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View Full Version : Is there really a market for this?


irrig8r
05-17-2012, 02:01 PM
Just ran across this today while looking up specs on the Lumineux LX 150.

http://fxl.com/products/documents/13361744962516804.pdf

Steve Atkinson
05-17-2012, 03:05 PM
Gregg,

I heard about this at LightFair. A couple of my contractor friends came by the Brilliance booth to tell me about what they saw at the FX booth. On the surface it sounds like a hybrid version of ABT and the Simply Automated UPB technology.

The guys were somewhat intrigued by the ability to run a lighting system like a 2-wire irrigation system, but they had some doubts about the user learning curve and especially the cost.

I like the ability to control a single transformer lighting system in individual zones. I would like to compare the costs of this type of control to UPB that is already in the market. May have some usefulness on higher-end projects, but I do not know of too many big $$ projects that have only one transformer.

irrig8r
05-17-2012, 05:48 PM
Steve, a client asked me today about running controlling his lights using Wi-Fi. Anything out there for that?

Or, anyone controlling lights from Mac. iPad or iPhone? Is there a UPB interface for those?

Steve Atkinson
05-17-2012, 05:57 PM
There is a way to do this.

For Simply Automated, with a computer at the network address connected to the internet, and using the UpStart software, one may manually turn on and off lighting, electrical circuits, or appliances using a smartphone that can access the internet.

Two programs allow the user to see and control that computer: LogMeIn.com or GoToMyPC.com. This allows one to see the program interface and manually turn on or off any station on the network. I have a scenario here in NorCalif where clients driving to their vacation cabin in Tahoe can manually turn on lighting and/or heaters in advance of their arrival by using their smartphone.

The downside is that the controlling computer must always be on and connected to the internet. Currently there is no direct Wi-Fi method to interface with a SAI network, but I know that SAI is working on a couple of surprise additions for their product line.

Zohan
05-17-2012, 11:18 PM
Wow, looks pretty slick

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
05-17-2012, 11:45 PM
It would appear that this new FX transformer/controller will only work with FX LED fixtures. Also the dimming function seems a bit gimmicky to me. Zonal control can be effective but only if you can tie in and sync multiple transformers for larger scale installations.

There is probably a market for this, but it lies with the professional generalists rather than stand alone lighting pros.

As for WiFi / app access to UPB controls; There are different interfaces and software available that will work. (Look to HAI and their partners) but when you break down the costs, it is generally better to move to a full scale lighting control system such as Crestron, Vantage, Control4, etc.

Lite4
05-18-2012, 06:41 AM
Interesting, I wondered how long it would be until you saw some irrigation control technology effect the lighting side of FX. I used to install Hunter's two wire irrigation system when we did large commercial properties. Sounds like they are simply wiring decoders to each fixture,(albeit, maybe a slightly more advanced decoder), but the technology is the same. Pretty cool idea that you can program not only a zone but a single light fixture within any zone on the system regardless of where it is at and what other fixtures it is wired to.

JimLewis
05-21-2012, 05:33 PM
Is there a market for zone control in lighting systems? Sure. A small one. I don't think most of my clientele would be up for paying a whole lot more money for those features. But I could see where some clients would.

The dimming thing seems a little hoaky to me. First of all, I am not sure I agree with the premise that certain parts of your lighting system should be more dim at certain parts of the night. Second, if you are using LED, then your system is already extremely energy efficient. To the tune of $1-$4 a month in energy use. So dimming them for a few hours is going to do what, exactly? Trim that cost down to 50¢ to $2? Really doesn't save much. So I'm not sure what the advantage is to that. But I'm sure someone somewhere would like that feature.

Zohan
05-21-2012, 05:44 PM
Second, if you are using LED, then your system is already extremely energy efficient. To the tune of $1-$4 a month in energy use.

Not to sidetrack, but is there any formula to figure this out? Would be great if I could say that to a client, but I want to be accurate.

steveparrott
05-21-2012, 07:20 PM
Not to sidetrack, but is there any formula to figure this out? Would be great if I could say that to a client, but I want to be accurate.

'System wattage'/1000 x 'hrs operation'/day x '365 days' x $/KwHr = Annual Cost.

