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INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-04-2008, 06:06 PM
How many of you guys have built dynamic and layered lighting systems? I have always wanted to get into this but have not got my head around how to present it to the client in a way that they would buy.

I envision taking a setting (Deck overlooking a typical suburban backyard for the sake of this example) and applying what is essentially 3 or 4 complete systems into the yard, each powered by it own transformer(s). Then through a system of switches, or via an automated control like a DMX or similar, you could set different scenes that the client could select from like a menu. This way the lighting system would be dynamic, and constanly variable based on the whims/desires of the client.

Have any of you done this type of work? If so, did you promote and sell it, or did the client request it? Obviously we are talking about some potentially high cost systems here. Is there a market for this?

Regards.

extlights
02-04-2008, 07:31 PM
We did something somewhat similar a few years ago. It wasn't controlled by automation, but everything was interior switch controlled. The client had 2 big ponds (one with a large spring style fountain), 2 large waterfalls with a very complex rockscape scene and a large patio area that overlooked all of this. We ended up making it 7 different phases with all of them being controlled on 7 different switches. The client basically wanted to turn on and off whatever he wanted depending on his mood. He could have just the waterfalls on with a few paths and trees, or he could have the fountain on with some trees and his statues etc.

It ended up being a very expensive and labor intensive project. The biggest pain in the but was figuring out the sequences he wanted. We ended up going through the plans 4-5 different times before we settled on what would work the best. I will say though although it was a lot of work and really a pain, it turned out great.

Mike M
02-04-2008, 07:54 PM
Sub Circuits (as I call them)

With LED's you can still use one transformer, and dial-in brightness settings and provide controls of "branches" from the main run. From your operator's convenient switch location, just run a 'control wire' to each hub you want to control.

Unlike conventional systems where a hub is powered by a designated run, Hubs can now branch off a run and be used to create sub-circuits, which can be controled independent of the home run.

Irrigation guys--think of irrigation hubs with valves and relays.

Who's still laughing at me?

Lite4
02-04-2008, 08:14 PM
Mike, The main problem I see is how to you manage voltage if you are putting multiple hubs on a main run. What if one hub is undervolted by 3 volts and one is undervolted by 1 volt. What then? If you are basing this premise on the use of LEDs that is another story, but I personally wouldn't build your business around LEDs as your primary lighting sources. I don't think you will be happy with the results. Just my thoughts.

Pro-Scapes
02-04-2008, 08:19 PM
Eden is full swing into this. Hopefully he will chime in. The system we are proposing right now was slated to be just like this but we were planning to use a wireless controller on the low voltage side of the trans.

System would operate at 75% nightly... after 11pm the home would drop to 50% but the moonlite driveway would stay at 75% since its soft anyways.

The dock would operate at 50% nightly and party mode would increase it. Security mode would bring all lights to 100% and bring the house mounted floods up to 100% as well.

Homeowner is worried it will be too hard to work so we are going to do a small scale mock up for them with a touch pad in place.

iTouch... advantage and some others offer these controls. The home we are doing hopefully soon(house is still incomplete for 3 years) will have an advantage system built into the home house and will feature an advanced layer lighting system including about 5 difference scenes and possibly color changing underwater lights.

I have a PCS tec timer on the way to me and we plan to install 3 transformers at our own home and play with upstart while sitting on the deck one night.

See also http://www.abtwireless.com:80/ http://www.itouch.ws/home.htm

Mike M
02-04-2008, 08:38 PM
Tim, take a few nights off from your demo's and start cross-referencing the research.

Then, when you are up to speed on the fundamentals of LED tech, give Sherman or FOLD a buzz and get on the waiting list.

By the time you have a useable LED in your own hands (and not a retro bulb), which will blow your mind, I will already have LED systems installed, a complete LED demo kit, ads placed, and a strong early market position.

I guess some paths must be made alone.

Lite4
02-05-2008, 12:10 AM
Well, good luck to you Mike.

Billy, How are you dimming those lights for long periods of time without having long term effects on the halogen bulbs? Am I missing something?

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-05-2008, 12:42 AM
I am not really talking about dimming the different zones of light in a scene as I don't think that giving the client too much control or too many options is wise. I simply want to layer multiple zones to create multiple environments.

