Frequently Asked Questions
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What do I need to buy?
Light Symphony is very modular with lots of options and all this choice can be confusing! We’re here to help, please call or email a sketch of your project and we’ll help you specify and quote the components and features you require. Generally, you’ll need at least one lighting controller (e.g. 2-channel LS30500LCM) and at least one transmitter (e.g. Keyfob LS30032FOB), click here to view this starter kit.
What lighting can I control?
Light Symphony can control all lighting types from any manufacturer. Not all lighting is dimmable but all our controllers can operate as a simple on/off switch or dimmer.
Why is Light Symphony so Reliable?
We understand life is harsh outdoors and so have not skimped on the water-tight enclosures we use or the components inside. This ruggedness adds cost but we believe it’s worth the peace of mind. In fact, it’s the only system on the market designed exclusively for outdoors so its ruggedness is second to none.
Why do I need 1Km range?
Few gardens are this big but the long range is extremely beneficial even on smaller projects. This is because wireless (radio) signals only travel in straight lines (from transmitter to receiver), they don’t bounce or bend. Any obstacles in the path will weaken the signal, such as walls, windows and trees etc. Having a powerful 1Km range ensures it’s 100% reliable in the real world, over shorter distances, where line-of-sight is generally rare. For more info see below…
Is it really 1Km range?
YES! All of our transmitters provide a reliable range of 1Km (except the key fobs which are 350m), but this is measured “line-of-sight”, meaning no obstacles in the way. Obstacles will reduce the range of any wireless system. As a rule of thumb, a typical cavity-wall will half the range (from 1Km to 500m), a second, similar wall will do the same (500m to 250m) etc. Less dense obstacles such as windows or planting will usually reduce it much less. This makes real-life range very hard to predict and why you don’t see it advertised. All wireless systems work this way and it’s the main reason why systems with less range quickly become unreliable or unusable e.g. a 100m system would be reduced to just 15m after travelling through a few walls. Where you need to, we offer 'signal repeaters' to extend our range up to 5Km!
Does it work through walls?
Yes, even thick ones! But every obstacle will reduce the range (see #5) and there will be a limit. Roughly speaking, a typical cavity-wall will halve the range, while a thicker stone-wall will be worse and a thinner stud-wall better. A ‘Repeater’ (or base-station) can be used to boost the signal back up to full strength. Try to position equipment to create the best ‘radio’ path with the least obstacles between the transmitter and lighting controllers.
Can Lighting Controllers go in a basement?
Yes and no! A wireless signals will not travel through the earth. A lighting controller positioned underground will only work if a signal can reach it, from above. If the transmitter (remote control) is in the house (above) then it will usually work fine, but it’s unlikely to work from say the garden because the earth will block the signal. A good solution is to install a repeater (or base-station) in the house to echo any signals picked up from the garden down to the lighting controller in the basement.
If you have this scenario, give us a ring for advice, we have yet to be beaten!
Can LEDs be dimmed?
YES! A little known fact is that all LEDs are dimmable. However, an LED requires a low voltage supply (or driver) and most drivers are not dimmable. A solution is to use a Light Symphony dimmable driver. We’re happy to give advice, just let us know which LEDs you plan to use. Some mains powered LED lamps (e.g. GU10 equiv.) have built-in drivers, which cannot be dimmed.
Can LEDs and non-LEDs be used together?
Yes, all of our lighting controllers can drive LEDs via a suitable driver in parallel with other non-LED lights. This flexibility makes our system very popular.
Can more than one Lighting Controller be used together?
Yes. All Light Symphony’s controllers can operate together, from a single remote control, or base-station timer etc. If more than one lighting controller is programmed into the same ‘Area’ (zone) they will operate together, which allows wireless zones to be created on larger projects.
Can more than one Remote or Key Fob be used?
Yes, any number of transmitters can be used together, including wireless switches, smartphone(s), touch-panel, remote controls, key fobs etc. So everyone in the family can choose the device they prefer.
Do neighbouring systems interfere?
No, all Light Symphony’s transmitters can be security coded (1-32) by the installer to prevent adjacent systems from interfering.
Can a system be expanded later?
Yes, Light Symphony’s modular design and wireless installation makes it easy to extend or add to, allowing every budget to be catered for.
Can I send my client a new Key fob in the post?
Yes. Since all Light Symphony’s transmitters are security coded by the installer, they can be configured away from site. Then, when they arrive, on-site, no programming is required. All you need is a record of the installed ‘System Code’ used for the project.
Is it difficult to set-up?
No. The master Garden On/Off buttons will work straightaway, out of the box, without any setting up. To configure a system fully is a two-step process;
First change the “System Code” of the transmitter(s), by choosing any number 1-32 (to prevent interference with neighbouring systems).
Secondly, use the transmitter to teach each lighting controller (channel) which Area (zone) you’d like it in. Most of our lighting controllers are configured by just tapping on the lid!
