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Thread: A question about light engine compatibilty and limitations.

  1. #1
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    A question about light engine compatibilty and limitations.

    I'm going through the initial design (QS) of a project that will be using Creative Lighting Systems EDL 3" cans. The manufacturer's site provides a compatibility list produced by Lutron. Now there's 149 of these fixtures in this project and Lutron's compatibility list recommends a maximum of 10 fixtures per zone, or 17 per 4A module, and 10 per 4U module. Almost all other devices are woefully inadequate and their use would lead to a huge jump in price because of the labor involved. Is there a particular reason I can only use less than a third of the capacity that a module is rated for? The best solution I see is using an army of PHPM-PAs and a couple of circuits shared between them to act as the constant hot to accommodate all of the fixtures.

    Has anyone encountered this before? If so, what solution did you come up with?

    I know the list is a recommendation, but the bar is set so low that it almost makes this cost prohibitive. I'll be giving Lutron a call as well to see what they have to say about it, but I'm not sure how that will pan out. I can imagine a response along the lines of, "The list is the list is the list." It would be nice to be able to select a load type and roll with the ratings of the devices used. I just don't want to run into issues because of ignoring the recommendations (which I'm not prone to do) or lose a job by having to have a ton of extra interfaces.

    Suggestions?

  2. #2
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    From my understanding, 100 watts of LED does not equal 100 watts incandescent. The inrush current presented to the controls when LED first lights has a lot to do with ratings- the way I explain it is that LED lamps are like refrigerators- when they first turn on there is a spike in current, and then things calm down once it's up and running.

    I suggest you stick with the ratings- I've had success pushing past recommendations too, but I wouldn't price a job this large that way. PS the PHPM-PA may not be a simple work-around either- if it's not on the list it may not work the way you expected.

    We've actually had one or two jobs where we successfully flipped a project to Lutron Finire for just this reason- the panels cost less when you substitute Finire for the original LED fixture spec. You may be able to send the CSL spec to fixtures@lutron.com and get a budget estimate together to propose flipping the system to Finire. You'll have a lot more flexibility on the panel side and you can just about guarantee good lighting fixture performance. I'm in no way suggesting this is easy- it's a lot of selling, esp if you aren't in contract for the fixtures.

    Hope this helps-

  3. #3
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    Thank you for the reply. I have difficulty believing that the inrush current from light engines being so substantial that it would limit me to such low quantities for any given module or interface, but I greatly prefer erring on the side of caution when it comes to this sort of thing. I will definitely look into the Finire option. Funnily enough, a search for their compatibility in residential systems on Lutron's site returns a 404 error. I agree that it would be a better option if the compatibility of the fixtures is far superior to that of the ones being specified. It is definitely worth a shot.

    As an aside, the PHPM-PA will accommodate 10 of the specified fixtures each. From what I gather, without having built it out in the system, I may wind up with zones on modules that run directly to a PHPM-PA and then out to the loads. Not a huge deal but golly, is it inconvenient.

    Thanks again for your suggestion.

  4. #4
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    http://www.lutron.com/TechnicalDocum...iver_LTE_E.pdf

    I think that gives you some guidelines, but I'd just email fixtures@lutron.com for most current supported spec. I will say that at first glance, you're not gaining a lot more fixtures per zone flipping to Finire.
    Ecosystem is another way to go but you'd have to consider the tradeoffs. I've no experience with ecosystem other than bench testing and it's a whole new ball game.

    good luck-

  5. #5
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    That was very helpful, thanks again. If I can get 13 fixtures per each output on a 4A module for a total of 52 (wishful thinking, I know, but they don't define the limit for the entire module) the problem is possibly solved. Time to send my requests, pricing and current specifications, to fixtures@lutron.com.

  6. #6
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    Those fixtures are available for purchase with ECO drivers That is the right way to go for sure Hell with the RPM Modules

  7. #7
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    I did get to play around with some ECO stuff at a training wall when I had some downtime in the Coopersburg training room, but no real projects with it yet. Do you flip all the jobs you can to ECO or do you find that some jobs don't work well with it? The training wall I was messing with seemed to have a sequencing effect regardless of whether I configured the zones as true zones or 3 addresses in the same zone. ECO can definitely make your panel room much smaller.

  8. #8
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    If you program properly you can get rid of the pop corning affect. Any job using High End LED Light fixtures such as Lutron Finere or USA1 Lighting anything high end usually offers the Eco driver direct from factory. When you look at a job that has 149 fixtures its a sure winner to use ECO. The Eco modules for QS are very reasonable its like 950.00 list thats 2 rpm mods in theory.

    The zoning is so flexible any changes are done in software not by re wiring the zones. This proves even more worthy in a commercial office space environment I try to use ECO as much as I can. If your buying recessed light fixtures that cost 49.00 and using LED lamps from Home Depot this is not for you.

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