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Loxone controlled lights....is it always one power cable per light?


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I am planning to control our lights with Loxone and the current plan is to use DMX. we have situations where we'll have multiple LED spots in a row and I'm wondering if every spot needs a power cable brought back to the cabinet? e.g.

 

along our vertical posts next to the stairs we're planning uplighter illuminating the posts as shown in the mockup below.

 

image.thumb.png.41b5ae55492ac50a4fb02c5a55e53fa1.png

 

that's 12 LED spots. so will I need 12 x power cables running back to the Loxone cabinet or is there a more efficient way of doing this?

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Just now, tonyshouse said:

Will they be all on, all off? Or say half of them on sometimes? 

sorry. meant to mention that! in this situation they will be either all on or all off or all dimmed. 

 

obviously, for lights that need to be individually controllable they will have their own power cable.

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Just now, tonyshouse said:

Loop them all in to a single wire then 

oh! cool. didn't realise you could do that. 🤦‍♂️

 

I really should speak to my electrician about this stuff. that's the problem with a million things going around your head there's just not enough time to deal with them all!

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Do consider what sort of driver you'll be using (which in turn will depend on what sort of LEDs you're using).

 

Connecting all LEDs in parallel will be fine with 12 V (or more likely 24 V) LEDs, but if you're using constant current, you'll need to consider how many LEDs your drivers can run in series.

 

From memory, constant current drivers might only output a maximum of maybe 45-50V per channel, so you'll want to make sure that's enough to drive all of your LEDs in series.

 

This might be less of an issue with very low power LEDs. I experienced it when considering whether to move to DMX controlled constant current drivers for downlights in a couple of areas, but that might have been due to the relatively high voltages required per LED fixture.

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3 minutes ago, jack said:

Do consider what sort of driver you'll be using (which in turn will depend on what sort of LEDs you're using).

 

Connecting all LEDs in parallel will be fine with 12 V (or more likely 24 V) LEDs, but if you're using constant current, you'll need to consider how many LEDs your drivers can run in series.

 

From memory, constant current drivers might only output a maximum of maybe 45-50V per channel, so you'll want to make sure that's enough to drive all of your LEDs in series.

 

This might be less of an issue with very low power LEDs. I experienced it when considering whether to move to DMX controlled constant current drivers for downlights in a couple of areas, but that might have been due to the relatively high voltages required per LED fixture.

thanks Jack. I do get a bit lost with all of the electrical stuff and I do have a good sparky but just haven't given him the plans for lighting and sockets yet. in the area shown above they will be pretty low wattage lights. in fact, our lighting designer has used very few downlighters and so those we do have tend to not be many in a row.

 

I was thinking of using the Whitewing DMX controllers that @joth, at least I think it was (apologies if my memory has failed me on that!), was using (http://whitewing.co.uk/acdim.html). seems to be a cheaper option that Dali.

 

I think I'll give all the details to my electrician and ask him to sort it out. 😉 

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Have you already got the LEDs? By choosing the right sort you can do it with one cable as others have said. Constant current driving is best and as @jack says might drive all twelve in series. But only if you find a LED spot that has a single white LED without any built-in current limitation (i.e. just a single LED (probably 3W) with two wires attached) You need to allow for around 4V each so you'd need a CC driver with a minimum output of 48V.

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7 minutes ago, Radian said:

Have you already got the LEDs? By choosing the right sort you can do it with one cable as others have said. Constant current driving is best and as @jack says might drive all twelve in series. But only if you find a LED spot that has a single white LED without any built-in current limitation (i.e. just a single LED (probably 3W) with two wires attached) You need to allow for around 4V each so you'd need a CC driver with a minimum output of 48V.

thanks. good info. I've not bought any LEDs yet. not even run a single cable yet! just trying to plan ahead as I know it's all going to hit the fan at the same time and I want to make sure I'm a little bit prepared for it all.

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1 hour ago, Thorfun said:

I think I'll give all the details to my electrician and ask him to sort it out. 😉 

 

I wouldn't leave a decision like this to an electrician with this unless they have experience with the different sorts of lights and driving arrangements that are possible. Get onto the Loxone Google Group if you aren't already there, and ask them for suggestions. They're generally pretty helpful.

