FAQ

Technical and general points are covered here. This is a work in progress that is regularly updated with new questions and answers as we collect them.

Do I need a GPS module each node?

NO, for the following reasons:

  1. A luminaire is a fixed asset and it will never move during it useful lifetime. At installation, the geographical position of each luminaire is automatically set so there is no use for a GPS module afterward.
  2. Claims about auto-commissioning should be re-evaluated, we believe that the correct installation method is to scan the node and perform a complet test set while up in the bucket truck and have the confirmation that everything is fully functional and that the installer won’t have to return to fix a miswired or defective installation.
  3. A GPS module is an extra cost for any project size (physical cost and energy consumption). It is also a component subject to failure
  4. Having to wait for the GPS to acquire its coordinates once powered up is time consuming
  5. The GPS modules add continous power consuption to the module 24/7

If you still prefer to have a module with GPS, we offer the option – simply specify it when you place your order

Do you use Gateway devices and how does it function/connect?

It depends on the selected radio technology, some communicate directly to a tower other to a local gateway.

For solutions based on mesh networks, the modules communicate with each other and also with a Gateway (gatekeeper, edge router, etc) (for Data logging & scheduling) using a secured protocol developed by DimOnOff and encrypted at 128 bits AES, above standard protocols (IEEE 802.15.4, radio frequency 2.4GHz or 900MHz). Back-end (Gateway to Server) communication can either be Ethernet or Cellular.

Can a Gateway be a single point of failure?

Yes it is possible that the pole on which the gateway is installed will get hit by a truck. This the reason why the DimOnOff system has multiple levels of fail-safe and fallback functions that will keep your system operational while a crew goes on site and repairs or replace the gateway. Also if desired, all nodes from an adjacent zone can be transferred to a neighbor gateway in a mater of seconds and returned once the issue is fixed.

Is your system fixture agnostic?

Yes, our system universally works with any type of fixture from any manufacturer. Please make sure to specify 0-10V controllable drivers (for dimming purposes) and C136-41 socket option from your fixture supplier(s) for RME modules twist-lock installation or RTM for inside fixture installation. DimOnOff has OEM agreements in place with most of the major fixture manufacturers.

Do I need to add more than one component in order to be able to control and monitor the light level?

No, our relays (nodes) have everything included in a single module.

What are the MTBF and Rated life of your modules?

The MTBF was calculated according to Telcordia SR-332 to be:

  • TEMP = 40C
  • FR(90) = 280.41113 FITS
  • MTBF = 3 566 192 HOURS
  • Lifetime = 175 200 HOURS
  • Unavailability (Q) = 0.058319226 (chance of a failure within 20 years = 5.83%)

Which topology is used?

We offer several options depending on the radio network supplier that you prefer. Both mesh and star topologies are offered.

The Mesh radio communication topology used is based on a principle where messages are repeated from one radio to the next until a certain time limit or a certain number of repetition (also called hops) is reached. The mesh approach we use is called flooding, where each and every radio receives and re-transmits each communication until the time or repetitions limit are reached. This method was originally developed by Darpa for the US army to ensure very high reliability. As a comparison, Zigbee use a routing type where a route needs to be established by a coordinator and each message follows a specific route with no redundancy.

Is the system hosted by the customer or by vendor?

The end-user has the options to host the main database of the system either on its own servers or on the cloud or elect for a SAAS type service. Central Management Server runs the DimOnOff SCMS software platform that is typically licensed to the Client, and runs on the Client’s server. It can also easily be hosted on the Cloud, whether by the Client renting CPU & disk space at an infrastructure service provider, or directly by DimOnOff. Software applications and database will be installed and will execute on the chosen server. Client access is provided using DimOnOff client software or through a web-based application. The Central Management Server is primarily used for data acquisition synchronized with Gateways, configuration & modification, reporting, and as the Web server for Mobile Access and Control (smartphones, tablets, etc…).

Is the power metering accurate and has it been certified?

Our integrated metering is Utility grade (which means +/- 2% accuracy or better). Each Device is individually Calibrated In-plant, during QC process.

Do you offer limited trial of the system?

