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DMX control for ceiling tube lights


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As we are looking at upgrading our grid in drama the idea has been floated about upgrading the fluorescent tubes to LED ones.  Is there a controller/unit that would allow DMX control of them (dimmable tubes of course).


Thanks Luke 

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I'd install a separate system. Leave the basic room lighting to the site management to look after, otherwise it'll be your fault when the lights won't turn on for class/cleaners/Sunday hires etc.

Install something else for your houselight/space lighting, perhaps some DMX LED warm white floods?

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Keeping it separate sounds like a decent idea 🙂

Many "professional" office/commercial LED lighting systems use fixtures which are dimmable. While these may look a bit like fluorescent tube fittings, it' s more common for them to be square panels which drop into a ceiling grid.  

In a new build or refurb, it's fairly common for the architect/designer to wildly over specify the requirement. I've walked into lots of new build spaces - offices, labs, circulation spaces, turned on the lights and been reminded of a football stadium 🙂 - the architect's logic is that it's best to over-specify, knowing that they can be preset to run at say 70%.

These are generally controlled via DALI, or maybe a proprietary protocol. You can get DMX-DALI converters.



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Thanks for the replies so far - the site manager has said he would pay for it (never happens ** laughs out loud **) so tryingto take advantage.

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0-10V dimmable led tubes/panels, use DMX to 0-10V adapter, all you need to do is remember t leave the adapter powered down when 'stage' lighting is not in use...


However as I've been finding out, much architectural  lighting doesn't quite dim right out.

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Hard to make recommendations without more information about the purpose.

  • What houselighting does the space currently have?
  • Is the new system intended to be both worklight (for cleaning, rehearsal room etc) and theatrical houselight for performances?
    (Replacing both systems)

Most "General Illumination" fittings are designed with a minimum dimming level of around 20%. Below that they either flicker or snap off.
These aren't really intended to fade, just be set to some static levels plus off.

As a general rule, if it's 2-wire mains dimmable, DALI, 1-10v or 0-10v then it's not going to dim "theatrically" (exceptions exist but they're rare and expensive)
DMX fittings/drivers might, but you'd want to see a demo before buying as the dimming and fade quality varies a fair bit.
- Main differences are in the low-end curve (<10% or so) and flicker when dimmed (PWM frequency)

If the idea is to use these new fittings for both worklight and houselight, then you'll also need to install a "worklight" control system for the non-performance users and staff that works alongside the 'theatrical' DMX connection.
After all, the cleaning staff and anyone using the space as a rehearsal room should not need to know how to use the DMX lighting console!

There's plenty of options for that kind of simple 'on/off/preset' style control - ETC's Echo system might suit, for example.

It's still often more cost-effective to keep the theatrical houselighting separate, and simply put up some integrated LED battens on a normal lightswitch for worklight.

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