Awesome FREE Lighting Analysis Software!

DIALux Internal 3D RenderingRecently, I stumbled across DIALux which is an advanced, yet easy to use lighting analysis package. I was totally amazed to find that such a well-polished program would be distributed totally free! The program is for anyone who is responsible for lighting design planning and implementation including lighting designers, architects, engineers, electricians, contractors, bloggers, smurfs, whoever! This program is just cool and fun to play with!

Don’t get me wrong, there is wayyyy more under the hood here than I touched on in my tinkering: there’s all sorts of acronym type things that only someone working in the biz would know or would be inclined to find out what they mean such as EN 1838, DIN, UTE, UGR, etc… but almost anyone can produce accurate and understandable lighting analysis reports.

One of the major features is the independence of DIALux from luminaire manufacturers. In fact, DIALux does not come with any installed luminaire fixtures, instead you go online and pick and chose from dozens of major commercial, industrial, and residential lighting manufacturers DIALux plugins that are essentially online catalogs of their luminaires that can be easily clicked on to import them into a lighting design. Many of these plugins can be accessed right in DIALux if you have an active internet connection, and once installed, are ready to go. It’s very easy.This gives you a choice of thousands of luminaires, lamps, leds, power supplies, etc.. to choose from. After about an hour of playing, I had installed plugins from Sylvania, Osram, and more. If a particular manufacturer you like doesn’t have a plugin, see if they have published IES files for their fixtures since DIALux can import these files to create new, accurate luminaires. You can also create your own from scratch if you need to. Powerful stuff!

Almost everything is taken into account in an analysis including the room size, materials on the floors, walls ,ceiling, if there are windows, what type of glass they have, what is the outside light properties, where the luminaires are placed, how many there are, and how often the room is used and cleaned. I’m not kidding on that last one, it gets that deep but it never seems overly complicated or hard to use.

You can pick your luminaires that you want to use and in some cases, even the lamps inside the luminaires and then tell DIALux how much light you want total and it can plugin the correct number of luminaires at the right spacing for the shape and size of the room. Everything is done through a cool 3D CAD window which shows the scene your working on in solid-modeled 3D goodness. You can add windows, doors, columns, sky lights, luminaires, furniture, etc.. here (this is major fun here!) and then calculate the lighting distribution and see in textured, smoothed 3D exactly how the light is distributed throughout the room. The reports break all of this down to exactly how much light is hitting areas on the floor, the walls, the work surfaces, etc.. and shows all of this in cool line drawing charts and graphs.

DIALux is not limited to indoor scenes, you can work with your buildings facade, render general outdoor scenes, plan out road lighting schemes, setup road lamp maintenance plans, and more. This program even integrates POV-Ray high quality, radiosity rendering. This is just too cool!

If your at all involved in architectural lighting or any kind of lighting design application, then you need to have this program in your arsenal. A program of this caliber, for an industry this niche, could easily cost $1000’s but again I say, it’s FREE and so are all of the luminaire plugins!

Here’s a cut & paste from their features page:

What is special about DIALux?

  • Daylight: Perfect calculation and visualization.
  • Lighting scenes: Realistic planning and documentation.
  • Up-to-date: Easy compliance with national and international standards.
  • Emergency lighting: in accordance with EN1838, simple positioning of exactly the right number of luminaires along escape routes and in anti-panic zones.
  • Calculation: latest radiosity procedures, fast and always correct.
  • Colour: Lighting design with colored filters, light sources, and materials.
  • Interactive 3-D visualization: Simply move around the room.
  • Movies: Walk through the photo realistic visualization of your light planning and send the film to your customer via email.
  • Visualization: Use of textures and furniture for realistic rendering.
  • Photo realism: with integrated raytracing module.
  • False colours: False colors provide quantitative analysis of complex geometries at a glance.
  • Results: Results can be printed out or transmitted as a pdf file. Each view and each rendering can be saved as a .jpg file.
  • Interaction: Import and export: .dwg and .dxf files can be imported and exported with results after completion of the planning process.
  • 3-D Import: Integration of complete buildings as 3-D objects.
  • DIALux Light: Easy to use, step-by-step lighting design.
  • Assistants: On request they help in the planning of indoor and street lighting.
  • Drag and drop: It is so simple to place furniture, surfaces (textures) and luminaires in the room.
  • Intelligent elements: Wall lights are always positioned correctly on the wall and the computer is always on the table.
  • Alignment of luminaires: One click on the light aiming point is enough.
  • Guides: These lead you step by step through special questions related to lighting design.

What light fixture data does DIALux use?
DIALux works with the international data formats of all manufacturers. The DIALux partners offer an electronic catalog (DIALux PlugIn). Here you will find all the product information needed to select the optimal light fixtures for your project.

How do I obtain light fixture data?
On CD directly from the manufacturers, via download from the manufacturers’ websites or as an online plug-in directly from within DIALux.

Does DIALux also speak my language?
DIALux is active globally and currently speaks 26 languages.

Do I need long to become acquainted with DIALux?
DIALux is modeled on common standard programs (Windows XP) and is thus simple and intuitive to use.

