Simple House Lights Control

Here at Le Petit Theatre in New Orleans, we run our lights with an Ion. It's a great fit for our space, and gives us all the flexibility we need. The only issue we're running into is that the house lights are also controlled by the Ion. During shows and work calls this isn't a problem, because we have enough people on staff who know how to use the board. The problem comes between events when cleaning staff needs to get in and have light to work by, or someone needs to give a tour of the space on a day when no one is working. Obviously we're not leaving the theatre completely dark, but sometimes they need more light. What I'm looking for is a good way to make a "light switch" I can put near the theatre door that will turn just the house lights on. I have not yet found a ready made solution for this, without buying a whole Unison system, which is a bit much for one circuit. If there is pre-made simple solution, please let me know. Some ideas I had: - Buy a small 4 button wall-mounted DMX controller and put it inline before the dimmers (~$600) - Mount an iPod touch with the iRFR installed (not user friendly for novices) - Buy a home light switch, and use a Rasberry Pi (or Arduino) to make the switch send MIDI messages to active a Macro in the Ion to control house lights. I'd either run a long midi cable, or use midi over Ethernet. - Buy a ETC Unison Heritage wall panel, and figure out away to make EchoConnect talk to the Ion? It seems like this should exist, but I haven't found it. Or some combination of the above. I'm curious if anyone else has come across a similar problem and what solutions you've found that work well. Thanks!

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  • James,

    Your ION has a remote trigger connector on the back of the console that can be used to trigger cues, submasters or macros. If you wire up a simple switch, you could trigger a bump button to fade up/out a sub with your houselight channels.

    Check out the Eos Family Show Control User Guide ("Analog Inputs" starting on page 23) for information on programming the console. It is at

    Information on wiring the connector is in the ION user manual.


  • In reply to tdrga:

    EchoFlex might be an option. There is a DMX scene output device that will pass thru or send a recorded preset. A simple switch type sender can be wall mounted and programmed to a preset. Double sided foam tape mounted, anywhere!

    I've specified many non-ETC wall buttons. They work really well, but you need 12V power and hard line DMX in the box with the switch.

    With any alternate system make sure it won't be bumped during a show!
  • A while ago, I started making remote switches but I abandoned the project. Your post got me going on it again and I now have a couple available to sell. I was going to write a long reply, then decided it deserves its own post.
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