Lighting and shade control are paramount to luxury integrator Paragon Systems Integration. So much so that they have an in-house lighting design team under their lighting and shades division head Lee Wentzel. But it wasn’t until recently that the company had their first foray into human-centric lighting (HCL), according to project manager Jamie Lawson in an article with CE Pro.
That’s not to say they weren’t ready for it, however. As tunable and dimmable LED fixtures have become more commonplace in the home, Paragon’s Vantage InFusion control systems have evolved to match. And this, as Lawson described it, was what ultimately helped set the stage for the company to work with Vantage’s own LHUMAN HCL system.
“The initial challenge with LED fixtures was always their color, they’re not necessarily very friendly to high-end – most of these houses here are storage for art – so lighting designers would have to be very methodical in their selection,” he notes.
Paragon’s HCL ‘Test Bed’ Passes with Flying Colors
The decision to program to program for HCL first came when the client decided that his vacation home would become his primary home.
For this, Paragon teamed up with Vantage to make the primary residence in New York City a test bed for their LHUMAN HCL system. In doing so, the team integrated various fixtures, along with a specially designed set-up and program to help with wellbeing, sleep, productivity and more, with a single button in the morning setting everything off for the rest of the day.
“We didn’t really set up the system to manipulate their ‘cycle’ – there’s always discussions about having your ‘energize’ button in there and it brightens the light or makes it higher Kelvin so it triggers you to think it’s ‘time to go’ time [in the morning] and then you can do the opposite in the evening and have it cool down,” Lawson explains.
“We really went with a basis of following the cycle of the day so it matches your natural circadian rhythm as opposed to trying to manipulate their circadian rhythm. They had a pretty forward-thinking representative that brought a lot of cool ideas to the table on the project, and this is one of the ones that through a wellness component really stuck with them.”
Paragon Perfects Its Design with Programming and Control by Vantage
From there, Paragon worked with Legrand’s Aaron Severtson, a field sales engineer on the Vantage lighting and Qmotion shades side, to produce, on a much larger scale, that same experience at the New York City testbed in Aspen.
The massive project incorporated, as outlined by Severtson: 199 tunable fixture loads in the Main and Guest Houses combined, and each tunable load is made up of one or more physical fixtures, amounting to hundreds upon hundreds of individual fixtures.
The Profile of Fixtures Used in the HCL Design
The tunable fixtures used come from a dozen manufacturers, from which there are 23 models, Severston adds. Overall, there are five tunable fixture types, on this installation (with Severston also explaining how they were programmed into the Vantage system):
- Araya – 5-LED Engine with onboard logic module (the most intelligent fixture type, and easiest to program; on the control end, we can send direct values for intensity, CCT, Saturation, and Hue, without needing to figure out the mixing of the 5 LED colors)
- DALI Intensity + CCT – 2-channel linear LED with logic driver (this is also intelligent in that the driver regulates the intensity and color mixing of the warm and cool channels based on value input)
- Warm/Cool – 2-channel linear LED with raw-control drivers (the most common fixture type, and each has independently controlled warm and cool channels; it is upon the Vantage controller to regulate the mixing of channels to achieve the desired CCT output; we color-mapped each fixture model to make a unique tunable fixture profile for each model in our software)
- Dual-Load Intensity/CCT – This relates to the USAI Color Select fixture that uses phase dimming for intensity control, and 1-9V dimming for CCT control (we made unique power profiles for both dimming loads to maximize the controllability of the fixture – eliminating unusable ends of the dimming curves, and mapping the CCT curve)
- RGBW – Handrails in the Main House stairs are accented with an RGBW flex fixture that we color mapped to provide a tunable output between 2000-6000K CCT (no two RGBW models are the same, so color mapping is important when considering full tunability, not just target values).
Highlighting Vantage’s HCL Integration and Capabilities
“I’d say the biggest thing we did and worked with the owners on is that we made it consistent throughout both New York and Aspen that their top button on any keypad is the ‘HCL’ program. So if they walk into any room and hit that button, they’re going to get a light curve that’s set for that time of day, a light intensity that’s set for that time of day,” Lawson says of the LHUMAN Natural Lighting HCL cycles.
Adds Severtson, “With that, the lighting designer had the freedom to shape the Natural looks with different lighting layer assignments – it’s not just one automated schedule, but multiple that run together.”
Plus, they note that should the owners want a different light setting for whatever reason, they can press any of the home’s 100+ Vantage EasyTouch Glass 5-button keypads’ other four buttons to easily exit out of HCL programming and trigger other functionalities, while still being able to reengage the HCL routine later.
“Depending on the room, each button on the keypad allows them to select a different light level or a specific light fixture to raise or lower for whatever the scenario is,” Lawson says.
Severtson adds that this extensive project got to highlight Vantage’s increasing LED design and integration capabilities.
“Vantage has made huge strides in software development, and we have the ability to control a variety of different tunable fixture types, across multiple control protocols,” he says. “This project that we did with Paragon was a flagship opportunity to prove our ability to control tunable fixtures.”
Another version of this article originally appeared on our sister site CE Pro.