Classic Lighting
05-21-2012, 07:23 PM
Cast has a calculator. Hopefully soon-to-be app.

http://www.cast-lighting.com/support-installers/system-calculator-installers/

S&MLL
05-21-2012, 07:54 PM
pretty cool idea. Just to self contained for my liking. Most of my installs require fixtures from at least 2 different manufacturers. Guess Hunter is making things happen over there.

steveparrott
05-21-2012, 08:37 PM
Cast has a calculator. Hopefully soon-to-be app.

http://www.cast-lighting.com/support-installers/system-calculator-installers/

Update on the calculator - I've been working with Ed Lethert on the LED calculator for nearly a year - it's been through multiple revisions and we still haven't been able to accurately predict voltage loss on large systems.

Here are the challenges. As you know, accurate voltage loss prediction requires accurate wattage and power factor values to determine volt-amps. The problem is that mfgs. only report a single wattage and power factor, when, in fact, wattage and power factor (and other values) change with voltage.

Here's what happens in an LED system over a long run (might surprise you):

Voltage increases at the transformer under light loads (this is partly due to inrush from the drivers), then decreases under heavier loads
Voltage decreases at the fixture
Wattage of the LED circuit decreases
power factor increases, peaks, then decreases
amperage decreases


This means that the larger the system (more fixtures - longer runs), the more error creeps into the calculations. We now have a setup in our lab to measure these values with systems as large as 34 LED fixtures wired with up to 1,000 feet on a single run. On very large systems the calculator predicts large losses while actual measurements show very small losses.

We'll continue to work on the calculator, but for those using the current version, don't be surprised if actual losses are much less than predicted losses.

JimLewis
05-21-2012, 11:58 PM
Not to sidetrack, but is there any formula to figure this out? Would be great if I could say that to a client, but I want to be accurate.

There is. I can't remember exactly how I figured that out. But I was on the phone with one of my lighting reps one day and they helped me figure it out. It turned out that the Kichler Design Pro LED system we were installing, with about 20-25 fixtures on it, at an avg. of 5 hours a night, at their rate for energy at $0.1082 / KWH - all equated to about $2-$3 per month in energy cost. So now, I don't figure that out every time. I just know that if it's a few less fixtures than that, it will be a little less and if it's a few more fixtures, it will be a tad more. And I quote approximates.

But use the formulas the other guys provided though......

sprinklerchris
05-24-2012, 11:44 AM
Just ran across this today while looking up specs on the Lumineux LX 150.

http://fxl.com/products/documents/13361744962516804.pdf

Is there a market for this? No.

Lite4
05-24-2012, 04:43 PM
Is there a market for zone control in lighting systems? Sure. A small one. I don't think most of my clientele would be up for paying a whole lot more money for those features. But I could see where some clients would.

The dimming thing seems a little hoaky to me. First of all, I am not sure I agree with the premise that certain parts of your lighting system should be more dim at certain parts of the night. Second, if you are using LED, then your system is already extremely energy efficient. To the tune of $1-$4 a month in energy use. So dimming them for a few hours is going to do what, exactly? Trim that cost down to 50¢ to $2? Really doesn't save much. So I'm not sure what the advantage is to that. But I'm sure someone somewhere would like that feature.

Jim, The dimming capability of this system has nothing to do with saving a few pennies and has everything to do with creating varying lighting scenes for various functions that our clients may have. I often have clients who want to turn off their lights at night because they just don't see the need to have all of the lights blazing away, but if you were to specify a security zone and dim it 50% this would be a subtle and simple way to compromise. I totally see a market for this with my clients. (not all, but some for sure)

JimLewis
05-27-2012, 03:16 AM
I trust you Tim. You are more of a lighting expert than I. And I don't doubt that it could be a good solution in some cases.

I just find it hard to relate. I like my night lighting. If it was up to me, I'd keep them on all night long. And I like them at the brightness they are now. I can't imagine wanting to dim them by 50% or something. But I guess I can see where some people might like that.

NightScenes
06-12-2012, 03:06 PM
Steve, a client asked me today about running controlling his lights using Wi-Fi. Anything out there for that?

Or, anyone controlling lights from Mac. iPad or iPhone? Is there a UPB interface for those?

We do this all the time. Look at Insteon, it uses UPB and RF together and the more components you use, the better it gets. Your client can control their lighting from anywhere with their IPhone.

LLC RI
01-03-2013, 07:59 PM
I know it's been 6 months since this post got any activity, but I have something to contribute to it and wanted to chime in.

