How to communicate
Communicating with lighting fixtures is the core of what we know and what we do. We have been involved in entertainment lighting for several years now and in 2012 we have expanded our know-how into mainstream lighting.
One-way communicationSo far in entertainment lighting, most users have used DMX to control fixtures and other types of equipment. DMX is a straightforward one-way communication protocol that can be sent either wireless or over cable, or packaged in Ethernet protocols such as Art-Net or Streaming ACN.
One of the dominant trends in the lighting industry is the increasing intelligence being built into fixtures and the need for the fixture and other equipment to not only receive information, but also to send information back to a lighting console or a monitoring computer. Thus, a new standard for facilitating two-way communication was published in 2006.
Two-way communicationThe new standard, officially known as "ANSI/ESTA E1.20, Entertainment Technology - Remote Device Management over DMX512 networks" is an extension of DMX that allows for two-way communication between lighting equipment. With RDM, it is possible to remotely perform tasks such as setup and configuration, monitoring and troubleshooting of RDM enabled devices, all without having the need of physically accessing the equipment.
During the last couple of years, many fixtures for both entertainment and architainment applications have shipped RDM enabled. Many lighting console manufacturers have also introduced RDM, or are planning to introduce RDM in their lighting consoles. Using a monitoring computer, separate from the lighting console, with a management software for configuring and monitoring your lighting network, is however the most common use of RDM today.
LumenRadio market both DMX and DMX/RDM products for both entertainment, architainment and architectural lighting. Our experience shows that RDM enabled equipment is becoming more and more common. Considering the benefits and cost reduction that RDM adds to any installation, the question is not if you are going RDM, only when.