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David Moore

LED fixtures too bright? How to add top-end trim


Have you installed brand new LED light fixtures only to find that a room is overlit, causing discomfort or other difficulties for the occupants? You could certainly reduce the quantity of installed fixtures, but removing fixtures can make the ceiling space look odd as well as cause the room to be unevenly lit. Rearranging fixtures requires re-wiring the line voltage which can get costly.

Read on for a possible solution to this problem for under $50 and a little time.


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Giving Patients Dimming Control of Lighting through their Pillow Speaker or Bedside Rail


A common trend in the design of patient care facilities is the integration of pillow speakers, bedside rail buttons or other nurse call devices with the lighting in order to give patients the ability to control some or all of the room lighting from their bed.

Generally speaking, all nurse call equipment is designed to operate using normally open, low voltage momentary contact switches. A momentary button press on a pillow speaker for example allows low voltage to pass through, creating a “pulse” which can be used to signal equipment downstream to perform a specific function, such as calling a care provider for help, controlling the television, or in our design case, turning lighting on and off.

Turning lights on and off is easy to solve, as a simple device such as a switch pack can be used to accept the momentary pulses of the pillow speaker button and toggle the lighting load accordingly. Switching with 3-way scenarios are also easily accommodated by simply adding additional momentary switches. For example, you may want to add a switch to the head wall next to the patient bed so the care provider can turn different lighting zones on or off as necessary.

But what if you want to add the ability for the patient or care provider to dim the lighting?

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Occupancy Sensors: Choosing the Correct Sequence of Operation

There are 4 primary sequences of operation when designing a room with occupancy sensors:

  1. Auto-On / Auto-Off
  2. Auto-On / Manual or Auto-Off
  3. Manual-On / Manual or Auto-Off (Vacancy Mode)
  4. Last Switch State

You need to decide how you want the room to operate ahead of time so you can depict the correct control devices in your design documents. Let’s review each of the above sequences in detail.


1. Auto-On / Auto-Off

Occupancy Sensor - Auto-On, Auto-Off Operation Wiring Diagram

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The Beginning of Lighting Controls Design


You need help designing lighting controls for your building project. As a specifier, you have a lot on your plate and not enough time to get it all done, validate that it works and ensure your design intent is clear to everyone involved. I want to help you with your next lighting controls project by giving you practical advice on design ideas, energy code requirements, and best practices to help you avoid pitfalls that I have run into in the real world. Keep Reading