Category Archives: Lighting Control System

Scene Recall For Meeting Rooms

Each business or organization requires a meeting room, and probably a showroom as well.

A meeting room does not only serve as a place to exchange ideas, but more importantly it is the face of the organization to customers, to talk business and as a stage to show off the best parts of the company. It is very much like the living room to a house, in any interior renovation, the portion of the budget allowed to the meeting room is the most important one.

The larger an enterprise, the larger the meeting room, and also the more meeting rooms are needed; and they may even need to be flexibly combined in different ways to satisfy the different scale of meetings that can take place.

The atmosphere of a meeting room consist of not just the interior decor and the furnishings, just as important is the appropriate combination of lighting needed for each phase of a meeting.

The most typical usage scenes include having a meeting, discussions, presentations, lectures, and having the lights all on.

At each stage of an event, the right atmosphere is created not just by the right combination of lighting, but it also includes the curtains and projector screen as well. A modest budget is sufficient to transform a mundane meeting room to a technologically sophisticated meeting room.

A large selection of user interface devices is available, including touch panel screens, touch sensitive switches, digital switches, mobile phones, or even tablet computers, all of which can be mixed and matched.

Whichever device is used, just a single touch is needed to transform the atmosphere of the room by changing the lighting, the curtains and the projector screen. Each scene that is expected to be needed is first preset into the system in advance of the event so that they can be easily recalled with the touch of a button. This approach is preferable than having to muck the various switches to set the right lighting atmosphere.

Energy Management for Administrators

In any school, office building or commercial center. Once the construction of the building is finished and turned over to the building management, problems with energy management begin to surface. What techniques can be applied to rectify this situation.

  1. Different types of spaces should make use of different techniques:
    1. User pays:
      Can be applied to classrooms, dormitories, piano rooms, and any other rental places where the user has the responsibility for using the space.
    2. Conditional use:
      Can be applied to open offices, meeting rooms, libraries and similar shared spaces where no tariff can be charged to any particular user. These spaces can make use of energy saving controllers that allow operation depending on conditions, such as the time of day, having temperature thresholds, or making use of sensors.
    3. Scheduled or sensor control
      Public areas such as hallways, elevator lobbies, halls, outdoors and parking lots could either be controlled through a schedule or by using sensors.
  2. A control center is not all knowing, and having local control would be more effective
    Some time ago, when an energy management issue arises, the knee jerk solution is to implement some form of centralized control, but such an approach is not only expensive, but it also doesn’t really solve the problem.

    1. Local automatic control
      For certain spaces, there are ways in which there would be conditions that would allow for local automatic control without having to rely on centralized control, central control would merely serve as a supporting role.
    2. What are some of the methods of conditional control?
      1. Insert card to use:
        Such as with a teacher’s card or a card borrowed from the administrator, only with this card inserted would use be allowed.
      2. Controlled time of use and temperature thresholds, this is especially suited to air conditioners.
      3. Preset time power reset
        This would prevent not turning off after use. Every day there would be specific times of the day where the power would be reset, this is accomplished by first cutting the power off, then after a short delay, the power is restored, but the equipment would remain off, the equipment could only be turned back on manually by the user.
  3. Automatic energy saving methods
    1. Delayed auto off: After the user turns the lights on, the lights would automatically turn off after a certain delay.
    2. Sensor based auto off: When the user enters a room, they need to manually turn on the lights, the sensor monitors the presence of the user, when the user leaves, they can turn the lights off, but if they forget after leaving, the sensor detects their absence and automatically turns the lights off after a certain delay.
    3. Scheduled on and off.
    4. Reduced consumption control: alternate lamps, dimmed lights, temperature restrictions.
    5. Sensor control: Such as temperature, lux sensor both indoors and outdoors, occupancy sensor.

Lighting and Air Conditioning Control for Factories

A factory has many different areas, each area has its own functionality and a different approach to energy management for each.

