LSC introduces TruPower dimming PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 25 June 2010 00:00

For a number of years LSC has been listening to the requests, particularly from larger venues, for a way to allow the easy conversion of any dimmer channel into a simple switched power outlet.

Some companies offer ‘hot swap’ modules that allow 2,4,6 or 12 channels to be quickly interchanged from dimmer module to switch module and back again. However the cost and complexity and low flexibility of these systems often preclude them as a viable choice and so LSC went to their R&D department to find a better way.

The result is TruPowerTM, an affordable technology where every individual channel of the dimming system contains both a dimmer and a bypass contactor circuit to allow any channel or combination of channels to be instantly changed from one mode to the other. This changeover can be done via the UI on the dimmer rack, remotely via RDM or by recalling a previously used configuration from LSC’s Houston remote dimmer monitoring software.


LSC is known in the industry for its range of rugged, reliable and innovative products. Over the years dimming requirements have changed and LSC has met these changes in requirements with practical and affordable solutions. For instance, LSC was the first company in the world to develop a true fully digital DMX512 dimmer - a mere number of months after the first DMX512 standard was released in 1986.

Since its first dimmer in 1979, LSC has always provided a dimmer range that includes Pulse Transformer Fired Dimming (PTFD). While this dimming technology has always been that little bit more expensive to provide, it allows dimmers to control virtually any type of load including inductive loads (e.g. anything with a transformer in it, such as pinspots, 12v EVL dichroic lamp systems, etc) and reactive loads (discharge lamps and fluorescent lamps).

The appearance of moving lights and LED fixtures in a rig mean that more often undimmed power is required to power these devices. This creates a dilemma for specifiers of modern lighting systems – how to provide direct power outlets and dimmed power outlets on the same bar or lighting position? This is a particularly difficult question when also trying to predict what will happen in the future. Possible solutions to this problem are to use a cable patch (very costly, space and time consuming and messy), running both dimmed and non-dimmed power outlets to the position (very expensive) or modifying a dimmer so that it can supply either type of power.

Present solutions to this problem have been to make a dimming channel switching, so that it is either fully on or fully off. However this has been a problem for those dimmer manufacturers who don’t have PTFD. In this case the dimmer cannot necessarily drive the types of complex load that something like a moving light’s power supply can present to the dimmer and this can result in failure of either the dimmer channel, nuisance tripping of the dimmer’s breaker or even worse, damage to the load itself. This has led to some moving light manufacturers declaring that their products' warranty will be voided if their fixtures are connected to this type of power source.
While LSC dimmers are quite at home supplying undimmed power and driving complex loads, the basic facts are that a dimming circuit has noise suppression components within it and these components can present problems to some loads.

Enter TruPowerTMthe latest addition to the LSC lighting dimming arsenal.
Provided first in the EKO and TEKO range of dimmers, TruPowerTMprovides a solution for all these issues.

A TruPowerTMchannel can be switched to provide either standard dimming or direct power. This means that any circuit that may require dimmed or direct power now or in the future can be wired with one power run and the type of power offered can be set by the dimmer. This not only makes the system flexible but future-proof. Today the rig can be all incandescent profiles and dimmed in a traditional manner and tomorrow you can set the rig to be all direct power and fly moving lights safe in the knowledge that the moving light is seeing the same power as if you plugged it into a normal power outlet.

With the EKO and TEKO dimmers, configuration of which channels are dimmed and which are direct power can be selected:

  1. via the User Interface;
  2. permanently - for situations where it is desirable that any particular channel’s power mode is fixed;
  3. via RDM – the latest addition to DMX512 allowing control of the dimmer from a remote location.
  4. via LSCnet utilising a wall mount push-button controller or from a Building Management System.
  5. remotely using Houston – LSC remote monitoring and control software.

One of the first customers to use TruPower was the Gold Coast Arts Centre where 516 channels of EKO TruPower dimming were installed in February 2010. There is more information available about this installation in a Project Case Study on the Gold Coast upgrade.

Further reading:

TEKO-12CH-Front-Angled-600

The LSC TEKO now has TruPower as an option.

 

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