PFX Lighting Control System

The causeway Approach to the Burj Al Arab.
Lighting at The Burj al Arab Hotel

The powerful all-digital PFX Lighting Control System from Futronix is one of the most advanced lighting control systems available for hi-end installations such as exclusive hotel and leading commercial buildings.

Accurate, quiet in operation and highly reliable, PFX lighting control systems provide cost effective management of lighting usage combined with increased functionality. The PFX Lighting Control System also interfaces with building management and security systems, and can be programmed to operate with other building automation systems.

PFX lighting control systems are built around a range of standard-sized PFX chassis, each with its' own intelligence. This modular approach makes PFX systems of unlimited size and complexity easy to specify, install and commission, and simple to maintain in operation.

PFX Lighting Control System – ideal for:

  • airports
  • offices
  • convention centers
  • cinemas
  • places of worship
  • restaurants
  • cruise ships
  • control rooms
  • broadcast studios, etc.

Futronix has completed a wide variety of PFX System commercial lighting installations in over 50 countries - including the world's tallest and most expensive hotel, the ‘World's Best Hotel', and the largest conference center and shopping complex in Asia.

Burj Al Arab suite lighting controlled by Futronix
Suite lighting at the Burj al Arab
Futronix PFX dimmer shown operating the lighting in a ballroom
Ballroom Lighting, Times Square KL
Futronix PFX dimmers operate the lighting in the lobby of the Kempinski Hotel Cairo
Entrance lobby lighting

The attractive PFX chassis complete with external heatsink.
PFX System lighting control chassis

PFX Systems have been selected by leading companies such as Hilton Hotels, Sofitel Hotels, Sheraton Group, Grand Hyatt Hotels, Peninsula Hotels, Honeywell, Honeywell Aviation, Daewoo Heavy Industries (Shipbuilding), Hyundai Industries (Shipbuilding), Daimler Chrysler, Siemens, Microsoft and IMAX.

System programming is simple with the remote control, a PC laptop, or the Futronix Home-Icon© TFT Colour Touch Screen Controller. The in-built timer can schedule selected scenes for atmosphere, special events, or security.

Installed in a remote location, the PFX Lighting Control System is operated by (optional) remote control or wall-mounted switch panels. Elegant hand-finished switch panels in standard size feature solid-metal face plates to complement any décor.

Futronix PFX dimmers operate the lighting in the courtyard of the Kempinski
Dramatic coutyard lighting at Royal Maxim Palace Kempinski


Rows of Futronix PFX dimmers used to control the lighting in a hotel
Complete PFX lighting control installation

Installation out of sight means that equipment, wiring and accessory components can be arranged for easy cabling, installation and programming, at the same time simplifying inspection and maintenance. Throughout an installation the X-BUS® control cable is ‘daisy-chained' from one switch panel to the next, minimizing cabling and simplifying maintenance. Each switch panel can then be configured at installation to operate a single zone or any number of zones, or to act as a master to them all.

Programming and Setting Up by Remote Control

Laptop used to program the Futronix PFX lighting controllerProgramming and setting up of all parameters can be done by remote control, from the (optional) remote control handset, PC laptop or Home-Icon Colour Touch Screen Controller. This keeps switch panels simple and clean.

Remote Control Handset

Remote control for the PFX dimmer and lighting controller.Dimming levels, master raise and lower, fade rate and sleep timer duration can all be programmed and selected from the convenient (optional) remote control, and lighting levels can be temporarily adjusted without storing them. A major benefit of the remote control is in commissioning and programming of systems where the PFX System dimming equipment and the lighting are some distance apart. Any element of the system can be programmed using the remote control handset, eliminating the need to carry around a laptop vulnerable to damage or theft.

Remote control units for the PFX Lighting Control System are available with 2 levels of capability - limited reprogramming is available from the basic [20 key] RC20 unit, while advanced programming can be performed with the [50 key] RC50 unit. Both remote controls offer password protection, meaning that after handover property management or staff can make an alteration to lighting - either temporary or permanent - using only the remote control unit (no laptop required), while the commissioning engineer can set access priority levels and limits to reprogramming.

i-Pad & i-Phone Connectivity

Use your i-Pad or i-Phone to take control of Futronix lighting controls and other home electronics devices. Software vendors who can operate Futronix lighting controls have been expanded to include DemoPad and i-Rule.

i-rulei-ruleAPP for operating the PFX dimmer from a Smartphone.

