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  • Input Sensors – Your eyes, fingers and…more?

    No need to "eyeball" it any more. Input sensors take the place of our human senses… and do a great job of it, to boot.

    There are several types of input sensors. One of the first I encountered was the photo electric sensor or photo eye. These eyes controlled remote relays with a set of integrated mechanical contacts. Located inside the sensor body, the contacts changed state with a tiny magnetic relay.

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  • Choosing the Right Input Sensor

    With so many types of input sensors available, you need to narrow down your selection to what will give you the feedback required. As with human "input sensors," each type has a dedicated function. You need to match the sensor with the object being sensed and what that feedback does.

    Another consideration is the action taken when the sensor notices a change of state. In our human example, a sudden bright light sends a signal to the brain, causing us to shield our eyes.

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  • Leviton Partners with Samsung’s SmartThings for Home Energy Savings

    Leviton lighting controls, fan controls, 15A switches, plug-in load controls and heavy-duty loads controls for compressors as well as generators, sensors, and thermostats. Mesh networking technologies allow for installations in larger homes with dozens of integrated attachment devices for whole-house automation.

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  • Combining Dimming with Other Commands – It’s a Bright Idea

    The possibility of enhanced energy savings is a big driver behind the adoption of dimmer switches – but what about all those table lamps in a typical home that aren’t controlled by a wall switch? Or when light dimming is part of an effort to set a scene or make a room more comfortable? Thanks to the “internet of things,” consumers are gaining new options for controlling new devices – such as table lamps – and grouping together the operations of multiple device types – such as, say, lighting and fans – using a single remote control or mobile-device app.

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  • Control Cable Management

    Over the years, I've built and refurbished quite a few control panels. Last year, I was tasked with cleaning up a rat's nest of control wiring in a packaging machine. The only way to make it right was to gut the panel and start from scratch.

    Now, even though the wiring was in disarray, the machine was still operational. However, when it did malfunction, troubleshooting was a nightmare. Over the years, the control cabling had been tugged, pulled, and generally left in a big ball of spaghetti.

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  • Matching Dimmers and Bulbs Is Critical to Successful LED Conversions

    Dimming switches and LED light bulbs seem like they should be a perfect match, right? Both products offer end-users advanced capabilities for controlling a room’s light and lowering energy bills in a home or building. Unfortunately, as many have discovered, ensuring compatibility between dimmer switches and the LED bulbs they’re controlling is a bit more complicated than previously was the case with old-school incandescent bulbs. However, this situation is improving quickly as…

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