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  1. #1
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    Thumbs up astral from MK Electric

    A new product range is available:

    MK Electric brings star quality to wireless lighting control targeted for British Standards markets

    In keeping with its status as one of the world’s leading wiring device businesses, MK Electric is enhancing the possibilities of wireless lighting control with the launch of astral™ – a Z-Wave ‘MESH’ based system that uses proven radio frequency (RF) technology to control lighting applications within residential, commercial or hospitality environments. The system offers significant benefits that will appeal to the installer, specifier and developer depending on requirements.

    MESH networking is a way to route data between nodes (devices) using RF communication, making it suitable for any installation where flexibility and versatility are important. The technology’s flexibility is due to it not requiring ‘line-of-sight’ to successfully send operating instructions between devices or points. Instead all mains powered devices in the system are ‘linked’ together (the ‘MESH’), providing multiple and alternative routes through which the RF signals can travel. The more devices in the overall installation, the more robust the communication path becomes.

    astral devices – the initial range comprising controllers, dimmers and switches – have the capability to control lighting in one particular room, but also lighting throughout the entire property. Each device is effectively a transceiver – both receiving and transmitting RF signals. Signals are detected by all other astral devices within range, or any other device with Z-Wave™ as its inherent RF “language” and when programmed to do so, will control the lighting connected to them; or they will forward the signal to the desired destination device via the most effective and efficient route.

    This means the user may control lighting anywhere in the building, either turning it on or off, dimming it up or down, or setting lighting scenes.

    The ability of the signal to ‘hop’ from device to device increases the distance over which the system can communicate, opening up more possibilities for larger installations than traditional RF based systems.

    There is no central hub with astral - all intelligence is distributed between the devices, this offers maximum system range and flexibility

    In most installations you will find a remote control, this has the capability to control four preset scenes and groups. Each scene or group can theoretically control up to 64 switches and/or dimmers, instructing them how to respond Lights can be dimmed, turned on or off or indeed set to preset levels simply and quickly.

    Other wall-mounted controllers are available that can be mains- or battery- powered. Battery-powered controllers can be portable and by their nature are extremely quick to install and ideal for system expansion

    Furthermore, a switch directly connected to a lighting circuit, is able to control via its inherent RF capability, a number of other switches or dimmers in a group. Similarly a dimmer can also control other switches or dimmers in a scene or group. No longer does the light you are controlling need to be wired to the switch or dimmer controlling it!

    For the installer astral provides the following advantages:
    • Easy to design and expand; simply requires the new device to be within range of existing mains powered device;
    • Easy to retrofit; all mains powered devices can be installed in a 35mm back box and dependent upon the device and lighting connected can use just the existing 2 wires found within traditional wiring circuits
    • Easy to configure, commission and programme.

    For the specifier astral provides a number of benefits:
    • Both new build and refurbishment applications;
    • Energy saving capability; low power consumption of devices <1W;
    • Choice of finish and functionality; metal and plastic faceplates, to complement existing MK ranges

    For the developer astral offers the opportunity to:
    • Add considerable value through the provision of a lighting control system that is reliable, easy to use and convenient for the end user
    • Integrate with two established MK wiring device ranges for design continuity;
    • Offer the promise of increased energy saving through convenient and simple control over the lighting

    Finally, the use of the proven Z-Wave™ RF platform – currently used by over 160 manufacturers worldwide – means that astral™ installations can be expanded beyond lighting control to integrate with other applications.

  2. #2
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    Seems very interesting but I could not find any reseller at the moment maybe since it's been launched recently. Do you have any information from where to buy such items. Moreover, I noticed that they do not produce a pc controller yet. Do you suggest a particular brand which matches the same frequency?

    Thanks

  3. #3
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    Since its Zwave then any Zwave PC controller designed for the UK will work.
    IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.
    www.casatech.eu Renovation Spain Blog

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    Quote Originally Posted by conradv View Post
    Seems very interesting but I could not find any reseller at the moment maybe since it's been launched recently. Do you have any information from where to buy such items. Moreover, I noticed that they do not produce a pc controller yet. Do you suggest a particular brand which matches the same frequency?

    Thanks
    They are available through Edmundsons in Oxford so I believe.

    Link to manufacture information - 1st class product

    http://www.mkelectric.co.uk/en-GB/Pr...s/default.aspx

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    Default Real life experience

    Has anyone actually installed the Astral system? I'm thinking of installing them in the next few weeks but need to know how they perform in real life... Would be helpful to know if they fully interoperate with controllers from different manufacturers.

    Any help would be highly appreciated.
    Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dudexk View Post
    Has anyone actually installed the Astral system? I'm thinking of installing them in the next few weeks but need to know how they perform in real life... Would be helpful to know if they fully interoperate with controllers from different manufacturers.

    Any help would be highly appreciated.
    Thanks.
    Where can you even buy it? -- Is there an online store? -- Are prices available anywhere?

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    You can buy them from Nu-line in Ladbrove Grove (London). I'm thinking of using a panel from Merten or Pulse with Astral switches. Not sure if it'll work though, I guess I have to wait till Jan 4th when their tech guys come back.

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    Default How to get in contact With MK direct?

    I am new to home automation lighting and i am looking at the MK Astral range.

    I wanted to get a price from MK direct. Does anyone have any contact details for them?

    Thanks

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jchahal View Post
    I am new to home automation lighting and i am looking at the MK Astral range.

    I wanted to get a price from MK direct. Does anyone have any contact details for them?

    Thanks
    MK wont sell directly to you, they have dealers for Astral

    Edmundsons are the dealer from memory, they were etremely expensive.

    http://www.edmundson-electrical.co.uk/

    We were part of the beta testing and we tried to get the Astral range to work with Lagotek HIP but dual channel Z-Wave put an end to that... I still have all the Astral kit.

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