Exchange of data from CAD programs to DIALux and back again

Exchange of data from CAD
programs to DIALux and back
Lighting design is an integral element of the building design process. The building is created in the
CAD system. The architect sets the room geometry. Walls emerge, windows and wall openings are
planned and the whole building develops virtually. At some stage it is the turn of lighting design.
It is frequently very time intensive when a building or room geometry has to be entered anew in
DIALux. This is in fact a superfluous step since this information is already available in digital form.
Since DIALux 1.0 DIAL has defined an interface to CAD programs and made this available to the
manufacturers of CAD programs. Current approaches to the topic of data exchange are being
discussed under the catchword under the slogan "BIM". The term BIM stands for
„Building Information Modelling“ and describes a software-supported approach to optimized
planning, and the implementation and operation of buildings. The aim is to gather all the data
relating to the building and its components and to combine them and integrate them in a network.
In this way the "virtual building" is captured completely in digital form and can be visualized
Drawing, e.g. DWG
Lines in a layer
manufacturer, article no., article name
price, technical properties
These data are stored in a standardized, open data model and are thus available for exchange
between different programs.
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Unfortunately, at present, not every project is planned as a BIM model and for many applications
the volume of data in a BIM model is much too large. For this reason alongside the actual BIM
format, IFC, simplified data models have established themselves which describe for example only
the building shell. Here mention can be given, for example, to the gbXML interface.
Further information: and
DIALux has integrated the STF interface and the gbXML interface as exchange formats. The STF
interface developed by DIAL defines the data transfer for the building shell. The architect defines
the building in the CAD program, exports the room geometry, the room designation, the windows
and door positions and, if available , specified luminaire positions. These are then transferred to
DIALux via an STF file. The lighting designer reads in the STF file and finds the rooms defined by the
architect ready and waiting in DIALux. The lighting designer can focus on his core task. Instead of
reconstructing all the rooms again he can develop the lighting concept, select the luminaires and
position these accordingly in the rooms. After completion of the planning and calculation process
the result is returned to the CAD program via the STF interface. Luminaires, with their positions and
technical data, images, texts and calculation results can be adopted by the CAD software and work
can continue. The STF interface is supported by many CAD and TGA programs. Check whether your
CAD might simplify your work by means of STF. If not, then please pass on your wishes to us. It is
your time.
DIAL now has two excellent lighting design programs on the market: DIALux und DIALux evo. In
DIALux, in accordance with the old school of lighting design, rooms were seen as individual
elements for photometric planning. Each room stood on its own. DIALux evo takes account of the
whole architecture of the building. As in reality, it is possible in DIALux evo to plan the whole
building completely, even a complex of several buildings with both indoor and outdoor spaces.
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DIALux evo is still quite young and not all the functionalities planned have been integrated yet.
Nevertheless, it is already a high-performance design tool. Below you will find a list of the interfaces
of both programs:
DIALux evo
DWG/ DXF Import
DWG/DXF Export
STF Import
STF Export
in preparation
gbXML Import
The design process using the STF interface might look like this, for example:
The architect creates the building in his CAD software
For lighting design the building or individual rooms are exported into STF
The lighting designer receives from the architect information about the rooms, e.g. walls,
windows, doors, and perhaps information about where the luminaires were previously
positioned (keyword: refurbishment)
After importing the STF file, the lighting designer finds all this information in DIALux. No
room needs to be reconstructed.
Issues relevant to lighting design such as calculation objects or furniture can be completed
in DIALux
The lighting designer selects the luminaires and lamps from the manufacturers' electronic
catalogues and inserts these into his plan
After calculating and completing the lighting design, the designer exports all the
information back to the STF file
The electrician/ architect receives exact details about the products used and the results of
the lighting design (illuminance, power input, energy consumption etc.)
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Some of the programs which support the STF interface are listed here (in alphabetical order, with
no guarantee that this is complete)
Name of program
A&A Co. Ltd.
Caneco Implantation
Bentley elcoCAD
CADLINE Software S.R.L
Data Design System
DDS CAD Elektro
IBS Döbeln
LVZ ElektroCAD
Kyle T. Morin
Revit-DIALux STF Exporter
linear GmbH
Progman OY
Alpha SE
Stabiplan BV
Trace Software International
Elec Calc EP
Manufacturers of CAD software who would like to integrate the STF interface into their program
are invited to contact DIAL. You can get in touch with your contact
at: [email protected]
We would be pleased to send you the latest documentation on the interface free of charge.
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