Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

Nov 3, 2020

Control SystemBy Jeremy Day

Building a control system for a modern lighting installation can seem like an impossibly complex task. To simplify it, a systematic approach to understanding the needs of the design, facility, and user can be employed. In this white paper, we aim to define the questions one must answer to construct an appropriate control system.

First, and perhaps counterintuitively, one must start with the control narrative. A lighting programming and control narrative is a document that is essential to coordinate the design/construction process with a fully realized final architectural product. It defines how lighting will integrate into the space and, ultimately, how humans will interact with that same space. With the direction of the narrative, the necessary functionality of the control system can be defined. Is the intent for lights to automatically turn on and off with an astronomical time clock? Should lights be dimmed via daylight harvesting? What kind of shows or effects are desired? The answers to these questions will directly determine the size and scale of the control system. Without this narrative, assumptions will have to be made. The balancing act will be between providing a highly flexible control system and a system that is adequately capable yet cost effective.

Questions to ask yourself

1. What is the standard order of operations for a normal day?

2. What special events or holidays need a special program or scene?

3. What happens automatically vs. what happens via manual intervention?

Second, the number of controllable zones must be determined. An outdoor façade installation may have a floodlights-only zone, or it could also include linear grazing fixtures as well as direct view elements. Each of these zones will need to be controlled independently, and the control system must be sized appropriately. 

Questions to ask yourself

4. How many individually controllable zones are there (e.g. downlights, cove, accent, indirect, colour per room)?

Of note, to create a dynamic lighting system, the number of channels needed to put the system together must be well understood. A channel is defined as a single controlled attribute. For simple dimming only lights, one channel would be needed to control that dimmed intensity. For tunable white lights, two or three channels would be needed to adjust intensity and colour temperature, depending on the exact configuration of that fixture. A colour changing RGBW light would most likely need four channels, one for each Red, Green, Blue, and White control.

A simple system composed of only a white light fixture with a dimmable, static colour temperature will need only one DMX channel per zone. A more complex system, such as a linear run of colour-changing RGBW fixtures, could potentially need four channels per foot (or even eight per foot in exceptional circumstances). Of course, if the control narrative is clearly defined as “this linear run will only fade from Colour 1 to Colour 2 in unison,” that would eliminate the need for individually addressed fixtures and could significantly reduce the cost of the control system.

Figure 1Figure 2

Another consideration is requirements for Input and Output (I/O) signalling and integration. Some common examples of these I/Os are:

• fire alarms
• emergency conditions
• building automation systems
• occupancy and daylight sensors
• shades
• wind or other atmospheric sensors
• A/V integration

The control narrative will describe the necessary interactions, but the physical locations and quantities of I/O will determine the number of interfaces in the control system. A system composed of only a few lights might still require a larger more sophisticated control system based purely on the complexity of the I/O needs.

Figure 3

Questions to ask yourself

5. How many of each control I/O are required and at what locations?

The next key component to consider is user interfaces: How will the users interact with the system, turn lights on and off, raise and lower, change colours, advance scenes, etc.? Where will these interactions take place? You might need a keypad at every office and door, but what about the exterior lights? Where will they be controlled? In addition to physical control stations like keypads and touchscreens, virtual control like web pages and smart devices need to be considered and allotted for. 

Questions to ask yourself

6. List each user interface, including keypads, touchscreens, web access terminals, smart devices.

Figure 4

Finally, a consideration to make is whether to base a control system off DMX/RDM (a digital, daisy chained system for smaller systems) or Ethernet (a highly flexible and scalable system for projects of all sizes and complexities). Below are some key advantages of each protocol.

[Figure 5

Now that the requirements of the control system have been defined, the type, scale, and specifics of the control system can be chosen. Often tiers exist in control systems, sometimes defined by the number of universes, user interfaces, or I/O triggering. One specific requirement may bump the system up into a higher tier. Having a complete understanding of the scope of the control system will ensure that all requirements are covered by the capabilities of the control system. Lumenpulse sales engineers are experienced in the consultation and execution of control systems of all sizes and are available to consult on the needs, options, and budgets of this critical element of all lighting systems.

