Xicato: How do you program an Umbrella?

Xicato's vision for lighting control is for automated, "hands-off", adaptive control based on any number of conditions -- time of day, day of week, time of year, occupancy, ambient light level, etc. This capability is already built into the XIM modules, and is programmable using the Xicato Control Panel.

We received a lot of interest in the "Under the Umbrella" article in our last newsletter, and thought we would use it to show some of the more powerful capabilities of the State Machine that can be programmed by into our XIM modules. Part of the "Vivid Sydney: Light, Music & Ideas" festival, Under My Umbrella was created by the Beam Collective, with help from Webster Chu of Xicato. We thought you might want to see how this magical effect was created...

Step One: Describe what you want

Describe the behavior you are looking for. In this case, the goal looked something like this:

During show hours (17:00:00 - 23:15:00)...

When nobody is under the umbrellas, create the impression that the umbrella up and down lights are flashing randomly.

When visitors walk underneath the canopy of umbrellas, trigger a more organized, sequential pattern of light.

When you don't see anyone for a period of time, go to a fixed lighting level before timing out again to pseudo-random flashing.

Programming an Umbrella Group

Below is the sensor setup for one group of umbrella lights. The numbers on the left refer to State numbers, in this case, 0 to 9.

Line 1 tells the lights to go from State 0 to State 1 based on the T0 schedule (shown beside (1) in the lower left)... in this case, T0 is the event hours. Initially, they go to a "Direct Intensity" of 100%, with a fade time of 0.5 seconds, after no delay. Note that in this state machine, there are no delays, but that this is a configurable parameter which is used with other groups to give the impression of randomness to the reactions of the umbrellas. Also notice in line 2 that the state does not last long.

Line 2 says to go from State 1 to State 2 after "StateTime" of only 0.7 seconds, at which time the lights dim to 0.1% over 0.3 seconds with no delay. Then, line 3 says to go back to State 2 after 0.7 seconds, etc. This is is a little loop (indicated by the red circle marking), with the pattern repeating every 1.4 seconds.

What breaks this loop is line 4 -- a Motion event on motion sensor M0 (see (3) in red, below), which has a Device ID of 1987. When the motion sensor sees someone, the lighting group jumps to a new cycle between State 3 and State 4, which as you can see by the longer StateTimes, is slower (2 x 3 = 6 seconds).

Line 7 says that if motion sensor 0, motion sensor element 0 (M0.0) does not see anyone for 6 seconds (M0.0 Time > 0.6) the lights go to 0.5% over 3 seconds. From State 5, if M0.0 sees motion, it jumps into yet another loop (defined by lines 8 and 9), looping between states 6 and 7 that is slightly quicker even than loop 1-2.

After no motion for 5 seconds, the group goes to State 8, fading for 0.3 seconds to 1% intensity.

Xicato Control Panel, Sensors tab. Each lighting module can respond to: (1) Up to 4 scheduled time periods, including day of week and Start / End times to 1 second accuracy. (2) Up to 2 switches, each with up to 4 buttons. (3) Up to 4 Motion sensors, each with up to 3 different motion sensor elements (12 total). (4) 1 Lux sensor, with up to 2 Lux sensor elements. (5) One other lighting module or intelligent driver.

Sensor settings can apply to either a single light source (6 left), or an entire group (6 right)).

Line 12 tells the group to go to 1% over 0.5 seconds and State 0 from State 3-8 if no motion is seen for 20 seconds.

Line 13 tells the lights to do whatever a Light Controller says (LC Evt), and call that State 9. But only for 2 seconds, as instructed by Line 14.

Line 15 tells the lights that, regardless of what State they are currently in, they should go to State 0 at 0% intensity when the T0 time schedule is Inactive, and the next line tells them to ignore Lighting Control commands (i.e. stay in State 0 at 0%).

Notice something very important about States: they are not the same as scenes! For example, State 0 here is defined at 1% or 0%, depending on the state from which the State 0 was entered. Also notice that there must always be a way both in and out of every state. If you forget, Control Panel will highlight the field in yellow to remind you. As opposed to Scenes, States can only be entered and exited under specific conditions, and the state defines not just a setting, but constrains behavior to a certain path.

But this is about as complex as it gets.

Simpler tasks

Using the Control Panel "State Machine" you can create simple occupancy/vacancy sensor behavior. Or you can tune a room to maintain a specific light level by tracking a lux sensor and providing compensating illumination (i.e. daylight compensation). Or you can create simple, repeating scene patterns. Or you can simple tell a light to listen to a switch for on/off/dim, or to a mobile app. There is really no practical limit.

Contact your Xicato sales representative or authorized distributor for more information, or to receive a demonstration of the Xicato control system. Better yet, order an XIM Gen4 Evaluation Kit (see below) and try it for yourself!

For more June 2017 news from Xicato see here.

#VividSydney #XicatoXIMBLE #LightingFestival #Sydney

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