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Interfacing DMX-512 with the Casambi Bluetooth mesh network

Introducing the Casambi Solution

Bluetooth Low Energy

The Casambi solution is based on Bluetooth Low Energy, the state-of-the-art wireless technology and the only low power wireless technology in all modern smartphones and tablets, making it the only mainstream and future-proof low power radio technology in the world.

Bluetooth Low Energy was developed at Nokia Research Center where the founders of Casambi worked. That’s why Casambi has had the unique advantage of realizing the potential of Bluetooth Low Energy early on. Casambi started the development of the solution before there were any Bluetooth Low Energy devices on the market.

Wireless Mesh Network

On top of Bluetooth Low Energy, the Casambi technology provides a mesh network where all the intelligence of the system is replicated in every node and, in such a way, creates a system with no single point of failure.

Such a self-organizing wireless mesh network can control a large number of fixtures from any point. It also allows for firmware updates over the network, allowing any kind of changes to be made over the air. In this kind of fully distributed and symmetric architecture, any unit can go offline and catch up with others when they return back online.

The Casambi devices are smart on their own and are only Internet connected when needed. An Internet connection is not necessary for normal operation, it is just needed for user interface configurations to be sent or recalled from the cloud service.

Different Casambi-enabled product combine to form an intelligent mesh network of up to 127 devices. This allows you to create control systems ranging from a simple one luminaire direct control to a complete and full-featured wireless lighting control system.

Casambi App

The Casambi app works as one of the user interfaces in a Casambi lighting control solution, as the commissioning tool, and as well as a remote gateway. The Casambi app works with iOS as well as Android devices, like smartphones and tablets. The app is free to download by any end-user.

The Casambi app is made by user interface experts in a way that anyone – regardless of technical proficiency – can use it. The Casambi lighting control technology gives a possibility for Casambi’s partners to implement and develop anything needed for a full-featured lighting control system, but the Casambi app only shows in the user interface the functionality that is relevant to that particular installation. Therefore, the Casambi app is equally well suitable for the professional lighting market as well as the residential field.

User Interfaces

Casambi offers a big variety of possibilities for a user to interact with the lighting depending on the user’s individual requirements. The app for smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches is the most elaborated user interface. Besides the app, traditional wall switches, pushbuttons, Casambi’s own scene controllers, and many other control points can be used.

Thanks to the Casambi Bluetooth module and the versatile customizable software, all of Casambi’s partners can develop their own user interfaces for a Casambi lighting control system. All of the partner products are compatible with each other as well as with all Casambi’s native products.

Luminaires

Casambi technology works with any manufacturer’s range of existing luminaires or already installed wall switches but can also be easily integrated into LED drivers, LED bulbs or LED modules, creating an optimal solution in terms of ease of installation and functionality with minimal additional hardware and deployment costs.

Casambi collaborates with all the leading luminaire manufacturers. Browse our Casambi-enabled products in our store.

Enter DMX Integration

Wired4Signs USA, LLC has been supplying and spec'ing the Casambi system into commercial spaces since 2019 and is now also offering Casambi-enabled interfaces for DMX equipment.

The DMXcas and the casDMX interfaces have been a huge success in Europe but due to the Casambi system being less known in the USA, very few designers know the potential of this product.

Different Casambi-enabled lighting products can be controlled, from a simple one luminaire direct control to a complete and full-featured light control system where up to 127 units form an intelligent mesh network.

Here is a brief introduction to the key components...

DMXcas – DMX to Casambi 4-Channel DMX Dimmer

The DMXcas controller is a DMX-to-Casambi interface, allowing you to add Casambi-enabled fixtures to a DMX universe so that they can be controlled by an industry standard DMX master controller. This interface means that you can extend your existing DMX universe into the Casambi ecosystem.

Simply connect the DMXcas to a 12-24V DC power supply and your DMX-512 network, and add it to your Casambi network. Once it is connected, you can use the Casambi smartphone app to configure the mapping of DMX channels to Casambi fixtures.

