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Thread: selection and installation of Grafik Eye system

  1. #1
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    selection and installation of Grafik Eye system

    Hello Forum,

    I am a graduate art student working on a project where I'd like to incorporate dimming lighting control. I emailed Lutron customer support who suggested the Grafik Eye system as well as consulting members of this forum for advice and information.

    I would like to have the ability for the room's lighting to dim then rise again to full brightness automatically in continuous cycles (approximately 10 to 15 minute cycles) at an almost imperceptible level.

    The only lighting is fluorescent. There are 12, 4' x 2' individual lighting units installed in a 8' drop ceiling. The room is 25' x 30'. There are 10 electric outlets. No windows. With the door closed there is near total darkness.


    Again, I am looking for a system that:

    1. works with fluorescent lighting
    2. will dim and rise nearly imperceptibly in continuous 10-15 minute cycles


    My question is what specific Grafik Eye system(s) might work for me. Also, if anyone has any thoughts or information related to my project (difficulty of installation or anything really) I would appreciate that very much!


    Ben


  2. #2
    The min dimming level for fluorescent lighting is ~ 10%.
    In order to dim fluorescent lighting, you'd need to have replace the existing ballasts with dimmable ballasts.

    The following should be helpful.
    http://www.lutron.com/technicaldocum...606_fds_tg.pdf

    If the lighting level is cycling with a minimum period of 10 minutes, you might be better off replacing the existing fluorescent troffers with LED ones (they are inherently dimmable, with dimming characteristics similar to fluorescent)

  3. #3
    Authorized Lutron Contributor
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    For the best design assistance, we would recommend working wiht the local Lutron representative inyour area. Please send an email referencing this forum post to systemsupport@lutron.com with your postal code and we can have your local representative work with you on your application. Please be aware, the Grafik Eye QS system with Ecosystem ballast support could be a good solution for your application.

  4. #4
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    Thank you both for the information. I looked over the catalogue and called customer support. They did mention the QS system as being a good option. Can't wait to hear a cost estimate. I have no idea what it might be. Next I'm calling my local dealer. Nobody in today. Good for them since it's the day after Christmas!

  5. #5
    You want to look at either analog 0-10v or digital (Dali/ecosystem, dmx) dimmable fluorescent ballasts. It could be very beneficial if you try to collaborate with a computer or electrical engineering student to create custom control hardware/software for them. I don't think anything like grafik eye or qs is particularly appropriate especially if this is a nonpermanent art installation, unless it is being sponsored by lutron or a lutron dealer. Even then, those systems may not be capable of what you need, not to mention advanced things like randomization of dimming patterns to simulate clouds (if applicable). Just my opinion.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by az1324 View Post
    You want to look at either analog 0-10v or digital (Dali/ecosystem, dmx) dimmable fluorescent ballasts. It could be very beneficial if you try to collaborate with a computer or electrical engineering student to create custom control hardware/software for them. I don't think anything like grafik eye or qs is particularly appropriate especially if this is a nonpermanent art installation, unless it is being sponsored by lutron or a lutron dealer. Even then, those systems may not be capable of what you need, not to mention advanced things like randomization of dimming patterns to simulate clouds (if applicable). Just my opinion.
    Thanks for the reply az,


    Yes, this is a non-permanent installation. Ideally it will be something that can travel and be reinstalled.


    As far as purchasing Dali dimmable ballasts and having someone else design the control hardware--I'm surprised to hear it's possible that I might reasonably find somebody on campus who has the knowledge and time to do this. In a related matter, I have no idea what material and labor costs or level of design and installation expertise we're taking about here.


    Seems like a good idea to go to an experienced company like Lutron who has a variety of systems, some that appear to be relatively cost-effective and don't require designing a system from scratch with someone who may or may not require loads of time and energy just to find, then discover--since they are not a professional--how difficult they may or may not be to work with. Is the Lutron system really THAT off the mark?


    Right now I'm looking into anything that’s possible. I love the idea of "randomization of dimming patterns to simulate clouds." At present though, it would be great if I could start by discovering the simplest, most time and cost-effective way for the fluorescents as described above to automatically dim gradually in a 10 to 15 minute cycle. That would include dimming to the lowest level, going completely to black, then rising again to full brightness.

  7. #7
    Well finding someone to collaborate with effectively always presents challenges, but it may be possible to find a student that would be able to use the hardware/software side of the project for course credit in their own major which seems ideal. There are already some Dali projects based on raspberry pi to give a good starting point. Or usb to dali adapters that connect directly to a laptop. Honestly it should not be too difficult.

    I would also suggest consulting with theater lighting experts as this use is more closely related to their field.

    Budget/sponsorship is going to be very important as just 12 ballasts is already over $1k. You may also want to check into led strips which are being used a lot in art installations and provide many interesting features at an affordable price. But they are most commonly used for accent lighting rather than room illumination.

  8. #8
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    Excellent ideas! There is a theater department at our school, and the art department does encourage interaction with them so perhaps this is an opportunity.

    Also am already looking into Dali and Raspberry. Never heard of them. I'm very technologically and mechanically-challenged so this is all a bit daunting.

    Thank you!

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