(1) The SLCS does not require a central controller
Even for the simplest of systems, National/Toshiba requires a central controller (transmission unit), this is a fixed cost burden, which becomes quite noticeable for small scale systems. At the same time, because the entire system is so dependent on this central controller, when this unit fails then the entire system becomes useless and inoperable. From the point of view of safety and reliability, it is an annoyance at least and a major risk to mission critical systems at worst. By contrast, the SLCS does not have or need a central controller and is immune to this point of failure and also costs lower. For small scale lighting control systems such as home automation, retail store or offices, the central controller greatly increases the cost, as it constitutes a large proportion of the budget.
(2) The SLCS does not require a special purpose set up tool
After installing a National/Toshiba system, an engineer needs to make a special appearance with their special purpose tool just to perform the final set up. This would involve two things. First, the engineer must pre-arrange with the contractor, because the contractor cannot perform this specialized task. Second, the engineer must have this tool and be trained to use it. Contrary to this, with the SLCS, the contractor does not need any specialized tool and any training, all the tool that will be needed to set the SLCS is a screwdriver, and a few minutes of instruction, and they can henceforth not only install but set up the system completely by themselves.
(3) Maintenance and Repair
Related to item (2). Maintaining or repairing a National/Toshiba system is not as simple as simply replacing the broken part. If this were the case then it would be trivial, but this is not so. When replacing a part, the engineer must also know what the previous set up parameters are, otherwise the system cannot be restored to its previous condition. But as the part being replaced is broken, then the previous parameter settings cannot be found out unless one has the entire system schematic and set up on hand. This complicated process of needing to involve the specialized personnel greatly increases the cost of maintenance. Compared to this, the SLCS system can be replaced and set up done manually by just copying the visible DIP switches. No special personnel and no special training is needed, the entire process can even be handled DIY if need be.
(4) The TU (terminal unit) of the SLCS already includes a relay
With National/Toshiba, the TU and Relay are separate devices. In the SLCS, the TU and Relay has been combined into a single device which is called the addressable relay. Combining them into a single unit greatly reduces the panel space needed. It also eliminates the error prone process of having to wire the TU to the Relay by hand, greatly simplifying the installation process and reducing the labor cost involved.
(5) Low cost transformer
The transformer for National/Toshiba's transformer is a high cost component because it is proprietary and is not available elsewhere. In contrast, the transformer used by the SLCS is quite generic and does not require any special specification. Thus, the capital cost for the SLCS is far less than that of National/Toshiba's.
(6) No repeaters
The SLCS does not require a repeater, while in National/Toshiba's system a repeater is required.
(7) Optional web based Timer/Scheduler
With the SLCS, one is not limited to manual control of the lighting system. In many systems, automated control of the lighting is required based on a fixed schedule. With the SLCS, one has the option of adding a DM825 to do just this. The DM825 has a convenient and friendly web interface that makes it easily accessible anywhere an Internet connection is available and allows the user to modify the schedule or temporarily turn on/off any group. At an affordable cost that makes it within reach for use in private homes and small enterprises.
National/Toshiba's lighting control system does not have a web interface or data communication features for remote setup purpose, they need a specially trained technician to change the schedule at the field installation site.
(8) Magnetic contactors feedback
Magnetic contactors are quite important for lighting and fan control. The SLCS LT3100 features contactor feedback status functionality that can be used in conjunction with its associated IS digital switch. The digital switch displays the real time status of the contactors and not just of the control relays.
National/Toshiba's lighting control system does not support feedback features.
(9) Usable with traditional wall switches
The SLCS LT3000 is specially designed to be used with traditional wall switches. Traditional wall switches continues to be well liked for use in home or office applications as they come in many types, colors and styles that can be matched with the interior design. They are preferred even for public facilities as they can reduce the cost of maintenance when the wall switch fails. By using the LT3000, these traditional wall switches can be integrated into the SLCS so that the lights can be operated not only from local site, but from the central office as well.
(10) Economical color touch screen
The SLCS offers an easy and low cost touch screen solution. Touch screens are quite popular right now, and they offer the convenience of being able to control large numbers of lighting from virtual switches organized into pages.
National/Toshiba's lighting control system also supports this feature but is quite costly.
(11) Modbus gateway
The SLCS offers the CC1000 or the CC500 as a Modbus gateway to communicate with a BAS system or a central host at a low cost with fast response time. National/Toshiba's lighting control system also offers this option but is quite costly and the response time is slow.