Tag Archives: lighting controls

Fulham White Paper Describes How Digital Lighting Controls Overcomes Lack of Dimming Standards

Migration to Digital Standards Promises to Simplify Lighting Installation, Add Wireless Communications, and Extend Controls to Other Building Systems.

Hawthorne, CA, USA — Fulham Co., Inc., a leading supplier of lighting components and electronics for commercial and specialty applications, has released a new white paper that discusses the limitations surrounding 0-10V luminaire dimming and the benefits of adopting open digital standards to promote universal lighting compatibility. The white paper, entitled “Next-Gen Digital Dimming and the Shortcomings of 0-10V,” describes the pitfalls of trying to retrofit luminaires with incompatible dimming curves and how the emergence of new digital control and communications platforms extends lighting controls beyond simple dimming.

To date, there has been no universal standard for 0-10V dimming in LED luminaires. As a result, LED drivers from different vendors have different dimming characteristics; a 5V signal could result in a dimming profile of 50, 80, or 30 percent, depending on the manufacturer. Similarly, at 0V some LED drivers will turn power off, while others may dim from 1 or 10 percent. Non-standard dimming drivers also can overload a lighting system, tripping a circuit breaker or creating a catastrophic driver failure.

Lighting control systems such as DALI, Bluetooth mesh, and Zigbee address this lack of common dimming standards by taking advantage of embedded software support in LED components. Intelligent LED drivers can be grouped and programmed to accommodate changes and incompatibilities in dimming profiles, including making changes and upgrades automatically. In addition, polarity is not an issue with digital control systems, which makes digital luminaires easier to wire and scale.

More importantly, where most dimming protocols are unidirectional, issuing instructions with no means to verify response, digital control systems provide two-way communications to show the status and health of each switch, sensor, and luminaire. In addition, lighting manufacturers are finding that digital LED controls lend themselves to wireless connectivity, eliminating the need for extensive retrofits or additional control wiring.

“We released this white paper to show the industry what we see coming in digital lighting and open control standards,” said Russ Sharer, Vice President of Global Marketing for Fulham. “Digital controls not only make it easier to mix and match lighting systems, but ensures faster and more trouble-free installations.”

Fulham has already demonstrated interoperability of digital control systems over a Bluetooth mesh wireless infrastructure, as well as delivering power and control to luminaires using Power over Ethernet (PoE). New programmable, digital LED components that are Bluetooth-mesh and PoE compatible will become commercially available later this year.

For more information and a copy of Fulham’s white paper, “Next-Gen Digital Dimming and the Shortcomings of 0-10V,” visit http://www.fulham.com/resource-center.

About Fulham
Fulham Co., Inc. is a leading global provider of intelligent, socially-conscious sustainable commercial lighting components and electronics for use in commercial general lighting, parking structure, signage, horticultural, UV and other applications. The company develops and manufactures a variety of award-winning LED and emergency products, as well as legacy products across multiple lighting platforms. Fulham sells its lighting solutions worldwide through original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and electrical equipment distribution channels. Headquartered in Hawthorne, Calif., the company has sales and/or manufacturing facilities in the Netherlands, China, India and the UAE. For more information, visit http://www.fulham.com, @FulhamUSA or @FulhamEurope.

Media Contact:
Andy Firchau
Marketing Manager
Fulham Co., Inc.
Phone: +1 (323) 779-2980, ext. 1252
afirchau@fulham.com

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Fulham VP to Address Problems of Lighting Controls and the Need for Interoperable Standards at IoT Evolution

Fulham’s Russ Sharer to Show How Lighting Industry Serves as a Test Case for IoT Interoperability in Presentation on “How Smart Lighting Headaches are Delaying IoT”.

Orlando, FL, USA — For industrial lighting controls to become part of any Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructure the lighting industry is going to have to overcome two primary hurdles: 1) lack of intelligence in lighting devices and 2) a lack of common control standards. That’s the primary focus of “How Smart Lighting Headaches are Delaying IoT,” a presentation to be delivered by Russ Sharer, Vice President of Global Marketing for Fulham Co., Inc., at IoT Evolution to be held here January 22 -25.

Fulham is a leading supplier of programmable LED lighting sub-systems and has been working with lighting vendors and OEMs to shape the future of intelligent lighting and IoT. As Sharer notes, there already is a new category of “clever” LED lighting products with on-board intelligence and programmability. To elevate these clever devices to smart lighting requires integration as well as intelligence, providing two-way communications for device monitoring and control. This is where the lighting industry is lagging behind; adopting common communication standards that can integrate current lighting controls into an IoT infrastructure.

“The challenges the lighting community are facing are typical of many industries; how to develop a common set of protocols to integrate legacy smart devices into an IoT infrastructure, said Sharer. “Clearly, IoT is going to be the foundation for building automation, but there are too many proprietary lighting control and communications standards. Today, customers can choose between DALI, Zigbee, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and many more for lighting controls, but there is still no guarantee of integration with a central IoT platform.”

To complicate the interoperability issue, many vendors are creating their own flavors of popular control standards. For example, some vendors are using DALI electrically and signaling, but adding proprietary commands for basic functions. Similarly, Zigbee has multiple variants of commands for when a luminaire is turned “off,” so two luminaires can receive the same signal and one device dims while the other turns off completely, which matters when it comes to energy consumption and extending the life of the luminaire.

“The teething pains of the lighting control industry are the perfect test case for other IoT control applications,” said Sharer. “It shows that without a well-defined set of common control standards, there is no way to implement control using IoT.”

Sharer’s presentation, “How Smart Lighitng Headaches are Delaying IoT,” is scheduled to take place Thursday, January 25, at 10:00 a.m. – #IOTEVOLUTION.

About Fulham
Fulham Co., Inc. is a leading global provider of intelligent, socially-conscious sustainable commercial lighting components and electronics for use in commercial general lighting, parking structure, signage, horticultural, UV and other applications. The company develops and manufactures a variety of award-winning LED and emergency products, as well as legacy products across multiple lighting platforms. Fulham sells its lighting solutions worldwide through original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and electrical equipment distribution channels. Headquartered in Hawthorne, Calif., the company has sales and/or manufacturing facilities in the Netherlands, China, India and the UAE. For more information, visit http://www.fulham.com. (@FulhamUSA and @FulhamEurope)

Media Contact:
Andy Firchau
Marketing Manager
Fulham Co., Inc.
Phone: +1 (323) 779-2980, ext. 1252
afirchau@fulham.com

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