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Lighting Control Protocols
March 9, 2017
Lighting Controls offer a myriad of options, which can be confusing and intimidating. At Wandsworth Controls, we have a team of technical experts who will help guide and inform you, ensuring that the lighting control system you specify is exactly as required, no more no less.
Despite the complexity of controls, their usage brings multiple benefits. Energy and cost saving through occupancy control and daylight harvesting plus improved comfort in offices and homes with optimal lighting scenes to match the rooms use. The ability to control lights with your phone through lighting control apps and safety features that include recording and mirroring daily activity.
So what are the main dimming protocols that are available?
Leading Edge Dimmers
Leading Edge dimmers, sometimes known as TRIAC’s, control the amount of load available to a light. The dimmer turns off a section of the leading edge AC sine wave for an amount of time that is pre-set, resulting in a dimmed light output.
Trailing Edge dimmers control the amount of load available to a light. The dimmer turns off a section of the trailing edge AC sine wave for an amount of time that is pre-set, resulting in a dimmed light output.
0-10V & 1-10V Analogue
The first and most simple lighting control system. Using a low voltage 0-10V DC signal connected to each LED power supply or Fluorescent ballast. At 0 volts the system will dim to 0% which turns the light off, at 10 volts the system will be operating at 100% and the light will be fully on.
Alternatively, 1-10V is also used. 1Volt – 10Volt indicates this will not dim to off. With this system, the light or circuit of lights requires a switch to completely turn the lights off.
Analogue dimming is considered “unidirectional” i.e. there’s no feedback from the interface device or ballast.
Digital Serial Interface, is the forerunner to the DALI dimming systems and uses a digital signal to compliant DSI devices, LED interfaces or electronic Fluorescent ballasts. It was developed and is unique to Tridonic.
Digital Addressable Lighting Interface (DALI) is the lighting control system mostly used in commercial settings. The DALI protocol is a non-propriety lighting protocol and is, therefore, available from many different suppliers.
Digital protocols can be “bi-directional”, which means devices or lighting fixtures can exchange data or communication back through the system. For example, data can be sent on faulty bulbs.
Why not undertake the Wandsworth Journey for your next project, the Wandsworth Journey will help guide you to the correct solution for both your lighting control needs as well as your electrical accessories.
Contact us to discuss your project requirements and begin your journey.
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