ZBARLED helping architects and designers

How ZBARLED can help lighting designers and architects

The ZBARLED is known far and wide in the installer world as the ‘get out of trouble’ product because it solves so many lighting design challenges. Both commercial and high-spec private clients often envision specifications that other LED dimmers simply can’t handle or require expensive bespoke solutions. Whilst electricians and installers turn to the ZBARLED, architects and lighting designers are seldom aware of the benefits that the ZBARLED can bring to their design projects. 

We’re here to debunk the ins and outs of lighting control, to introduce to this market why and how the ZBARLED can make some of the most ambitious lighting designs both achievable and affordable.  

As Leonardo da Vinci once said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”   

The ZBARLED can handle mixed loads on one circuit 

Adding lighting control to mixed LED loads on a single circuit can be hard work, no matter the lighting project or solution chosen. Each LED fitting or driver will have different minimum and maximum levels that it can be dimmed to. However, when you use the ZBARLED, its clever (yet simple to programme) internal settings provide the installer with the opportunity to pre-set the dimmers' internal settings so that the lighting control output does not dip below the capacity of the drivers that have the highest minimum level. Not only does this ensure that the lighting control all works in sync, but that the dimmer is programmed to keep all the lighting within a consistent range of output, that works for all the fittings and drivers on the circuit, every time. 

Imagine you’re designing a space with a number of recessed GU10s, as well as LED strip lighting and some hanging, handcrafted pendants. The ZBAR allows you to connect all of those fixtures to one control point. With the ZBARLED you can connect any load, or wire two or more ZBARs in parallel for loads larger than 1000W/VA LED. 

It can accommodate multi-point control on one circuit 

Dimming LED from more than one point on a single circuit is a solution that’s often restricted to expensive, often bespoke lighting systems with complex configuration requirements. That is until the ZBARLED came along. With the introduction of the ZBAR to the world of LED dimming, installers, architects and lighting designers can provide a simple solution to multi-point LED control. A solution that is as easy to get your hands on and introduce to your projects, as it is to install. 

If a client wants to dim and control the lighting from multiple locations, the ZBARLED can support up to 32 control points per circuit, so even large venues and rooms can benefit from dimmable lighting without the inconvenience of only one control point.  

What’s more, the ZBARLED works with specially designed ZBARCR rotary controllers or can be paired with retractive push up/down (toggle, rocker etc.) switches and push/button switches. The versatility of the ZBARLEDs pairing with different control options means that there are no restraints to your control options and you, and your clients can select the controls that fit the character and usage of different areas. 

The ZBARLED creates flexible lighting control for large spaces 

The ZBARLED provides exceptional dimming control for larger LED-lit rooms, which means that creating a lighting design scheme for multi-use spaces is far easier. For example, the same premises could be rented out for conferences, performances, weddings, health and exercise, or worship, all of which of course requires specific and varied lighting conditions. In some of these scenarios, being able to achieve low-level lighting will be just as important as making sure the finished result provides optimal lighting where and when needed. A product that can be multi-functional and dim the lighting to low levels smoothly as much as it can make use of the circuit total load, without any flicker, buzz or dropout is imperative. 

With the ZBARLED installed, you can adjust the intensity of one or more layers of lighting in the premises to: 

  • change the appearance of the space when required; 
  • facilitate distinct functions of the venue; 
  • alter atmosphere and mood at the switch point; 
  • reduce glare depending on the natural lighting; 
  • increase user satisfaction by providing users with the ability to control their lighting. 

The ZBARLED reduces energy costs and increases efficiency 

Not only is LED up to 80% more energy-efficient than conventional lighting but adding a dimmer to a lighting scheme reduces overall energy usage significantly in comparison to standard on/off switches. As outlined in a study by Gordon Lowry on energy saving claims for lighting controls in commercial buildings, when provided with the ability to control the lighting levels themselves, the end-user will opt for lower lighting levels than the recommended lighting standards, based on their own personal preferences or levels of ambient light. 

Greater scope for lighting control can help your clients save on their energy consumption by up to 47%, which is welcome news for a commercial client whose energy bills may be significant, and who would welcome a chance to save money.  

The ZBARLED can handle substantial amounts of Inrush current 

Many LED drivers and fittings produce a large spike of current as they turn on, which can be much higher than the advertised wattage of the LED on its packaging. Inrush is the spike in current that is drawn by the LED power supply. While it mostly occurs when the circuit is first switched on, it can also happen during the mains cycle as the reservoir capacitor requires a charge. The bigger the spike or the longer the duration, the more it affects an LED installation, increasing the load and potentially changing the dimmer you need to install.  

Many lighting control options, no matter how bespoke or tailored to your specific lighting requirements, aren’t powerful enough to cope with Inrush current. Flicker, buzz and even LED dropout are by-products of Inrush current wreaking havoc on an LED install.  

When dealing with large loads, you need a dimmer that is powerful enough to handle the various complications of Inrush and can provide flicker-free, silent, and reliable lighting control. This is where the ZBARLED really comes into its own. With different wattage versions available depending on the project specification and the ability to add more ZBARLEDs to an install to control even higher loads, you can be confident that the ZBAR can handle even the more dramatic energy spikes produced by problematic drivers and fittings.  

Either order your ZBARLED from your local stockist, or, if you need some advice and want to talk all things lighting specification, give our technical team a ring on 0345 519 5858, or send an email to sales@zanocontrols.co.uk. 

Back to blog