 360 have. In addition to the statue, and the panorama, you can also visualize since January 2013 and the SUN STUDIES ILLUMINANZEN.
Autodesk Building Design Suite 2013 Technical Information Page 1 of 15 March 2013

Autodesk 360 Account
To use the cloud rendering services, you must first create it in or an Autodesk ID if you do not already have one.
With the free account you 12 rendering operations are available for free
After login, you can activate your serial number under account details.
Depending on your subscription – product will thus increase the number of your remaining available credits.
Note regarding credits are available, and the acquisition of additional credits to these information.
Autodesk Building Design Suite 2013 Technical Information Page 2 of 15 March 2013

Interior Rendering: Setting Exposure
Enabling artificial light sources
Revit has initially a setting for each view render settings. This is accessed through the Properties palette, if you have selected an object.
Set here, you want to choose what exposure scene. In the example we choose to stand INTERIOR – SUN AND ARTIFICIAL.
For example, you choose EXTERIOR – ONLY SUN would not inserted lighting – Artificial light sources can be active or “turned on”.
This setting applies to both the local rendering, as well as for rendering in the cloud.
Warning: If you go into the settings of the GRAPHIC DISPLAY, see also the possibility to set this exposure. Note that you are NOT affect the settings for rendering, but only the way in Revit CAD graphics.
Autodesk Building Design Suite 2013 Technical Information Page 3 of 15 March 2013

The setting enabled interior lighting is not purely a graphical representation and due to increased computer utilization for constructing suitable.
Disable individual light sources
In the render settings you can turn off individual light sources. To do this in the list of ARTIFICIAL LIGHT.
To create a rendering with these settings, click now in the 3D view CLOUD IN RENDERING.
With the button RENDER CATALOGUE take you directly to the area of 鈥嬧媦our renderings and can download them there.
Autodesk Building Design Suite 2013 Technical Information Page 4 of 15 March 2013

Adjusting the illumination
Light distribution
The inserted Revit lights have in addition to the geometry of the lamp itself and the light source.
To adjust the light distribution, click the fixture and select EDIT FAMILY.
Select the beam and open the
Specify the shape of the light source and the light distribution.
Note: If you choose for the photometric light distribution network, you have family in the type of light the possibility of specifying a file * ies..
Autodesk Building Design Suite 2013 Technical Information Page 5 of 15 March 2013

IES data describe the light distribution of proprietary bulb. This information can for example be on the websites of ERCO free download:
ZUMTOBEL even offers the lights as Revit models with integrated illumination data.
Shown in this example we are using a point-like spot in the picture of the light source definition.
Brightness: wattage and efficiency
Select a fixture within the project and open the type properties.
The WATT INT (type parameters of the lights) regulated together with the efficiency of the brightness of the lighting. (In reality, of course, describes the units of Watts, the power).
A 20Watt LED is brighter than a 20 Watt light bulb – which means it has a higher efficiency.
Thus, Revit – in theory (if one of the light color aside) get from a 20-watt LED lighting family the same light as a 80 watt incandescent-family:
Autodesk Building Design Suite 2013 Technical Information Page 6 of 15 March 2013

Example: EV 9, Light color 4230K,
20W * 80W * 400lm/Watt = 8000Lumen 100lm/Watt = 8000Lumen
80W * 20W * 100lm/Watt 400lm/Watt
Light color
The light color is set in the type parameters. When the color of light, the light is all the more
“Warmer” the lower the value (2800 Kelvin light bulb, fluorescent lamp cool white 4230 Kelvin) is:
Example: EV 9, 80W * 100lm/Watt
Light color 4230K Light color 2500K
(Cool white) (old bulb)
Autodesk Building Design Suite 2013 Technical Information Page 7 of 15 March 2013

Brightness: Exposure Value
If a scene despite a subjectively appropriate wattage with matching efficiency too dark, this is usually in the setting EXPOSURE VALUE – comparable to the aperture of a camera. If you’re shooting in an artificially lit room with supposedly sufficient to large aperture, the picture is too dark.
Example: Light color 4230K, 45W, 150lm / W:
EV 7 9 11
(Large aperture = less light = darker image)
Autodesk Building Design Suite 2013 Technical Information Page 8 of 15 March 2013

These settings can be both when rendering locally as well as adjust 360 Autodesk rendering even after the rendering process:
On Autodesk 360 with the right mouse button on the rendering and select ADJUST EXPOSURE:
Light loss factor
As the name suggests, this type parameter describes the lamp as the light decreases rapidly with increasing distance.
Example: Exposure: 9, Light color 4230K, 45W, 150lm / W:
Light loss factor 1 2.7
As you can already see in the dialogue, causes a bigger factor less light loss:
Autodesk Building Design Suite 2013 Technical Information Page 9 of 15 March 2013

