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Old 04-25-2012, 10:16 PM   #16
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Elaborate Plan for wiring my theater lighting


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Originally Posted by jbfan View Post
The GRAFIK eye would be a good choice, and the cost will be close or less than having 13 dimmers scattered around the room.

Juliemor, what 80% rule are you talking about?
There is not an 80% rule in residential.

danielrg, if I'm not mistaken, receptacles can not be dimmed.

You can go up to 1800 watts on the lighting circuits on a 15 amp breaker.

You also have to remember that any junction boxes need to remain accessible.
I'll have to look into the GRAFIK eye...

I'm going to plan to watch the 80% rule anyway, mostly because as I have it planned I fall within it anyway

I would only run simple lamps with dimmable lights in them on those receptacles, and mark them as such with a labeler. I have standard receptacles next to them in a double gang box on another circuit.

Thanks

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Old 04-26-2012, 05:11 AM   #17
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Elaborate Plan for wiring my theater lighting


Quote:
Originally Posted by jbfan View Post
The GRAFIK eye would be a good choice, and the cost will be close or less than having 13 dimmers scattered around the room.

Juliemor, what 80% rule are you talking about?
There is not an 80% rule in residential.
Municipalities around here follow the NEC with Chicago code upgrades. Many just use the Chicago code, which is generally more stringent than NEC. The 80% rule refers to loading a breaker to only 80% of the rating and every inspector I've run across in my career, residential, industrial or commercial, stuck to that. Breakers are not as reliable as fuses and maybe that's why that rule was adopted.

I haven't priced the residential GRAFIK Eye system but you make a good point about cost vs. dimmers. If it's even close, the GRAFIK Eye would be a much better choice. The one we installed for the boardroom (I think it was the 4000 series) I priced at around $10,000 for just the panel and controllers alone (that was in 2006). Lutron's website takes you to the QS series for residential applications. Maybe that's a lot cheaper.

Something else I found was this: http://www.eguestcontrols.com/produc...s-controllers/ I know nothing about this product but it might be worth looking into. It looks like you can gang up to (3) 5 zone controllers. As long as it can handle the circuits and wattage, it may be an option if the GRAFIK Eye is too costly.

Dan, typically, you never exceed a 15A breaker for lighting installations. Even in commercial applications, we pull #12 wire for lighting but use 15A breakers. You may want to check with your local inspector. When I'm the job foreman or superintendent, I always call the inspector first, if I don't already know them, and make sure there aren't any special rules they may follow. It's also good PR. Since you're upgrading your service and adding a sub panel, I'm guessing you're getting a permit, so bringing the inspector in early may save you headaches later.

If you do end up installing conduit, pull stranded wire. It will make your wire pull easier. When you terminate receptacles, reverse the twist on the wire if you use the screw terminal for connection. If the device has a back wire connection (screw terminal type) use that instead. If you run across devices that have a back stab connection (where you just push the wire into the hole on back) don't use it! You'll just give yourself headaches in the future. That device has been outlawed around here for a long time. It's a fire hazard.

Good luck! It looks like a fun project.
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Old 04-26-2012, 02:18 PM   #18
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Elaborate Plan for wiring my theater lighting


The "professional" way to do this type of installation, aside from using a packaged system like GRAFIK Eye, is to install a separate DMX-512 dimmer for each subset of fixtures. Identify the smallest possible groupings of fixtures you might want to control (which could be individual fixtures), and have a dimmer for each. Then you control them electronically. Lighting control boards (and software) allow you to group dimmers to create virtual dimmers that control different configurations of fixtures. There are lots of solutions for DIY DMX-512 dimmers.
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Old 04-26-2012, 11:27 PM   #19
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Elaborate Plan for wiring my theater lighting


Thanks for all the great comments on this thread.

I wanted to note one thing that my local authority mentioned - no receptacles allowed on dimmers (since NEC 2002 he said). I have to buy a special receptacle:

http://lightingcontrolsassociation.o...le-receptacle/

or not do it, or wire the device permanently. We'll see what I do for the rope lights in the theater, I have asked him if special purpose receptacles that generally can't be accessed for general use are okay. If not, I'll get one of the receptacles above for the rope lights.

I love the ideas from all of you for automation - but I won't have the budget initially. I have grouped the lights in about as small of groups as I think I'll need - I don't see any reason for dimming differently on the right and left of a theater, just front to back, so I can't imagine controlling two parallel cans or sconces (same distance from screen) separately. With 14 dimmable zones, I should be able to do some cool stuff, especially with a system, software, etc.

Hopefully my plan allows for the addition of a computerized control system in the future. Initially I won't be able to buy all the dimmers either, I'll probably just have a couple dimmers and lots of blank plates, and upgrade over time.

Thanks again. Any other ideas are still of course appreciated!
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:52 AM   #20
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Elaborate Plan for wiring my theater lighting


Since you're going with dimmers, take a look at the Lutron Maestro dimmers before you buy anything else. When turning them on, they slowly dim up to whatever level you have it set at. When you turn them off, they dim down to full off. A nice theater-type effect. They also allow for dimming at each end of a 3-way setup. I haven't been able to find any other dimmers that do that. They are also very energy efficient.

And if I understand what I've read on the Lutron website:
Quote:
Maestro Wireless technology offers impressive lighting control functionality and convenience that will fit almost any commercial or residential application. The Pico® Wireless control and Radio Powr Savr™ sensors give the system even greater flexibility, plus the added benefit of improved energy savings. The system is incredibly easy to install and operate, allowing you to control lighting levels with any combination of up to 10 dimmers, switches, sensors and wireless controls — all with the touch of a button.
It looks like one remote control will allow you to control ten dimmers. From what I've gathered, I'm thinking you may be able to turn the 10 on & off or dim them in unison. If you can control them separately, all the better.

The dimmers around here run about $30 each with the matched pair of 3-way dimmers running about $56. I don't know what the wireless controller would run. You may want to contact Lutron and see what they say about your application.

Being able to sit in your seat and control the lights in your new theater? Priceless!

I put the Maestros in my kitchen and love them! I just bought some for the bedroom but I can't get the damn electrician here to install them!
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:20 PM   #21
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Elaborate Plan for wiring my theater lighting


Good thread so far.
For the extra price of a few buck do yourself a favor and pull the 12 Ga wire.
I would also put it in conduit,once I started using conduit I never looked back,it makes it a lot easier to customize your circuits(both now and in the future) and looks more professional.
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Old 04-05-2013, 05:26 PM   #22
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Elaborate Plan for wiring my theater lighting


Well everyone. It has been a year. I have finished the wiring for this project just a couple weeks ago, but the walls are still open so I can still tweak things. Haven't had my inspection yet.

I ended up pulling 12/2 and 12/3 for all the lighting. The opinions were overwhelming in that direction. It wasn't so bad, and the cost difference wasn't so bad either.

I have decided on using the 6 zone Grafik Eye, and some separate dimmers for task lighting and entry lighting.

I ran ENT conduit to my bank of 4 gang switch boxes from the lighting junction box. This will allow me to pull any wires for running the switches/dimmers/grafik eye that I want. I think I'll really like the flexibility and it wasn't that hard.

I also used Raco 3 1/2" depth 4 gang metal boxes for the switches. I read that the metal boxes help keep in any EM emissions from the dimmers to help protect any A/V runs nearby. And their depth makes working in them much easier.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread, it really helped me in my decision making and thing look like they will out well.

I don't have the diagrams at this point, but might post them in the future. Thanks again. Love the community here.

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