algorithmic modeling for Rhino

Dear Ladybug community,

After more than a year of development, we are very excited to finally have a public release for Honeybee[+]. As most of you already know by now, Honeybee[+] is one of our [+] developments, which is an attempt to make Honeybee platform-agnostic, cloud-compatible, scalable and more flexible for development. It currently consists of a core python library  and the plugin libraries for Grasshopper and Dynamo.

You can download the plugin for Grasshopper from food4Rhino and install the Dynamo plugin from the package manager. You must install the latest version of Radiance to use Honeybee[+].

This current release introduces Radiance-based workflows for daylighting simulations and supports the following simulation types:

  • Point-in-time illuminance (a.k.a grid-based)

  • Point-in-time luminance (a.k.a image-based).

  • Daylight coefficients (both grid-based and image-based)

  • Three-Phase Method (grid-based implemented, image-based to be added soon)

  • Five-Phase Method (grid-based implemented, image-based to be added)

NOTE: There has been a very recent update to the Five-Phase method which was presented at the IBPSA2017 conference last week. These changes have NOT been implemented in the current release. We suggest the users to use the daylight coefficient recipe for annual metrics, sDA and ASE until we apply the recent changes.

While many of you will recognize the first three simulation types above as ones that Honeybee has always supported. Image-based daylight coefficients, Three Phase Method and Five Phase Method are increasingly advanced ways of running annual or time-lapse simulations. Tensor Tree based BSDFs, while supported in Honeybee are not featured in any of the example files. We intend to incorporate this functionality in the near future.  The simulation-methods listed above are based-on empirically validated research conducted primarily by researchers a.... There are also some special workflows (which we call recipes!) that make it easier for beginners to use the plugins.

  • Solar access simulation aka sunlight hours (which employs point-in-time simulation).

  • Daylight factor simulation (which employs point-in-time simulations).

  • [Annual] Radiation simulation (which employs daylight coefficients).

  • Annual [daylight] simulation (which employs daylight coefficients)

Energy simulation features are yet to be implemented in Honeybee[+] so, if you’re using Honeybee mostly for energy modeling you should keep using the legacy version.

Frequently Asked Questions

I'm happy with Honeybee as it is. Why should I install this one?

Honeybee[+] addresses several limitations of the legacy version of Honeybee and introduces new features which were not available before.

Broadly speaking, Honeybee[+]:

  • Is faster than the current annual recipe implementation as we now leverage the Radiance binaries directly instead of using Daysim.

  • Is more accurate at calculating direct solar contribution.

  • Can handle BSDF materials (unlike the current Honeybee annual daylight simulation).

  • Can run sub-annual daylight simulation by generating sub-annual sky matrix.

  • Uses an improved implementation of Radiance’s daylight coefficient based methods by using Radiance utilities for annual simulation.

  • Can calculate the contribution of each light source separately both....

  • Has no limitations on the number of window groups and states of dynamic blinds.

It also provides a nearly-matching interface for both Grasshopper and Dynamo. There are a few platform specific components / nodes for each plugin but the overall workflow in each interface is the same. Honeybee[+] should also, in theory, work just fine on Grasshopper for Mac, although we admittedly have not tested this yet.  This also means that you should be able to use Radiance’s built-in parallel processing.

We strongly encourage our experienced users to start using Honeybee[+] right away. You will enjoy the new features and the flexibility that you have come to love in the current workflow is all still there. The ability to separate the contribution of each window group is also just so cool and useful. If you’re as nerdy about daylight simulation as we are, you don’t want to miss out!

How should I get started?

You can download the installer from Food4Rhino for Grasshopper and Dynamo Package Manager for Dynamo.You can get yourself started with Honeybee[+] using the example files that is part of the installation part until we capture the video tutorials. The example files are commented as much as possible so you can educate yourself in the process. If you are already using Honeybee for Grasshopper, you will know how to use Honeybee[+]. There are a few changes in the post processing components but there is no major change from the current workflow.

