Tim, as you had stated earlier in your post, it does say “Unsupported Shape Translation” when you select the ies file. I would assume, then that it is trying to create some sort of shape that Max does not have available, or doesn’t understand. IES files are used for a lot more than making realistic lighting in 3D, so it’s understandable that there are things that are not compatible.
You’ll either have to fake it, or find a new ies file that does work. Another option, a long shot, is to contact the lighting manufacturer and see if they have something that IS compatible with Max’s lighting.
Thanks all for the comments. I will post an image of what I am working on when I get home tonight.
I think I will need to create a second batch of lights that shine up onto the ceiling. When I lit this in Scanline that is what I did. I have been playing with MRay and the Web photometrics for learning purposes.