The Lighting Control Innovation Award was created in 2011 as part of the Illuminating Engineering Society’s Illumination Awards program, which recognizes professionalism, ingenuity and originality in lighting design. LCA is proud to sponsor the Lighting Control Innovation Award, which recognizes projects that exemplify the effective application of lighting controls in nonresidential spaces.
This month, we will explore the role that a DMX control solution plays in creating stunning dynamic color effects in a pedestrian bridge. Lighting and control design by Anthony Kuhtz, Lighting Designer with Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber, and Greg Smith, Lighting Designer with Michigan Lighting Systems. Photography by Cory Morse. Lighting by Insight Lighting, Cree and Nicolaudie.
The challenge in creating a bridge lighting design with controls that you don’t know how the owner is going to use it, is to plan for as much flexibility as possible. A complete training program was included in the project to assure the owner would be properly trained to control the system.
DMX controls were chosen to allow each red/green/blue (RGB) LED luminaire to be individually controlled.
The white LED bridge deck safety lighting utilizes 0-10V dimming to allow these fixtures to be dimmed when the color lighting scheme provides sufficient light on the bridge deck and to avoid having the white deck lighting outshine the RGB lighting.
The lighting control system utilizes a DMX controller located approximately 300’ from the bridge to take advantage of the existing electrical service, control cabinet, and raceways and reduce cost. It is connected to secure wireless access on the bridge.
Mobile device apps allow the owner to access the controller from the bridge deck wirelessly. The cost of the wireless access was offset in an agreement from the service provider to provide public wireless access, with advertising, on the bridge.
600V rated low voltage cabling that could be installed in the same conduit with power cabling was designed to reduce and hide conduit on the bridge structure.
Multiple channel DMX wiring was utilized to simplify future maintenance. The multiple channel approach allows you to isolate problems to a single channel, rather than all of the control wiring for the entire bridge.
The programming software utilized by the DMX controller allows the owner to change lighting scenes based on a calendar. The controller also has an astronomical timeclock to turn off all lighting during daylight hours. The timeclock allows maximum energy savings with minimal maintenance.