Crestron Debuts Smart Light Fixtures, Flexible CLWI Wireless Keypads
At ISE 2013, Crestron introduced its first light fixtures with DALI drivers pre-installed, plus CLWI wireless dimmers and keypads that can control virtually anything within a Crestron system.
Julie Jacobson · February 13, 2013
While the rest of ISE 2013 went gaga over Crestron’s new 64x64 DigitalMedia switcher, my eyes naturally wandered to the little things that were brand new for the residential market – specifically the European market.
At ISE 2013, Crestron introduced several new lighting-control products starting with the CLWI line of dimmers and keypads. Employing Crestron’s infiNET EX brand of ZigBee-based wireless technology the new keypads define flexibility: A single European-sized faceplate and back box accommodate one to six buttons in a variety of combinations.
One of the buttons can be used to dim the local load, and the others can be used to activate any command supported by a Crestron system – launch a scene, control the audio, whatever.
Furthermore, multiple wireless keypads can be used to control the same load.
Because the buttons are interchangeable, they can be swapped out in the field if the homeowners’ needs change. Furthermore, the keypads match aesthetically Crestron’s existing Niko collection of hardwired outlets and switches.
Crestron claims the CLWI is the “only integrated dimmer and keypad in Europe.”
Crestron’s First Light Fixtures
In addition to the new keypad line, Crestron introduced its first light fixtures ever – not just in Europe, but anywhere (although Crestron did introduce its own LED drivers in the U.S. a couple months ago).
The LED fixtures come with Crestron’s DALI (Digital Addressable Lighting Interface) driver pre-installed.
The move was important for the European market, where fixtures are typically sold with drivers built in.
On the contrary, in the U.S., “The fixture is traditionally selected by the interior designer and the drivers to support it by the engineering team,” says David Silberstein, Crestron director of channel development.
The Crestron Illutube, Illucube and recessed LED fixtures feature smooth dimming to 0 percent, “meaning you can dim it all the way down without powering the light off,” Silberstein says. “This allows for the ‘smooth’ part of the dimming – there’s no flickering.”
He explains that most fixtures start flickering at 1- to 2-percent.
The fixtures also produce a warm white color “very similar to incandescent, which is unusual for LED and halogen fixtures which tend to be very ‘cool,’” Silberstein says.
He also explains that Crestron can guarantee “color consistency” across fixtures: If you have to replace one, it will match the same warm white color as all the other fixtures still in place.”
And of course, like other Crestron systems, if you keep dimmers, gateways and controllers in the Crestron family, “we can guarantee the performance of the complete installation,” Silberstein says.
At ISE, Crestron demonstrated its RGB LED fixtures with an interface that controls colors and intensity.
VIDEO: Crestron demos DALI-enabled fixtures at ISE 2013
Will Crestron introduce the fixtures to the U.S. market?
“With a change in voltage and form factor that could happen, but we have to start somewhere,” Silberstein says. “So we started in each market with the most common purchase method for that market.”
Cool Glass Keypads
As a bonus, Crestron showed some very cool CresLight capacitive-touch glass keypads at ISE.
They can be painted or etched however the user wants, and the six LEDs behind the glass can be configured to control virtually anything within a Crestron system.
Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Email Julie at [email protected]
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