Eliminate that cluttered mess of remotes, by consolidating all your remotes into one single i-Phone or i-Pad application. Select your favorite lighting scenes, close the blinds, power up the surround sound system, turn up the volume and flip through channels automatically using one key MACRO commands.

The Logitech harmony hub is compatible with the Futronix PFX dimmer.
I-Pad Touch Screen Lighting Control

Home Automation

WiFi accessory for the PFX lighting controller
Futronix WiFi Control

The list of companies that integrate to Futronix continues to increase, ensuring that Futronix can offer comprehensive solutions to customer requirements, while remaining at the forefront of lighting control and home automation technology.

logo_control1Futronix WiFiRecent additions to the list of Home Automation partners who can control Futronix equipment includes; Control 4 and DigiLinx. While the already comprehensive list of Universal Remote controls continues to grow with the addition of Nevo and Logitec Harmony.

Futronix now offers wireless WiFi capability for the HX, Enviroscene and PFX systems, making them perfect companions for operation from PC tablet using the Futronix Home-icon touch screen software.

The new additions add ease of operation, enhance user experience and maintain Futronix at the forefront of technology.

For a complete list of companies Futronix partners please see:
Touch Screen Controls

Home-Icon® Color Touch Screen Controller

Home-Icon touchscreen for operating the PFX lighting controller
Home-Icon©Touch Screen Controller

The PFX Lighting Control System can also be controlled remotely from Home-Icon Color Touch Screen controller which links PFX dimmers together and provides for multiple functions, with one-touch macros to run pre-set ‘environments' for lighting control and for whole-building ambient control. The Home Icon timer comes with a 365 day astronomical timer which has the capability for special events and holidays.


The PFX Lighting Control System's in-built 7-day 24-hour timer is separate from the Home-Icon or PC timer and acts with or instead of them. It can be programmed to select any scene at any time or day of the week - up to 70 different events each week (10 per day), for any circuit. Commercial uses include programming a building's daily lighting schedules to switch circuits on and off and adjust levels, setting up ‘special event' programming and lighting displays, and programming lighting for security requirements.

Switch Plates

Outstation switch plates can be used as multi-location switches to select scenes in any or all areas or rooms. Designed to complement contemporary commercial décor, stylish Futronix switch plates are hand-finished 2mm solid metal in polished brass, polished or brushed stainless steel, and white powder-coated brass with engraved logo. Now available is the elegant new Futronix 'Eclipse'® Glass range of switch plates and accessories. Switch plates are standard single gang UK size.

Wall switches for Futronix PFX dimmers and lighting controller
PFX System dimmer lighting controller stainless switch panels

Security Sequence

A lighting sequence lasting a few minutes or many hours can be programmed - automatically sequencing through pre-set scenes and displaying each one for any variable length of time - to light specific areas at selected times, or to give the impression that the property is occupied.


The PFX Lighting Control System can be programmed to create subtle or dramatic lighting displays by linking a series of scenes and programming the duration and fade rate. Commercial uses include architectural exterior or interior lighting, special events, retail displays and exhibitions.

Futronix PFX lighting controller operates the lighting in the flagship Tiffany store.
Lighting at Tiffany Beijing

LED / Fluorescent dimming

8 channels of 1-10v industry standard led / fluorescent dimming control are available via an optional card (either an internal card which is pre-wired if ordered with the PFX System, or a wall-mounted add-on unit), and each of the 8 channels can control up to 30 fluorescent ballasts. More cards can be added as necessary. A relay switching unit is available to provide ‘positive on/off switching' supply power to the ballasts.

DMX control - creates dramatic design using colour LED’s

Using arrays of coloured and white LED's, impressive lighting effects can be created as discrete background elements using different scenes. The required colour blended levels of the LED’s are controlled by the optional DMX interface. The DMX standard has become the primary control protocol for low energy, high output colour LED's.

The Futronix DMX-512 compatible extension board, integrates DMX controlled lighting and other devices to the HX, Enviroscene and PFX range of lighting controls. Using standard scene setting control to adjust DMX device parameters such as colour, level or position.