 

1 hour ago, Thorfun said:

I was thinking of using the Whitewing DMX controllers that @joth, at least I think it was (apologies if my memory has failed me on that!), was using (http://whitewing.co.uk/acdim.html). seems to be a cheaper option that Dali.

 

I have one of these and am very happy with it, but it's driving existing per-LED-downlight drivers. You'll be driving very low power LEDs (I'm guessing you'll want something like 0.5 or 1W for your application), for which this sort of dimmer isn't really appropriate. 

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12 minutes ago, jack said:

 

I wouldn't leave a decision like this to an electrician with this unless they have experience with the different sorts of lights and driving arrangements that are possible. Get onto the Loxone Google Group if you aren't already there, and ask them for suggestions. They're generally pretty helpful.

 

 

I have one of these and am very happy with it, but it's driving existing per-LED-downlight drivers. You'll be driving very low power LEDs (I'm guessing you'll want something like 0.5 or 1W for your application), for which this sort of dimmer isn't really appropriate. 

yeah, thinking somewhere between 1W - 2.5W for this application. why is the Whitewing dimmer not appropriate? 

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Selecting light fittings for special effects like this is quite involved, as you want to ensure a good beam angle and possibly including honeycomb louvers to control the glare as you walk past. Once the optics are decided, you then have to figure out what driver options are available for the items in the short list.  Our lighting designer provided invaluable help for this.

 

As others said doing them all as a DC series constant current set may work well, especially if you intend to dim them (rather than just on/off) as this ensures they all dim equally in unison

In a few locations I was able to run 1.5mm2 mains cable looped from one fitting to the next, and then with a bit of cleaver waggoing repurpose the wiring to be in series rather than in parallel when we actually chose the fittings, putting the constant current dimmer back in the loxone cab. 1.5m2 T&E is overkill for this, but "fine". (Just mark it up clearly at each end!)

 

 

15 minutes ago, jack said:

I have one of these and am very happy with it, but it's driving existing per-LED-downlight drivers. You'll be driving very low power LEDs (I'm guessing you'll want something like 0.5 or 1W for your application), for which this sort of dimmer isn't really appropriate. 

Agree with that.

I see Whitewing have Constant current drivers now too, which maybe useful.

 

One option to look at is the various 1W markers from All LED:

http://www.allledgroup.com/index.php?route=product/category&path=6_24

probably worth ordering one of each and testing in situ, if you can.

 

We used these for various door/window/staircase/shower niche lighting details.  Good value, waterproof and nice dimmable light (when used with a DMX->Constant current driver, not via mains) 

 

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8 minutes ago, Thorfun said:

yeah, thinking somewhere between 1W - 2.5W for this application. why is the Whitewing dimmer not appropriate? 

Going from DMX -> 250V mains -> 350mA constant current is inefficient, expensive, and gives very poor dimming control especially at low light intensity. You're also at the mercy of the "mains dimmable" LED driver the fitting is matched too, some are OK (we have some from Phos that work well) others are barely better than on/off.

Really, ideally, I'd use mains dimmers only for GU10 and decorative fittings that only have mains driven option, and DMX constant current drivers for everything else.

 

 

 

 

Edited by joth
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5 minutes ago, Thorfun said:

yeah, thinking somewhere between 1W - 2.5W for this application. why is the Whitewing dimmer not appropriate? 

  

It's a (mains) dimmer, not a driver. You'd therefore need a further driver after the dimmer (to convert dimmed mains to something that can drive an LED), which is massively over-complicating the situation.

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Just now, joth said:

Really, ideally, I'd use mains dimmers only for GU10 and decorative fittings that only have mains driven option, and DMX constant current drivers for everything else.

 

Couldn't agree more. Constant current if at all possible. With decent dimmers, you can dim smoothly all the way down to zero.

 

I played around with an EldoLED constant current driver when I was thinking about switching from mains dimming, and the quality of the dimming was startling compared to the mains dimming I was using at the time (now since replaced with a White Wings multi-channel dimmer and a KNX multi-channel dimmer).


Interestingly, the White Wings dimmer has let me dim noticeably lower than even the decent quality KNX mains dimmer I have running the rest of the house. I assumed the drivers would completely dominate dimming performance, but it's marked how much better the White Wings dimmer is. 