Recently, I took a trip to San Diego and had the opportunity to visit the Hunter / FX Luminaire factories. Both facilities were pretty impressive. I never realized how much went into making something as simple as a sprinkler head.

While at FX, one of the things I learned about was the new LUXOR system. I'm guessing that's what this thread was about- is there a market for it.

Let me tell you, while I was sitting there listening to the sales manager speak of the LUXOR and its' capabilities, I was thinking to myself "who the heck would buy this".

Based on the demonstration of the system, I was impressed with its' ability to segregate fixtures into groups and then illuminate those groups at varying degrees of intensity. The system has a way to go as far as increasing capabilities, going remote one way or the other, and having some sort of override remote - just my two cents of what would make it even better.

The story continues.... I returned home on a Friday night and on that following Monday evening, I had to go meet a landscaper at a job we were planning together, to show the client some ideas on how I could light his patio and walls around it etc. One of the fixtures I had to demo was the FX LF, the under cap LED light.

As I was demonstrating the lighting options, I learned that the client wanted all LED and liked the effect of the LF. He then said something that resonated in my brain - " I'd like to be able to control the lighting in sections and have dimming capabilities". I froze in my tracks and then began to tell him of this new system that I encountered on my trip to California.

Since my description of LUXOR seemed to fit the bill of what he was looking for, I was able to sell him the system on the spot. In later conversations with this client, he mentioned how a competitor of mine, one with a three letter abbreviated name, had told him there was "no such thing as dimming led's."

Had I not seen what I saw and learned what I learned, I would have had a similar opinion, though I would have known enough to say that I could look into it.

So I'm almost done with this install. The client is happy with the options that the LUXOR affords him and we are both looking forward to the next upgrades to the system which will likely provide even more control aspects.

Moral of the story.... read up on LUXOR and familiarize yourselves. It's a good thing to keep tucked in your brain and when/if you encounter a client like mine who asks about sectional control and dimming of LED landscape lighting, you too will be able to show that you are at the top of your industry and knowledgable about the latest technology in our field.

Happy New Year

George

Lite4
01-03-2013, 08:15 PM
Good post George, 1 thing I found interesting when looking at the LUXOR with the FX rep, was the fact that the system has the capability of controlling up to 290 different programs (or thereabouts). You could program up to 290 fixtures individually for complete control of everything. I was blown away by the output and versatility of the PO series fixtures. Oh yes, and I love the dimming capability. I have been to the hunter factory before but that was 6 years ago. Someday, it would be cool to see the FX facility.

knox gsl
01-03-2013, 08:35 PM
Are these systems using language similar to that of smart lights and dimmer panels used in theater lighting?
Posted via Mobile Device

oberkc
01-04-2013, 07:11 AM
Are these systems using language similar to that of smart lights and dimmer panels used in theater lighting?

That would be DMX, I believe. Unlikely.

Viewpoint
01-08-2013, 12:09 AM
It's not for everyone, but there is a market for just about anything.

I recently finished a 160 light LUXOR ZD system for a client and he was thrilled, so there you go.

Also, just look at all those billable hours sitting down and programming the fixtures, setting up the groups, programming each transformer etc. etc. If you're not charging for all that time, you're a numbskull. If they don't want to pay you for that time, they're a numbskull (and too cheap for this system). And most of this can be done in the shop instead of in the field. Bonus!

knox gsl
01-08-2013, 12:30 AM
That would be DMX, I believe. Unlikely.

Yes you are correct. I wouldn't think it would be the same language but similar technology.

Are these systems powered through the same 2 wires carrying signal, if so this would be a very powerful and versatile system?

oberkc
01-08-2013, 06:50 AM
Yes you are correct. I wouldn't think it would be the same language but similar technology.

Are these systems powered through the same 2 wires carrying signal, if so this would be a very powerful and versatile system?

DMX is controlled via dedicated communications wiring. These individual fixtures appear to be controlled via the 12V power lines. I would liken this more to X-10, insteon, or UPB, except this appears to communicate via 12V rather than 120V power lines.

The only thing similar, in my mind, is that both DMX and this new FX system allow one to control individual fixtures. The underlying technology appears quite different, to me.

Lite4
01-08-2013, 07:17 AM
I think it is similar to the decoder system used in Hunter's irrigation controllers (with a big upgrade though). It communicates through the same 12v power lines that power it.

