8-Channel Switching Requirement

Soundless

Active Member
New to home automation and considering taking my first baby step.

I am refurbishing to create a 12M x 6M Kitchen/Dining/Living space with a large patio area outside. I'm going to have a total of 8 lighting circuits, recommended halogen for working areas, standard pendants for dining space and then likely CFL for other areas. I'd appreciate your inputs into a couple of questions

1. Do people use dimmers? I have a couple of dimmers in the house and they are used purely in binary mode - on or off only, can't remember last time I adjusted the lights.

2. For our 8 channels, one of the local lighting companies suggested Futronix. Didn't read too much about Futronix within this forum, so I would appreciate any feedback on it as a solution. I also read about Anytronics in the forum which seems to be simplistic to use and simplistic in functions, but good entry price.

I suppose the simplest question of all is - is 8 channels too many to switch with legacy switch panels - is there a simple, user friendly way of doing without complex electronics.

I don't want auto scene setting with changing LED colours. Simple and easy to use, is the order of the day on this one.

I'm in County Antrim if that is of interest. Budget is not the main issue here, but I certainly don't want to spend £x,000's and would be delighted if costs were a small number of £x00's but I realise that is unlikely.

Appreciate any input here

sl
 

hornydragon

Well-known Member
If your not going to use scenes (you really do want to) then just have normal switches! Scenes are great. Alot depends on the load on each channel and the lamps (LED, CFL may not dim from standard dimmers properly)

Look at Futronix, Lutron Graphic eye, Mode Edin and Scenestyle, Rako Anytronics, Cbus, there are lots more also but the loads and Lamps are critical to which will suit you best.

FOr 8 channels in large living space 4-6 scenes should be plenty and can be doen from small discrete keypads (UK singles) and have 2 or 3 about the area. Have a search for local suppliers of the systems mentioned above get some ideas of cost (they will need to know loadings and lamps!)
 

Soundless

Active Member
Horny,

Thanks for reply. When you talk about scenes, I assume you are saying it will add value for me with traditional lighting, and not just LED colours. If I understand you correctly, you are saying 8 channels is reasonably simple and there is no need to worry about which manufacturer to use. I take it, it would only be complex if I try to extend throughout the house.

Great advice about multiple keypads - much appreciated. I have a "builder" undertaking my renovation and the tender stated dimmable lights, however, it didn't state scene setting etc and it would be unreasonable for me to try and get him to supply that as part of his tender, however, I will undertake the conversation to get him to install the circuits and maybe get someone in to "programme" the scene environment and maybe finalise the connections. I guess I should talk to a local installer to check where the demarcation lines should sit between my builder and the lighting consultant.

Once again, many thanks for the input and hopefully I have not made sweeping assumptions from your comments.
:smashin::smashin:



If your not going to use scenes (you really do want to) then just have normal switches! Scenes are great. Alot depends on the load on each channel and the lamps (LED, CFL may not dim from standard dimmers properly)

Look at Futronix, Lutron Graphic eye, Mode Edin and Scenestyle, Rako Anytronics, Cbus, there are lots more also but the loads and Lamps are critical to which will suit you best.

FOr 8 channels in large living space 4-6 scenes should be plenty and can be doen from small discrete keypads (UK singles) and have 2 or 3 about the area. Have a search for local suppliers of the systems mentioned above get some ideas of cost (they will need to know loadings and lamps!)
 

hornydragon

Well-known Member
best to get the "builder" to knock the dimmers off his quote and wire for "intelligent lighting control" this is system dependant to a design and have the hardware (control hardware) supplied seperately by a specialist that can install and programme it.
Example of scene lighting: Kitchen dining room
Scene 1: Pendant 80% downlights 80% under counter lights 0% dinning light 0% (aka general kitchen scene)
Scene 2: Pendant 90% downlights 50% under counter lights 90% dinning light 0% (aka food prep scene)
Scene 3: Pendant 0% downlights 0% under counter lights 50% dinning light 90% (aka general eating scene)
Scene 4: Pendant 0% downlights 0% under counter lights 20% dinning light 60% (aka romantic dinning scene)
Scene 5: Pendant 0% downlights 0% under counter lights 0% dinning light 0% (aka "off")

