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Discussion Starter #1
Hello
I am the head electrician of a private school and we are building a new building. The contracted electrician has put in a change order to use a Acuity nLight lighting control over a Watt Stopper brand. I have never used the nLight system and am curious if anyone has. Pros / Cons and personal opinions welcomed.
Thanks
 

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Haven't used any Acuity controls, but Wattstopper has been pretty flawless for me for many years now.

What is the rest of the facility? If you have all Wattstopper stuff then just stick with it, you have the familiarity and the replacement parts are pretty much off the shelf.
 

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Haven't used any Acuity controls, but Wattstopper has been pretty flawless for me for many years now.

What is the rest of the facility? If you have all Wattstopper stuff then just stick with it, you have the familiarity and the replacement parts are pretty much off the shelf.
Dittos.
 

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Yes 90% of the campus is Watt Stopper. Makes sense to keep it Watt Stopper. Im not opposed to something new though as long as I don't fall into propriety parts hell. Probably my biggest concern of all. I don't want to have to pay for a programmer every time I need something changed or part replaced or added. I already have one fire alarm system in one building I have to do this with.
 

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Acuity is Lithoina so I am guessing it is a decent system.
If I had my way I would ditch any lighting system. Spend the money somewhere else. Every single one is obsolete in 2 years and none of them last as long as contactors, timers and dimmers. All anyone really needs to do is turn on the lights. Sometimes architects just make everything overly complicated because some rep takes them out for lunch once a month.
 

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Acuity is Lithoina so I am guessing it is a decent system.
If I had my way I would ditch any lighting system. Spend the money somewhere else. Every single one is obsolete in 2 years and none of them last as long as contactors, timers and dimmers. All anyone really needs to do is turn on the lights. Sometimes architects just make everything overly complicated because some rep takes them out for lunch once a month.
Lol, well your not wrong saying that.
 

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Old Grumpy Bastard
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Acuity is Lithoina so I am guessing it is a decent system.
If I had my way I would ditch any lighting system. Spend the money somewhere else. Every single one is obsolete in 2 years and none of them last as long as contactors, timers and dimmers. All anyone really needs to do is turn on the lights. Sometimes architects just make everything overly complicated because some rep takes them out for lunch once a month.
Or because driving up the overall cost of the project tosses them a bigger share of the dollars.
 
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Hackenschmidt
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Acuity is Lithoina so I am guessing it is a decent system.
If I had my way I would ditch any lighting system. Spend the money somewhere else. Every single one is obsolete in 2 years and none of them last as long as contactors, timers and dimmers. All anyone really needs to do is turn on the lights. Sometimes architects just make everything overly complicated because some rep takes them out for lunch once a month.
I don't know if my experience is different from others but if you find out how many end users / customers are happy they installed a lighting system at ten years out, it has to be near zero. (The GE Touchmatic system is one exception that comes to mind, people that bought that did pretty well.) It ties you to proprietary hardware, and they don't support it for long. The programming is getting better.

If someone came up with a controller that used non-proprietary components and was easier to program for lighting than a PLC, that would be nice. I don't know of anything though. It's too tempting to the manufacturer to lock the customer into a whole package.
 

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nLight is super easy, you just wire constant power to all your lights, then daisy chain zones together with cat5 patch cords. Programming is simple, the user can do it.

That being said, if your whole campus is all Wattstopper, it makes no sense to me to mix it up.

I don't disagree with sbrn33's assessment that control systems suffer from rapid obsolescence, however it is nice to be able to use digital technology to reduce the amount and size of wire needed. If you can run constant power to lights, then control them digitally (often addressably), you use a lot less wire and pipe, and changing how things are controlled and zoned in the future is much easier. And many systems use similar wiring schemes, so even if the system becomes obsolete, it should be simple enough to change out the components and utilize the existing wiring infrastructure.

JMO.

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Discussion Starter #10
nLight is super easy, you just wire constant power to all your lights, then daisy chain zones together with cat5 patch cords. Programming is simple, the user can do it.

That being said, if your whole campus is all Wattstopper, it makes no sense to me to mix it up.

I don't disagree with sbrn33's assessment that control systems suffer from rapid obsolescence, however it is nice to be able to use digital technology to reduce the amount and size of wire needed. If you can run constant power to lights, then control them digitally (often addressably), you use a lot less wire and pipe, and changing how things are controlled and zoned in the future is much easier. And many systems use similar wiring schemes, so even if the system becomes obsolete, it should be simple enough to change out the components and utilize the existing wiring infrastructure.

JMO.

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Thank you for your input.
Have you ever had to replace any parts of this system how difficult or easy is it to get new parts?
 