The DMXcas interface controller allows you to control four lighting channels (it registers as four Casambi pushbutton devices) which can be configured as four independent dimmers, two pairs or Tunable White (TW), or grouped as one RGBW fixture.

If you need to include additional Casambi-enabled fixtures into your DMX-512 system, simply add another DMXcas interface. Multiple DMXcas devices can be used in the same network to control different fixtures, channels, or zones since the 4 channels of control can be mapped using the Casambi mobile application.

casDMX – Casambi-Enabled 8-Channel DMX Master

The casDMX is a Casambi enabled, Bluetooth controllable DMX master with eight output channels. This means that you can use the Casambi smartphone app and other Casambi-enabled user interfaces to control up to eight industry-standard DMX lighting devices and fixtures.

The casDMX controller functions as part of a Casambi mesh network and can drive one DMX-512 universe to control industry-standard DMX lighting devices and fixtures. It is connected to a 12-24V DC power supply and provides a non-isolated DMX-512 master output plus a relay output and a sensor input.

The eight dimmer channels (DMX "slots") mean that it is an ideal controller for multi-channel fixtures such as RGBW and Tunable White (CCT) lights. For example, the casDMX could act as DMX controller for two RGBW fixtures ("color picker") or for four tunable white channel pairs.

SceneDMXcas – DMX to Casambi Scene Selector

The SceneDMXcas interface allows you to provide wireless remote Casambi Scene selection via DMX-512 control commands. This means that you can use a DMX-512 control system to select predefined scenes on your Casambi Bluetooth mesh network.

Simply connect your SceneDMXcas to a 12-24V DC power supply and to your DMX-512 universe, then use the free Casambi smartphone app to configure your custom Casambi scene and intensity mapping.

The first DMX channel provides scene selection for up to 20 Casambi Scenes and the second DMX channel provides optional 0-100% intensity control for the selected Casambi Scene.

Casambi-Enabled 4-Ch PWM LED Controller

Connect this wireless RGBW controller between your power supply and your LED strip to allow you to control the LEDs from the Casambi app.

Since this Casambi-enabled LED controller has four PWM output channels, you can use it to control any type of strip from single color dimming to full RGBW. This controller is suitable for RGBW, RGB, Tunable White (TW), and single color control applications.

Putting it all together

Let's give some examples of how you would use these devices in the real world.

Example 1

You have an existing DMX lighting system, but you want to add control for RGBW lighting remotely from the rest of the installation. Running wiring for the DMX network is not practical. Here is the equipment required, in sequence of control:

1) Your existing DMX-512 master

2) DMXcas interface (requires 12-24V DC supply)

... Bluetooth wireless link ...

3) Casambi-enabled LED controller (requires LED power supply)

4) RGBW LED strip

Example 2

Your venue has an eating area with Casambi controlled lighting, and it has a performance stage with DMX controlled lighting. You want to be able to automatically dim the lighting in the eating area when a live performance begins. The SceneDMXcas allows you to easily interface the two control systems.

1) Your existing DMX-512 master

2) SceneDMXcas (requires 12-24V DC supply)

... Bluetooth wireless link ...

3) Your existing Casambi-enabled lighting installation (with predefined scenes configured)

Example 3

You want to quickly setup lighting for a tradeshow booth and you want to be able to easily control it from your smartphone. You already own a good selection of DMX-512 lighting fixtures that you would like use. The casDMX comes to the rescue!

1) Casambi smartphone app

... Bluetooth wireless link ...

2) casDMX master (requires 12-24V DC supply)

3) DMX-512 lighting fixtures

You can add additional casDMX masters if you need to control more than the eight channels available on one casDMX.

Have another application? Contact us!

Wired4Signs USA, LLC supports and stocks the full range of Casambi products in the USA and also specializes in LED Channel, LED Strip, and power suppliers all either made in the USA or Europe. Please contact us to discuss your project.
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