  1. Open offices: Due to the nature of the work in factories, many office workers are often not at their desks. There should be switches in each section, during work hours, the lights are turned on in their respective sections, after office hours, each section would have automatic controls, the last person to leave simply presses one switch to turn off all the lights.
  2. Small offices and workshops: press once to turn on and press again to turn off, the lights and air conditioning would be controlled at the same time.
  3. Meeting rooms: press one to turn on, press again to turn off, the lights and air conditioning would be controlled at the same time.
  4. Stock room and machine room: these occupy large areas, and should be divided into sections, each section should have its own sensor control with automatic delayed off, if the lights need to remain on for prolonged periods, a switch would be available nearby which can be pressed to keep the lights on indefinitely. Another press would then restore the operating mode to auto off. Or one can make use of digital switches and have them installed in multiple locations enabling multiple access.
  5. Hallways: whether the area will be lit or not during the day will depend on the location of the hallway. Or it could be equipped with sensor control with auto off. It could also have multiple switches along the length of the hallway and it could also be centrally controlled.
  6. Outdoor lighting: Depending on the location, each month would have its own schedule turn on time. They would also be centrally controlled.
  7. All the lights and air conditioning would be centrally controlled, each section would have timer control.
  8. Conference halls and briefing rooms: digital switches would be used to control patterns. Air conditioning would be controlled by digital switches.
  9. Workshop machinery: Low voltage switches would be used on site, and would be linked to the control panel via a digital wiring, which would allow the operator to control the machines from where they are instead of having to go back and forth to the machine room, and can reduce the unnecessary running of the machines when not in use.
  10. Workshop lighting: each section would be separately controlled and also centrally controlled. No need to have them all controlled as a group.
  11. Air conditioning: there would be local switches in the working areas which would work in conjunction with central control.
  12. Emergency power load control: during a power outage, the generator power would be utilized optimally among the various loads depending on their priority. Once utility power is restored, the loads would switchover back to the main power in the right sequence.
  13. Emergency help button: When there is an accident, the nearest emergency button can be pressed which would then light all the emergency lights, sound the alarm, and show the location of the emergency on the control panel.

Selecting the Right Smart Home System For Real Estate Developers

How should real estate developers select the right smart home system?
Many real estate developers have the impression that simply having a touch panel or mobile phone controlling the lights and curtains make up a smart home, they have completely neglected future considerations regarding actual use and maintenance. This essay means to address this subject from this point of view as the starting point.

  1. Classic switches as the basis for smart lighting control
    The classic switches installed within each room can be used not only for controlling single lights but can also be made to control entire groups or even activate patterns. There is no need to rely on the fixed touch panel in the living room, nor on the remote control, this is because:

    1. It is more practical for the user to be able to control the lights directly from within the room itself rather than having to go to the living room nor look for the remote control.
    2. There are a greater variety of choices when it comes to design and materials with classic switches, some motifs even come in an entire series with power outlets, phone outlets and even network outlets. The developer can select the appropriate switches depending on the purpose, environment, quality and budget, smart lighting control can be achieved regardless of the switch that is chosen.
    3. No training needed, so easy to use that even children and elders can do it. Which completely eliminates the dilemma of “Affordable but unusable, or usable but unaffordable”.
    4. With the aid of electricians, installation is easier than ever.
    5. Switches will need to be eventually replaced, with classic switches this is not a big concern.
  2. When the controller malfunctions, it should be possible to retain basic operation of each individual switch.
    Only with such a capability would the contractor, system integrator, and proprietor be reassured. Consider that the lights are used primarily at night, if for any reason a component or part of the system fails, then there would be great tension as there is no way to turn the lights on. But with the failsafe switch control mechanism of DAE’s lighting control, this is no longer a point to worry about, this is because basic manual operation is always guaranteed.
  3. The more the circuit wiring and switches is similar to the traditional approach, the easier and simpler it is expand the circuit and reduce the problems associated with eventual servicing.
    When the user will repartition the space or perform some lighting renovation, they should be able to expand or adjust the switches by themselves and should not necessitate the involvement of the original vendor. In addition, the wiring should be as similar to traditional wiring as much as possible, to make future servicing easier. At the same time, classical switches are already very familiar and easily accepted by the old and young alike.
  4. Other factors that should also be taken into consideration:
    1. It must be attractive
    2. It must be convenient and easy to use
    3. It should be affordable
    4. Maintenance and repair should be easy, especially for smaller proprietors who may need to do their own expansions or renovations.
    5. The product and the system must be reliable.
    6. It should not be that the failure of the central processor will cause problems for the contractor.