Why must the System Code be set manually?
Most wireless systems randomly code their transmitters. This may seem sensible but on larger installations it creates two problems. Firstly, every lighting controller (receiver) must learn every transmitter’s random code, which is time-consuming and limits the number of possible transmitters. Secondly, adding a new transmitter (replacing a lost key fob etc.) means visiting site to teach the new key fob’s code to each lighting controller. Light Symphony’s security system solves all these issues.
Why bother dimming garden lights?
A properly designed lighting scheme shouldn’t need dimming. However, life is tough for lamps outdoors especially in the winter. A filament lamp being switched on at –5°C experiences huge thermal stresses and causes massive start-up currents, which can trip fuses. Light Symphony’s rugged dimmers pre-heat the filament and then gently ramp the light to full power, greatly extending lamp life and avoiding nuisance circuit breaker trips. This smooth ramping-on of the lights also creates a superb theatrical effect, which clients love.
How does the dusk/dawn timer work?
The changes in dusk and dawn time throughout the year are caused by the way the earth rotates around the sun. This never changes and can be calculated and predicted. By knowing your location (town), the timer calculates dusk and dawn time automatically every day. This avoids the bi-annual chore of adjusting time-clocks back and forth when the hour changes and frequent adjustments because dusk is now 6 p.m. instead of 4 p.m. etc. This makes it a pleasure to live with but also avoids waste because lighting is only on when necessary.
Can lighting circuits share a neutral?
Yes. All neutrals are common in our all of our lighting controllers.
I have a large project, can I get some help with planning?
Yes, we’re pleased to help. You’ll find our support number on every box, and find us very helpful! Please forward your plans and we’ll advise on a solution, to see an example - click here.
And after it’s installed we’re still here to help if you have any commission questions.
My Client keeps changing his mind, is it easy to re-configure?
Yes, creating lighting zones wirelessly keeps the design flexible and re-configuring it can be as quick as tapping on a few lighting controller lids. Since we encourage installers to position controllers near the lighting, power is usually available around the garden too for those last minute additions.
Can the electric gates trigger the lighting?
Absolutely, use our Gate Interface unit to detect when the gates open and send a wireless command to the lighting controller(s). In fact a great effect can be created using this unit and a timer… the drive-way lighting can be timed to come on at dusk but at a reduced (dimmed) level, say 25%, which saves considerable electricity and can greatly extends lamp-life. When the gates open, they will ramp to 100% for 2-15 minutes, creating a welcome-home feature and great wow-factor. If there are no electric gates PIRs or the drive-way sensor can also be used as a trigger.
What does the Smartphone app do?
The iSymphony app simply turns your smartphone or tablet into a user friendly remote control. It will allow control of 9 Areas (zones), and where available it will provide dimming and colour control too. It works at home, while the phone is connected to the home’s Wi-Fi network and by entering your external IP address, can control your lights when you are away*. Download the free app now for Apple or Android devices, just click one of the icons on the right hand side of this page.
*further configuration is required, please click here for further details.
Can it control water-features and pumps?
Yes. As well as controlling your lighting, Light Symphony can control other electrical devices such as fountains, pond, pool and irrigation pumps. Using the intelligent timers built into the 'Timer Unit', you can also program any of these devices to automatically switch on and off when you want.
How many different areas can I control?
You can build a system with up to 29 individual 'Areas' (zones), using any combination of single, 2 or 4 channel wireless lighting controllers. However, we find individual control of more than 9 zones becomes too confusing, so most of our controllers (smartphones etc.) only show Areas 1-9. On larger jobs, Areas 1-9 can be used to create user-friendly lighting groups, such as “tree lights” or “stable lighting”, which may actually include several lighting circuits on different wireless controllers. Zones 10-29 can be used for the timers, PIRs or driveway sensors, as required.
What if I need to drive a larger load (higher wattage) than the Lighting Control Module can supply?
The standard solution is to fit a ‘contactor’ (large external relay). The Lighting Control Module drives the 'contactor' and the contactor switches the 'load'.
Can Light Symphony kit be controlled via Alexa ?
The answer is "YES!".
If you buy an i-Port after April 2018 it will arrive Alexa-ready. This will give you the option of smart-phone control or the ability to control using Alexa voice commands; such as "Alexa - Turn DRIVEWAY lights ON" or "Alexa - Turn POND Lights Green"
If you have an older iport, don't panic, select [SHOP], [ACCESSORIES], [IPORT Upgrade] from our on-line shop and follow the instructions, we can upgrade you.
The answer is "YES...soon!" we are working on it now (Oct 2018).
Like Alexa, it is possible to use the Google range of devices to voice control Light Symphony units.
Got another question?
Sorry if you haven’t found the answer to your question. Please send it in and we’ll reply and add it to this list. Click here to ask a question.