Visual Newsletter
What if Calculation Values are Zeros?
Calculation Zone values are all zeros or lower than expected when there is no direct illumination on the Calculation Zone. It can sometimes be tricky to see why this happens, especially when the design looks “perfect.” However, there are a few common things to look for in this situation.

Luminaire Height is Placed Too Low or Too High

Sometimes a luminaire is placed too far above or below the Calculation Zone. To verify the placement height of a luminaire, select an elevation view (N,S,E, or W). You can verify the height by moving the mouse over the luminaire while noting the Z coordinate.

A Solid Object is Blocking the Luminaire

Luminaires may have been placed outside the Room\Structure where the Calculation Zone is located. Use an elevation view (N,S,E, or W) to verify that luminaires are placed inside the Room\Structure.

Luminaire is Aimed or Oriented Incorrectly

Luminaires may be aimed in the wrong direction. For example, a recessed flood may be aimed into the ground or a wallwash may be aimed or oriented away from the wall it is intended to illuminate. Turn on Photometric Webs to check aim and orientation.

View instructional videos for turning on Photometric Webs, aiming luminaires, and orienting luminaires on the Training - Instructional Videos Web page.

Training - Instructional Videos
Turn on Photometric Webs for one luminaire
  1. From the Edit menu, click Properties
  2. Select the luminaire
  3. Right-click to open Properties
  4. In Properties, click Photometric Webs
Turn on Photometric Webs for multiple luminaires
  1. From the Luminaire Object State menu, click Properties
    The Luminaire Object State menu is located in the top left of the design window
  2. In Properties, select all the luminaires that will have Photometric Webs
    You can select multiple luminaires by holding the Shift or CTRL key on your keyboard.
  3. Click Photometric Webs
Orient a luminaire
  1. From the Modify menu, click Rotate
  2. Select the luminaire
  3. Move your mouse to rotate the luminaire
    Turning on Orthogonal forces the mouse to orient luminaires at 90 degree angles
  4. Left-click to set the orientation
Re-aim a luminaire
  1. From the Luminaire menu, click Re-Aim
  2. Select the luminaire
    The aim line will be attached to your mouse crosshair
  3. Move the mouse crosshair to the appropriate aiming position
  4. Left-click to re-aim the luminaire

Calculation Points are Facing Away from the Luminaires

Calculation Zones are oriented based on the normal of the Calculation Zone. The normal is the direction from which light is being measured. In Visual, the normal is indicated by a maroon line that can usually be seen from an elevation view (N,S,E, or W). When the normal is pointed away from the luminaires in the design, the Calculation Zone may return all zeros or lighting levels may appear much lower than expected if interreflection is contributing to the calculation. To correct the calculation, reverse the normal.

View the instructional video for reversing the normal on the Training - Instructional Videos Web page.

Training - Instructional Videos
Reverse the normal
  1. From the Edit menu, click Properties
  2. Select the Calculation Zone
  3. Right-click to open Properties
  4. In Properties, click Reverse Normal
    You may notice the arrow change direction in the illustration to the right of the Reverse Normal button.

Indirect Luminaires are in a Direct-Only Calculation Mode

Indirect luminaires contribute to the calculation by reflecting light off surfaces in the space. If a design using indirect luminaires returns zero values, the design may have been created in the Direct Only calculation mode. Exterior project files default to Direct Only calculation mode and interior project files default to Direct & Interreflected calculation mode. Projects that use indirect luminaires should use the Direct & Interreflected calculation mode.
Change to Direct & Interreflected calculation mode
  1. From the Tools menu, click Options
  2. Click Calculation
  3. Select Direct & Interreflected

Remember to Update Printer Drivers
The Visual Support Center has reported increased printing issues among users with outdated printer drivers. To resolve this issue, it is recommend that users download the latest drivers for their printer. Updated printer drivers can be found on the printer manufacturer’s Web site.
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