What features will DIALux have in the future?
The market will determine that! DIALux is undergoing continuous refinement. Information on current versions and patches is available

Internationally known lighting fixture manufacturers are partners of DIALux and this group is growing continually.
Current data from our partners can be obtained via the individual online plug-Ins (directly from within DIALux) or at

You can download DIALux here

Click here for a partial list of luminaire/lamp manufacturers with plugins (you can also download plugins here)

Click here to checkout a sample report I created in the short time I’ve been playing around along with a screenshot (PDF). Here’s a POV_Ray rendering I did of the room in the report (DIALux can render quite nicely itself but can also automatically send out the 3D scene to POV-ray for better rendering including radiosity lighting calculations:

DIALux Test Analysis POV-Ray 3D Rendering
Click thumbnail for full size image
Go get this program now! It’s cool 8)


Thanks for Reading - Craig B - The Architectural Lighting Blog

This entry was posted in Architectural Lighting Industry, DIALux, Innovative Lighting Design, Tools of the Trade and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

62 Responses to Awesome FREE Lighting Analysis Software!

  1. Pingback: Awesome FREE Lighting Analysis Software « LED Development Blog

  2. Pingback: Osram supplies LEDs for street lights, unveils new Dragon « Architectural Lighting Blog

  3. Pingback: Even More Free Architectural Lighting Design Tools! « Architectural Lighting Blog

  4. Pingback: After the tone DIALux « Architectural Lighting Blog

  5. rugs says:

    I wish I came across this free lighting software when my wife and I were working on our house. It would have been nice to have pre-visualized things better.

  6. biju says:

    good and nice

  7. If you like the free DIALux, have a try with the free RELUX ( ) too :-).

  8. Gabriel da Silva says:

    I work in Lighting Design and I’m a frequent user of DIALux.
    YES it is quite good, and offers many, but not all, the possibilities to preview you lighting choices.
    But I must say that I don’t agree with your comment that “almost anyone can produce accurate and understandable lighting analysis reports”.
    This software does it, but you have to know what you’re doing.
    Anyway, DIALux is a great way to pre-visualize your lighting concepts and designs.

  9. craigbic says:


    Thanks for taking the time to comment!

    Yes, that is why I said “almost” 🙂

    You are, of course, correct it helps tremendously to know exactly what the report is talking about, what all the parameters are, and the ins and outs of lighting design to get the most out of DIALux but my comment was about the ease of use of the software itself and I stand by it. Almost anybody can take DIALux, put together a reasonably good looking 3D room, take a predefined lighting fixture and put it into that room and then the software will produce an accurate and understandable (to those in the know) lighting report. Is it good lighting design? Nope. Was it easy and is the report accurate. Yup.

    Thanks again!

  10. Ezzat says:

    A project done using DIALux 4.4 & Rendered with POV-Ray

  11. drNumLock says:

    I have used DIAlux to pre calculate lux values from windows in a museum. The measured values on site where so close it was uncomfortable. I would warn against using the DIAluxligt version for anything but an estimate. After that you have to know something about light to make a sensible design and to make sense out of the readings. But to those who can its one of the best. By the way, 3d studio Max also uses parametric light of similar type as DIAlux. And a question: have anyone any experience with Archicad and DIAlux together?

  12. Chris Ward says:

    12. I use AutoCAD and Dialux and as long as your drawing can be saved in a dxf. format it can be imported into Dialux.
    As far as I’m aware though, you can only import a 2d drawing and then instruct Dialux to extrude the rooms from a plan view.
    This is largely all that is required for lighting design.

  13. Blissna says:

    Going on my LIF course soon!

  14. Justin says:

    How do you create your own custom light fixture from scratch?

  15. craigbic says:

    Going on my LIF course soon!

    Good luck! 🙂

  16. Albidan says:

    Lighting design ins’t simple, Dialux is pretty simple to use, but it can’t help a generic user who doesn’t know anything about the light and how use it.

    Everyone can create a scene an put inside as many luminaires as he desire, but probably he will not respect the normative. The are different lux values for every interior and exterior scene.

    I appreciate Dialux because with the same software you can do simple room or very complicated scene. To create an entire building you need of course to import 3d from external Cad if you want to save time, Dialux in not an advanced 3d modeler. From the last version Dialux can manage also 3ds files.
    If you learn to manage the exported *.pov scene you can create
    videos with animated object as following

  17. is a portal community for lighting professionals, lighting designers, specifiers and architects. The sites includes the leading search engine for lighting products,lamps, fixtures, controls, dimmers, luminares and ballasts

  18. DiamondLED says:

    We are a UK based LED Lighting distributor and have just discovered the DIALux software. We have our own range of LED Lights which we need to use in DIALux.

    Please can someone advise the data and format required to make our own luminaire files. I understand they are in ULD format but do not know how to create the files.

    Please see for information about our company.

  19. Susanne says:

    Do anyone know if there is a plug-in to 3ds-max. That makes it possible to import dialux files into 3ds-max?

