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JimLewis
07-27-2010, 03:43 AM
So I am working on the finishing touches on a very large landscape / hardscape / irrigation / lighting project. Will be the biggest job we've done in about 2 years. No other bidders (gotta love that :)). Anyway, the customer really wants the lighting to be done a specific way. She wants me to install a photocell/timer PLUS a switch or remote that will override the photocell/timer.

I take that to mean she wants it to come on automatically each night from dark until a certain time (e.g. midnight)....which is no problem....but she wants to be able to turn the lights on or off on command as well. That's where I start to get confused. Because the only way I can think of turning everything on or off would definitely mess up the timer.

Does anyone even understand what I am trying to say here? And can anyone think of a way to make this happen? How can I have an on/off mechanism while also maintaining accurate time on a timer?

I thought I almost had it figured out. I figured I'd skip the photocell and plug the main power cord from the transformer right into install one of those cool new digital timers that adjust up or down every day based on the daylight in the area you're at (what are those damn things called, someone?). Then I'd install a switch (I typically use these neat little remote control switches) inside the transformer. That way the timer would power on the transformer every day at dark and off at a scheduled time but you'd still have the opportunity to switch it off, if you wanted to.

Problem with that method is; what if she wants to switch it ON outside that time frame? Like, say she hears a noise out in her back yard at 2:30 a.m. in the middle of the night and wants to hit the switch and turn all the outdoor lighting on at that time. It wouldn't work because the timer would now be preventing power to the transformer all together.

Arghh! How do I do this? It's too late and I can't think straight. There must be some way I am not thinking of.....

worx
07-27-2010, 08:58 AM
Jim I believe ABT wireless zone control can help in this situation. I'm sure someone with more experience will chime in.

Terradek
07-27-2010, 10:05 AM
Jim,
Steve is right...The ABT wireless zone control system is the answer. Easy to install and program. It allows you to control up to three separate zones independently of each other. It will turn off a system when it is on and turn on a system when it is off. All with wireless remotes. They even have a wireless motion sensor and photocell as options. Check it out at www.abtwireless.com

Tim R.
07-27-2010, 01:06 PM
Posted via Mobile Device

Tim R.
07-27-2010, 01:07 PM
Yep, ABT Jim. I have used many times to allow the homeowner the kind of control you are looking for.
Posted via Mobile Device

JimLewis
07-27-2010, 01:12 PM
So you guys are referring to the Zone Control Kit, here;

http://www.abtwireless.com/zone.html

?????

S&MLL
07-27-2010, 09:05 PM
Figure out what remote she wants. The black 4 button is the furthest range remote. I usually install a white one as well for the home. In the kitchen or somewhere leading out to the backyard. Your also going to want the sunset. That is your wireless photocell.


That will take care of your issues. Now just remember this because some clients are picky..... This is not an on/off switch. Will it is if you are running 1 zone up to 300 watts. But from 301-900 you will have to enable all 3 zones by themselfs.

Led is the answer to that problem.

So to sum up you need.


Zonectrl-RX

Zonectrl-sunset

And some type of remote.

Pro-Scapes
07-30-2010, 11:45 AM
The ABT will definatly work here. Also an AUBE timer could work if you can place it in a location she can reach easily. I did a project this spring with 7 transformers all ran off a single AUBE. The aube was placed in the Garage. I ran relays in 6 of the transformers with the Aube controlling trans 1 and the relays controlling the remaining units.

Same prioject at the entrance gate a couple hundred yards out we installed a Photocell in trans 1 to bring on a subtle lighting scene each night and then an ABT in trans 2 to bring on a secondary system he can activate via remote when approaching in his car or from the house when he will be expecting guests. We relocated the antena on the ABT with BNC connectors and coaxial cable to about 35 ft up in a nearby pine tree and the range is about a quarter mile now using the large remotes and less than half of that with Key fobs.

Just a tip I carry a ABT keyfob on my keyring that is linked to my clients system so I can easily turn systems on for service.

With the ABT you will also have the option of adding a motion control as well. If its multi transformers and you need any insight on the wiring pop me an email. If you stop and think a bit you can accomplish some pretty neat things with multiple transformers....abt and a couple of 12v relays.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
07-30-2010, 10:55 PM
Depending on the size and scale of the lighting project you may find that the ABT system is not able to do it all, and the use of an Aube timer with relays in the slave transformers does not provide enough zone control. If this is the case, a UPB control system is the answer. It does cost a bit more than a timer with some relays, and possibly more than an ABT system to install, but the level of control and features cannot be beat.