Let us know if you find any bugs or have any suggestions for new features.

Can I install Honeybee[+] next to the current version of Honeybee?

For Grasshopper users, the answer is yes. Honeybee[+] is a totally separate from Honeybee and won’t replace it at least for one year.

For Dynamo users, the answer is no. The new package is an improved version of what was available before and is meant to replace it. In other words, the currently available  “Honeybee for Dynamo” is built using the new Honeybee library.

How do I learn more about Honeybee[+]?

A significant portion of the development work for the daylighting methods implemented in Honeybee[+] forms the basis of Sarith’s PhD research. His dissertation, titled “Parametric Modeling Strategies for Efficient Annual Analysis of Daylight in Buildings”, is expected to be available publicly in early 2018. For the time being, we encourage you to refer the slides of this  Radiance workshop presentation from 2016.

For those interested in learning more about the Radiance-based methods implemented in Honeybee[+], a comprehensive tutorial for Radiance will be released by LBNL in the coming weeks.

Where to post issues, comments or bugs?

Very soon we will compile all the discussions in our new discussion forum. It is invite only at this point until we move all the current discussions to the new forum. Meanwhile:

  1. Post comments and questions about the Grasshopper plugin to the Grasshopper forum.

  2. Post comments and questions about the Dynamo plugin to the Dynamo forum and tag it under Honeybee.

  3. For bugs in the core library, please open an issue on “Honeybee” repository on GitHub.

  4. For plugin specific bugs, please open an issue on Honeybee-grasshopper or Honeybee-dynamo GitHub pages.

Known bugs

  1. The Room To HBZones component for Dynamo is doomed to fail for complex cases. In those cases use Dynamo’s select item(s) nodes to bring the geometries to Dynamo and create Honeybee surfaces. Also vote up this feature request which will fix this bug if you haven’t...! This will hopefully be the last release that we are still waiting for Autodesk help. If it doesn't happen the next move is to write a more solid solution to address this issue.

  1. This is the first release. However, we have tested the workflow as much as we could and have checked the results against the original Honeybee and other Radiance-based workflows bugs are expected. Double check the results of each study and let us know if you found any bugs.

    NOTE: As many of you know by now, Radiance employs a combination of deterministic and  stochastic methods for calculations. For this reason, the results you get from running the same Radiance simulation will be slightly different for each run by a small margin of error (this should be less than 10%).

What to expect next?

Except for the cloud computing support! We have reached all of the other major goals that we had for 2016-2017. For the rest of the year we will try to address the items below:

  • Documentation of the [+] developments. We need to document the current development and get more of the contributors up to speed with the new development.

  • Release a new version of Butterfly to support the latest release of OpenFOAM and docker-less installation for Windows 10.

  • Cloud computing service for Butterfly and Honeybee

Finally we will have a number of major announcement about the future of Ladybug Tools soon! Stay tuned!

Mostapha on behalf of Ladybug Tools development team

Note added by Sarith:

On the cross-platform aspect, to add to Mostapha's release notes, the core library has been tested on the following platforms:

Linux Ubuntu: Version 14.04 | 16.04 | 17.04

Linux RHEL: 6.8

Unix FreeBSD: 10.0

Linux (Cloud VM):  Microsoft Azure H16mr running Ubuntu 17.04

Linux (Cloud VM): Amazon AWS EC2 t2 running Ubuntu 14.04

The core dependencies for running Honeybee on the cloud are Python 2.7, Radiance, git and honeybee . Since Apple computers typically run Unix-like OSs, we don't foresee any portability issues with them.

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Wow! And it was not long ago that the last version was released. Impressive pace!

Thanks for alla the team for the great job.

After installing the new Honeybee[+] unfortunly i got a new plugin LadybugPlus but not HoneybeePlus, is it normal ?