Understanding of the desired functionality of the lighting system will help right-size the control system to meet all needs without overspending and overcomplicating a project. Control systems come in many shapes and sizes, with trade-offs in capabilities, cost, and complexity. Lumenpulse is here to help clients balance these elements and choose the correct system at the right price and feature set.

Jeremy Day is a Lumenpulse Application Engineering Director. This article was first published online by Lumenpulse: www.lumenpulse.com/knowledge/how-to-build-a-control-system


 Salex Expands to Southwestern Ontario                                                                   

LDS Salex 12 175

Salex continues to support the Southwestern Ontario market with representation of key market leaders in lighting and controls, including its partnership with Axis Lighting, Beghelli Canada and OSRAM.

Axis Lighting is an innovative, forward-thinking manufacturer delivering high-performance LED luminaires for general, ambient and task lighting in office, commercial and institutional spaces. One of their leading-edge developments includes Stencil. Stencil brings together lighting segments and connectors called Hubs, the building blocks for creating forms and patterns of all sizes. 

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Changing Scene

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The Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE), the voice of Ontario’s engineering community, ...
Schneider Electric announced today the promotion of Adrian Thomas to country ...
Mark your calendars for Nov. 24-25 and get ready for a virtual trade show and amazing technical ...
Join Schneider Electric live on November 10th for their virtual event as industry leaders ...
The Alberta Electrical Alliance have partnered with Mansfield Technical Services to provide ...
InfraCanada / InfraQuebec is an annual series of user group meetings across Canada for FLIR and ITC ...
ESA’s response team has been working diligently to address the emerging issues. We are moving into ...


The Jaibot executes its tasks based on building information modeling (BIM) data. The robot is a completely cordless and easy-to-use system that doesn’t require expert skills. It locates itself accurately indoors, drills the holes dust-controlled and finally marks them according to the trade. 

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EIN AEA virtual 400Mark your calendars for Nov. 24-25 and get ready for a virtual trade show and amazing technical presentations. AEA, the exhibitors and presenters are so excited to present this event to the entire province of Alberta.

Attendees will have easy access to virtual booths with an opportunity to have their questions answered by qualified people, and win some prizes throughout the days at both the trade show Virtual Floor and by attending the seminars.

 

Go HERE to register and for the full event details

 

 


 



Lighting ControlsBy Jeremy Day

Building a control system for a modern lighting installation can seem like an impossibly complex task. To simplify it, a systematic approach to understanding the needs of the design, facility, and user can be employed. In this white paper, we aim to define the questions one must answer to construct an appropriate control system.

First, and perhaps counterintuitively, one must start with the control narrative. A lighting programming and control narrative is a document that is essential to coordinate the design/construction process with a fully realized final architectural product. 

Read More


 

Terry BeckerBy Terry Becker

Changes in the CSA Z462 Workplace electrical safety standard are slowing down. Good news! The 2021 edition will see significant reorganization of content in Clause 4.1, changes to existing annexes, some new annexes and a significant change to the arc flash PPE category method of determining “additional protective measures” for a work task’s arc flash risk assessment are included in the 2021 edition.

CSA Z462 2021 edition will not be 100% technically harmonized with the 2021 edition of NFPA 70E...


