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NVC DALI Networked Lighting Controls - Wired

INTRODUCTION

We offer 4 levels of lighting control solutions.

  • Level 1. Simple controls using one sensor per fitting. This can be for on/off or on/off and dimming, but one sensor controls one fitting, so no wiring between fittings is required.
  • Level 2. Master/servant controls. Here, a sensor in one fitting (the master) can control a group of adjacent “servant” fittings. This is a little more complicated to install than level 1 because wiring is required between the master and its servants, but the user experience is often better.
  • Level 3. DALI networked controls – wired. Level 3 is more suitable than levels 1 and 2 for larger installations. This article is focussed on level 3. It is divided into 3 parts:
    • A full-functionality DALI based lighting controls and addressable emergency test system
    • LightBox Express. A simplified DALI based lighting controls and addressable emergency test solution
    • LightBox Emergency. A DALI based addressable emergency test system only
  • Level 4. Mesh-networked controls – wireless. These are suitable on the largest sites and offer more than just lighting control. Our mesh-networked solutions can encompass complete building control and take you towards the internet of things (IoT).

THE NVC SOLUTION OVERVIEW

More complex lighting controls require specialist expertise, so we partner with MultiControls when our clients need DALI networked controls. MultiControls is a British company, based in Kent, with many years of experience in lighting controls and software development. Our partnership with MultiControls gives our clients the best of both worlds - the deep lighting expertise of NVC and the DALI network supply and commissioning expertise of MultiControls.

If you need a general introduction to DALI, please check What is DALI ? article

There are three types of DALI networked control solutions we offer in partnership with MultiControls:

  • LightBox. Full functionality (lighting control and addressable emergency testing) and flexibility, typically used for projects from floor-scale to whole buildings and campuses.
  • LightBox Express. Pre-configured solutions for smaller installations such as smaller offices and classrooms, but still offering lighting control and addressable emergency testing.
  • LightBox Emergency. Addressable emergency test (only) for up to 10,240 emergency light fittings.

If you are unsure which level of LightBox solution might be best for your project, please read below for more details, or contact us for a discussion. 

LIGHTBOX

The LightBox system is a sophisticated lighting control and management system for larger projects such as offices, schools, hospitals and airports. It provides full lighting control and addressable emergency test facilities.

Lightbox Installation Diagram

 

LightBox system architecture

In simplified form, this is how a LightBox installation will appear.

In addition, not shown here, there can be laptops/PCs for accessing the MultiController(s) and wireless devices (smart phones or tablets) connecting via a wireless gateway.

Because all the DALI hubs are connected via the MultiController any device (light fitting, sensor or switch) on any DALI bus can be part of a control group on another bus. This means that a sensor in the ground floor lift lobby (for example) could contribute to the control of the lighting on, for example, the lift lobby three floors above.

 

 

The main components of the system are as follows:

MultiController. At least one MultiController is required per installation. Each MultiController can support up to 10 DALI hubs.

Multicontroller

 


A MultiController. There must be at least one of these per LightBox installation.

 

 


The MultiController is a powerful piece of IT equipment, but the key features are:

  • It is a solid-state device. There are no moving parts whatsoever (like fans or disk-drives), so it is highly reliable and suitable for mission-critical lighting control.
  • It includes the LightBox GUI and database. The GUI is powerful graphical user interface that gives clear and simple visualisation of the installation. Icons for the various system elements can be overlaid on building schematics, wiring diagrams and furniture layouts. Because this is all included in the MultiController no additional graphics or database software is required – it’s all in the MultiController and ready for anyone (with the right security clearance) to access from their laptop or PC

Lightbox GUI on Microcontroller

 

 

The LightBox GUI. This is included in the MultiController, so no additional graphics software is needed.

