Illumination Design

BRO's Illumination System Design tutorial gives participants the knowledge and skills they need to use ASAP and ReflectorCAD to design, model, and analyze general illumination systems.

Course Overview

Learn illumination and optics principles and how those principles are connected with illumination systems, including the design of luminaires, lightpipes, lightguides, headlights, taillights, and display systems. SAE and ECE standards are used in the design process with the use of the External Lighting Test Module (ELTM). Participants will access the BRO Light Source Library for a number of the sources used in the modeling. Theory and analytical methods are presented to provide the participants with the underlying design principles. Participants balance theory with hands-on experience by applying each lesson in a series of demonstrations and practice sessions.


  • Completion of BRO's Introductory ASAP Tutorial or equivalent knowledge and experience
  • Ability to build and view elementary systems with surface and edge-based entities
  • Ability to define and trace rays from various sources, and perform power, irradiance, and intensity calculations
  • Ability to comfortably write and run command scripts and macros
  • Basic knowledge of CAD software such as Rhinoceros® will prove useful during the course but is not essential

Course Outline

  • ASAP commands and their use in illumination systems
  • Importance of radiometry and photometry
  • Illumination with imaging and non-imaging optics
  • Design procedures for elliptical, parabolic, and edge-ray reflectors
  • Maximizing uniformity and efficiency
  • Using looping structures to automate the procedure of investigation
  • Importance and use of surface roughness for illumination
  • Understanding the difference between far-field and near-field distributions
  • Overview of total-internal reflection (TIR) systems for lightpipes/lightguides
  • Modeling sources in ASAP, including incandescent sources, LEDs, and laser diodes
  • Design of an arc source in ASAP
  • Specular and diffuse luminaire design in ReflectorCAD and ASAP
  • Advanced luminaire design algorithms
  • Working with CAD in illumination design
  • Microstructure modeling with ASAP
  • Fabrication issues of microstructures
  • Designing a microstructured lightguide to be used as a display
  • Methods to obtain light output in the desired areas from lightguides
  • Design principles for reflectors and lenses in headlight design
  • Novel reflector design techniques for headlights
  • Design considerations for lightpipes, lightboxes, taillights, and headlights

* If you are unsure that you meet these requirements, please speak with the instructor prior to enrolling in the class.

This Advanced Tutorial is a four-day course limited to 16 participants.