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Product News

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The AutomationDirect lineup of tools and test equipment now includes digital multimeters, clamp-on ...
The NX Room Controller is the central component of the NX room control solution. Used individually ...
The COHEN single pendants add a modern industrial aesthetic to your indoors that is meant to last ...
Shat-R-Shield's Correctional Cell Fixture is designed to withstand extreme abuse by using materials ...
Universal Lighting Technologies, Inc., a member of the Panasonic family of companies, recently ...
The wall sconce design was inspired by the Infinity Modern Pendant.  This version is wall ...
High Output LED PAR Replacement Lamps directly replace high-wattage incandescent PAR lamps at a ...
Easily create continuous rows of light with the Contractor Select™ RLNK by Lithonia Lighting® by ...
Pow-R-Command PRC750E controller is suitable for lighting control and plug load control. It offers ...
Intermatic's Smart Guard® Whole House Surge Protective Device provides coverage of your ...


 

Shat-R-Shield Ironclad VR ProShat-R-Shield's Correctional Cell Fixture is designed to withstand extreme abuse by using materials that are virtually indestructible. Built with 1/2" thick 304 Stainless Steel and a cast .400" thick diffused lens, this light fixture is built to withstand hard/repetitive impacts and its tight design offers no point of entry.

The Ironclad® Vandal-Resistant (VR Pro) fixture uses an LED high efficiency light engine with a cool light that simulates daylight. The incorporated count light LED module can be turned on and off. Tested to Canadian and US standards by Underwriters' Laboratories, this fixture carries a cULus rating.

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M12™ Heated TOUGHSHELL™ Jacket KitOur heated TOUGHSHELL™ jacket is powered by our powerful M12™ REDLITHIUM™ batteries. Each heated jacket uses carbon fiber heating elements to create and distribute heat to your chest, back and front hand pockets. A one-touch LED controller heats up the battery heated jacket to three heat settings, creating a comfortable heat for any environment or weather.

This MILWAUKEE® heated jacket has a new Quick-Heat function that allows you to feel heat three times faster than our previous jackets and market competitors. 

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Peers & Profiles

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For more than a century, ABB has been investing in Canadian technologies and products to support ...
Mackenzie Gillan, a bright young lady from Baysville, Ontario, tells us about how she learned ...
Energy Efficient Lighting is a LED lighting manufacturer with nearly 30 years of industry ...
Dee Durant is an industrial electrician apprentice attending Conestoga College and an Ambassador ...
ECAO recently launched a new program called Future Leaders Advisory Council (FLAC). Their inaugural ...
At 14, Tom Miguel was sitting in the counselor’s office of Silverthorn Collegiate Institute in ...
Meredith Halfpenny is a Wind Site Technician with Boralex where she inspects, maintains, and ...
Rutul Bhavsar is a final year Electrical Engineering student at Mohawk College. He recently ...
Shannon Tymosko is a first-year apprentice with IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical ...
ELG Electric is an electrical contractor based out of Goderich, Ontario serving the area’s ...


Kenzie GillanBy Sarah Pickard

Mackenzie Gillan, a bright young lady from Baysville, Ontario, tells us about how she learned to love the electrical trade in high school, and how that path has carried her forward to unexpected places and new heights—literally. Gillan is set to begin a Powerline Technician Apprenticeship with Hydro One, and as she explains below, she had some interesting experiences during two college co-op placements.

While her career has just begun, Gillian is already active in the broader industry as an advocate for women, working as an ambassador for KickAss Careers, Women of Powerline Technicians, and Women in Renewable Energy (WiRE).

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Rutul Bhavsar 1 400By Blake Marchand

Rutul Bhavsar is a final year Electrical Engineering student at Mohawk College. He recently co-authored a whitepaper on Mohawk College’s Joyce Centre for Partnership & Innovation discussing the technologies utilized in the state-of-the-art zero-carbon/carbon-neutral facility. Rutul was the lead author on the project, supported by Dr. Mariano Arriaga, General Manager of Mohawk’s Energy and Power Innovation Centre (EPIC) and Dr. Tony Cupido Research Chair,

Sustainability at Mohawk College. Rutul’s interests lie in the more progressive areas of the industry, automation, control, and energy efficient technologies. It is no doubt a positive sign for the industry to have talented individuals such as Rutul who are passionate about contributing to a more sustainable future. 

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