 

 



  • It is designed to integrate with the local IT infrastructure. All communication/connectivity is based on TCP/IP and the MultiController can be supplied for rack mounting if preferred.
  • Hot backup. For high security and life-critical applications (such as hospital operating theatres and ICUs) we can supply additional back-up MultiControllers that mirror each other in real-time.
  • Management reporting. The MultiController provides a wealth of management information including:
    • Diagnostics
    • Alert messages
    • Power consumption data
    • Emergency test reporting

DALI hub. Each hub can control two DALI buses (or networks). A DALI bus is a pair of wires connecting up to 64 DALI devices, each of which will have its own address. DALI devices include LED drivers, sensors, switches and other control devices.

A Light Box DALI Hub

 


A LightBox DALI hub. This connects to the MultiController. Each hub can support up to two DALI buses.

 



The DALI hub supports two buses (or networks), each of 64 devices. The devices can be LED drivers, sensors, relays or emergency lighting units. However, the processing is mostly carried out by the MultiController, meaning that each DALI hub is relatively low cost, so additional DALI networks can be added to the installation without a large cost overhead.

Input devices

A range of devices is available that connect direct to the DALI bus:

  • Combined PIR and lux sensor

Multisensor DALI bus

 

 

MultiSensors can be connected direct to the DALI bus. These are available in a variety of versions for different mounting heights, sensitivities and applications, including up to 12m high for warehouse projects.

 

 

 

Multisensor MR16 gu10 hosings




MultiSensors are also available for different installation methods, including robust housings for industrial applications and standard MR16/GU10 hosings that offer a choice of bezel styles and finishes.

 

 

 

  • Universal switch input interface

Multicontrols Switch Input

 

The universal switch input interface allows almost any switching input (latching, toggling or retractive) in multi-gang formats to be attached to the DALI bus. This means that installing a MultiControls system does not require all the electrical accessories to be replaced.



  • Scene selection panels

Multicontrols Scene Selection Panels

 

Of course, MultiControls has a full scene-setting capability, so a range of push-button scene selection panels is available.

 

 

 

More information?

To discuss your requirements, please contact us

LIGHTBOX EXPRESS

This is a simplified version of LightBox designed for smaller installations. It is ideal for a floor of an office block or a group of classrooms.

LightBox Express system architecture & functionality

The heart of the system is the DALI hub. This supports up to two separate DALI buses, each carrying up to 64 DALI devices (LED drivers, sensors, switches etc).

 Unlike the full-scale LightBox solution, in the Express version there is no MultiController. Instead, all the configuration details, GUI etc are stored in and managed from an Apple iPad loaded with the LightBox Express app. If required, this can include DALI addressable test, so LightBox Express really is a complete system, but on a smaller scale than LightBox (with MultiControllers), so suitable for smaller projects.

Ease of installation

To ensure that LightBox Express is cost effective and easy to install it is compatible with most 6-pole DALI marshalling boxes on the market. If required, we can also supply our own MultiControls marshalling boxes, and a full range of pre-made plugs and leads.

More information?

To discuss your requirements, please contact us

LIGHTBOX EMERGENCY

Addressable emergency testing is a great benefit in larger installations. An addressable test system will automatically schedule the legally required emergency lighting tests, monitor the results and report any non-compliances.

The MultiControls LightBox system (above, top) provides comprehensive lighting control and DALI addressable emergency testing functions. If this level of sophistication is not required, the LightBox Emergency system is a great  alternative.

LightBox Emergency is a scalable, flexible and intuitive DALI addressable emergency test system. It is an emergency test system only – it is not also a lighting control system.

LightBox Emergency system architecture

 

Lightbox Emergency System Architecture

The core of the system are the DALI hubs, each supporting two DALI buses of 64 emergency fittings.

No MultiController is necessary, but a touchscreen runs the LightBox Emergency app. Using either WiFi or ethernet this can be connected to the DALI hubs and a printer.

The printer provides a written record of tests completed, faults found and rectifications implemented, giving the necessary paper-trail to show compliance with all emergency lighting regulations and standards.

More information?

To discuss your requirements, please contact us