Mark Lewin, CEO at Zano Controls discusses the advantages of retroﬁtting dimmable 1-10V LED dimming solutions in commercial environments.
If we’ve said it once we’ve said it a thousand times: commercial dimming can get complicated. While dimmable LED is pushed as the perfect way for businesses to lower energy costs and comply to Part L regulations, installing the technology can often throw up more than its fair share of problems.
Some contractors favour 1-10V LED dimming solutions for larger commercial projects. An old technology that has been adapted for use with LED loads, 1-10V provides an eco friendly and visually consistent dimming method that is entirely reliable, thanks to the controlled DC voltage signal; a minimum of 1V, maximum of 10V.
“While dimmable LED is pushed as the perfect way for businesses to lower energy costs and comply to Part L regulations, installing the technology can often throw up more than its fair share of problems.”
1-10V can deliver smoother, more consistent dimming for high numbers of lamps routed on a single circuit. Dimmable LED installations in school halls, conference rooms, even super-sized kitchen extensions can be simpliﬁed with 1-10V drivers, as the restricted voltage provides unity across the installation and eradicates some of the problems traditionally encountered in dimmable LED installation; ﬂicker, buzz and unreliable loads.
Yet while it might sound like a perfect, ﬁx-all LED dimming solution, anyone with experience installing 1-10V dimmers will know that it comes at a price – and we’re not talking about pound sterling. We’re talking about time, hassle and mess.
Thanks to the need for a screened cable – a specialised cable that runs between the controller and the driver – 1-10V multi-point dimming is a bit of a ‘marmite’ commercial multi-point dimming solution. Some installers love it; others will avoid it at all costs.
For a full refurbishment, complete lighting overhaul or a new build, adding a screened cable doesn’t make a great deal of difference to the installation process and the professional, reliable result is often worth it. When it comes to retroﬁt projects, however, that extra cabling does more than add difficulty to the installation; it makes it impossible.
As a result, an increasing number of 1-10V LED installers are turning to direct-to-mains LED systems, in spite of the complications that can occur on large-scale projects. Yet retroﬁt contractors may not need to turn their backs on 1-10V dimming solutions just yet.
Zano’s new ZBAR1-10V allows 1-10V LED dimming without the need for messy rewiring. It can be routed directly to mains wiring, providing all the security and reliability of 1-10V dimming for large-scale commercial clients without the need to ﬁt a screened cable. What’s more, the ZBAR1-10V allows for multi-point, two-way and intermediate dimming on a single circuit, bringing increased functionality and improved user experience to 1-10V dimming installations.
For instance, dimmable 1-10V LED may be the most reliable, cost-effective and energy efficient option for a hotel switching their conference suite lighting to LED. Two controllers are needed to dim 20 lamp ﬁttings on one circuit – one at the entrance, another by the presentation area – but the disruption of rewiring is not an option, which would usually remove 1-10V as an option. With the ZBAR 1-10V, however, both controllers can be ﬁtted direct to mains wiring, no screened cable in sight.
While it may not be the most practical solution for every LED installation, 1-10V dimming is something of an unsung hero when it comes to new commercial LED lighting installation. Now, with a product that removes the need for full rewiring, 1-10V could expand its niche into the commercial retroﬁt market.