Daylight Availability

This workflow supports the calculation of a variety of daylight availability metrics. As the name suggests, these metrics assess indoor illuminance distributions due to daylight – either under select conditions or throughout the entire year. Their purpose is to evaluate the sufficiency of daylight for carrying out work tasks and other indoor activities.

Simulation Setup

There are numerous conventions, compliance guidelines, and accreditation systems centered on the measurement of daylight availability. To cover these bases, ClimateStudio offers several sub-workflows (available via dropdown 10 in the figure below). If you don’t have a specific standard in mind, the LEED Option 1 setting is a reasonable place to start.


Depending on the sub-workflow selected, you will see up to five subpanels (labeled 1-5 in the figure above). To prepare a model for simulation, work your way through the available subpanels, entering site and material data as required.

2 - Materials (including dynamic blinds)
4 - Scene Assets (optional): Tubular Daylighting Devices (6), and Trees (7)

Please note that modeling blinds is required for the LEED Option 1 credit, and for achieving realistic predictions of annual daylight levels in buildings. Dynamic blinds are not considered for sub-workflows that assess point-in-time conditions (LEED Option 2, Daylight Factor, and BREEAM 4a/c). As of ClimateStudio v2.0, blinds and other dynamic shading systems are specified in the Materials panel, as a property of Exterior Glass layers.

If you have not done any lighting simulations in ClimateStudio, it is recommended that you initially go through the Lighting Model Setup video tutorial (5 minutes). The Rhino file used in the tutorial is available for download.

Once all required inputs have been populated, a simulation is invoked by pressing the start button (8). ClimateStudio uses a progressive path tracing version of the Radiance raytracer to simulate illuminance distributions. While a simulation is in progress, traced light paths accumulate until the user-specified number of passes has been reached. Details on the simulation settings can be found by opening the settings dialog (9).

Simulation Results

Daylight availability results vary depending on the sub-workflow (10) selected prior to simulation. Use the links below to skip ahead to the option of interest: