0-10V,  PWM lighting dimming control protocols: How to choose the right one?

An ideal lighting control protocol is essential when designing an intelligent lighting control system. Protocols are rules. Hence, the lighting control protocol is a prominent factor in determining the overall cost and project quality.

Lighting Control Protocols: DALI, 0-10V, DMX, PWM - What is your choice

Do you know what a lighting control protocol is? 

The lighting control protocol is a set of rules used for communication between lighting control devices, like ballasts, sensors, or motion detectors. The commonly used lighting control protocols are DALI, 0-10V, DMX, and  Pulse Width Modulation (PWM). The two primary types of protocols are analog and digital. Analog protocols are usually one-way (unidirectional), allowing no feedback from interfaces, illuminates, or devices. Digital protocols are either one-way or two-way. Two-way (bidirectional) protocols allow data, reliability rules, and other information to be exchanged between the luminance and the device.

We will be discussing these protocols/standards in detail. However, before that, let us get into the details of Lighting Control Protocols. 

self-powered switch and controller

What are the advantages of a lighting control protocol?

1. Energy saved

People often forget to turn off the lights before going out or going to bed, but with smart lighting control systems, those situations will never happen again. If you wish, the lighting control protocol can set the control requirements according to your usage strategy to maximize energy savings.

2. Lighting for personal preferences

In view of the flexible nature of the control protocol, you can freely set any lighting scene you like, no matter how bright or dark the light is, or the free choice of color.

3. Enhanced convenience

Lighting control protocols allow efficient control of the lighting network, including tablets, laptops, desktops, and more. It will enable creating a well-lit and anthropocentric lighting environment without energy wastage.  

smart home

What are 0-10V and 1-10V Lighting controls?  

The most commonly used analog protocols 0-10V and 1-10V are used to dim lights using voltage levels. A voltage of 10 Volt is employed for maximum light output, whereas lesser voltages are used for lower light output. 

A 0-10V control works by applying a voltage between 0 and 10 volts DC to provide different light intensity levels. At the same time, a 1-10V control applies a voltage between 1 and 10 volts DC. The greatest intensity (100 percent) is 10 V, and the least is 1 V. (10 percent).  

There are two 0-10V standards currently in use. The original 0-10V control was employed to control lights for the stage or theatre. Another 0-10V control method was created and is still used as a standard for fluorescent dimming ballasts control.   

0-10/1-10V lighting control can be used in various situations, including workplace space, personal space, and retail spaces. Those wishing to use this for multi-functional lighting will find it quite helpful in meeting their needs and providing the intensity they require. 

Ebelong K wireless self-powered switch

What are the features of 0-10V lighting control protocols?  

(1) It is analog—The lighting changes in response to voltage differences that are controlled.

(2) Hardwired—because each item has its wiring, the installation might be complicated if the lighting control system is extensive and sophisticated.

(3) The signal from the dimming driver to the LED driver or fluorescent ballast is unidirectional. As with digital systems, there is no data on which to monitor the operation of the lights because there is no signal going back from them. 

(4) A 0-10V system can accommodate roughly ten luminaires per controller.

Ebelong smart switch and light controller

How does 0-10V work?  

The lighting varies as the voltage is varied. A 0-10V dimming driver sends a low DC voltage signal to the fluorescent ballast or LED driver.

 As a result, the light will dim to 0% and turn OFF at zero volts, and at 10 volts, the lights will turn ON to 100%. 

What is Pulse Width Modulation?  

LED Dimming using Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) is one of the ways to regulate the brightness of an LED. The LED current level is selected, and the light is turned ON and OFF quicker than the human eye can detect. The LED fading is proportional to the amount of ON-time divided by OFF time; for example, the longer the current is ON, the brighter the LED appears to be. 

0-10V,  PWM lighting dimming control protocols: How to choose the right one?

What are the features of PWM? 

  1. Increases the accuracy of the output level
  2. Ideally suited for applications that require certain LED features, like efficiency, color, or temperature.
  3. It has a broader dimming range.
  4. Require Drivers

How does PWM work?  

PWM controls the amount of current that flows to a device like an LED by pulsing DC and altering the amount of time each pulse stays “ON.” As PWM is digital, it has two states: ON and OFF. 

The LED will become brighter as each pulse lasts longer. The LED does not turn off since the gap between pulses is so short. In other words, the LED’s power source cycles ON and OFF at a high rate that the LED does not flicker.  

How does PWM work

Finally, in conclusion

As we all know, each project has its own characteristics, so it is necessary to tailor the correct and applicable lighting control solution to the specific requirements of the project. The selection of lighting protocol standards is a key factor in formulating lighting control solutions, so before formulating a solution, you should have a detailed understanding of the mainstream lighting control protocols on the market. If you have difficulty choosing the right protocol for your project, we are willing to provide all available information.

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