LightTools, from Optical Research Associates, has delivered a broad set of system modelling tools that improves its optimisation capabilities. LightTools now includes a user-defined optical properties feature that provides increased flexibility in creating specialty optical components. 

This allows the modelling of application-specific, proprietary elements such as specialty polarisation components, grating components (with efficiency calculations), scattering surfaces (including anamorphic scatterers), and coating definitions. In addition, LightTools 6.0 allows modelled elements to be immersed in one another in multiple levels – a capability needed for modelling the embedded phosphor and epoxy covering in an encapsulated LED, for example. 

The LightTools optimisation module, available in beta form in previous LightTools releases, can save the designer days or even weeks of effort that might be needed to explore the design space manually. LightTools 6.0 brings the first formal release of the optimiser and expands it in several important ways. In particular, it now permits optimisation of a given illumination distribution (e.g., uniform or Gaussian) while simultaneously maximising optical power. 

LightTools also adds functionality for evaluating how sensitive a system is to variations in specific parameters. This can be useful for selecting variables before beginning optimisation, and even enables some basic tolerance analysis computations.