Mike... your tag line says it all. You really have a lot to learn. Slow down, learn to walk before you run. I sound like an old man I know, but you really do need to understand some fundamentals better before you think the LED is going to be 100% effective for outdoor lighting. What is the harm in slowing down and learning as you go?

Regards.

Pro-Scapes
02-05-2008, 08:52 AM
Well, good luck to you Mike.

Billy, How are you dimming those lights for long periods of time without having long term effects on the halogen bulbs? Am I missing something?

timers will be programmed to go to 100% once per week for 45 min probably during the daytime. Relamp if and when things become discolored. I run my system at my house at a mid 9v... its been this way for over a year and there has been no ill effects on my halogens. They are still clear and the right color

JoeyD
02-05-2008, 04:01 PM
This is easy to do with a UPB controller with multiple event settings as well as multiple transformers. We have done stuff like this for years for Demo's and for permanent residences. It is rare that the homeowner relly wants to have so many different scenes but it is common for them to want one or two for the back yard or as a vacation setting.

Chris J
02-05-2008, 11:32 PM
Mike, or anybody else who knows, how is it possible to dim a LED system? If there is an operating range of, say, 9-15 volts and they blink if below the minimum voltage requirement, how would you dim it?
curious.

Mike M
02-05-2008, 11:55 PM
You tell the control module.

Chris J
02-06-2008, 12:05 AM
What? Plese elaborate.

ccfree
02-06-2008, 10:52 PM
Mike, or anybody else who knows, how is it possible to dim a LED system? If there is an operating range of, say, 9-15 volts and they blink if below the minimum voltage requirement, how would you dim it?
curious.

To my knowledge, it is not possible to dim LED. LED lights have a built in voltage regulator that powered at 700mA DC. Someone correct me if I am wrong.

ccfree
02-06-2008, 10:54 PM
Sub Circuits (as I call them)

With LED's you can still use one transformer, and dial-in brightness settings and provide controls of "branches" from the main run. From your operator's convenient switch location, just run a 'control wire' to each hub you want to control.

Unlike conventional systems where a hub is powered by a designated run, Hubs can now branch off a run and be used to create sub-circuits, which can be controled independent of the home run.

Irrigation guys--think of irrigation hubs with valves and relays.

Who's still laughing at me?

Not making any since to me.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-06-2008, 11:06 PM
To my knowledge, it is not possible to dim LED. LED lights have a built in voltage regulator that powered at 700mA DC. Someone correct me if I am wrong.

Almost. There are dimmable LEDs available. It all depends on the type of driver and emitters used.

Not all LEDs use regulated power at 700mA, Some run at 350mA, and the newer power LEDs in development are using 1000mA and higher.

ccfree
02-06-2008, 11:11 PM
Almost. There are dimmable LEDs available. It all depends on the type of driver and emitters used.

Not all LEDs use regulated power at 700mA, Some run at 350mA, and the newer power LEDs in development are using 1000mA and higher.

But are they still voltage regulated as well?

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-06-2008, 11:16 PM
But are they still voltage regulated as well?

From what I can tell, power LEDs require either constant regulated voltage or constant regulated amperage. Mostly we are seeing regulated amperage now, hence the ability of many LEDs to accept a range of input voltages.

I will have to do more learning about dimmable LEDs to fully understand what the power parameters are.

Regards.

JC Lighting
02-07-2008, 04:45 AM
How many of you guys have built dynamic and layered lighting systems?

Have any of you done this type of work? If so, did you promote and sell it, or did the client request it? Obviously we are talking about some potentially high cost systems here. Is there a market for this?

Regards.

James,

My experience, 5 Years 100% Low Volt Residential Landscape Lighting, has led me to the conclusion that what I sell the most of is what I am the most passionate about. I believe that Eden Lights has demonstrated a passion for the UPB controlled indoor / outdoor dynamic and layered lighting you've described and consequently is quite successful at selling it. I was burned fairly significantly early on by X-10 and although I now believe that UPB is very reliable I haven't gotten back on the power line carrier horse yet. Consequently, my few and feeble efforts to sell this concept has gone fruitless. That said, I have 3 jobs that fit your description. First was about a year ago at the customer's request in the back yard I designed and installed a 4 zone X-10 controlled system. Funny but I am now working on the other two right now. I am 3 underwater lights away from completing a customer requested 5 zone Graphix Eye controlled system. Today I started a 3 zone Vantage controlled system. This latter one the customer did not specifically request different zones. (Note, I did not install the Graphix Eye or the Vantage controls. An electrician did that portion before I was called in.)

