This enhanced illumination design and analysis program, called LightTools® 5.1, enables easy and accurate modeling of sophisticated backlights for flat panel displays. It can simulate the surface textures used for backlights, with built-in flexibility to vary the shape, size, and spacing of the texture elements.

Radial Pattern of Cone-Shaped Surface Texture Elements in LightTools. Surface textures can be raised (bumps) or recessed (holes), and can be defined in a variety of shapes and patterns.
Complex texture configurations are made possible by mathematical methods, including Bezier and polynomial expressions, and also by the capability to import placement data created by external programs using industry-standard CAD formats like STEP, SAT, and IGES. These types of varied textured surfaces are commonly used in backlights for a number of flat panel applications, including televisions, computer monitors, cell phones, and automobile instrumentation.

The latest version has significant additions and improvements that include the following:

  • Better stray light analysis enabled by enhanced filter capabilities;
  • Added filters, enhanced Boolean operations, and the ability to group filters provide greater user flexibility in stipulating which rays are collected and displayed;
  • The ability to specify surface zones that allow “active” areas to be interlaced to create two-dimensional patterns, which is particularly useful for the design of RGB displays.

For more information, contact David Brown, vice president of Sales and Marketing for Optical Research Associates (ORA), 3280 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena, CA, 91107 at (626) 795-9101 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Visit ORA online at