Fact # 1
The majority of lighting dimmer systems are replaced unnecessarily every year. Most of the time, only the control electronics have become obsolete. Lighting dimmer systems can often be retrofitted in a few hours at a fraction of the cost (typically 10-20%) of complete dimming system replacement. As an additional benefit, electrical contracting is eliminated in most cases reducing costs and facility downtime.
Fact # 2
ALL SCR based dimmers (the vast majority of dimmers on the market for the past 40 years) consist of 3 major components. A power device, a circuit breaker, and a choke. It doesn’t matter who manufactured the dimmer, they all have the same design. It is the control electronics where most dimmers differ from each other. In lighting dimmer system electronics, newer is often better. Lighting control consoles are often upgraded, why not the dimmer electronics?
Fact # 3
Since the 1990's, DMX512 has quickly become the data protocol standard for lighting dimmer systems. Older systems ran everything from AMX to to EC-MUX - what they have in common is that they are obsolete. Although perhaps reliable, most of these older lighting dimmer systems have become obsolete due to technical design limitations - they were state of the art when they were first designed but now they are no longer supported. Some facilities try to interface new lighting consoles using a protocol converter. However, it does nothing to address the aging or defective electronics that exist in the lighting dimmer rack. You still have old control electronics connected to a new console. Most users end up experiencing poor performance - often slow, laggy dimmer response.
Completely replacing a dimmer system can be expensive and substantial labor costs are incurred in replacing the existing lighting wiring network. The majority of lighting dimmer racks are solidly made and the flakiness that users report and complain about often come from aged electronics. As the electronics age, the problems experienced will increase until finally full failure occurs - often at the worse time.
What Equipment Do You Retrofit?
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