Ok, now the lighting update. For a quick re-hash, there are 4 lighting circuits in this room:
1) LED eyeballs on gimbals, in the soffit, for pointing ambiance lighting on each acoustic panel. These are regular 4" cans, with a dimmer.
2) LED strip light, hidden behind crown molding at the bottom of the soffit, to splash up on the ceiling. This is a big long run (~115') of white LED strip lights, on a dimmer.
3) LED strip lights, in the riser steps, to light down from within grates. Basically more LED strip lights, just a 6" piece in a box, on a dimmer.
4) RGB LED strip lights, behind each acoustic panel, shining out. This is color changing LED strip lights, about 7' each panel, on a switch with a remote control
Running the lighting was a little tricky, but the really hard part was making sure the whole thing was controllable from my iRule remote. For anyone new to LEDs, there's a lot of things to work out. I keep saying that my EE background is useless, b/c LEDs are more like sorcery. A dimmer may or may not work with a transformer (they're low voltage lighting), which may or may not work with the lights. It takes a lot of research to find a combo that works, that can be integrated with an iRule. I finally decided on the following:
- LED eyeballs: Pretty simple run of 4" cans w/LED eyeballs, to a Lutron Maestro dimmer
- LED strip lights: FlexFire LEDs run to Zurik LED dimmable driver, to a Lutron Maestro dimmer
- RGB LED strip lights: These are more complicated, because of the need to control the color-changing AND because the RGB driver doesn't like to be dimmed at the controller. We (the guys at FlexFire were super helpful and kicked a$$) worked out a solution where it's FlexFire RGB LEDs to a Multi-zone RGB receiver, to a Mean Well dimmable driver, to a Lutron Maestro switch
All of that wiring is just to get the lighting to do what I want. Stopping there and all of the lighting worked, I showed this in my post of a couple of weeks ago. Over this weekend I took the last step, which allows me to control all of it from my iRule (AND the app on my iPhone...).
The key to the iRule integration is the Lutron Radio RA2. There's what they call the Main Repeater, which is basically a brain for a whole-home system. All of the controllers (dimmers, switches, etc) talk to the Main Repeater, which is network capable. Basically then you can program whatever controls, scenes, etc you want to from the software running on your machine (laptop in my case), and send it to the Main Repeater. The Lutron repeater is an open standard, which allows an iRule plugin to talk to it like the app I have running on my iPhone. iRule has already developed and sells that plugin.
Full disclosure: Ran out of time tonight, so I haven't finished the iRule integration yet. I've watched their tutorial tho, and it looks pretty simple. So far it works on my iPhone tho, so I'm not concerned.
Here's what everything looks like. This is a pic from the theater into the server rack. You can see that I've started putting up sheetrock and painted the inside of the rack black. On the left is a 4 gang switch. There's one switch for each of the circuits there. On the top right you can see the Main Repeater, which I attached to the side of the rack. It has an ethernet cable connecting it to my network, and is RF to the switches. Lastly, you can see my laptop, which I'm using to configure the repeater. The way it works is that you set up everything in the software, and send it across the network to the repeater. Here's the big SCAM: I bought everything from Magnolia, who wanted to charge for installation and setup. They said it was b/c it was commercial setup only. I was having zero luck until I figured out that Lutron won't give you the software unless you're an approved installer. It took most of yesterday to get thru their online U training, but I'm now an approved installer w/my own copy of the software.
Ok, I think that's about enough for now. If anyone's interested, let me know, and I can post part #s
for any/all of the components. I can also give more details on the wiring and setup of anything that anyone cares to know. I'll try to get the iRule integration done tomorrow, and post again when it's all working. Lastly, I think I went WAY overkill on the lighting, but I'd dig any more ideas!!