Unique Features of Classic and Digital Switches

The purpose of a switch is to enable the local user and the administrator operate the lighting more easily.
Each type of switch, including classic mechanical switches, digital switches, to touch panels; all have their own indispensable values. Each must be utilized to their fullest to fulfill their value.

  1. Classic switches
    1. Great variety: When the interior design needs to be fancy and sophisticated, plain looking switches will not do, so this rule out most digital switches, and only high-end classic switches will do.
    2. Manual operation is frequent, and it is sometimes unavoidable that the switch is roughly handled, mechanical switches are more durable. Classrooms, restrooms, hallways, meeting rooms, reception rooms and other public places all have wall switches and they must be reliable and durable to withstand the rigors of constant use.
    3. Maintenance considerations
      When it comes to materials and labor costs, mechanical switches are more practical, as replacement parts are more easily available and the maintenance technician are already trained on how to replace them.
    4. No training needed
  2. Digital Switches
    1. Simplified wiring
      All of the digital switches can be linked together through a digital bus.
    2. Multiple switches control the same lighting circuit. (Especially useful for large areas)
    3. One switch can control multiple lighting circuits. (Especially useful for simplifying operation)
    4. Equipped with status feedback indicator for remote operation. (Enables operator to know the status of the local lights even when the line of sight is blocked)
    5. Even when there are lots of circuits, each would be labeled clearly and there is no confusion.
    6. The switches can be packed tightly together to occupy little space.
    7. Each individual switch can dynamically be reconfigured for different operation; they are not constrained by the physical layout of the circuit wiring.
  3. Touch Panel
    1. The touch panel is a very user friendly type of digital switch. Among the unique features are: the button names can be user defined, type management is easier, and they are well suited for large number of lighting circuits.
    2. User adjustable schedule control
      An automated schedule is not fixed throughout the year, and needs to be adjusted for seasonal changes and for special holidays and occasions. The interface and operation should be simple enough that this can be independently made by the operator on the fly, otherwise it wouldn’t be used because it is too complicated.
    3. Remote operation over the network
      When it is necessary to control the lighting afar. Even the schedule can be changed thusly.
    4. During expansion, there is no need for additional switches nor the wiring needed for those switches, as additional buttons can simply be assigned from the same touch panel.

Energy Saving Lighting Control Through The LT3000/LT3384

The LT3000/LT3384 can be connected to classic switches for the multiple access and can also be used for delayed auto off, group control, and pattern control; and they can also be used for schedule control and sensor control.

  1. Multiple access for hallways and warehouses
    Multiple classic push button switches are installed along the length of the hallway to allow for multiple access.
    This is applicable not just for hallways but can be used for stairwells. Nowadays, the stairs are used less often as people tend to prefer the elevators, as such stairwell lights should only be turned on when people are using them.
    All the lights in the stairwell would be divided into circuits consisting of 5 floors each. Each of these five floors would have push button switches installed along their entrances which are connected in parallel. The switches are connected to the LT3000 input terminal, which allows the switches to control the lights indirectly through the LT3000. This will allow the group of lights to be controlled from any of these switches. In addition, the building manager can also monitor and control the same lighting circuit remotely through the IS45 or from a touch panel.
  2. Daylit hallways and restrooms
    During the day, it is desirable that the lights are restricted from being turned on, and only at night would they be allowed to be free to use. How can this be achieved?
    In order to achieve this, the LT3384 is used at the local site, the LT3384 has a special feature that allows its channels to be either forced on/off or authorized.
    When the lights are forcibly being turned either on or off, then the local switches are disallowed from being used, but
  3. Split type airconditioning
    There are many classrooms and offices that make use of split type air conditioning and the building administrator would desire that there would be some way to save energy from them as well. If the LT3000 is used, then one can choose to have a manual switch included or not, either way will work.

