Working with Lighting Tools in Land F/X
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Working with Lighting Tools in Land F/X

Feb 28, 2020
Video Length:  1:08:16
Presented By:  Paul Houchin

We overhauled our lighting module in 2019, adding multiple new capabilities and improving the existing functionality. As a result of these upgrades, which launched us to victory in the Landscape Lighting Category of the New Product Contest at the Irrigation Association's Irrigation Show 2019, you can now create more thorough lighting plans with smarter fixtures and wire data. Take a tour of our greatly improved lighting tools, and learn how to use them to your advantage.

Webinar Contents:

Note: The following catalog of content covered in this webinar is time stamped to allow you to follow along or skip to sections of the video that are relevant to your questions. You can also search for content on this page using the FIND command in your browser (CTRL + F in Windows, Command + F in Mac OS.)

  • Intro/TOC
  • Adding Equipment to the Lighting Manager
  • Placing Equipment
  • Wiring
  • Verifying the Design
  • Callouts and Scheduling
  • Moving the Design into 3D
  • Tips on Rendering a 3D Plan
  • Future Development

0:00 – 10:49: Intro/TOC

Note: This presentation does not go into strategies of proper lighting design. Instead, it focuses on the demonstration of tools available in Land F/X. For design tools and guidelines, see our guest webinar Landscape Lighting Codes, Guidelines, and Techniques, presented by Brian Qualls of Unique Lighting Systems.


Overview of our lighting module, including the 2019 updates (3:50):


Updated Lighting Manager (4:10)


Updated manufacturer interface (4:36)


Updated New Light Fixture dialog box (5:03)


Updated symbol library (5:35)


Updated Lighting Schedule options and display (6:00)


Added capability for adding wire and running it between fixtures (7:03)


Added ability to circuit and check the needs for power (7:20)


Added ability to calculate voltage drops and verify that the design layout falls within the electrical needs (7:43)


Added photometric data via IES file compatibility (8:16)

IES files, available from manufacturers, contain a digital profile of a light’s photometrics – a mapping of light distribution.


With manufacturer IES data, we are able to give a footprint preview of the light at 50% luminosity, ensuring that you get the best light coverage from CAD.


With manufacturer IES data and 3D support, you can take your lighting fixtures into SketchUp and, through a light-rendering add-on, see how the light can interact with the surrounding site after installation.

10:50 – 23:54: Adding Equipment to the Lighting Manager

Setting up a drawing to create a lighting plan (11:20)


Opening the Lighting Manager (11:53)


Overview of the Lighting Manager (12:30)


Adding lighting equipment to a project (example: path lights) (14:05)


Options to apply to a fixture, and product spec sheets (15:30)


Adding custom materials or finishes (17:35)


Selecting a symbol for a fixture (18:20)


Adding or editing data tied to a fixture (19:20)


Reconfiguring a fixture (20:30)


Selecting a new symbol for a fixture (20:50)


Assigning a photo to a fixture (20:55)


Editing a fixture (21:40)


Adding an uplight (22:00)


Adding a generic fixture (23:00)

23:55 – 36:59: Placing Equipment

Placing a fixture (23:55)


Viewing a light’s footprint (24:35)


Copying and pasting a fixture using our Match Object tool (27:25)


Placing multiple fixtures along a path using our Copy along Line tool (28:10)


Keyboard commands for placing and spacing light fixtures (28:33)


Placing multiple fixtures along a polyline using our Copy along Polyline tool (29:42)


Analyzing the necessary power for a lighting system using our Circuiting tool (32:21)


Adding an electric panel (33:45)

You’ll need to add a panel to your project before you can add a transformer.


Adding a transformer (35:03)


Placing a transformer (36:20)

37:00 – 41:44: Wiring

Adding a wire type (37:00)


Specifying a layer for the wire and configuring that layer’s name, color, and linetype/weight (38:07)


Adding a secondary wire type (38:55)


Placing wire (39:10)


Selecting a tap (39:30)


Wiring the transformer and fixtures (39:55)

41:45 – 47:34: Verifying the Design

Checking a lighting system for errors using our Verify tool (41:45)


Replacing a fixture (43:31)


Running the Verify tool again (46:20)

47:35 – 53:34: Callouts and Scheduling

Calling out the transformer (47:44)

We recommend calling out the transformer first. When you select the transformer, you’ll be able to assign it with a number. The resulting callout will show the number of the transformer, the power draw of the current setup, and the wattage of the transformer.


Calling out wire (48:35)

The wire callout will show which transformer and tap it’s connected to (example: transformer 01 and 14V tap), and the wattage used in that run of wire (example: 20W).


Calling out a fixture (49:13)

The fixture callout will show the transformer number and tap that fixture is connected to (example: transformer 01 and 13V tap), and the wattage needed for that specific fixture (example: 2W).


Placing a Lighting Schedule (50:15)


Why the wire symbol in the schedule is currently longer than the other symbols (51:30)

53:35 – 56:49: Moving the Design into 3D

Exporting a lighting design using our 3D Connection tool (53:49)


Assigning the correct project to the lighting design in SketchUp (55:35)


Importing the design into SketchUp (56:00)

56:50 – 1:03:52: Tips on Rendering a 3D Plan

How to download and load the Twilight rendering extension from the SketchUp Extension Warehouse (57:00)


Using Twilight to change the rendering’s brightness to change the time of day depicted (57:55)


Editing the lights within SketchUp (59:05)


Creating a render of the design and configuring the settings (1:00:25)


Examples of render settings:

  • Prelim setting (1:02:15)
  • High setting (1:03:50)
  • Another high setting example (1:03:17)

1:03:53 – end: Future Development

Additional lighting development items on our list as of this presentation (1:04:07):

  • Adding standard voltage lighting capabilities
  • Adjustable fixture heights with dynamic light footprints adjusting based on that height
  • Directional light tilt angles – light footprints also taking this into account
  • Light level heat mapping, power density
  • Better integration of 3D and rendering techniques


Lineal fee of wire showing in the schedule (1:05:40)


Cost columns in the schedule (1:06:07)


How to wire around an obstruction such as a building corner (1:06:20)

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