Author Topic: 0-10v dimmable fixture wiring, how/what do you do?  (Read 6878 times)
xmaslightguy
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0-10v dimmable fixture wiring, how/what do you do? « on: July 07, 2017, 10:12:05 PM » Author: xmaslightguy
Anyone know how to wire up a 0-10v dimmable ballast?

The wiring diagram on the ballast is the easy part, that much I get :)
But how/what exactly do you do for the actual wiring that goes from dimmerswitch to fixture?
You'd have the standard 120v (romex) power wire, but then what sort of wire do you use for the low-voltage? Is it just 18g theromastat wire?

Also say you have a 2-lamp fixture and both lamps will be independently dimmable, plus one will also have an emergency/backup ballast... Then you need 14-4 romex since you have 3 'hot' wires? Or do you actually need 14-6(if such even exists) - because I remember reading somewhere that you shouldn't share the white/neutral on dimmable systems?

Maybe I'm overthinking something? or overcomplicating things? (or maybe what I want to do isn't even possible?)
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Re: 0-10v dimmable fixture wiring, how/what do you do? « Reply #1 on: July 08, 2017, 02:07:20 AM » Author: Medved
As  far as I know, the "1..10V" control interface is a SELV circuit. So there is supposed to be a galvanic isolation from the mains inside of the ballast.
Then you may share the wires, even connect the ballasts in parallel if you want common control (but watch for polarity), but the controller should be able to work with double (or multiple) bias current (so it should be an active one; simple 10k pot controller will have shifted control range).

The "0..10V" is just an extension defining a power OFF signal on top of the standard "min-max" setting range the standard "1..10V" is supposed to mean.
Normally the ballast sends a constant current of about 1mA into the control circuit, the controller then takes this as its supply and clamps the voltage to a level corresponding to the signal it wants to "send" to the ballast. The standard defines its range starting from 1V as the minimum signal to allow still some voltage for the controller to operate even when it wants to send the "minimum".

Normally the system assumes the controllers to use devices like LM10 (a 200mV reference generator plus an opamp, minimum supply 0.9V) to get the supply and generate the signal back (e.g. in the function of a daylight controlled dimming).

The simplest manual dimmers intended to be used with just a single fixture are then just a straight 10kOhm potentiometer. Because at minimum such pot shunts the voltage really to zero, some ballasts use that as a signal to completely shut off the lamp as a standard extension (in the 1..10V range it works as the original standard says, so from minimum to maximum brightness, below 1V it stays at the minimum til it crosses a comparator threshold, which shuts the ballast down completely), hence the "0..10V".

The original dimming range does not include power OFF, as it assumes the 1mA supply to be derived from the main ballast output circuit, so needs the ballast to be operating in order to have the interface working (so being able to read, what is commanded by the controller).

Some ballasts have the 1mA bias output and the actual signal input wired to separate terminals, so allows you to gang many ballasts onto one controller without overloading it by an excessive bias from all the ballasts (you then use just one of the bias outputs, keep the other bias outputs unconnected).
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Re: 0-10v dimmable fixture wiring, how/what do you do? « Reply #2 on: July 08, 2017, 07:53:59 AM » Author: Ugly1
Check out "MC Luminary Cable by AFC". This is a metal clad cable with the power wires and control cable in one metal sheath.
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Re: 0-10v dimmable fixture wiring, how/what do you do? « Reply #3 on: July 13, 2017, 10:02:33 PM » Author: xmaslightguy
@Medved:
Yep the low-volt part is completely isolated from the mains.
From what I've seen online, sounds like its even normal practice to use a single control unit to dim multiple fixtues, even if they're on separate circuits/phases/etc.

@Ugly1:
Interesting that they make such a thing! Wouldn't really work in my case though.
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Re: 0-10v dimmable fixture wiring, how/what do you do? « Reply #4 on: July 14, 2017, 03:17:12 AM » Author: Lodge
How long of a wiring run do you need ? and is the low voltage wire going in the same conduit as the high voltage wire ? (which is a code violation if you use class 1 and class 2 wire in the same conduit but I'm not the inspector) And yes thermostat wire will work just fine, but something that is shielded would be better, you could even use CAT 1 thru 7 cable..   
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Re: 0-10v dimmable fixture wiring, how/what do you do? « Reply #5 on: July 14, 2017, 06:50:39 AM » Author: Medved
@Medved:
Yep the low-volt part is completely isolated from the mains.
From what I've seen online, sounds like its even normal practice to use a single control unit to dim multiple fixtues, even if they're on separate circuits/phases/etc.

