As a landscape designer, Meggan Masters’ project portfolio has included amenity centers, parks, walkways, parking lots, and more. “Almost every submittal type requires lighting and photometrics,” she says, “and for this, I use [Design Master Photometrics].”
Meggan first became acquainted with the software in 2015.
Meggan and her coworkers at the time had grown tired of their lighting design workflow. The program they relied on hadn’t seen an update in over a decade, and with each version of AutoCAD, the integration got worse: “The older programs would bring things in skewed and inaccurate, and from there, precision in design was affected.” They often relied on local utility companies to figure out how to make the design work—which could mean 2-3 weeks of waiting. “It became over-complicated and dragged out; there was also the possibility of missing deadlines or having incomplete packages,” she says.
They needed a program that was well-maintained, accurate, and ran in AutoCAD “as opposed to a program where we had to modify files and bring them into multiple platforms.” They discovered Design Master Photometrics could deliver on that, and more.
Meggan describes the process of transitioning to Design Master Photometrics as “great,” and gives some credit for that to the support team: “[Support] seems to be very savvy in knowing exactly what to do as long as you can describe the issue.” The key factors, though, were the software’s intuitive interface and out-of-the-box usability.
Meggan estimates that it took less than two weeks to be comfortable using the software, due in no small part to how easily she could understand the workflow and calculations. “It explained lighting better than anything I had done in the past,” she says, “so I understood where averages were coming from, and I understood what the numbers meant.”
It also helped that she could get started right away using the default layers and light fixture blocks. “There’s layers, there’s fonts, there’s sizes that are very accessible to adjust,” she says. “But if you were just learning how to do it and not worried about the look of everything, it’s self-explanatory to understand what’s what.” As a result, she remarks, their productivity doubled even as they were still becoming familiar with the software.
Meggan says she “actually trained several people” at that company on lighting design, and the intuitive nature of the software made it a helpful tool. She remembers that, for each command and feature, all she had to do was “click on it, then I knew what it meant, and I could explain it to someone else.”
Meggan still values that easily understood foundation and that Design Master Photometrics “works so well as an AutoCAD add-on … It’s easily utilized with any associated AutoCAD features that we’re integrating.” She is also grateful for features that many programs don’t offer, but are becoming necessary for some municipalities. She mentions one town that recently started requiring light levels at different heights; while she hasn’t used the software to perform these calculations, she believes it could handle the task easily.
It also continues to make life easier when working with local utilities to certify plans. “Before, our light plans were more of a filler; they weren’t accurate. [The utility company] would end up redoing them.” With Design Master Photometrics, she says, “they’re able to take the file and pretty much bring it into the program they use.”
Between 2015 and the time of writing, Meggan has changed companies. She had her current employer purchase Design Master Photometrics as well, knowing that it would be a worthwhile investment. She has assured us, “I plan to utilize [Design Master] at my next position,” once the need arises.
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