Yes, DimOnOff can also present the entire system by allowing access and in real time to a large scale project that has been installed recently, this is an experience you don’t want to miss. Interviews with managers of already deployed projects can also be organized.

What is the light level control signal offered?

Industry standard 0-10V both source and sink

  • 1024 steps of dimming allowing smooth ramping
  • 10 programmable levels with delayed timing and advanced scheduling and trimming.
  • Additional control parameters for Min-Max dimming
  • Min. Lamp burn time before dimming (to respect manufacturer’s warranty)
  • Min. Dimming Level (%), Min Percent Level (%) and Max Percent Level (%)
  • Low Power Mode (%) (Demand/Response)
  • Turn Off below Min. Dimming Level option
  • User-programmable transition time: from 0% to 100% in x sec. (max: 65535 sec.)

Are the controllers installed internally or externally on the luminaire?

We offer both models in order to answer your requirements and fixtures specifications:

  • Internal: The small footprint of our RTM module makes it easy to find a location inside the fixture enclosure, this is especially well suited for decorative style.
  • External: RME, using a NEMA C136.41 standard 5 and 7 terminal twist-lock receptacle for both electrical and dimming control signal connectivity or the internal model may be installed in a NEMA 4X box and mounted remotely.

How difficult is it to install the metering device on HID lights?

The external C136.41 module is 100% compatible with the old C136.10 3 prong photocell sockets, this means that the installation process is the same as when you had to replace a damaged photocell. In addition, in order to geolocate the fixture, the node barcode needs to be scanned at installation time using user friendly tools offered by DimOnOff.

Is there a difference between a Gateway, a collector, a gatekeeper, a router and what are they?

All the above names are the same and  follow the same purpose: in reference to IES TM-23-11: a device designed for interfacing between two communication networks that use different protocols, such as BACnet to DALI, or DMX512 to 0-10VDC. A Gateway may contain devices such as protocol translators, impedance matching devices, rate converters, fault isolators, or signal translators as necessary to provide system interoperability. For the purposes of this document, refers specifically to a device that (at a minimum) serves as the interface between one or more Field Devices and a Central Management System, typically translating from a wireless Field Device protocol to a standardized Wide Area Network (WAN) protocol, such as WiFi (i.e. IEEE 802.11xx), Ethernet (i.e. IEEE 802.3), or LTE Cellular (i.e. 3GPP Release 8)

Is there a difference between relay, module, node, controller, end point, etc ?

All the above names are the same and  follow the same purpose: according to IES TM-23-11: the device that originates a command to execute a lighting change. Most commonly associated with a lighting control station or control console, a controller may also be a sensor or other automatic device operating without human interaction. For the purposes of this document, refers specifically to a device that physically monitors and controls Luminaires installed at Control Points, reacts and responds to logical and physical inputs, makes control decisions using internal algorithmic and logic functions, and communicates via a network protocol.

Can you provide API and other export / import fuctions to easily integrate with other systems?

Yes, our system is design using the latest methods and provides industry standard methods (websockets APIs) of data exchanges. Our team will gladly assist you with any desired integration.

Is your software Web-based only?

No. To access the light’s network, the end-user has the flexibility to choose DimOnOff software applications or DimOnOff web-based application.

Do you offer training & support services both onsite and remotely?

Yes, we will adapt to you needs and can be onsite to provide training to your team. Additional training and refresher course can be provided by webinars and remote working sessions.

Can you help me calculate my return on investment (ROI)?

Absolutely, contact DimOnOff to run you own complete ROI analysis.

This is the required information:

  • Nb. Fixtures
  • kW
  • kWh
  • Electricity Rate
  • Electricity ($)
  • Customer charge ($)
  • Distribution charge ($)
  • Transmission Connection Charge ($)
  • Transmission Network Charge ($)
  • Std Supply Service-Admin Charge ($)
  • Wholesale Market Service Charge ($)
  • Debt retirement charge ($)
  • Total Electricity Charge ($)
  • Taxes ($)
  • Total Amount ($)

Are your communication secure and how ?