    1. Method 1: Equal Access
      There would be an LT3000 installed locally with a local manual switch, the building manager would have a touch panel.
      The air conditioning can be controlled locally as desired by the user. The building manager could turn off all the air conditioning after classes or work. If some is working overtime, they can still turn the air conditioning back on as needed. This is a kind of soft central control whereby local control is given as much leeway as possible, but still allow for energy saving to be achieved.
    2. Method 2: Central Only
      Locally the LT3604 would be used, but there would be no local switches, control would be exclusive to central control.
      This way, the air conditioning can only be turned on from the control center.
    3. Method 3: Authorization
      Just like in method 1, central control turns off all the air conditioning after classes and work hours. Then it can be decided whether or not to allow local control. If allowed, then the local user can turn the air conditioning on if they wanted to.
  4. Routines
    Pattern switches would be installed near the entrance, every section would have LT modules installed.

    1. The pattern control capability of the LT3000 could be used to match the routine; a button press could instruct all the lights in the area to turn on during office; another button press after office would then turn off a portion of the lights, while the last person to leave would press the “all off” button to turn off all the lights.
    2. Small private offices, showrooms, storerooms, meeting rooms and other small rooms, are places that are not always in use. Each of these rooms would have a set of switches connected to the LT3000 which would allow the user to control the lights as desired. When the user leaves, a single button press at the entrance would then turn off all the lights in the room.

Unique Features of the LT3100 When Used With High Power Equipment

  1. When is the LT3100 needed?
    Ventilation fans, pumps, large lamps and other equipment that has large currents usually make use of magnetic contactors to control them. In this case, the best companion would be the LT3100.
  2. What are the unique aspects of the LT3100 when it comes to control?
    The LT3100 can directly control a magnetic contactor without the need for an intermediary relay, and it can accept the feedback signals from the auxiliary output of the contactor, including its on/off status, trip/overload status and auto/local status.
    When the auto/manual switch is in the local position, the LT3100 will automatically switch off the control relay.
    When the auto/manual switch is returned back to the auto position, the prior state is restored.
    When the contactor trips, the LT3100 will also automatically turn off the control relay, and will ignore any control D-Bus commands from central control as safety protocol.
  3. How can one keep track of the status of the magnetic contactor from the remote digital switch?
    The LED on the digital switches shows the status of the auxiliary contacts of the contactor, it does not show the control relay status. The LEDs will blink to indicate that control is now local or when the contactor has tripped.
  4. When is the remote digital switch needed?
    Most contactors are installed within the control panel which resides in the equipment room, for the operator this is extremely inconvenient, when they need to operate the equipment they would need to leave their post and go to the panel. Not only is this inconvenient, but it can also be hazardous. Having remote control is the better solution. Better yet, control can now even be automated with a scheduler.
    It is also worth mentioning that having remote control means that there is also the possibility of multiple access, this is different from having a single central control system which allows access only from the central control itself.

Combining the Lighting Control and Safety Alarm System Into One

A public lighting control system should be combined with the safety system into a single unified system.

Public lighting control and safety systems pretty much uses the same type of controllers and signal cabling, and are quite compatible. Both of these systems are actually quite dependent on the bus line for for control, the SLCS has combined both of these systems into one. They share the both terminal unit, the same bus, and even the same sensors. This way, an even greater cost savings can be attained during construction, even the central host can be shared.

