The advance of technology continuously enables new luminaire designs and concepts. Evaluating such designs has
traditionally been done using actual prototypes, in a real environment. The iterations needed to build, verify, and
improve luminaire designs incur substantial costs and slow down the design process. A more attractive way is to evaluate
designs using simulations, as they can be made cheaper and quicker for a wider variety of prototypes. However, the
value of such simulations is determined by how closely they predict the outcome of actual perception experiments.
In this paper, we discuss an actual perception experiment including several lighting settings in a normal office
environment. The same office environment also has been modeled using different software tools, and photo-realistic
renderings have been created of these models. These renderings were subsequently processed using various tonemapping
operators in preparation for display. The total imaging chain can be considered a simulation setup, and we have
executed several perception experiments on different setups. Our real interest is in finding which imaging chain gives us
the best result, or in other words, which of them yields the closest match between virtual and real experiment.
To answer this question, first of all an answer has to be found to the question, "which simulation setup matches the real
world best?" As there is no unique, widely accepted measure to describe the performance of a certain setup, we consider
a number of options and discuss the reasoning behind them along with their advantages and disadvantages.