C. Webster Marsh, Designer with lighting design firm Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design, provides the final installment on his series of articles about dimming and lighting control protocols. In this last installment, he teams up with HLB’s Adam Levine to tackle digital control protocols, covering when and how to specify it, and how to overcome some of the challenges.
Digital protocols can be a great option for large projects or projects with complicated programming, but because there is no single digital protocol standard in architecture, the lighting controls designer needs to spend time specifying a complete and compatible system. A lighting controls designer may have several pre-issuance meetings with different parties on the project to confirm the system is specified correctly. Digital protocols are also more complex than analogue protocols, so a designer needs to anticipate and specify more construction time to facilitate the installation, programming, and commissioning. The benefits of a digital lighting control system are worth the effort and cost, and getting informed owner buy-in early in the project development can avoid sticker shock later. Specific digital protocols were not covered in this document, but hopefully with this protocol trilogy designers can become more familiar with the protocols available to them and how to specify them.
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