Optional Scenes are: "the mid snack scene" under counter lights 30% the "making a brew first thing in the morning scene" down lights 50% under counter 30% and the "walking to the other room scene" pendant 70%

That's 2 rooms using 4 scenes + off for preset scene control to show you how scenes work, note nothing to do with colours or LED's! the above is what i would call basic scene setting and what we would leave as standard on a new install where no specific instructions have been given, some are specified by lighting designers in terms of light levels (get a meter out and measure) or other specification. 8 channels could be done nicely depending on how many switch locations you need guess 3, would need a lot more detail to give any further detailed advice
 
Last edited:

Soundless

Active Member
best to get the "builder" to knock the dimmers off his quote and wire for "intelligent lighting control" this is system dependant to a design and have the hardware (control hardware) supplied seperately by a specialist that can install and programme it.
Example of scene lighting: Kitchen dining room
Scene 1: Pendant 80% downlights 80% under counter lights 0% dinning light 0% (aka general kitchen scene)
Scene 2: Pendant 90% downlights 50% under counter lights 90% dinning light 0% (aka food prep scene)
Scene 3: Pendant 0% downlights 0% under counter lights 50% dinning light 90% (aka general eating scene)
Scene 4: Pendant 0% downlights 0% under counter lights 20% dinning light 60% (aka romantic dinning scene)
Scene 5: Pendant 0% downlights 0% under counter lights 0% dinning light 0% (aka "off")

Optional Scenes are: "the mid snack scene" under counter lights 30% the "making a brew first thing in the morning scene" down lights 50% under counter 30% and the "walking to the other room scene" pendant 70%

That's 2 rooms using 4 scenes + off for preset scene control to show you how scenes work, note nothing to do with colours or LED's! the above is what i would call basic scene setting and what we would leave as standard on a new install where no specific instructions have been given, some are specified by lighting designers in terms of light levels (get a meter out and measure) or other specification. 8 channels could be done nicely depending on how many switch locations you need guess 3, would need a lot more detail to give any further detailed advice

HD
:thumbsup: I'm not worthy of such fantastic input. Many thanks.

I never realised how ignorant I was until your note (I'll not comment on the industry I work in :blush:). I am also very concious that I was a complete non-believer in the value of the scene setting concept, but now I am begining to get it.

I think your advice is spot on - I'll get the builder to extract the dimming from the build and will install something along the lines of the Futronix through a qualified installer.

I'll check with them on any special cabling requirements.

Thanks again and I'll update everyone on progress in case it will help some other luddites.

sl
 

hornydragon

Well-known Member
HD
:thumbsup: I'm not worthy of such fantastic input. Many thanks.

I never realised how ignorant I was until your note (I'll not comment on the industry I work in :blush:). I am also very concious that I was a complete non-believer in the value of the scene setting concept, but now I am begining to get it.
Please do tell (by PM if its that bad...) I personally don't use Futronix, the example i gave is based on what i commonly use Mode eDin and Evolution, & Rako (Rako is a bit different when running more scenes and more rooms), iLight and Lutron homeworks work very similarly, I'm not sure about futronix the residential stuff is slightly different but i think the PFX (commercial stuff works the same as homeworks and evolution in essence, I have found the best balance of functionality and cost so far to Mode EVO for large installs 20+ channels and lots of LED and colour change and Mode eDin for smaller or none colour change systems eDIN Controls - Innovative modular DIN rail mounted lighting control system from Mode lighting (dont let the LCD panel put you off i never use these in domestic jobs)

For your requirements you would need some like a 8 x 2A dimmer (or two of the 4 x 3A dimmers) a PSU network processor and keypads to suit either 2, 5 or 10 button (you can mix and match the keypads having 10 button in kitchen 5 button in lounge and 2 button for out side etc (oh and each button can have multiple functions!)
 

Soundless

Active Member
Sorry, been away for a few days. Will email my requirements to wired-life now.

Thanks for all the help HD.

SD
:smashin:
 

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