IES files describe how light from a lamp is distributed in a room. This data is provided by many manufacturers so that lighting designers can realistically simulate how a project will look when a specific light source is used.
3D artists also use this data to calculate their images more realistically. However, it is cumbersome to find the correct file using try and error, as the manufacturer does not necessarily include a visual example.
For this reason this page was created. We have enriched existing IES collections with manufacturer data and have reached almost 200'000 data in the end. Using python we read the data, hashed the content as MD5 and assigned the data to the individual manufacturers. Thereby we eliminated duplicates. After this process, there was "only" 160'000 data left.
After that we created a scene in Blender, where a light source hangs 5cm in front of a wall and 1m above the floor. We then calculated this scene automatically for each IES file using python.
The goal was that the preview images should have more or less the same brightness. Therefore we first had to calculate a preview and measure the maximum brightness, adjust the light intensity and finally calculate the image. During this process, data that are too dark are filtered out (luminous intensity = infinity)
What happens next?
Our computer can process about 7200 files in one day. These will be automatically loaded onto this page and will be read into the database by cron. So our collection will be calculated in about 3 weeks...
For the future we have planned that the data can be tagged, so that you can find a suitable light source very quickly without spending hours searching in this online database. In addition, it is planned that users will be able to login and rate data.
Later this year we will release a plugin for Blender for better integration and easier use.