Making magic happen with sensors

Those who know me well or have seen my presentations, know that I’m very big on sensors, particularly for residential projects… I love them.

Lighting control sensors are a key product for making homes smart and more intelligent, and are often misunderstood, not appreciated, and subsequently under specified.

The Big Sensor Misconception

It seems as though many home owners, designers, and specifiers don’t really understand what lighting control sensors are, how they work, and the benefits they can provide.

Many people hark back to the concept of the traditional PAR38 sensor flood light of the the last century that are installed on thousands of home garages and porches around Australia, and see these locations as being the only location for modern day lighting control sensors, if at all.

Whilst these areas are indeed prime locations for sensors to control outdoor lights, modern sensors are much more flexible, discreet, and have extraordinary functionality; particularly Philips Dynalite multifunction sensors.

I see many projects from specifiers that greatly under-utilise lighting control sensors, and often don’t even specify them at all.

The omission of lighting control sensors can be a missed opportunity to provide a fantastic user experience that is one of the most appreciated features of a smart home.

Making Magic Happen

In a modern home, much of the intelligence can be fully automated, particularly routines that are regular and predictable.

In areas where we need light as we move between or into spaces, sensors provide a fantastic experience; allowing lights to turn on and off when we need it.

For many applications, lighting control system sensors can be the first device that home owners and residents unknowingly interact with, rather than a ‘light switch’ or manual user interface.

Together with an ethernet gateway (PDEG), this product combination can provide high-levels of home automation to effectively control power and lighting – making real magic happen.

In addition to the more known ‘presence detection’ mode, Philips Dynalite sensors can operate in ‘vacancy detection’ mode to turn off lights when no motion is detected. This feature and the powerful programming behind it provides great flexibility and assists with energy management to ensure lights are turned off when not required.

With Philips Dynalite sensors being multifunctional, the in-built light level sensor can be programmed to have lights only turn on when the level of natural light falls below a specific threshold.

Sensors are a feature of the greater Philips Dynalite lighting control system that can provide many benefits that cannot be appreciated and valued if they haven’t been considered and provided.

The functionality and flexibility of Philips Dynalite sensors and the greater Dynalite lighting control system may also provide a point of separation from other lighting control systems.

Sensor Positioning

When we understand how multifunction sensors work, we know that positioning and location is very important.

By knowing the different detection pattern of each sensor, and the intended application, we can strategically position sensors in rooms and spaces to provide the best user experience.

For enclosed rooms such as bathrooms, powder rooms, laundry, garage, pantry, and storerooms, sensors should be positioned to detect intentional motion into the space, avoiding detection of unnecessary motion from adjoining areas.

For transitional connecting spaces such as hallways and passages, sensors should be positioned at entry points to detect motion to have lights turn on immediately when entering the area.

I specify sensors in most rooms and areas, often utilising more sensors than manual user interfaces – because they help make the magic happen.

Dynalite Products

The Philips Dynalite sensor range is quite extensive, but there are specific sensors that are more popular for residential projects. These sensors are all multifunction sensors that detect motion and light level.

The popular DUS360CR is a ceiling-recessed sensor that has a 360 degree detection pattern. When installed in a typical 2.4 metre high ceiling it provides a maximum 7m x 5.5m detection pattern.

The DUS360CS is a ceiling-surface-mount sensor that has the same specification as the DUS360CR with a maximum 7m x 5.5m detection pattern from a 2.4 metre high ceiling.

For typical residential projects, the DUS360CS is installed in locations that do not have a recessed ceiling, such as on concrete ceilings in garages or storage areas.

The DUS90CS can be surface-mounted on a ceiling or wall, depending on the required application. When installed with the supplied base, the DUS90CS has an IP54 rating, allowing it to be installed in weather-protected outdoor locations.

For a typical residential projects, where the DUS90CS is wall-mounted, it has a 90 degree detection pattern that can cover up to twenty metres.

Philips Dynalite have a similar model (DUS30CS) that provides a 30 degree detection pattern that extends for a 28 metre range. This sensor is good for long, narrow applications such as hallways and corridors.


The Networked Sensors brochure is a fantastic resource that describes the features and benefits of Philips Dynalite sensors.

The Sensor Positioning Application Guide is another resource that describes the intricacies of optimising the positioning of sensors.

I would love to know your thoughts about lighting control sensors, the functionality that you currently provide, and the functionality you might provide for future projects.

This series of articles from my Dynalite page focuses on products from the Philips Dynalite networked lighting control portfolio. Many industry professionals regard Philips Dynalite as being the world’s best lighting control system, that I have represented with Lightmoves for many years. SimonLakey

Controlling Tunable-White Light

With the new DALI-2 standard to become more known throughout 2021 and beyond, the ability to control tunable-white lights has never been easier or more intelligent, particularly with a Philips Dynalite lighting control system.

Tunable-white lighting control adjusts the colour temperature of white light to mimic natural light, with shades ranging from the golden glow of the morning sun or evening sunset, to the blueish hues of midday sunlight.

An objective of tunable-white lighting control is to make light feel more natural, aligning natural light with the circadian rhythm of the human body. Tunable-white control can be used to create atmosphere, promote wellbeing and improve comfort.

With tunable-white functionality being incorporated into the DALI-2 certification program, lighting and lighting control manufacturers can have their tunable-white functionality certified for compatibility with the DALI-2 control protocol.

Controlling tunable light with Dynalite

With a move towards more controllable luminaires, and tunable-white light  (sometimes referred to as human centric lighting), Philips Dynalite has a range of products for a complete lighting control solution. As a leading lighting control manufacturer, Philips Dynalite is focused on providing the best DALI controllers.

