Understand brightness gradations, with the EnOcean protocol as an example.

Photo by Daniele Franchi on Unsplash

What is Grading?

Dimming is a way of being able to modify the flow of a few light sources from a manual control device (example: a button) or with an automatic system (example: a presence detector). These two notions of dimming and controls are inseparable , and the components and modes of operation are intertwined .
The fact of being able to reduce or increase the luminous flux of a source essentially depends on the technology of the latter. The means are varied and we offer you here an insight on the one hand on phase cutting and on the other hand on the technique of pulse width modulation (PWM).

What is EnOcean?

Based on the principle of collecting natural physical energy (magneto-resistive, photovoltaic, Pelletier effect, etc.), EnOcean products collect the energy necessary for their operation from their environment : movement of a “rocker”, light solar panels, variation of heat in the valve of a radiator, everything is possible! Battery change and maintenance are a thing of the past.
With EnOcean technology, benefit from the flexibility of wireless, without maintenance constraints. The EnOcean protocol is defined by the new ISO/IEC 14543-3-10 standard, which makes it the first wireless energy harvesting protocol to have passed ISO international standards.

Lamps and dimming

The flow of a light can be set up thanks to different techniques which depend on the technology of the source:

  • The sentence dimming for incandescent/halogen lamps.
  • Power reduction associated with a specific magnetic ballast for high power discharge lamps, ie more powerful than 150W. Moreover, it is not strictly speaking a matter of dimming but rather passing the flux from 100% to a threshold of 40/50%.
  • Increasing the current frequency (from 40,000 to 90,000 Hz for example) to increase the impedance and therefore reduce the intensity of the current and the power for discharge lamps whose power is less than or equal to 150W .
  • Amplitude modulation (analog signal) and/or pulse width modulation of a signal (PWM) of electronic retainable power supplies for LEDs.

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These different protocols or coding/decoding are theoretically adaptable to all dimming techniques but practice makes certain compatibilities irrelevant, refer to the manufacturers’ documentation for more details.

Summary of different means of transmitting dimming control. It must be taken into account that each building has its own specificity and that constantly evolving solutions are to be applied on a case-by-case basis (in addition, different protocols can be used concomitantly, for example 1/10 with a DALI bus ):

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In conclusion…

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