Is the Ladybug Tools suite a viable option for daylight and energy analysis on a Mac?


I m investigating building an online simulation experience for students which has them using (under cloud license) Rhino with the LB/HB suite of tools. In such circumstances, being able to run on a Mac and Windows platform is of paramount importance. I am aware that the basic tools such as Rhino 6, Open Studio and Radiance work on the Mac. Of course, Daysim only has a Windows installer. As it happens, so does the Human UI menu system I am exploring to deliver the VPL Scripts to students. With its removal from official sources (Daysim 4.0 ) may well be going out of fashion. This has me looking more closely at Honeybee+, whose Daylight analyses are as far as I can see only dependent on Radiance. Bu t there I encounter scripts and example files with incomplete Python scripts and that are also in need of careful updating. The grid based version I have seems to fall over at the crucial data visualisation / analysis time AND takes 10 times longer than the DAYSIM based analysis.

@MichaelDonn This post can answer your question.


Thanks. I am annoyed that my search of the forum did not find this information.

However, reading this forum chain I can see no definitive answer. There is a question. We have issues being raised, but no real, final answer. Is it, with Rhino for Mac no longer a WIP, but a product, solved? If it is a path issue, what might need to happen?


Hi @MichaelDonn, Apologies for the late response.

This is correct. Honeybee[+] does not use Daysim.

Unfortunately, that has been the case as all the libraries are under heavy development at this point. The errors that you see is not really an error of honeybee but the fact that we have removed the geometry from ladybug and created a new module for ladybug-geometry. You need to replace the components with the newer version.

I’ve been also entertaining the idea of developing some sort of testing framework for our grasshopper scripts so we can catch these inconsistencies sooner than later.

That being said we are getting closer to a stable release. In the new release the plugins are more modular and we are creating an installer that installs everything including the dependencies.

This should not happen. Honeybee[+] should take about the same time as Daysim if not shorter. I should add that Honeybee[+] should be compared to Daysim DDS as it does an extra calculation for correcting direct sunlight. At the same time it uses rcontrib instead of rtrace which is more efficient for case of annual studies. If we remove the direct calculation improvement it should end up being faster than Daysim.

Does it take as long also on Windows or is it a Mac-only problem? Not to say that we can use -n on Mac which should make it even faster for similar studies.

Finally to answer your original question : " Is the Ladybug Tools suite a viable option for daylight and energy analysis on a Mac?"

The answer is yes but after our upcoming release. We have tested all the ladybug components and the honeybee components for energy simulation on Mac and we will test the daylight components before the release.

@chris, did you face any inefficiencies on Mac when testing the components?

Hi Folks.

Hope y’all are still all safe and well in whatever state of lockdown currently exists where you are.

Is there an ETA on the planned upload time for the Mac compatible release? We can run the daylight components in the Windows version of Honeybee+ (Not tried the 5 Phase option, at your suggestion). But we absolutely need the Mac version to work as well.

I am working with a colleague on developing some simple scripts for a class of around 250 (Architects, Building Scientists and Interior Architects) Starting for real on 12 July. In this class we have for over a decade run Climate Based Daylight Modelling and hourly energy simulation analysis on simple early design sketch projects.
We are hoping to implement this in Honeybee and Ladybug as a process that divorces the students from the mechanics of the simulation operation, enabling them to focus on the material properties and building component sizes (window areas, wall R-values etc).
In our original Windows school computer labs this worked fine.
In our COVID 19 environment we are reliant on the students working from home up to 1000km away possibly. That means we need a package that works on Mac as well as Windows.
We are still working on ironing out the installation issues to ensure that Honeybee Plus works OK on each Windows machine, and (as you can see from the script issues above) cannot get things working on the Mac O/s at all. Given we have only a month left to ensure the ~12 tutors are up and running, and that the software packages have been distributed to the students prior to the start of term, we need to make a call as to our software suite and assignment setups very soon.

We are more than happy to work with you on ironing out last minute bugs, documenting carefully what our issues are, and sheltering you from the 250+ student queries, should that be desirable. But, given the work put in thus far, and the potential to focus on design not software operation, we would be keen to work with a pre-release version and provide (filtered!) feedback, if that would help.