PASADENA, Calif., Feb. 22, 2010 – LightTools 7.0 is the new release of the illumination design and analysis software from Optical Research Associates. It supports Windows 7 and delivers expanded capabilities for both model construction and system analysis. Complex light source models can now be created instantly from any geometric object, including those generated in LightTools using Boolean operations on basic shapes, or imported from other CAD software, such as SolidWorks, using the LightTools SolidWorks link module. The ability to make any object a source provides a particular advantage to designers of infrared imaging systems. The ray tracing and analysis functionality has been extended and improved, providing backward ray tracing for illuminance, intensity, and spatial and angular luminance meshes to deliver substantially faster and more efficient simulations for many models. A new “smart output” smoothing algorithm reduces statistical noise in these calculations, enabling analysis with higher accuracy and greater speed that proves to be especially effective with color calculations. A color rendering index calculation capability has been added to aid designers of LEDs and luminaires. The software features an enhanced ray report that specifically identifies where all energy losses occur in a model, which is critical for stray light and scattering analysis. Designers of solar energy systems will benefit from enhancements to the software’s solar tracking utility, including the addition of sample yearly insulation data, single and double axis tracking system support, and monthly and yearly energy calculations, as well as improvements to the user interface. The new release also adds the ability to optimize Fresnel lenses, such as those used in solar energy applications and a wide variety of illumination systems.