There are 5 different types:

  1. Responsive System
    One of the unique features of architecture of a lighting control system is that it has a fast response, a button press will immediately elicit a response from the lighting that it controls, this feature is similar to the safety system. Once the safety system detects an alarm signal, it will immediately alert the control center, this is one reason why these two systems are very compatible.
  2. Shared I/O Modules
    The LT3000 and the LT3384 modules of the D-Bus system are the most commonly used models in a public space. Both of these model have input signal ports, and input ports even outnumber the output ports. Thus, most of the time there would be extra input ports that are left unused, when used in combination with some other modules, these ports are just right for use by the safety alarm signals. Coincidently, both these systems are for use in pretty much the same living space and can thus can even share the bus wiring.
  3. Shared Sensors
    The sensors used for the safety alarms are widely spread out, each floor requires them, but they are not numerous, and they include infrared sensors, escape door reed switch, emergency button in bathrooms and fire alarm switches. The use of these sensors may overlap those of the lighting control system, such as the infrared sensor for example, which can be used for the safety alarm system or as the motion control sensor in a lighting control system. When a fire alarm does occur, not only is the safety alarm system alerted, but it could also be activate the emergency evacuation lights.
    The emergency help button, can be monitored for safety, but can also be used to activate the lights and sound the loudspeaker.
  4. Good Integration With The Central Host
    Even with the control center, there is overlap. Both the lighting and safety alarm systems make use of the floor or elevation diagram, if both of these systems are combined into one, not only will it save on costs but at the same time they can share the same diagram for both monitoring and control, everything is more efficient and effective.
  5. For the security post, a simpler touch panel could be used
    The safety alarm system, other than having to provide feedback to the control center, should also do the same for the security desk, allowing them both to keep track of the real time status of the system.
    If the multiple access capability of the smart lighting control system is applied to the safety alarm system then the end result would even be better. This is achieved simply by having the host computer be in the control room, and a touch panel be at the security post. This particular advantage, as compared to before when no touch panel is installed makes the system more practical and increases the cost effectiveness of the system even more so.

Dimming for Various Lamp Types

  1. Incandescent bulb and halogen lamp

    These types of light can basically be dimmed using triacs. The dimming response curve is quite smooth and very apparent. But since incandescent lamps are being phased out by law, most of these are being replaced instead by CFL, whilst halogen lamps will be replaced by LED lamps.

  2. Fluorescent lights

    These are very common and can be found in a plethora of places such as offices, retail stores, factory floors, classrooms and many other public places.

    Rarely are they found as dimmable lights, and they being replaced by T5/T8 energy saving fluorescents, and also being replaced by LED fluorescents.

    T5/T8 fluorescents can be dimmed using electronic dimming ballasts, the most common type are those adjustable from 0 to 10V, often these types of ballasts will not turn off completely even at 0V, and a faint glow will still be visible. If one wants to truly have the lights off, then a switch is still needed to completely cut of the power.

    Fluorescent lights that are dimmable in this manner is very rare, and even when present, their main purpose is to save energy and not for use as mood lighting.

  3. CFL – Energy Efficient Compact Fluorescent Lamps

    These are commonly found in residences, and used to replace traditional incandescent lights, they are not very rarely used in dimming applications, but still they do exist, and the method used is by using triacs. Situations like this require that the CFL type specifically be marked as being “dimmable”. Otherwise, using a triac is not guaranteed to be able to dim the lamp.

    In practice, the dimming effect is quite weak, and at low levels, the light will flicker. When dimmed to its lowest level, it will turn off completely.

    Of course, having this dimming capability versus one without will increase its costs quite significantly.

