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Support - FAQ

General:

Luminaires and Fixture Families:

Materials:

Calculations:

General:

Question: Does ElumTools work with all versions and flavors of Revit?
Answer: Since its release, ElumTools has been continuously updated to be compatible with the latest available Revit version. Please see the ElumTools Release History for detail. Note that Add-ins are not available in Revit LT so ElumTools cannot be used with that product.
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Question: Does ElumTools work with linked models?
Answer: Yes. Users are encouraged to read the help article on linked models for detail.
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Question: Why do I need to enable volume computations in Revit? Does this affect Revit performance?
Answer: Volume computations are necessary in order for ElumTools to work properly (similar to other analytical tools). This is done automatically when you attempt to calculate a Room or Space. According to the Revit help, volume computations may have an effect on Revit performance. Warning: If you turn off volume calculations, all ElumTools calculations will be reset! Click here for more information about Volume Computations.
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Luminaires and Fixture Families:

Question: How can I assign a photometric file to a generic/non-photometric family?
Answer: This can be done by editing the fixture family and changing the light source type to “Photometric Web”. Re-import the family to your project. You can then assign an IES file to the family from Luminaire Manager.
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Question: Why are two photometric files loaded in Photometric Toolbox and why is one named “..._Modified-ElumTools”?
Answer: Photometric Toolbox loads the actually photometric file and the photometric file as defined in Luminaire Manager, which may include changes to Lumens, Watts and Ballast Factor. To differentiate the two, “_Modified-ElumTools” is appended to the filename.
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Question: Where can I find the guidelines to properly create Fixture Families?
Answer: There aren’t any! Our goal is to develop Fixture Family guidelines with the help of industry experts, content creators, and Autodesk. Our recommendations for Fixture Families can be found in Luminaire Manager – About Luminaire Families.
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Materials:

Question: How does ElumTools derive the reflectance from the Revit material?
Answer: By default, ElumTools derives the reflectance of each element based on its Material’s Graphics Shading Color property. This can be easily overridden in the Material Mapping dialog, without otherwise changing the existing Revit model. For additional information, please see the help article, and watch the video.
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Question: ElumTools uses the color from the Graphics tab in the Revit Materials dialog. Why not use the data from the Appearance tab, as 3ds Max does?
Answer: The current Revit API does not allow us access to this information. Even if it did, these properties do not necessarily represent the true physical properties of the material (which are essential for accurate lighting calculations). This may change in a future Revit release.
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Calculations:

Question: There are fixtures in my Room/Space. Why does ElumTools indicate that there are no valid fixtures in the Room/Space?
Answer: Check the Upper Limits Constraints of the Room/Space. The Upper Limit may not be high enough to encompass the fixtures hosted in the ceiling. The best way to overcome this is to set the Upper Limit of the Room/Space to the next Level and set Limit Offset to 0. For example: For ‘Level 1’, set Upper Limit to ‘Level 2’.
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Question: Does ElumTools only calculate interior Rooms/Spaces? How about exterior parking lots, etc?
Answer: You can calculate anything and everything using the Calculate Other – Selected Element command.
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Question: Does ElumTools do daylight calculations?
Answer: Yes.
ElumTools can calculate illuminance on any room or space surface or workplane for a single moment in time (date, time, location). Complete description.
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Question: Can ElumTools calculate LPD or other metrics besides illuminance?
Answer: No. We may add additional calculation metrics in the future.
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Question: Can I remove (mask) calculation points from the calculation grid?
Answer: Not really. However, you can trim the grid of points around the edges by using the newly introduced (2012.5) “Boundary” from the Advanced section of the calculation points dialog.
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Question: Can I create a calculation grid that only covers a portion of the floor (or element)?
Answer: No, but see the answer to the previous question.
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Question: How come the calculation points are not visible until I calculate?
Answer: Right now, there is no good way to display uncalculated values (e.g., ? or N.A.). Hopefully, we will be able to do this in a future release of Revit.
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Question: How do I change the calculation units (e.g., lux to fc)?
Answer: Units are initially set by project (Revit command: Manage – Project Units) and can then be set by view (Revit command: View – Properties – Analysis Display Settings).
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Question: If I change numeric units in one view (e.g., lux to fc) and then go another view, the units are displayed in the original units (lux). Why?
Answer: Units in Revit can be set by View. Therefore, if you change/set units in one view, this does not change/set units in all views.
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Question: How do I change the calculation point precision (number of decimals)?
Answer: This is handled via Revit’s Analysis Display Style. In the view where the calculations are performed (typically Ceiling), check the Default Analysis Display property.
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Question: Where can I find the calculation summary (e.g., Avg, Max, Min) after running a calculation?
Answer: For Room/Space workplanes and Planar Face calc points, this information can be found in Revit’s Analysis Results section of instance properties. To create your own calculation summery, please see Scheduling Calculation Results.
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Question: How do I get calculation summary ratio like Avg/Min, Max/Min?
Answer: This can be done when creating a Revit schedule for the calculations results. Please see Scheduling Calculation Results.
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Question: How come some of my calculation points appear and disappear when I move the mouse over other points?
Answer: This is a graphics display issue (hardware) and is not isolated to ElumTools. You will see the same problem with any analysis display in Revit. Try disabling hardware acceleration and/or updating your graphics driver. (Ask your IT person to assist!)
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Question: How do I change the color light level scale?
Answer: The color scale is set via Default Analysis Display in the properties of the calculated View. Please see View Results.
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Question: The calculated values are too big and overlapping, making them unreadable. How do I change the text size of the values?
Answer: In the View properties, edit the Default Analysis Display (Graphics section). Select a smaller Text Type. Note: If smaller Text Types are not available, you may need to add them. This can be done in the Text Type Properties dialog (Revit command: Annotate - Text Types)
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Question: How do I create a Schedule for the calculation results in Revit, as I do in AGi32?
Answer: All scheduling is done with Revit scheduling tools. Please see Scheduling Calculation Results.
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Question: How do I create multiple calculation workplanes in a room or space?
Answer: The Add Points – Room/Space Workplane command allows you to only create one calculation grid per Room/Space. In order to create multiple grids, you need to use the Add Points – Planar Face command. For workplanes, attach the Planar Points to the floor and specify the desired workplane height via Grid Offset.
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Question: Can you do the calculations within Revit and have the results available within the Revit file if ElumTools is not present in the copy of Revit that is opening the file?
Answer: Yes and no! The calculated results are available in the Room/Space properties (Analysis section). This information can also be added to a Schedule. However, the actual point-by-point values cannot be shown unless you have ElumTools installed.
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Question: Are the calculated results using ElumTools the same as with AGi32?
Answer: Yes, if all things are equal. However, there are several considerations that may result in different calculated values, which you should be aware of:
  • Fixture Family geometry used in Revit may not match the symbol used in AGi32
  • Holes may be cut for hosted fixtures in Revit. AGi32 does not cut holes in surfaces for luminaire symbols
  • A 20x20 room in Revit may not actually be 20x20! Actual room size in Revit is usually determined at the wall finish (includes drywall, etc.). A 20x20 room may actually be 19.5x19.5
  • Differences in material properties
  • Light source position in Revit may not match the position used in AGi32. Note: Adjusting light source position is NOT the same as aiming in AGi32 (e.g. tilting the light source does not tilt the fixture housing in Revit)
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