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23/07/09 | One year on. It is just over a year since my father died.  My mother is living in her new home and enjoyi... {more}
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Lighting

Lighting - one of the greatest consumers of energy - is so important to the look and feel of the building. It needs to provide for the essential requirements, like finding the door handle in the dark and being able to see to read a book. But, it has the potential to be and do, so much more.

Ever conscious of our drive towards a low energy building, most of the lighting will be provided by IBL downlighters. These fittings are quite literally amazing. In a tiny form factor they deliver an airtight, fire rated, low energy (10W) aesthetically pleasing downlighter that is electronically dimmable via it's 1-10V interface. Believe me, in some circumstances, you do need to dim them! Even 10W, properly delivered and managed, is bright - Really bright!

For the coloured lighting to the main space we are using Osram HE fluorescent tubes and quicktronic dimmable ballasts. Again, very energy efficient, but also responsible for setting the mood within the room - from garish primary colour party lighting, to a mood uplifting subtle sunrise in a blue sky (ideal for a wet grey day) - all should be possible!

Finally, the various bits of detail and "pretty bits"lighting are taken care of with various LED based systems, again from Osram.

Oh! We also have one GLS (normal) lightbulb in the house! The cut glass table lamp in the lounge just wouldn't look right with anything else. However, that to is fed via a Halotronic dimmable ballast from Osram.

All of the above systems are dimmable via 1-10V analogue dimmers and these are provided by Prolojik. We chose the Prolojik range after careful consideration of many possible solutions that are out there in the marketplace. Firstly, they are native LON devices, which means we can drop them straight onto the network and talk to them. Each controller supports eight input channels (presence detectors, switches, etc) and 10 channels of switched and dimmable output. The actual load management is done within the driver / ECG for each lamp, so there is no great big rack of dimminig modules, buzzing away and acting like an electric fire in the back of a cupboard somewhere! The cost per channel is probably two or three times that of the cheapest stand alone dimmers from the electrical wholesaler, but we get away from the ugly "knob on the wall" and have the option to program as many switches as we want to do clever things, like "Whole house Off / On", "set and remember scenes", "simulate occupancy whilst away, by replaying last weeks / months lighting sequence" - the list goes on, limited only by ones imagination and available time....