JimLewis
07-31-2010, 06:16 AM
I don't think we'd be in a multi-transformer situation. It's a big back yard for this area. But not that big. I think I can get all the lighting I need with one 900w transformer.

I'm curious about the AUBE timer. How would I hook that up so that the lights were still automatic every day via astronomical timer and yet still able to be overridden by an on-off switch? And is the AUBE timer wireless or wired? I assume those are wired? Which is something I hadn't considered. But that's an option, I suppose.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
07-31-2010, 08:34 AM
The Aube timers are an "in - wall" style. So if you mount the timer inside the home and have it control the circuit that powers the transformer, then the client can have easy over-ride capabilities, while the timer remains in AUTO mode.

http://www.aubetech.com/products/list.php?noLangue=2&noFamille=5&app=14

S&MLL
07-31-2010, 02:49 PM
The ABT will definatly work here. Also an AUBE timer could work if you can place it in a location she can reach easily. I did a project this spring with 7 transformers all ran off a single AUBE. The aube was placed in the Garage. I ran relays in 6 of the transformers with the Aube controlling trans 1 and the relays controlling the remaining units.

Same prioject at the entrance gate a couple hundred yards out we installed a Photocell in trans 1 to bring on a subtle lighting scene each night and then an ABT in trans 2 to bring on a secondary system he can activate via remote when approaching in his car or from the house when he will be expecting guests. We relocated the antena on the ABT with BNC connectors and coaxial cable to about 35 ft up in a nearby pine tree and the range is about a quarter mile now using the large remotes and less than half of that with Key fobs.

Just a tip I carry a ABT keyfob on my keyring that is linked to my clients system so I can easily turn systems on for service.

With the ABT you will also have the option of adding a motion control as well. If its multi transformers and you need any insight on the wiring pop me an email. If you stop and think a bit you can accomplish some pretty neat things with multiple transformers....abt and a couple of 12v relays.


Same here. The service truck has the black remote in one of the tool boxes. I always admired the irrigation guys with the whole remote idea.

Pro-Scapes
08-01-2010, 11:37 PM
I don't think we'd be in a multi-transformer situation. It's a big back yard for this area. But not that big. I think I can get all the lighting I need with one 900w transformer.

I'm curious about the AUBE timer. How would I hook that up so that the lights were still automatic every day via astronomical timer and yet still able to be overridden by an on-off switch? And is the AUBE timer wireless or wired? I assume those are wired? Which is something I hadn't considered. But that's an option, I suppose.

If you have a single 900w trans and and your not using LED lighting the back yard is a rather small scale project. There is no limit to the size of the project you can control with a single ABT and a bunch of relays so long as you provide proper planning and power to each transformer and relay.You can use different zone controls on the ABT to activate different transformers giving you the flexability to create a subtle scene for nightly use and allow your client to turn on a whole secondary system via remote for outdoor dining, cooking, parties etc.

UPB has its short comings as well and has proved to provide us with more service calls than AUBE and ABT combined. I will admit we have been using ABT much less time than UPB. The only short coming of the ABT I have found is the lack of remote dimabilty and the setting of scenes that you can accomplish with UPB.

JimLewis
08-10-2010, 01:35 AM
You guys seriously got me all confused now.

ABT, AUBE, UPB, AHHHH!!!! :confused::confused::confused:

I barely understand what an ABT is. I've seen an AUBE once. And I have no idea what UPB means.

And I still don't understand how any of them would give me the kind of control I'm looking for.

As far as I can tell, the ABT wouldn't work. It only allows you to have control of up to 3 zones. At this point, I have counted a total of about 1020 watts. So I am thinking maybe one 1200w controller. Or a 1500w controller, if I could find a nice multi-tap one. But I plan to have 9 different hubs or "zones" if you want to call them that. And we may add one more for the front yard at a later date. So that means what? I'd need 3 or 4 of these ABT things??? And the user would have to figure out which "zone" they wanted on out of the 9 or 10? No thanks. That's too damn confusing for me and for the homeowner.