That is, why it is isolated in the first place...
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Re: 0-10v dimmable fixture wiring, how/what do you do? « Reply #6 on: July 14, 2017, 10:50:10 AM » Author: xmaslightguy
Quote from: Lodge
How long of a wiring run do you need ? and is the low voltage wire going in the same conduit as the high voltage wire ? (which is a code violation if you use class 1 and class 2 wire in the same conduit but I'm not the inspector) And yes thermostat wire will work just fine, but something that is shielded would be better, you could even use CAT 1 thru 7 cable..   
I plan to get a 50' roll of wire, won't need it all. (and only 2 fixtures)
No conduit, as its being installed in a house, so 2 wires ran separately to the fixtures...I've seen 14/4 romex on eBay, but ofcourse the stores (Home Depot/Lowes) don't have it. 18/4 thermostat/control wire seems surprisingly uncommon too even on eBay. I've seen people recommend shielded  for long runs (for blocking interference I'm guessing?) and that if you use it, you connect the shield to ground, but per code only at one end?
CAT-x seems awfully thin? But I did come across some posts about people using it when I was google'ing things.
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Re: 0-10v dimmable fixture wiring, how/what do you do? « Reply #7 on: July 14, 2017, 11:26:22 AM » Author: Lodge
14/4 is not a common size in residential, and it's more then likely cheaper to use two runs (one for each fixture ) of 14/2 because it's about the cheapest wire that gauge you can get if your talking about NMD90,  your local hardware store should have hundreds of rolls in stock. If you go thermostat 18/4 is basically unheard of but 18/5 FAS/LVT is common, you just end up with an unused wire, which you can ground out.. But the CAT-X will work if your only going 50 feet, it's rated to handle the voltage and current your putting into it and if you look at it, most is 28 to 22 AWG wire so if we just pick the smallest gauge at 10 volts, 50 foot, @ 1 mA your voltage drop in total is only  0.016%, and if you go thermostat it drops to 0.0016% and these are such small percentages the ballast wouldn't even notice them. 9.9984 volts is pretty close to 10 volts..

Most CAT-X wire can also be obtained in a shielded version with only a few cents / foot difference and since it's twisted pairs it's inherently self protecting from induced voltages, and on the plus side it's also future friendly if you go CAT-7 so if a cool Power Over Ether, networked switch ever comes out your ready the wires in the wall, and some things like commercial ceiling fans are starting to use this wire configuration for speed and direction controls just look at http://www.bigassfans.com/sg/control-options-2/ they want CAT 5e minimum

I think the only 14/4 wire big box stores carry is SOOW or some type of SJOW for use in extension cords (not for going inside the walls, if an inspector sees that, they will lose it on you, been there done that, not my work but it was fun to watch)       
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Re: 0-10v dimmable fixture wiring, how/what do you do? « Reply #8 on: July 14, 2017, 12:18:41 PM » Author: xmaslightguy
@Lodge: I actually need 3 'hot' wires going to the fixtures (hence the 14/4)... 1 for each ballast, 1 for a backup ballast. (I guess I could technically use a 14/2 + a 14/3, but its just that much more wire to work with :lol: )

Interesting that they make such fans!
If I was ever doing a new house (or large part of an existing one) I'd be very tempted to put in extra wire for smart/networked switches/lights/etc on everything.

And yep, some stores do carry the extension cord type of 14/4. To me not an option since it won't meet code. :)
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Re: 0-10v dimmable fixture wiring, how/what do you do? « Reply #9 on: July 14, 2017, 12:56:40 PM » Author: Lodge
If you want it in single wire then your either going to have to order 14/4 from somewhere like southwire, it's actually 14-2-2, or you could step it up a gauge and use something like 12/4 BX (Armored cable) which is common place and allowed by code in walls and outside walls, just not in wet areas, it's used in lots of 3 phase 4 wire systems, you should be able to get it by the foot locally, and if you go with BX cable make sure you get the Anti-short bushing with it, normally they will give you some for free when you buy the wire (if not ask for some, they are normally stapled to the spool) and its about a buck a foot.. 

