There have been many discussions of te ubiquitous Lutron Grafik Eye here in the Theater Design & Construction area before and after the re-design of the categories. There are bits and pieces of good info on many of those threads along with a serious amount of redundancy in the questions.
Since there are so many other threads each with partial information about the various GRX models, I decided to consolidate all of the info to one thread.
To anyone that does not know what a Grafik Eye (GRX) is, here is a pic:
This is a four zone unit with a White "T" cover. That means that the top portion is translucent, which means you can see the status LEDs of the various zones.
The "A" cover would have the top portion "opaque" and the same color as the bottom of the cover.DEFINITIONS AND TERMS:Zones:
In this context, a "zone" refers to a light fixture, or group of light fixtures on the same electrical circuit. An example would be a group of sconces in a theater room or a group of louver lights in risers and walkways of a theater room.
Many times, can lights and other ceiling lights are grouped into multiple zones.
As an example, you may have the lights over the seating area be one zone, and the lights highlighting the screen/proscenuim area as a second zone, and a dedicated "wall wash" fixture over the rack as a third zone.Scenes:
In this context, a "scene" refers to a snapshot of multiple zones each at different instensities. Once a particular scene is programmed, a single press will return all of the selected zones to the intensities programmed for that scene.
Common scenes in a home theater application might include:
'Clean Up' - all zones at 100% intensity for maximum visibility
'Access' - sconces on medium and aisle lights on high for people entering and leaving
'Watch Movie' - screen cans off, sconces at very, very low or totally off, and aisle lights just at a very low level.
'Intermission' - Aisle lights and sconces at similar levels to 'Access', plus the rack or control room lights on to allow loading DVDs or tapes, flipping Laserdiscs, etc.Lamps:
When consumers first get into lighting, they may notice that all lighting designers call all bulbs "lamps"... It would be more accurate to say that consumers call all lamps "bulbs".
You may see or hear terms like MR-15, PAR-20 flood, and T-8 blue spectrum... be mindful or these terms, because they describe different lamps for different applications. I am shocked to see how many homeowners, and even professional electricians, choose the incorrect bulbs, especially the lamps/bulbs in can lights.
When you choose by wattage and shape alone, you may well be choosing an yellowish low color temperature outdoor flood lamps for your can lights in your theater.
Color temp in lighting means the same thing as it does on video... In the world of lighting, higher is better than lower. Halogens are usually higher in spectrum, so they have a bluer "whiter" light.
The new GE Reveal bulbs are pretty nice and are a significant improvement over traditional incandescents. Considering the price of these bulbs/lamps, and the inefficient nature of incandescent bulbs to begin with, IMO it would be a wise choice to select halogen fixtures whenever possible.
Dennis Erskine seems to be fond of the Ardee recessed fixtures, but given my proximity to the HQ of Juno lighting, we see their fixtures most often.
If you are REALLY serious, consult a lighting designer to specify your fixtures, trims, lamp types, and even the lighting intensity of each zone in for a few scenes to create the maximum effect.
Yes, a table lamp or floor lamp is also called a lamp by everyone in case anyone is curious...Loads:
This document rom Lutron is a good example of the types of loads that you may face.http://www.lutron.com/technical_info...mingBasics.pdf
In this context, "loads" refers to the type and wattage of the fixtures/lamps on a zone.
To determine the load for a zone, total up the wattage of the fixtures on each planned zone to get this number.
(ie. Four Juno recessed light fixtures with 60 watt incandescent bulbs = 240 watts on zone 1...)
GRX dimmers can dim up to 800 watts on any single zone, but the total capacity limits the GRX (all series) to the following:
2 zone - 1200 watts total
3 zone - 1500 watts total
4 zone - 2000 watts total
6 zone - 2000 watts total
If your intended fixtures exceed the zone or unit capacity, use a Power Booster on the largest load(s).
The most common loads are:
This includes mostof what we would use in theaters. Edison type "bulb" shaped bulbs/lamps, reflectorized spot and flood lamps, chandelier bulbs, halogen lamps, and some rope lighting.
MLV (magnetic low voltage lighting)
Can lights and track lights with magnetic transformers that convert line voltage to low voltage. Most LV rope lights are MLV.
GRX units can dim MLV loads.