Steve Atkinson
01-08-2013, 05:36 PM
Has anyone priced out a luxor system yet, and compared to using a UPB system with standard transformer and cabling?

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
01-08-2013, 06:09 PM
Steve, there is no real point in trying to compare the FX luxor to a 'standard' system controlled by UPB. It would be like comparing apples to spaghetti, they are both food but that is where the similarity ends.

As I understand it the Luxor system allows you to control individual fixtures, and groups of fixtures, all powered from the same transformer and even allows you to set different dimming levels at the fixture and group level. Then it ties all of this into a controller that allows for switching/timing/sequencing of those fixtures, groups, etc.

There is no way a standard system using UBP can offer you all of these features.

The only downside from my perspective is that you are tied into using 100% FX integrated LED fixtures, which I am sure are pretty good, but perhaps not all things to all people.

Lite4
01-08-2013, 07:01 PM
James is correct, there is no comparison between the two. The fixtures are pretty darn good too. They're LED bullet light (for heft) is right up there with CAST. I don't know the IP rating for the fixtures, but I believe the drivers and components are all fully encapsulated and sealed. I am anxious to try the system. It takes the right client though.

Steve Atkinson
01-08-2013, 10:56 PM
That's all fine, but my question still stands.

I had the same questions come up with ABT v Simply Automated. I know they are different products, different performance levels, but people still compared price to price.

Just trying to gauge if the fx system is something that people will see the value in or if it is pricing itself out of the picture.

Lite4
01-09-2013, 08:43 AM
The FX system is a bit pricier, but again you can't compare them. It is akin to comparing a forklift vs. a car. Yes, they will both get you to the church house on sunday morning, but they were made to perform very different and specific tasks. So the person buying the forklift isn't really interested in the car because it won't do the specific task needed for it to perform.

Viewpoint
01-09-2013, 12:30 PM
To answer your question, Steve, to do what the Luxor system does, you would need too much equipment. For example, the system I installed had 4 Luxor transformers controlling over 30 groups. To do that with SA or other UPB systems, you would need over 30 transformers, and dedicated main runs to each group, meaning you would have to use 5-10X the wire of a standard install.

Each has its place, and I can see using simply automated on more jobs than Luxor, but the Luxor does what no other product out there does right now.

As to the fixture choices, you are limited to what fx makes. That part sucks because they don't make every fixture I might want to use. What would rock everyone's world is if they came out with retrofit LEDs that were ZD (zoning and dimming) compatible.
Posted via Mobile Device

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
01-09-2013, 09:03 PM
" What would rock everyone's world is if they came out with retrofit LEDs that were ZD (zoning and dimming) compatible."

Or what would be really cool is if they would license their luxor control technology to others, like LED lamp manufacturers, so that more fixture options would be available to the Pro installers that have the market into which the luxor system can be sold. You would still be required to purchase Luxor transformers/controllers, but would be able to use all sorts of niche and specialty fixtures with luxor enabled LED lamps inside.

Hopefully some highly placed visionary at Hunter / FX is reading this. :canadaflag:

starry night
01-09-2013, 09:58 PM
.....................

Or what would be really cool is if they would license their luxor control technology to others, like LED lamp manufacturers, so that more fixture options would be available to the Pro installers ...............

I'll second that motion.

Lite4
01-10-2013, 08:35 AM
I'll third that. I am sure they could make a boat load just off the licensing of the technology alone. (not to mention all of the transformers and controllers they would sell.) Don't get me wrong, I like the FX line of fixtures, but it is a limited line to say the least and having that option to modify other niche fixtures to their controller would be da bomb.

Viewpoint
01-10-2013, 02:43 PM
"
Or what would be really cool is if they would license their luxor control technology to others, like LED lamp manufacturers, so that more fixture options would be available to the Pro installers that have the market into which the luxor system can be sold. You would still be required to purchase Luxor transformers/controllers, but would be able to use all sorts of niche and specialty fixtures with luxor enabled LED lamps inside.

Hopefully some highly placed visionary at Hunter / FX is reading this. :canadaflag:

Kevin G...James H... the people have spoken!

I agree. making it more open source is the way to go, but they've got to keep it proprietary for a while. I get that. As a designer it would be nice to not be limited to a particular line. I cherry pick from dozens of manufacturers to get the look I want at the pricepoint the customer desires. Narrowing down to one manufacturer severely limits your options.