And i got this: 

Copying honeybee source code from C:\Users\MyName\AppData\Roaming\Grasshopper\ladybug to C:\Users\.MyName\AppData\Roaming\McNeel\Rhinoceros\5.0\scripts\ladybug

Copying honeybee source code from C:\Users\MyName\AppData\Roaming\Grasshopper\honeybee to C:\Users\MyName\AppData\Roaming\McNeel\Rhinoceros\5.0\scripts\honeybee

Copying honeybee userobjects to C:\Users\MyName\AppData\Roaming\Grasshopper\UserObjects\.
Runtime error (Exception): `C:\Users\MyName\AppData\Roaming\Grasshopper\userObjects\Honeybee EP context Surfaces.ghuser` and `C:\Users\MyName\AppData\Roaming\Grasshopper\UserObjects\Honeybee EP context Surfaces.ghuser` are the same file
  line 82, in installHoneybeePlus, "<string>"
  line 87, in script
  line 68, in copyfile, "c:\Program Files\Rhinoceros 5 (64-bit)\Plug-ins\IronPython\Lib\"

Merci beaucoup.

Aziz, Seems the libraries are copied correctly and you can copy the userobjects manually. Can you tell me from where are you running the scripts? Hopefully not from ths userObjects folder?


Here is where im unziping all the file and runing it



Copy the  core[+] python files here C:\Users\~\AppData\Roaming\McNeel\Rhinoceros\5.0\scripts

Then copy the contents of userObjects here:


Mostapha and Spencer,

It's works.

So gratfull.

Thanks and Merci beaucoup.

Hi Mostapha,

Is there any option in H+, as the "Lookup Daylight folder" from Honeybee legacy ? - to read back the results later ?, or if the simulation will be run e.g. at a Unix cluster and then copied back and visualize them via GH ? and will be there any option to use Trans material ?



Hi Peter,

In multi-phase analysis if reuse*Mtx is set to True the component will only load the results without running the analysis.

In case you want to create your own component, use Human or other plugins to get the list of the results files and then use this part of the code. Replace self.resultFiles with filepaths. You can create the analsysGrids from point files using AnalysisGrid.fromFile class method.

If you open an issue I will make sure to add it for the next release.

Hi Mostapha,

Thank you for your clear answer, and the hint for the component, I will let you know if anything. I tried the reuse Mtx in windows and it works.

Thank you,


On the cross-platform aspect, to add to Mostapha's release notes, the core library has been tested on the following platforms:

Linux Ubuntu: Version 14.04 | 16.04 | 17.04

Linux RHEL: 6.8

Unix FreeBSD: 10.0

Linux (Cloud VM):  Microsoft Azure H16mr running Ubuntu 17.04

Linux (Cloud VM): Amazon AWS EC2 t2 running Ubuntu 14.04

The core dependencies for running Honeybee on the cloud are Python 2.7, Radiance, git and honeybee . Since Apple computers typically run Unix-like OSs, we don't foresee any portability issues with them.

Hi, thank you for developing this awesome tool. Quick question, does Honeybee Plus have the capacity to simulate light shelf or light louver using BSDF file (like in 3-phase or 5-phase calculation)? If so, do I need to create a geometry for the light shelf or louver or just assign it to a window? I'm not sure if those will be seen as honeybee surface, window surface or window group. 

First up, simulating BSDF-based light shelves properly using Radiance, which is what HB[+] uses, is a fairly non-trivial task. So, I hope you have some experience with using Radiance.

You need to assign the BSDF file to a Honeybee surface. If this is just a single simulation, and not a parametric run of multiple lightshelf types, it is better to stick to Daylight Coefficients instead of going the Five Phase route. If you do use the Three/Five Phase method, and the light shelf stretches across the window (eg from exterior to interior), split them into separate internal and external surfaces. Within Radiance parlance, such shading systems can be categorized as out-of-plane shading devices.

Finally, it would be advisable to do a before and after check of illuminance/imaging values, without and with the lightshelf respectively, to ensure that the results make sense. It might be a good idea to place a grid of downward-pointing illuminance sensors on the ceiling to ensure that the light redirection is indeed taking place.






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