Evolution strategies (ES) are appropriate for optimizing multi-variable problems in different areas of engineering. ESOP is the working environment of a feasibility study in progress, which implements an evolution strategy in optical analysis and simulation software. The implementation of a simple strategy including step width variation in a software application for optical design and analysis for illumination (TracePro, Lambda Research Corp., Littleton, MA) is described. More practical than theoretical consideration is paid to the requirements, dependencies and the user interaction of such an implementation for real world applications. The capabilities of ESOP are demonstrated by two different examples: a conical 8 times faceted reflector and a cathode tube display. Both shall distribute their energy uniformly over given target faces. The results show that substantial improvements in the uniformity of the distribution and the total energy on the target face are possible. Advantages are the stability of the algorithm and the possibility to provide an optimization tool, which is applicable to most illumination problems.