  • All data transmitted over the air link is encrypted with various encryption methods.
  • IEEE 802.15.4 Secured meshed-network (128-bit encryption). All user data transmitted over the air link is encrypted with various encryption methods.
  • IP addresses (destination or source) are never transmitted “in the clear” (non encrypted) over the air link, reducing the risk of attacks on both mobile and servers.
  • TCP/IP packets are not transmitted as a whole.
  • Last, DimOnOff uses its own Command-set protocol, built with security in mind. Each node is uniquely serialized – Additional security dynamically builds itself when defining Groups & Scenarios.

Does your software support plan include updates?

Yes

How many nodes can a Gateway handle?

It depend on the radio network selected.

As an example, for DIGI: 2.4Ghz and 900 Mhz , up to 1000 nodes. DimOnOff recommend an average Gateway ratio of 500 to ensure rapid data collection (of all nodes) and for future growth of the system.

Describe the system energy management capability

Each node has built in “Demand Response” load shedding functions with up to 16 levels of priority.

SOFTWARE AND FIRMWARE LICENSE AND WARRANTY

  • This software and firmware license is granted to you (the customer) by DIMONOFF Inc.
  • The DIMONOFF software and firmware are licensed to you as the end user, and is not sold.
  • The DIMONOFF software and firmware are copyrighted material.
  • The DIMONOFF software and firmware are licensed for use with one or more pieces of associated hardware that together constitute a control and management system for Smart cities. This license allows you to use the software and firmware with the purchased system. You must purchase additional copies of the software and firmware if used with additional system hardware.
  • You may not change, modify, decompile, disassemble, or otherwise reverse engineer the licensed software or firmware or any associated hardware.

LIMITED WARRANTY

DIMONOFF warrants for a period of 1 (one) year that the system software and firmware are free from defects in material and workmanship under normal use. DIMONOFF warrants that the system as a whole will perform substantially in accordance with the specifications set forth in the documentation provided with it.

  • Start of the Warranty period :
    • The warranty period begins the day the DIMONOFF product is delivered to you as the first customer.
  • Obligations of DIMONOFF during the warranty period :
    • Return for complete refund: If, within the first thirty (30) days after the start of the warranty, the customer returns, for any reason whatsoever, any of the purchased hardware or software in its original condition, DIMONOFF will refund the associated money paid and accept the return as payment for any money owed.
    • Correction of software: DIMONOFF will either replace or repair, without additional charge, any software that does not perform in substantial compliance with its documented specifications. In the foregoing circumstances, DIMONOFF will deliver either corrective code or a corrected copy of the software.
    • Final Remedy: If DIMONOFF is unable to replace defective media or provide a corrected copy of the software within a reasonable amount of time, DIMONOFF will either replace the software with a functionally similar program or refund the license fees paid for use of the software.

Exclusion of Other Warranties

DIMONOFF does not warrant that the functions contained in the software and firmware will meet your requirements or that the operation of the software will be uninterrupted or error free. The Warranty does not cover any copy of the software that has been altered or changed in any way by you or others. DIMONOFF is not responsible for problems caused by changes in the operating characteristics of the computer hardware or operating system which are made after delivery of the software.

EXCEPT WHERE LIMITED BY LOCAL JURISDICTIONS, DIMONOFF SHALL NOT IN ANY CASE BE LIABLE FOR SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, INDIRECT OR OTHER SIMILAR DAMAGES ARISING FROM ANY BREACH OF THESE WARRANTIES EVEN If DIMONOFF OR ITS AGENT HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.

Other Conditions

THE WARRANTIES SET FORTH ABOVE ARE IN LIEU OF ALL OTHER WARRANTIES, WHETHER ORAL, WRITTEN OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR ANY PARTICULAR USE. THE REMEDIES SET FORTH ABOVE ARE THE CUSTOMER’S SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE REMEDIES.

Only an authorized officer of DIMONOFF may make modifications to this warranty, or additional warranties binding on DIMONOFF. Accordingly, additional statements such as advertising, collateral or presentations, whether oral or written, do not constitute warranties by DIMONOFF and should not be relied upon as such. This warranty gives you specific legal rights, and you may have other rights, which vary by state and/or country.

LIMITATION OF LIABILITY

In no case shall DIMONOFF’s liability exceed the license fees paid for the right to use the license.