My humble opinion is that if you become as passionate about controlled dynamic and layered systems as you are about lighting in general you will quickly become very successful at it.

Jim C.

JoeyD
02-07-2008, 12:22 PM
James,

My experience, 5 Years 100% Low Volt Residential Landscape Lighting, has led me to the conclusion that what I sell the most of is what I am the most passionate about. I believe that Eden Lights has demonstrated a passion for the UPB controlled indoor / outdoor dynamic and layered lighting you've described and consequently is quite successful at selling it. I was burned fairly significantly early on by X-10 and although I now believe that UPB is very reliable I haven't gotten back on the power line carrier horse yet. Consequently, my few and feeble efforts to sell this concept has gone fruitless. That said, I have 3 jobs that fit your description. First was about a year ago at the customer's request in the back yard I designed and installed a 4 zone X-10 controlled system. Funny but I am now working on the other two right now. I am 3 underwater lights away from completing a customer requested 5 zone Graphix Eye controlled system. Today I started a 3 zone Vantage controlled system. This latter one the customer did not specifically request different zones. (Note, I did not install the Graphix Eye or the Vantage controls. An electrician did that portion before I was called in.)

My humble opinion is that if you become as passionate about controlled dynamic and layered systems as you are about lighting in general you will quickly become very successful at it.

Jim C.

very well said Jim!!
:clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping:

JC Lighting
02-08-2008, 12:05 AM
Thank you, Joey.

sprinkler guy
02-09-2008, 02:25 AM
A couple of months ago I did a multi-layered system for a new house. I dealt with the general contractor on the house, who was building it for a friend. I had almost no dealings with the homeowner, and he would defer to the builder on any questions. Two transformers became six so there would be multiple levels of lighting, all controlled by the Lutron system. The electricians had to pull extra outlets in three places to meet the builders wishes. I met with the Lutron programmer, Matt, several times to make sure we had all of our gear in sync, and the system would do everythting the G.C. kept asking for. Matt called me after he finished programming the system to tell me the homeowner only wanted 'all on' and 'all off', all of this other "crap" was too much to worry about. :hammerhead:

I still like the idea of having multiple levels of control, be it dimming or turning on and off different sections, even if I'm the only one who appreciates it. I still laugh when I occasionlly get asked "do I need different transformers for the front and back?".

Mike M
02-09-2008, 07:39 AM
James, I'm working on new lv cable management. It's simple, but very different, and it has everything to do with circuit configuration.

You need to cut loose from fire-wire. PM me and anyone else interested.

moonlighting
04-10-2008, 05:44 PM
Hi James, about 4 years ago i installed a layed or scene system for a client. they had a "Smart Home" system so i was told. they had controll over all of the outlests and could dim them from various touch screens throughout the property and through the phone.... it ended up having a total of 8 or 9 transformers all over the property.
so based on if they were in the hot tub or at the pool or at the BBQ or where ever they could set the scene.

Problem: budget for the house was way overboard and they reduced the fixtures almost in half. this really killed the overall effect that was going to be produced.

IMHO i think that it was a novel idea for them but i bet they have never used it once.

PM me if you want more details

jason

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
04-10-2008, 07:22 PM
Jason... I guess the key here is not just finding clients who like the sounds of a dynamic, multi-scened outdoor lighting system, but finding the ones who have enough dough-rae-me and the impetus to actually use all the features that you provide them with.

Using UPB controls for this type of dynamic, layerd lighting would be the way to go on a retrofit installation. I have installed a couple UPB systems now and am getting the hang of it quite nicely... I find myself driving down the road coming up with different programming alternatives and uses for the UPB stuff. Very cool

Pro-Scapes
04-10-2008, 07:44 PM
I agree... UPB and upstart is an amazingly powerful tool. I am constantly learning new tricks with it simply playing here at home. Our last install which incorperated 4 transformers... existing dock lighting... existing recessed exterior lighting and existing coach lights turn scones came out amazing. The fact they could just push a button and everything was perfect. No messing with 8 different switches or 10 different timers for everything.