As far as the AUBE thing goes, I don't get how that would work. As far as I can tell, the AUBE thing is just an automatic timer that also allows you to turn power ON when it's not scheduled to come on. But I can't see how it would allow me to turn the system off when it was scheduled to be on.

And I have no idea what a UPB system is.

Sorry. Maybe I'm a blockhead.... Just trying to understand.... :hammerhead:

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
08-10-2010, 01:48 AM
Jim. The Aube timers provide you with the ability to over-ride their automatic operation. Very simple.

You install one on the circuit that powers the master transformer. (stop calling Low Voltage Transformers "controllers" and you are way ahead!) Then you use relay's in any of the other 'slave' transformers that you install on the property.

If you really need zone control of separate transformers to create scenes then you should go with a UPB control system. Simply Automate, PCS Pulseworx or Controlscapes will help you there.

JimLewis
08-10-2010, 02:04 AM
(stop calling Low Voltage Transformers "controllers" and you are way ahead!)

LOL. Sorry. I'm more of an irrigation guy than a lighting guy. Comes as second nature to say "controller".

JimLewis
08-10-2010, 02:19 AM
Ok. So if I install this AUBE switch, and the lights are currently ON (as per automatic schedule) I can just press the button on the front and all the lights would turn off? And how long would they stay off? Until I pressed the button again? Or just until they were scheduled to come on automatically again?

I am still trying to understand how the AUBE things work, exactly.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
08-10-2010, 02:51 AM
Ok. So if I install this AUBE switch, and the lights are currently ON (as per automatic schedule) I can just press the button on the front and all the lights would turn off? And how long would they stay off? Until I pressed the button again? Or just until they were scheduled to come on automatically again?

I am still trying to understand how the AUBE things work, exactly.

Ok, so you set the Aube timer to come on at sundown and off at 1:00am.

If your client wants to turn the system off at 11pm they just tap the switch once. It will then stay off until the next automatic on time (next day at sundown).

If your client want to turn the system on at 2am, they just tap the switch once. It will then stay on until the next automatic Off Time (next day at 1:00am)

It can also be put into full manual mode if they just want to use it as a switch.

JimLewis
08-10-2010, 03:34 AM
Ok, so you set the Aube timer to come on at sundown and off at 1:00am.

If your client wants to turn the system off at 11pm they just tap the switch once. It will then stay off until the next automatic on time (next day at sundown).

If your client want to turn the system on at 2am, they just tap the switch once. It will then stay on until the next automatic Off Time (next day at 1:00am)

It can also be put into full manual mode if they just want to use it as a switch.

Wow. That's how I was hoping it worked but I didn't really think it be able to be quite that complex. That's ingenious!!! Perfect. Thanks.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
08-10-2010, 03:40 AM
You will want to use the Aube Ti035 or Ti071 units. If you cannot source them you can get by with the Ti034

JimLewis
08-10-2010, 03:48 AM
Thanks very much, James!

Lite Headed
09-05-2010, 01:50 PM
Will the ABT allow the HO to turn off the lighting remotely?
Say the zones are all programmed to go off at midnight but the HO wants to turn them off at 10:00 instead. Is this possible with the ABT system.
I have an upcoming job where the TF will be located in a barn 100 yards away from the main house. Can the HO use the remote to override the programming and turn the system off from the home?

ccfree
09-05-2010, 10:20 PM
Will the ABT allow the HO to turn off the lighting remotely?
Say the zones are all programmed to go off at midnight but the HO wants to turn them off at 10:00 instead. Is this possible with the ABT system.
I have an upcoming job where the TF will be located in a barn 100 yards away from the main house. Can the HO use the remote to override the programming and turn the system off from the home?

Yes ABT will allow the homeowner that capabitlity. They can use the black remote that comes standard with the unit and add the wireless wall switch (walltx). It has a range of 500ft so you should be good.

djt22
09-06-2010, 04:54 PM
Jim what way did you end up going? And was she looking to just turn on a transformer as one on or off or was she looking to have control of multiple areas within one transformer?

oscarwelch
09-11-2010, 01:15 PM
You could give her all the control she needs by using ControlScape. It's astronomic (goes on at civil twilight each night - you give it a zip code) The control is a desktop device that will allow her to turn her system on / off anytime without de energizing the "timer" function. If your distributor doesn't have them contact A.J. McDonald at FOLD - 407-580-5493.