ELV (electronic low voltage lighting)
Can lights and track lights with electronic transformers that convert line voltage to low voltage. NOTE: GRX units CANNOT directly dim ELV loads, and GRX-ELVI interface is required and it will require it's own 2 gang box.
It is not recommended to mix different loads on the same zone. If you desire different types of fixtures to track together (ex. sconces and rope lighting), choose a larger GRX unit and program the zones to track together.CHOOSING A GRAFIK EYE (GRX):
The three basic series of GRX for Home Theater use are:GRX-2400 serieshttp://www.lutron.com/grafikeye/grx2000.asp?s=&t=
GRX-2402 (2 zone, 2 gang box) MSRP $ 420
GRX-2403 (3 zone, 3 gang box) MSRP $ 500
GRX-2404 (4 zone, 4 gang box) MSRP $ 580Features:
This is the most basic series in the GRX family. 4 scenes only.
Basic IR control (incl. scenes 1-4, all off)
Fixed 3 second fade between scenes and a 10 second fade to off.
This unit is not compatible with Accessory Controls, but you can still accomadate multiple entry points with a single button Entrance Control (NT-GRX-1S) that toggles between from scene to off, and from off to back to scene 1.GRX-3100 (aka MR series)http://www.lutron.com/grafikeye/grx3100.asp?s=&t=
GRX-3102 (2 zone, 2 gang box) MSRP $ 690
GRX-3103 (3 zone, 3 gang box) MSRP $ 770
GRX-3104 (4 zone, 4 gang box) MSRP $ 850
GRX-3106 (6 zone, 4 gang box) MSRP $ 1,010Features:
Advanced IR control (incl. scenes 1-16, raise, lower, all off)
Variable fade time on all scenes and off.
Fade time programmable from 1-59 seconds or from 2-60 minutes.
The 3100 and 3500 series step up to 16 scene control, with 1-4 on the front cover of the GRX, and 5-16 being available via IR, or through MUX from the Accessory Controls or interfaces (except RS-232)GRX-3500 (aka IA series)http://www.lutron.com/grafikeye/3545.asp?s=&t
GRX-3502 (2 zone, 2 gang box) MSRP $ coming soon
GRX-3503 (3 zone, 3 gang box) MSRP $ coming soon
GRX-3504 (4 zone, 4 gang box) MSRP $ coming soon
GRX-3506 (6 zone, 4 gang box) MSRP $ coming soonFeatures:
The 3500 series is programmable with 1% resolution in dimming steps, vs. @6-7% steps on the 2400 and 3100 series.
The same advanced IR control as the 3100 series, except the raise and lower have more steps in the resolution.
The 3500 series adds the capability of using the RS-232 interface which adds real time feedback to a control system as well as direct communication dimming w/out establishing presets. (ie: directly dimming one load only to modify an existing scene)Accessory Controls:
As for Accessory Controls, the NTGRX models have been the only choice for years,
but recently Lutron introduced the SeeTouch series and everyone LOVES the SeeTouch keypads.http://www.lutron.com/seetouch/seetouchA.pdf
With the SeeTouch, you can have your scene names engraved into the 4 scene buttons and have them appear backlit... this is a VERY attractive option and a nice effect when entering a dark room.Remotes:
There are remotes available directly from Lutron for the GRX series, but most HT designers use the discrete codes which are pre-programmed into the database nearly every programmable remote and readily available from places like www.remotecentral.com
Here is the link to the IR files for several formats for diferent remotes as well as an excel spreadsheet that has the breakdown of each code.http://www.lutron.com/technical_info...ol/default.aspALL GRX dimmers share the following...
Any zone can be programmed to switch instead of dim, so you can use the GRX to switch loads that cannot easily be dimmed, such as flourescent and neon.
You can also use a zone in switch mode as a programmabe relay to trigger fans, window shades, screens, lifts,etc., although there are better ways to achieve this IMO.
Other fixtures including ELV, flourescent, and higher wattage loads can be accomodated with the proper interface, power modules and/or dimming ballast.
Scenes 1-4 are always controlled on the face of the GRX and these scenes cannot be locked. As users change light levels under the top cover of the GRX, the l;ast scene selected is also changed. The GRX will return to the last state when that scene is recalled. If you have a 3100 or 3500, program your accessory controls, remotes, and touchcreens using scenes 5-16. These can only be modified in programming mode, and the programmed scenes will be consistently recalled regardless of the last status of the controls under the cover.