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21 minutes ago, jack said:

  

It's a (mains) dimmer, not a driver. You'd therefore need a further driver after the dimmer (to convert dimmed mains to something that can drive an LED), which is massively over-complicating the situation.

right. ok. so I think I'm starting to get a handle on this. so, IF I don't want to dim those LEDs I would simply have an LED driver suitable to run the 12 x uplighters and that will plug in to the Loxone Relay extension? https://shop.loxone.com/enuk/relay-extension.html

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8 minutes ago, Thorfun said:

right. ok. so I think I'm starting to get a handle on this. so, IF I don't want to dim those LEDs I would simply have an LED driver suitable to run the 12 x uplighters and that will plug in to the Loxone Relay extension? https://shop.loxone.com/enuk/relay-extension.html

 

Yes, something like that. 

 

As suggested above, there's a lot to getting this sort of lighting right. Colour temperature, power, output angle, etc, will all play a role in how effective the lighting will be. My general feeling is that small uplights are always visually annoying unless they have screen or are recessed such that light is blocked from directly hitting your eyes as you walk by.

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1 minute ago, jack said:

 

Yes, something like that. 

 

As suggested above, there's a lot to getting this sort of lighting right. Colour temperature, power, output angle, etc, will all play a role in how effective the lighting will be. My general feeling is that small uplights are always visually annoying unless they have screen or are recessed such that light is blocked from directly hitting your eyes as you walk by.

yes, agreed. and in this instance they should be. we're very happy with what the lighting designer has designed. she did say that she can help with the sourcing/control/install etc but as that will cost us more money we're fine with figuring this out on our own (and with the help of this wonderful forum 😇)

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On 06/04/2022 at 15:14, joth said:

as you want to ensure a good beam angle and possibly including honeycomb louvers to control the glare

Anyone got any tips for when a honeycomb louvred GU10 is a good idea. I saw some when I was shopping for bulbs, that weren’t that much more than a regular GU10 but didn’t have the headspace to think about that and beam angle at the same time. I’ve dusting off my trigonometry and applying it to work out what light a 20 degree vs 24 degree vs 38 degree beam angle will do for  my space. Lighting design is pretty complex!

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1 hour ago, Adsibob said:

Thanks, that’sa good tip. Is it easy to use?

I found it pretty frustrating tbh. It doesn't include any library of fixture definitions so you have to do a lot of leg work to find them on the internet. This means in essence choosing manufacturers and models before making the design which felt backwards to me, and also it's only the architectural grade manufacturers that publish those files which are 10x more expensive so rather defeats the likely aim of doing DIY design, and even then many will only share them with registered professionals.

At the other end GU10 generally have lower quality optics so not sure if you'll find exact definition files for them.

To the previous question about honeycomb louvres the one place we needed them is on 8 very tight angle spot lights over the dining table, which block any glare from the eyes of the person sitting across from each light. We used cute little fittings from Lucent for this, recessed into the roof light reveal.

https://www.lucent-lighting.com/products/tubeled-micro-monopoint/

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3 hours ago, joth said:

I found it pretty frustrating tbh. It doesn't include any library of fixture definitions so you have to do a lot of leg work to find them on the internet. This means in essence choosing manufacturers and models before making the design which felt backwards to me, and also it's only the architectural grade manufacturers that publish those files which are 10x more expensive so rather defeats the likely aim of doing DIY design, and even then many will only share them with registered professionals.

I used Dialux to design the lighting, then we took it to a lighting designer who designed something much better! 😉 

 

I'd used way too many lights trying to allow for every eventuality in a room but it just wasn't necessary. anyway, I've put the lighting designer's plans in to Dialux and I'm using it to just give an idea of how the lighting will look rather than to choose specific products. I've gone in to it with the theory that I can find a light fitting to do what I want once it's all been designed so I just pick random fittings from within Dialux that gives the sort of light I want rather than the exact look of the fitting, e.g. 2.5W 30° led downlight, random table light @ 2800K colour temp (don't care what it looks like!) etc.

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On 06/04/2022 at 12:17, Thorfun said:

 

along our vertical posts next to the stairs we're planning uplighter illuminating the posts as shown in the mockup below

Can I ask where you're sourcing your posts, have a v similar idea for divider by dining area 

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