Blog: Innovation SECBE Awards 2020 finalist - LightSIM

10 June 2020

sponsored by RIFT R&D

Innovation SECBE Awards 2020 finalist - LightSIM© (Hoare Lea)

The Hoare Lea (HL) LightSIM© UI is a photometrically accurate, interactive CGI tool which is used to show the client, users and other stakeholders the designed lit impression of their project, long before the building is built, to ensure that what has been designed is understood and agreed by all parties. 

It is a ‘try before you buy’ aid to the lighting design process but, unlike hand sketches or photoshopped images, the images are photorealistic (by using known luminaire photometry) underpinning the CGIs and producing accurate visualisation.                       

This is critical as lighting is an emotive area of design in the construction industry and the desire to ensure that the lit impression is ‘right’ for a space and satisfies the end-user is vital. However, having often spent a long time agreeing the range of lighting product going into a project, their distribution, light pattern and the subtle interplay of their interaction, the commissioning of the lighting controls is often done in a hurry, satisfying neither the lighting designer nor the client or end-user.

Hoare Lea developed their LightSIM© digital product to act as a commission tool, as well as a design aid, to help clients visualise how the space will appear - also creating the LightSIM© Controls app. The app now has coding intelligence behind its sliders so once a scene has been created it can be sent to a web-based lighting controls system, which can then be imported directly into the enabled light fittings installed in the space. Initially, the LightSIM©  was created to allow stakeholders to agree scenes months/years before a building was complete but now it has been ‘enabled’ to allow easy, and quick (5 mins!), reformatting of lighting scenes by the user, post-occupancy, through the LightSIM© Controls app UI.

HL developed this product because they saw the need for it from their customers’ perspective but imbedded, traditional lighting controls companies seemed reluctant to develop such tools as it takes away the need, and therefore the after-sales costs of a commissioning engineer for their lighting controls kit. However, by teaming up with new, cloud-based ‘disruptor’ tech firms, this UI has now become a reality.


  • User-centred light controls app which allows end-users to ‘try before you buy’ at the design stage and then is used as a UI in the final space to set/change scenes with ease.
  • New tech collaboration has helped create a cutting-edge product that helps to futureproof the lighting controls approach to any lit environment.
  • User-centred feedback allow the app to be tailored to a user's individual requirements and could show a range of possible metrics, from lighting level to power consumption, in an easy to understand visual format.  

About the Innovation Award: 

Innovation is widely recognised as the critical factor for increased and sustained productivity and growth. It demonstrates an organisation’s confidence, capacity and appetite for improved performance and productivity gains. Innovation is most effective as a holistic approach that identifies both demand and ideas and is most successful when supported by collaboration between customers and the supply chain.

> Find out more about the other finalists here

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