  20. Willi says:

    there is a DIALux Forum topic about the import of 3ds files. Generally speaking you can import any *.3ds or *.sat file. But as DIALux is a CALCUALTION tool and not just a “put in something brightness” software, the amount of surfaces of an imported model can increase the calculation time dramatically. Check out this link:
    There you will find a link to a lot of 3ds models for architectural use. There is not yet a “PlugIn” for furniture available.


  21. Is a great software, and is free, i like it

  22. roberto says:

    For a list of differente typologies of Lighting Analisys Softwares, you may visit

  23. roberto says:

    Sorry, I miss the link.
    For a list of differente typologies of Lighting Analisys Softwares, you may visit

  24. omeed A LAK says:

    hope to get your king help

  25. mohammed ravuthar says:

    I would like to clarify LEED SSc8: light pollution reduction for site boundary Foot-candle calculation. For this calculation I am using DIALUX 4.6 software. Is this possible to comply LEED SSc8.Becoz this software doesn’t show the site plan and outside boundary how much Foot candle . If you have any sample document for Site boundary calculation and Lumens calculation.

    Wish you happy New Year

    • Neerav says:

      You’ll need to create horizontal and vertical calculation points at your site boundary. After calculation, the fc results will automatically come in the ouput:calculation points results overview!

  26. peyman says:

    tnx for information

  27. P_rarifai says:

    Please, send me Dialux software and its plugin

  28. P_rarifai says:

    please..send me Dialux software and its plugin files..for down loading it

    • craigbic says:

      I cannot mail out software and I am not a representative of Dialux or any other software – I am merely a blogger who works in the lighting business but thanks for reading the blog!

  29. i am lokking forward to recieving you software and catalouge of lighting desgine
    thanks a lot

  30. subhash Jagota says:

    I just visited your site. I am an Electrical engineer. i live in india Himachal Pardesh. It is a remote place
    i would request yourself if you can mail me any free software for
    internal Electrical installations, indoor lighting, outdoor lighting,land scape lighting for designing purpose and to increase my knowledge. iam sending you mail after reading the comments of various persons,i feel this wil be a very fine software.If a CD ca be sent i shall be greatly obliged

    Subhash Jagota
    Universal Scientifics
    Near Santoshi Matta Mandir
    Ghuggar Palampur
    Himachal Pardesh
    India 176061 Cell +9194180-94579

    • craigbic says:

      I cannot mail out software and I am not a representative of Dialux or any other software – merely a blogger who works in the lighting business but thanks for reading!

  31. Real-Visuals says:

    Nice stuff,
    Thanks for sharing.

  32. prabu says:

    your good i think i also join your community

  33. vibhor says:

    we manufacture luminaire. dial-ux charges heafty amounts for their plug-in and that would not suit lot of manufacturers like us.
    how can the ies file be imported into the dialux without having the plugin option?
    and how can the luminire 3d model be imported?

    • craigbic says:

      It’s been soooo long since I messed with Dialux but what I can tell you is that my company is also a small manufacturer and we make LED undercabinet lighting fixtures and LED refrigerated case lighting. I imported an IES file of our undercabinet light fixture into Dialux and played with it in various scenarios and it worked well and the reports and flux diagrams were pretty much spot on (pardon the pun).

      So I can tell you that it is possible to bring in IES files and create your own luminaires without the hand-holding from Dial but since I haven’t done it in over a year, I don’t remember the steps. It did require quite a bit of trial and error due to the lack of any Dialux documentation/tutorials at the time but it can be done.

      Perhaps those out in the community with more experience importing IES files could help? Come on guys, let’s give vibhor a hand! 🙂

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  35. John Shoile says:

    Please assist me.I need to download your light design software.


  36. Nakshtra says:

    Dialux software does not work on GE products.
    If any body knows how to use GE Luminaires in Dilux plz Tell me.

  37. Govind says:

    hi there,
    i am a beginner of loghting industry, i would like to learn lighting designing. please let me know how can i start my first step in lighting lighting designing such as street light, indoor light designings.

  38. Varun Kakkar says:

    Dear craigbic and all,

    As Vibhor asked, I too want to create my own luminaire files (may be .ies files). If you do not know step by step procedure, though you can give a hint to start with in this direction.

    Dear Vibhor,

    If you have some useful information in this field after working on the topic then please be so kind to share with all.


  39. anitha1234 says:

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  40. Shimal says:

    HI sir,
    I need to calculate the lux in a partucular room. i have choosen the LED 60X60 light panel for this.

    unfortunately i couldnt find the dialux uld file in the software.
    anyone knows where i can download it……
    pls help me on this situation


  41. Kazem says:

    hello craig, i’ve recently been introduced to the field of lighting design, and have just started using DIALux 4.8. Now, since I’m new to field, there is a lot of stuff I do not understand. I’ve studied some of the basics light engineering and I can build a room and light it alright, but the technicalities still baffle me. And since there isn’t a particularly helpful guide to the software (apart from a user manual), I was hoping you could give me some pointers on how to interpret some of the stuff – particularly the single-sheet result output. The standard results that i generate consist of the room diagram with isolines and values in footcandles. That, among other things, I was hoping to discuss with a professional. And since I’m just entering this field of lighting design, and haven’t interacted with anybody from this field before, I need all the help i can get!

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