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.
Copyright 2002, Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). This paper will be published in the proceedings from the July 2002 SPIE Annual Conference and is made available as an electronic preprint with permission of SPIE. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic or multiple reproduction, distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.
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