LCarey
02-11-2013, 06:10 PM
George,

Since you made the tour of the FX factory, I was hoping that you could shed some light on the inner workings of the Luxor transformer.

I have a client that has a outdoor BBQ area and overhang. They want to be able to control the upper lights and the down lights on separate dual dimmer controls and wanted to use LED lights. Have only seen the "Zane LED dimmer" that will allow control of LED lights and don't know much about the FX ZD lights with the Luxor transformer to be able to make this work and not sure if this is an overkill approach.

I uploaded pics of the overhang and the BBQ area so that you know what I'm dealing with.

Client was looking at the FX "PB" up light for the tongue & groove ceiling sections and the "NL" down light for the work areas and wanted the up lights and the down lights to be on separate dimmers and wanted to control the on/off with the remote that he has for the pool equipment.

Wasn't sure if the Luxor transformer would be able to handle a dimmer or if the Luxor has an easy on/off or dimmer capabilities beyond the actual programming of scenes. Was originally going to mount the transformer under the BBQ area, but if it is capable of on-the-fly dimming and on/off controlling then I might mount it on the back of one of the upright posts and do away with the dimmers. Do you just turn the wheel to access the different scenes?

Was hoping that you or someone on the forum could chime in and let me know the capabilities of the FX system.

Also, does anybody know if you can run halogen lights along with the ZD lights to be able to dim the halogen at the same rate as the ZD lights with the Luxor transformer or does it take the special ZD chip to be able to work?

Thanks

265678
265679

LLC RI
02-11-2013, 07:00 PM
HI

Let me start off by saying that I like the idea of the PB's mounted on the perimeter beams and grazing the tongue and groove ceiling. You might get the fixtures in white and mount them as such that the longer part of the shroud faces downward so there'd be no visible light coming from them as you look from below. They could be mounted on the vertical part of the beam to accomplish this. The NL will make a good downlight for an area like this. You can really put as many as you'd like along the insides of the beams over the counters and grills. My suggestion would be to get at least the 3 LED unit of the downlights because with Luxor, you can dim them down less than 10% output, yet having the 3 LED set up, will allow him to brighten the place up nicely if needed.

Mind you, you can put some of the downlights on one group and others on another group. Your limited only by your imagination. ( and his budget)

Now to get to the meat of your questions. The LUXOR component not only adds control to the LED fixtures, but full range dimming as well. For this application as you've outlined it, the LUXOR system will let you call, for example, the uplights Group 1 and the downlights Group 2. Then with the programming and theme controls, you can set up the unit to turn the lights on automatically and at what percent of brightness.

As far as him being able to use the system with his existing pool controller, that might be an issue. The LUXOR system is stand alone and wouldn't need to be interfaced with a JANDY type controller because it wouldn't work.

Rather, and as discussed previously on this thread, the Luxor system will be updated and more bells and whistles will come out for it. I'm hoping that they incorporate wifi and have smart phone capability. IN that scenario, the client would, upon getting ready to cook at night, whip out his iPhone, and dial in his lighting and turn his downlights up to 80% to see what he's doing.

IN the meantime, my suggestion might be to locate the LUXOR unit in such a place that the client has access to it and can change the lighting just as if they were dimmers on each 'zone'.

The Luxor control panel connects with a short RJ11 cord such that if you got a longer RJ11, you could set the controller up at a location that was not where the transformer is.

As much as you could accomplish what you are trying to do with incandescent lights, zane dimmers, a regular transformer, and integration with his pool control, it won't be the same.

The LUXOR system doesn't dim incandescent or halogen.

I'm guessing there is a cabana around this cooking area? Good location to put the Luxor unit? With the FX ZD fixtures, you can now( or later) add more lighting for the landscaping, pathways, security, etc. and integrate them into the Luxor system simply by programming them to another group. In the long run, this system will give your client the most flexibilty, actually save on core cost because you only need one transformer ( per 300 watt lighting load), and will allow him to have full range dimming to set the mood just right for when he's entertaining.

Hope this helped..

George

malaugh
02-23-2013, 11:45 AM
Just wanted to clarify the last poster. Luxor is not designed to work with incandescent or halogen lights. You should not mix and match, only use ZD fixtures.