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LightSim Simulation Software

It didn't take too long to get a feel for LightSim. The program simulates how much light enters a room based on skylights, windows, and orientation. Give it a minimum brightness level, and it will tell you per month how many hours of the day the sun will light up the room past the minimum requirements. You can put in several sets of skylights, window simulation for one or two sets of windows along with azimuth angle, and get results including the aforementioned brightness levels, in addition to average brightness profiles for the whole year and for winter vs. summer months.

Unfortunately, you can only run the simulation one room at a time, and only one type of simulation at a time, meaning that you can't have a room with both skylights and windows simulated. Also, the skylight orientation can't be moved, which could be a problem for a roof like ours. Finally, all the algorithms are based off of brightness measurements made over the course of a year in Dayton, OH in 1995. I can't imagine that this data is readily available for Washington, though at the least the overall brightness year-to-year is probably about the same. So any simulation results obtained would have to be taken with a grain of salt.

I would say that if we are to use LightSim, not to rely too heavily on its results. It can give us an idea, but I don't think we can quite correctly model the house.

- KP

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