I do have a project still on hold (construction delays) that will be on a vantage touch screen system. Unfortunatly they wired the home before I was ever brought into the picture and they limited me to I think 300w or something very low per location. As far as I know this remains to be corrected.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
04-10-2008, 09:41 PM
Billy, I have worked with a lot of Vantage, Lite Touch & Crestron systems and they are very easily upgraded. Hopefully the automation techs on the job are open to suggestions... If it was me, I would simply approach the client and tell them how imperative it is that their automation guys accomodate your load schedule. Upgrading can be as easy as adding a control module to the system.

Good luck

pete scalia
04-11-2008, 12:11 AM
What we do on my many estate projects where dimmability is not required is switch contactors which can handle up to 4 -20 amp circuits each with the crestron, lutron , vantage, etc. switch
The switches are 350 a pop. This minimizes the cost for the client.
Typically we locate all of the automated switches in an electrical gutter box in the basement and all the switch legs are distributed to various parts of the yard from there where the transformers are located. This way they are not subject to temperature extremes and if 1 goes it's easy to replace since it's in a sheltered environment (basement).

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
04-11-2008, 08:34 AM
Switch contactors are one solution but archaic and expensive compared to UPB systems. They require relatively large amounts of space, separate enclosures, excess wire and connectors, and a greater amount of labour from the EC to install.

UPB solves all that with a couple of easily installed and configured modules (that also go inside the home in most cases) Components are in the $50 to $90 range.

Clearly there are many alternatives to created dynamic and layered lighting systems: Contactors, UPB, and Full scale Lighting Control Systems. Now lets get out there and present these sophisticated solutions to our better clients!

pete scalia
04-11-2008, 08:39 AM
Switch contactors are one solution but archaic and expensive compared to UPB systems. They require relatively large amounts of space, separate enclosures, excess wire and connectors, and a greater amount of labour from the EC to install.

UPB solves all that with a couple of easily installed and configured modules (that also go inside the home in most cases) Components are in the $50 to $90 range.

Clearly there are many alternatives to created dynamic and layered lighting systems: Contactors, UPB, and Full scale Lighting Control Systems. Now lets get out there and present these sophisticated solutions to our better clients!

Only hacks use UPB on 15 million dollar homes!

Pro-Scapes
04-11-2008, 10:26 AM
I was already told by the homeowner they would see to it my requests will be taken care of. The system must be dimmable or I would use contactors.

This is about a 5600 sq ft home. If there was no vantage system I would not hesitate to go with a UPB and add touch screens if needed.

If they want my system integrated into the vantage system they will need to ensure I have proper load capabilities.

Pro-Scapes
04-13-2008, 05:24 PM
I am in need of a UPB based touch screen control instead of push buttons. The only stand alone one I know of is the iTouch system but at a mid 4 figures it doesnt fit the project. Does anyone have one they use that would control only the lighting system and perform everything the push button pads do but with a real sleek looking touch screen interface i can customize the text in and set up my links in ?

This should be a small wall mountable touch screen I can place above the existing switches.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
04-13-2008, 06:59 PM
Billy, I dont know of any UPB based touch screen or remote control unit. I looked through SA, PCS, and CS for information. None of them even offer any type of I/O device that would convert the signals from an AMX or Creston unit to UPB commands.

Let me know if you find anything.

Pro-Scapes
04-13-2008, 08:09 PM
Billy, I dont know of any UPB based touch screen or remote control unit. I looked through SA, PCS, and CS for information. None of them even offer any type of I/O device that would convert the signals from an AMX or Creston unit to UPB commands.

Let me know if you find anything.

www.itouch.ws is the only upb based i know of... its from Doug who owns Controlscape

pete scalia
04-13-2008, 08:31 PM
UPB=Glorified X-10.

x-10 = Garbage.

You can put a silk hat on a pig but it's still a pig under that silk hat.