The current range of signal controllers features the DDBC120-DALI controller being DALI-2 certified, and will be followed by the new DDBC320-DALI when it is released later this year.

In addition to Philips Dynalite’s dedicated DALI controllers, tunable-white control can now be provided with the DDMC802 multipurpose controller installed with DGBM200 ballast modules.

When combined with a PDEG ethernet gateway, tunable-white presets and schedules can seamlessly transition or automatically change throughout day and night.


The DDMC120-DALI is the product to be used to control an enumerated (fully addressed) DALI for most residential applications. It provides cost-effective control of a single universe of 64 DALI drivers, and communicates seamlessly with Philips Dynalite sensors and user interfaces.

The updated DDBC120-DALI controller now supports tunable white light (or human centric lighting) for DALI 209 compliant colour control luminaires, and is compatible with DALI 209 drivers. This provides a single Warm White, Cool-White (WWCW) channel for tuning the colour temperature and adjusting the light intensity.

Previously, DALI luminaires required two channels that controlled a Warm White driver and a Cool-White driver, to achieve the same effect. Both the old and new channel types are supported by the DDBC120-DALI.

The DDBC120 DALI has an auto-enumeration feature, that provides automatic enumeration of DALI ballasts, and enables self-repair of the network system if a DALI driver fails, rather than requiring a certified technician being on-site to manually enumerate the system.

More information
Specification sheet
Installation manual

DDMC802 + DGBM200

Philips Dynalite recently announced the DDMC802 multipurpose modular controller with the DGBM200 signal dimming module now supporting tunable-white control over multiple broadcast channels, without the need for complex DALI addressing.

More information
Specification sheet
Installation manual

This series of articles from my Dynalite page focuses on products from the Philips Dynalite networked lighting control portfolio. Many industry professionals regard Philips Dynalite as being the world’s best lighting control system, that I have represented with Lightmoves for many years. SimonLakey

Dynalite Product Codes

Did you know there’s a method behind Dynalite product codes?

Well, there is indeed a method that makes Dynalite product codes and model numbers easy to identify and specify?

A typical Dynalite product code consists of three or four parts:

1. Form factor
2. Product type
3. Specification
4. Option or finish

1. Form factor: Wall-mount vs DIN-mount

It’s really easy to distinguish Dynalite wall-mount products and DIN-rail mount products.

With the examples of Dynalite multipurpose controllers, a D prefix (of the DMC810GL) stands for Dynalite Multipurpose Controller, whereas a DD prefix (of the DDMC802) stands for Dynalite DIN-mount Multipurpose Controller.

D__ = Dynalite wall-mount
DD__ = Dynalite DIN-mount

With most residential projects almost exclusively using DIN-mount load controllers, the DD product code prefix will identify the right product.

2. Product type

After identifying the product form factor (Wall-mount vs DIN-mount), the next part of the product code identifies the product type: e.g. Relay Controller (RC), Multipurpose Controller (MC), Ballast Controller (BC), etc.

Continuing with the previous multipurpose controller example, DDMC stands for Dynalite DIN-mount Multipurpose Controller.

Similar codes are:

DDRC: Dynalite DIN-mount Relay Controller (e.g. DDRC1220, DDRC810DT)
DDMC: Dynalite DIN-mount Multipurpose Controller (e.g. DDMC802)
DDBC: Dynalite DIN-mount Ballast Controller (e.g. DDBC1200, DDBC120-DALI)
Other Dynalite products can be similarly identified by the product code:

DDNG: Dynalite DIN-mount Network Gateway
DUS: Dynalite Universal Sensor
PDEG: Philips Dynalite Ethernet Gateway
PDEB: Philips Dynalite Ethernet Bridge
DLLI: Dynalite Low Level Interface
DACM: Dynalite Antumbra Communications Module
PADPA: Phillips Antumbra Display Panel American/Australian

3. Product specification

Following the product type, the product code identifies the specification.

In the case of the DDMC802 multipurpose controller, the 802 part of the product code references the number of channels and load capacity of the load controller: 8 channels, 2A per channel maximum.

Similar rationale of the product codes provides the specification of other products:

DDRC1220 = Dynalite DIN-mount Relay Controller, 12 channels/20A per channel
DDRC810DT = Dynalite DIN-mount Relay Controller, 8 channels/10A per channel, Double throw
DDMC802 = Dynalite DIN-mount Multipurpose Controller, 8 channels/2A per channel
DDBC1200 = Dynalite DIN-mount Ballast Controller, 12 channels
DDBC120-DALI = Dynalite DIN-mount Ballast Controller, 1 Universe, 20A relay, DALI-2
?DDNG485 = Dynalite DIN-mount Network Gateway, RS485
DLLI8I8O = Dynalite Low Level Interface, 8 inputs, 8 outputs
DUS360CR = Dynalite Universal Sensor, 360° (Detection pattern), ceiling-recessedDUS90CS =Dynalite Universal Sensor, 90° (Detection pattern), ceiling-surface mount

4. Options & finishes

Products such as the Antumbra series of user interfaces have a suffix that provides option or finish information:

PA6BPA-WW-L: Philips Antumbra, 6 button panel, American (Australian) shape, white button/white rim, labelled
PADPA-WW: Philips Antumbra, Display panel, American (Australian) shape, white button/white rim

This series of articles from my Dynalite page focuses on products from the Philips Dynalite networked lighting control portfolio. Many industry professionals regard Philips Dynalite as being the world’s best lighting control system, that I have represented with Lightmoves for many years. SimonLakey