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Thread: Controlling external light seasonally

  1. #1
    Automated Home Sr Member mcockerell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Default Controlling external light seasonally


    We have a number of external lights under Cortex control and I am generally pleased with the way that I have them running.
    However, there is one thing that bugs me a little and I would appreciate some thoughts on how I might address the issue.

    At its basic level the external lights are set to come on based on time and an external light level threshold, and then go off at a set time later in the evening.
    This can be overridden in one of two ways: There is a manual override that we can use to leave the lights on when we are out for the evening, and a 'daybreak' control that turns the lights on at a set time in the morning if it is dark and someone is moving around downstairs - this deals with the 'leaving home in the dark' scenario in the winter months.
    So far, so good - so what is the issue? It's quite simple really - at this time of year the lights will regularly switch on for just a few minutes when it finally gets dark enough during the operating time period just before they are due to switch off.

    So my question is this, what is the best way to ensure that the lights don't come on in a fixed period (perhaps 15 to 20 minutes) just before they are due to go off anyway.
    I've tried setting up a virtual lamp with the same turn on time and light level settings, but with a slightly earlier switch off time, but I can't work out how to link that to the real light.
    I am using various enable/disable and mode settings to control the lights already.

    Any ideas much appreciated. And in case anybody is asking 'Why?' it has to do with when the dog and I decide to go for his 'last thing at night' walk :-)


  2. #2
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    North Lancashire


    are you using a General Logic object ... ?

    you could use an SR-FlipFlop gate to follow the lamp(s), feeding a Delay gate ... and feeding an AND gate to test whether to turn on not ...

    or something like that ...


  3. #3
    Automated Home Legend Karam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005


    Question is why is the light coming on in the first place? Is it because it has become dark, because someone has pressed a button, because motion has been detected and some other criteria? And do you then want to allow for one thing but not another in that time? Lighting automation not as trivial as people might initially think. One possibility is to make use of the numerical setting of the override or operating modes (probably latter in your case). If you bring up the connection menu for the light object and click on help then scroll down to Light Objects More Connections you will see these listed. You can change them for example using the scheduler (using the scheduler value output). Note - there was a bug in the scheduler time settings if trying to change times in the 23:00:00 area. This has beeen fixed but only in our development version. If you need this let us know.

    There may well be other/simpler solutions but as I say it can be a bit tricky to avoid upsetting some other behaviour when you have multiple criteria acting on an object.

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