Question about Foundry Mini Panels and Architectural Lighting Control

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Simple question....I need a simple solution to control 48 recessed LED can lights with my ETC ColorSource 20 board. We recently installed all new LED stage lighting and now we are addressing our house lights which suck. We had 24 cans with incandescent bulbs. Then our maintenance man replace all those bulbs with LED screw in large bulbs. Dimming is terrible as those 24 are simply pigtailed and plugged into a 4 channel dimmer pack which is daisy-chained in our DMX line. We are adding 24 more cans as our overall light level is VERY low. All will be about ? 30 watts max.

I've read all the ETC pages on dimmers and controls and it seems one of the 8 zone Foundry Mini Panels might meet my needs. I need something to bring power from the house light breakers that has 0-10v dimming and also DMX control. 

Would a Foundry Mini Panel be all I would need? It doesn't seem like I would need any of the smaller in-line relays or 0-10V dimmers as the Mini Panels seem to have all that built in.

I've had 2 licensed electricians come out and both were clueless. Once I find a solution, I can get an electrician to help me wire it and I can wire the DMX part. 

Bottom line....I need someone to point me to exactly what I need to control our LED recessed can house lights with our ETC ColorSource 20 board so they will be fully 0-100% dimmable. 

This is just for one room in our building. Don't need facility wide power distribution/control.

Any help is appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  • Hi Pastor Todd.
    I'm Chris Stokes from ETC.  I hope I can help give you a bit more insight into your issue.  We see this happen a lot.

    If I am understanding it correctly, you have line-voltage dimmed LED retro-fit bulbs in your downlight cans now and they don't dim well.
    Your console is currently controlling this via DMX because the 4 channel dimmer pack speaks DMX to the dimemrs and the dimmers go to the new LED line-dimmed bulbs.  But it sounds like the dimmer and/or bulb don't work well together so you are not getting smooth dimming.  I will tell you, most consumer grade retro-fit bulbs, and my guess is the maintenance staff got at Home Depot or, won't dim well on anything.  They say dimmable, but really only to a point and then they pop off or flicker, and not what we expect or are use to for our space.

    ETC actually offers a free dimmer comparability testing option that we can match your retro-fit bulbs to our various dimming products to see what might work best.  That form can be found here, you just have to pay for the shipping of a few bulbs to test out.  We also compile this info into a database, so there is a small chance the bulb may already be in our system.

    I agree with RickR, and would try to see if our Phase Adaptive Dimmer might work better.  I would send the bulbs in for the testing in the above link and request it to be on the Foundry Phase Adaptive 600w Dimmer and find out the results before buying.  You may find out the LED bulb just doesn't dim well on anything.

    You also mention 0-10V dimming.  This is where I wanted to check in with what you meant.  Are you looking at new replacements downlight cans that take 0-10V dimming instead of the retrofits lamps the Maintenance staff installed?  0-10V fixtures usually have a driver built in that requires the 0-10V low voltage cable to contorl it.  You are correct in the case of Foundry your ColorSource console controls the Relay and the 0-10V over DMX.  It basically acts as a translator of DMX to 0-10V.  But if you are not looking at a brand new fixture to replace the can, then I don't think 0-10V is what you need or want in this case.

    To be clear, pulling 0-10V wire from a Foundry MiniPanel to each downlight can is not the solution if you intend to still us the LED retrofit

    Finally, if you are really stuck and want to go another route, budget pending.   ETC does make a wireless DMX controlled recessed houselight, that our local dealers can certainly tell you about.  More info on our Arc System Pro-Cell units here:

    I hope this helps and please feel free to continue to ask additional questions. 

    -Chris Stokes
    Associate Regional Manager Western Region

  • Thanks for the lengthy reply, Chris. Very helpful!

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