And they do have some nice fans but unless your building a Costco a 20 foot fan is a little excessive, but they are high quality units..

Are the dimmable ballasts not able to shut the light of when you open circuit the dimmer circuit, you can get variable potentiometer with an built in switch, if so you could use that to control the two lighting ballasts and if needed turn them both off with one hot and leave one wire live all the time for the emergency ballast and get away with using 14/3 cable... 
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Re: 0-10v dimmable fixture wiring, how/what do you do? « Reply #10 on: July 14, 2017, 01:16:44 PM » Author: xmaslightguy
By code you can't mix 12 & 14 on a circuit here. I can get the 14/4 romex on eBay so I'll probably go that way (actual 14/4 too with 4 different colors ... I do remember at one time Home Depot had the 14/2/2, and that had 2 whites, a red & a black + a ground so it wouldn't work).

Nope the ballasts won't power-off from the dimmer circuit (I know which ones I want, but don't have them yet). I actually want the 2 ballasts in each fixture individually controlled - so I can do a 'warm' and 'cool' light setting. Probably something noone's ever done other than those 'smart' LED bulbs that have it built in.
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Re: 0-10v dimmable fixture wiring, how/what do you do? « Reply #11 on: July 14, 2017, 01:26:26 PM » Author: Ash
Dont you have multiple wire cables available ? Here something like 5x1.5 / 5x2.5 can be found everywhere as it is used for everything 3 Phase

(in all cable designations over here, Earth is an isolated core and is counted in the number. 5x means 5 conductors, which are color coded for Phase1 Phase2 Phase3 Neutral Earth)



"If I was ever doing a new house (or large part of an existing one) I'd be very tempted to put in extra wire for smart/networked switches/lights/etc on everything."

Over here we wire houses with single conductors pulled into conduit, not cables. So its up to the spark what to pull in on every run

Pulling in an extra wire or two is my standard practice where ever i can, allthough i allmost never see this done by others... (the conductors cost about 10 cents a foot so that is not a major reason not to)
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Re: 0-10v dimmable fixture wiring, how/what do you do? « Reply #12 on: July 14, 2017, 01:31:45 PM » Author: Lodge
I forgot about that, I was only thinking switch to light, and the 14-2-2 I've seen has one white that was red striped so you can have three hots and a neutral or two hots and two neutrals either way is acceptable..

But that is a neat idea, and I can't say I've seen it before, well except for in LED's..  
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Re: 0-10v dimmable fixture wiring, how/what do you do? « Reply #13 on: July 15, 2017, 12:54:55 PM » Author: xmaslightguy
@Lodge:
I figured one of the whites had to be marked so you could tell them apart...but the picture on the pack I saw back then made it look like 2 whites (same with one online).


@Ash:
On cables here they don't count the ground/earth in the number, instead just saying 'with ground' at the end. (its also a bare wire within the cable, not insulated like yours).
 
The most common is 2 conductors + ground, and 3 conductors + ground. 2 different versions of the 4x does exist but they're both rare. One would be like your 5x that's meant for 3 Phase, the other is meant for 2 circuits on single phase.


Sounds like your houses are wired like commercial buildings here - single conductors pulled into conduit, not cables.
Are your houses by chance built with steel frames (and/or concrete) instead of wood?
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Re: 0-10v dimmable fixture wiring, how/what do you do? « Reply #14 on: July 15, 2017, 07:35:12 PM » Author: Ash
Concrete and AAC are the building materials usually. Interior walls are sometimes the same materials, sometimes Drywall on Steel frames, but is wired with conduit in there too

When wiring in accessible spaces, then N2XY cables are used. The general rule for choosing wires vs. cable is that the wiring must be replacable without tearing up walls. The cables are used either where they are pulled into conduit, or where there is access over the entire length of the cable

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