SPOT Overview

Overview SPOT LightFair 2016 Project

The Sensor Placement + Optimization Tool (SPOT Pro™) is a user friendly yet robust daylighting design tool.  It is intended to help Architects, Engineers, Commissioning Agents, Owners and any other interested building design or maintance individuals in evaluating the annual daylighting characteristics of a space, refine and optimize daylighting designs, quantify existing or intended electric lighting performance and help establish the optimal photosensor system placements and settings.  SPOT Pro is commonly used as a daylighting design and analysis only engine and can produce high quality renderings and produce a number of standard daylighting metric reports including LEED, CHPS, UDI, and IgCC.

SPOT Pro consists of a series of screens that the user navigates sequentially, as illustrated in the flow diagram below. The sequence of input and output screens is designed to minimize user wait time. Wait time is reduced by running required calculations behind the scenes before they are needed. Hence, much of the calculation time in the program occurs while the user is interacting with another input screen or reviewing a results screen. Re-calculation of results occurs only when necessary depending on user changes of input parameters. This sequential staging of the interface screens also provides a coherent structure to the process of designing a daylighting, electric lighting and photosensor control system. This results in two main functions of the program: Daylighting Design Tools and Photosensor Analysis Tools.

The Daylighting Design Tools consist of all geometric and site inputs, and calculates electric lighting performance and annual daylighting results, and performance metric reports. The final stage of the Design Tool provides recommended photosensor placements for the analyzed space. These recommended placements provide good starting points for analysis, but do not necessarily represent the absolute optimal photosensor placement. Further iteration with the Analysis Tool is required to fine tune the photosensor system design.

The Photosensor Analysis Tools consists of two screens and reports. The first screen allows the user to mix and match photocell placement and controller settings with the defined luminaire zones, and analyze the resulting correlations and estimated annual performance. The second screen takes the set photosensor scenarios, analyzes their performance throughout the year using annual hour-by-hour weather data, and provides a variety of annual results allowing for an in-depth review of the system from both a qualitative (light levels) and quantitative (energy savings) standpoint. From here you can export both DOE-2 (Equest) and EnergyPlus schedule files that represent the lighting controls throughout the year for that space. There are also commissioning reports available that provide a printable version of the photocell placement and photosensor controller commissioning settings as they relate to the specific product selected.

Flow Diagram

SPOT Flow Chart

Screenshots Pro v5.X

Screen shots of SPOT Pro will be updated here soon... In the meantime, screenshots can be seen in the SPOT Pro manual.

Screenshots v4.2

The following screen shots demonstrate the user interface and technical capabilities of SPOT™.

  Project Setup

The project set-up page is displayed upon opening SPOT, shown in Figure 2-1. This page is for setting up initial project information and allows the user to define Advanced Options to be used in the analysis.


Advanced Options

Advanced options allows the user to change some of the program calculation settings. The program's default values for these settings are listed and an input field is given for overriding each setting.


Geometry Input

The Geometry Input page is where the user defines the geometry and electric lighting layout of the desired space to be analyzed.


Electric Lighting Input


 Import Luminaire Photometrics


Site and Usage

The Site and Usage Input page allows the user to define the location of the building, occupancy and shade device schedules, and set the desired shade device control strategy.


Automated Shade Control 


Electric Lighting Results

The Electric Lighting Results page presents nighttime workplane illuminance with the electric lighting on at 100%. This page is viewable once the electric lighting calculations have finished.


Daylighting Results

The Daylighting Results page presents annual daytime workplane illuminances. By this point in the program, SPOT has only calculated a sampling of 10 representative sky conditions.


Daylighting Report

Printable report that gives an indication of the annual daylighting performance for the given space


Detailed Day Analysis


Photosensor Generator

The last portion of the design tool provides photosensor location recommendations and allows the user to define other photosensor scenarios for further analysis.


Interior Renderings

Shows interior renderings of the space from four different views.


Photosensor Analyser

The Photosensor Analyzer allows the user to mix and match the various photosensor scenarios defined on the previous page and analyze how they will perform under a larger set of representative days and sky conditions.




Annual Results

Provides annual performance calculations and electrical lighting savings.