Exposure: native or Advanced
When sending a view to render service to the Autodesk 360 you have the option to choose between these two exposure settings.
What is the difference here?
By default EXTENDED EXPOSURE SETTINGS that simulate the right lighting conditions, automatically applied to all renderings. To use instead of the defaulted exposure enhanced the native settings for exposure of Revit, you render the image again – the Render from catalog or from the software and select exposure NATIVE. Revit will then render with the settings that are used when rendering locally with Mental Ray.
You look at the two examples that the right image was optimized by the advanced exposure settings – the bright areas of direct illumination was reduced to the back wall. In addition, the red back wall has less reflective. Left: native exposure.
Autodesk Building Design Suite 2013 Technical Information Page 10 of 15 March 2013

Proper modeling of lights
If you want to create lighting objects or modify itself, pay attention to the correct position of the light source.
Sits as a light source in front of the luminaire geometry, the object radiates true of light, but the light appears dark in itself – which ultimately gives no realistic impression.
However, in the light or sitting behind a geometric object – eg with the material glass, white, high illuminance (Lens) – will also be illuminated by this object. The image looks more realistic.
Autodesk Building Design Suite 2013 Technical Information Page 11 of 15 March 2013

Output Formats in Autodesk 360
Within Autodesk 360, you can not only render still images. You have the following possibilities open (February 2013):
A panorama you can render directly to standard definition of Revit out by sending in – Select dialog instead statue INTERACTIVE PANORAMA.
For better results you get when you first render a still image with high quality and resolution, and then click the Autodesk 360 surface the image with the right mouse button. Select PANORAMA AS RENDERING. The panorama is now rendered with the resolution of the still image.
To view the panorama you can do so online at the Autodesk open 360 account and navigate.
Alternatively, download the panorama as an image sequence down to your local computer. (See left).
To view a panorama offline, use
e.g. this tool. utodesk-360-panorama pictures-off-ansehen.html
Autodesk Building Design Suite 2013 Technical Information Page 12 of 15 March 2013

Solar studies
New since January 2013 is the ability to render sun studies – and these come in the outdoor area more safe for use as indoors.
Choose Autodesk 360 a rendered still image and click on the image menu:
You can study the sun in the open 360 Autodesk account and play as a movie. Click in the context menu, right-click on START.
If you want to download the sun study, Autodesk will provide 360 鈥嬧媡he image sequence in the corresponding resolution.
The sequence can then be quickly and easily in programs like Camtasia or various freeware programs to convert a video.
Autodesk Building Design Suite 2013 Technical Information Page 13 of 15 March 2013

Also this option is new since January 2013.
Again, you choose an already rendered image and click on the shortcut menu, right-click AS RENDERING illuminance.
Of wattage, efficiency, light loss factor and light color, the system calculates the brightness at each point of the model.
The exposure values 鈥嬧媓ave of course no effect as the light parameters affect the brightness of the room, but not the aperture of the camera used – this determines only the image in the camera, not the reality.
Autodesk 360 created a still image with the graphical representation of the brightness.
All this means that in Autodesk 360 is a powerful analysis tool, which allows you to quickly and easily create professional lighting simulations
– Without in-depth knowledge of the lighting customer.
Autodesk Building Design Suite 2013 Technical Information Page 14 of 15 March 2013

Other features of the Autodesk 360 – Renderers
Since January 2013 can now render in Autodesk 360 pixel images that have been inserted with the function DECAL.
Also the rendering of RPC content as it is delivered in Revit or can be ordered from is possible.
Decals and RPC trees – People use the powerful tools and to improve
Their productivity in architectural visualization scenes!
Have fun and success with the Autodesk Building Design Suite!
Your Autodesk AEC team


Borissofff strikes again – many of you may already be aware of this, but you can get an interesting exterior rendering effect in Revit if you set the time to somewhere near or during the night, and then adjust the Exposure to a suitably pleasing level.

But what if you set in the Preferences of the sun, while at the hour of the night (or so), we obtain precisely the situation where there is no source of direct light, the sky!

If you turn Reneder, we completely black picture!

But! Adjusting the exposure, especially of its magnitude, reducing it to about 3-4 units (you can see the other values), you can get the desired renderer without harsh shadows!
Google translate

I have previously posted about the ElumTools add-in but now it looks like they are going to release the add-in for public beta.

Please join us in the FREE public beta period and try ElumTools for yourself! This is our Beta Sign Up page where you can tell us you are interested in participating in our public beta for ElumTools…
Lighting Analysts, Inc.

via / – BIMBoom Revitlution – BIM Unfiltered: New Revit Tool: ElumTools is the first fully integrated add-in for Autodesk锟 Revit锟 designed to calculate point by point illuminance on any workplane