  4. LED lamps

    These are used to replace all sorts of traditional lamps including incandescents, fluorescents and halogens; and may even replace strip lights and mercury lights (street lights, park lights). The form that LED lamps can take are innumerable and they come in all shapes, sizes and color temperatures. They have a wide variety of power supplies (a/c, a/c dimmable, d/c constant current, d/c constant voltage, d/c constant current dimmable, d/c PWM dimmable); and they need to come with a wide range of wattages and d/c voltages. Some have the power supply built in (outwardly appearing as a/c), while others require an external power supply, and some emphasize that they are dimmable, or there may be any number of combinations of the above. Faced with such a multitude of possible choices, making sure that one obtains one that is dimmable and the matching type of dimming power supply becomes a job for an expert.

    Purely from the point of view of control, one type is a/c dimmable using a triac, while the other is 0 to 10 VDC. Each requires the appropriate type of lighting controller, as these are very different technologies.

    With dimming, the emphasis may be for mood creation, or it can be mainly to save on energy.

As can be surmised from the above, when dimming is desired, selecting the right type of lamp is the first step, and the second step is a matching dimming driver, the third step is to get a controller that will work with the driver. If a non dimmable lamp is used, then no dimming is possible even if both the power supply/driver and controller having dimmable features.
What venues are suited for dimming?

  1. For setting the ambience such as the chandelier of a great hall. The numerous smaller lights use energy saving lamps which are on/off controlled only.
  2. Also for setting the ambience. The lights are meant to either be fully on or off, but with the capability to switch the lights by a gradual transition instead of an abrupt change, the purpose of which is also to create a more elegant and classy atmosphere. Halogen lamps are mostly used in this situation, if LED lamps are used instead then the cost increases substantially.
  3. Energy saving fluorescent lighting: Fluorescent lighting for large spaces, sometimes of the LED type, which require different lighting levels at different times to save on energy.

Lighting Control for Large Offices

During office hours for a large office, the sensors in any given section will turn on the lights for the duration of the office period (except for the private offices, meetings rooms, reception rooms).

The other private offices would have wall switches. Each section of a large office would have its own infrared sensor to monitor that section, the sensor would be connected to the LT3384 to control the lighting needs for that section. IS45 digital switches would be installed near the entry area for use during overtime, and also for the “all off” button.

Kitchens, copy rooms, and other special purpose small rooms would have their own infrared sensors to control their lighting.

  1. Open offices
    1. During office hours, every section would have its own sensor which will turn on the lights when an occupant is detected.
    2. After office hours and people begin to leave, the sensor would turn the lights off after 10 minutes in its section when it no longer detects any movement in that section.
    3. If there is someone left in the office working overtime, that person can go to the digital switch for their section and press the section button to allow the lights in their section to remain on and disregard the sensor. When the person leaves, they can simply press the button again to turn off all the lights in the office. (Note: the LT3384 should be set to forced-on mode).
  2. Small offices, reception rooms, meeting rooms

    These rooms can make use of the K24. When someone enters, they can turn the lights on manually using the classic wall switch. When they leave, they can turn the lights off manually from the same switch, or if they forget, the lights will be automatically turned off after a certain delay.

  3. Showroom

    To create the desired atmosphere, the lights would be finely divided into multiple circuits so that the lighting combination can be varied to create the desired effect. The lights are normally set low, but when a customer comes, the appropriate pattern is then activated to highlight the item being viewed to highlight it. Once the viewing is finished, the lights are set back to normal.

  4. Kitchenette, copy room, filing room, restrooms

    May make use of the K24 sensor operating in delay mode.

  5. Conference Halls

    Before the start of the conference, the lights and air conditioning is set to a basic level from the operator booth to a level comfortable to the audience, during the conference, the lights would then be varied for the different stages of the conference, the assistant would activate the desire scene at the push of a button to match the event. Once the conference has ended, a single button press near the exits would be pressed to turn off all the lights and air conditioning.

  6. After office hours

    A button at the entry area is pressed to turn off most of the lights and also the air conditioning.

  7. Overtime
  8. Last person to leave

    The “all off” button is pressed to turn off all the lights and the air conditioning.

  9. Holiday overtime

    Press a button on the IS45 to turn on the lights in the desired section. The last person to leave presses the “all off” button to turn off all the lights.