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Acuity is Lithoina so I am guessing it is a decent system.
If I had my way I would ditch any lighting system. Spend the money somewhere else. Every single one is obsolete in 2 years and none of them last as long as contactors, timers and dimmers. All anyone really needs to do is turn on the lights. Sometimes architects just make everything overly complicated because some rep takes them out for lunch once a month.
Here in overly overreaching Cali... Where everything gives you cancer and we label it as such... We are unfortunately setting the precedence for the rest of the nation with our superbly stupid Title 24 Energy Codes....

We do service for several local federal fish and game facilities. The newest unit they built is a (Was.... Till we worked there...) LEED Platinum building.

NONE OF THE **** WORKS RIGHT EVER AND BREAKS ALL THE TIME!

Well guess what? The government is too busy handing out cell phones to beggars and making useless laws, so the F&G has no budget to afford repairs to such an expensive system.

So.... We disconnected and removed what we could and now they have actual switches to control light fixtures. I know it is a novel concept, but people can actually learn to turn lights on and off!
 
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Here in overly overreaching Cali... Where everything gives you cancer and we label it as such... We are unfortunately setting the precedence for the rest of the nation with our superbly stupid Title 24 Energy Codes....

We do service for several local federal fish and game facilities. The newest unit they built is a (Was.... Till we worked there...) LEED Platinum building.

NONE OF THE **** WORKS RIGHT EVER AND BREAKS ALL THE TIME!

Well guess what? The government is too busy handing out cell phones to beggars and making useless laws, so the F&G has no budget to afford repairs to such an expensive system.

So.... We disconnected and removed what we could and now they have actual switches to control light fixtures. I know it is a novel concept, but people can actually learn to turn lights on and off!
Our university campus has the first ever LEED Platinum college campus building. It's efficient because nothing works. Use the bathroom and it won't flush. Try to wash your hands and you have to fight it to get a trickle of water. Wash your hands and you can't get anything working to dry them.

So I guess they do use less energy and water. Nobody wants to use the bathrooms in that junk building where nothing works.
 

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Our university campus has the first ever LEED Platinum college campus building. It's efficient because nothing works. Use the bathroom and it won't flush. Try to wash your hands and you have to fight it to get a trickle of water. Wash your hands and you can't get anything working to dry them.

So I guess they do use less energy and water. Nobody wants to use the bathrooms in that junk building where nothing works.
Do the urinals have oil traps as opposed to a flush system?
 

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Here in overly overreaching Cali... Where everything gives you cancer and we label it as such... We are unfortunately setting the precedence for the rest of the nation with our superbly stupid Title 24 Energy Codes....

We do service for several local federal fish and game facilities. The newest unit they built is a (Was.... Till we worked there...) LEED Platinum building.

NONE OF THE **** WORKS RIGHT EVER AND BREAKS ALL THE TIME!

Well guess what? The government is too busy handing out cell phones to beggars and making useless laws, so the F&G has no budget to afford repairs to such an expensive system.

So.... We disconnected and removed what we could and now they have actual switches to control light fixtures. I know it is a novel concept, but people can actually learn to turn lights on and off!
Yepper and if they can't then use a decent line volt motion switch.
 

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I don't remember. I went in one of the bathrooms once and just remember that nothing worked so I always made it a point to use one in another building if necessary.
Was in a brand new school commissioning units and hit the head for a wicked wiz only to have that nasty oil spatter on my tan pants and leave a green stain, pissed me off pretty badly.
 

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Thank you for your input.
Have you ever had to replace any parts of this system how difficult or easy is it to get new parts?
Don't know to be honest, we do renovations and TIs, so we just install. If it doesn't fail within our 1 year warranty period we don't service it. We don't have a service division. And we never select the systems, it's whatever the consultants spec. So we've done everything from the old way (local line volt switches and/or timers and contactors), to slightly more modern low voltage switching systems with varying degrees of programmability (eg Douglas), to these more decentralized, addressable, plug and play type systems.

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Wattstopper makes a good product, so do Lutron, Vantage. All have been in business for over 20 years.
You can also tie them into the internet so they can be monitored by you or the dealer. There are apps for you to change timers on tablets.. Technical support is available.
 

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I know some areas force you to implement these systems. I get the daylight harvesting, but what other routines, controls are they trying to get you to use, motion, all off at a certain time? Do you have a choice in how complex this is?
 

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Our university campus has the first ever LEED Platinum college campus building. It's efficient because nothing works. Use the bathroom and it won't flush. Try to wash your hands and you have to fight it to get a trickle of water. Wash your hands and you can't get anything working to dry them.

So I guess they do use less energy and water. Nobody wants to use the bathrooms in that junk building where nothing works.
When I was enrolled there (Edison) it was called a junior college. Had maybe 5 or six classrooms and almost no majors besides liberal arts. That town sure has grown. It was an easy walk from my house.
 
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