The DMX512 card is a PFX digital to DMX full speed transmitter. Which down-converts
PFX digital output signals to DMX’s 256 levels. It programs exactly the same way as any normal circuit scene from remote control, PC or touchscreen.

Some examples of DMX controlled LED lighting:

Expansion and Zones

The PFX System can be programmed to create any number of lighting zones, where a zone corresponds to a room or area. PFX System dimmers can be used to build a system with just a few channels or several thousand - virtually unlimited in size. Standard size PFX chassis, each with its own intelligence, come supplied with the option of 6, 8, 12, 16 or 32 channels of dimming on board.


Large areas such as ballrooms or conference rooms can also be partitioned into smaller function rooms, each with its' own independent controls. Futronix PFX dimmer racks are typically located in separate DB (distribution board) rooms with input from switch plates located in the rooms and service areas. Using automatic or manually-controlled partition position switches (see installation guide), lighting for each smaller area or combination of areas can be controlled as though it was one room, with full scene setting capability.

Example of DMX colour lighting being used in a ballroom
Ballroom lighting effects at Royal Maxim Palace Kempinski
Futronix PFX dimmer and lighting controller operating at the Colosseum
Colosseum ballroom lighting effects with PFX control
Futronix PFX lighting controller operates the lighting in the lounge of the WH Ming Hotel
Lobby Lighting effects at WH Ming Hotel
Futronix PFX lighting controller operates the bar lighting at the WH Ming Hotel
Lighting effects – Sky Bar at WH Ming Hotel
Futronix PFX lighting controller dims the lighting at the IMAX cinema
IMAX Cinema Lighting

X_BUS® protocol

X_BUS® protocol Logo
X-BUS allows all power and data to be sent down a single multi-stranded cable, daisy-chained to each switch plate in turn. This means less cabling and installation, with greater reliability due to fewer components and connections, easier terminations, and more robust cable. The PFX's X-BUS protocol is an especially useful feature for lighting control for large pillarless areas such as ballrooms or exhibition halls.

Commercial Quality & Durability

For commercial or residential projects with comprehensive dimming requirements, the PFX System's all-digital design and commercial build-quality assures extremely reliable, trouble-free operation. Easy to install, highly reliable, and able to cope with lamp wattage changes, short-circuits, overloads and wiring alterations, PFX Systems are designed and fabricated for rugged commercial use. The PFX System dimmer features generously rated heatsinks, a very high level of short circuit protection, and robust construction. Futronix designs and manufactures all of its own products, guaranteeing superior quality, proven reliability and extended life.

Backward Compatibility

Since 1994, when Futronix first introduced the digital dimmer, all Futronix products have been designed to be fully compatible both backwards & forwards. In addition to the reliability provided by Futronix advanced all-digital design and superb build quality, Futronix policy of always maintaining backward compatibility means that a substantial investment in a dimming system will retain its value over the years, with maintenance, service and spare parts always available.


Dimming lighting saves energy. The PFX System creates an energy efficient lighting environment, with up to 98% of unused lighting energy saved through dimming, and bulb life prolonged by 30% or more because fading a lamp digitally is gentler on the filament than just switching it on or off.

Windows Software

Programming/operating software runs under Microsoft Windows® using an RS485 interface. Any circuit can be set as any physical channel and programmed to be on any phase, in any zone or set as a switching or dimming channel. For each scene the circuits can be programmed, temporarily re-adjusted, modified, set for on/off switching and block downloaded/uploaded.

PFX System lighting control for luxury residences

In addition to commercial applications, the PFX System also provides the perfect ‘one-touch' solution for whole house lighting control for luxury homes, and can control many other programmable home automation features including air conditioning and heating, audio visual equipment, curtains - even water features.

The PFX System is ideal for multi-zone dimming control for a luxury residence and grounds, PFX dimmers feature operational flexibility, security, and ease of operation via remote control, laptop or the Home-Icon* TFT Colour Touch Screen Controller (*multiple functions and macros to run pre-set environments are available when a Home-Icon controller is connected to the PFX System).

Typically, separate PFX System controllers – one or more per floor - are linked by an RS485 network to a colour touch screen. Switch plates are located in all rooms, with master switch panels located beside main doorways. Additional master switch panels can be installed wherever desired. Customer requirements for controlling fans and demisters, or curtains, blinds and screens – even Home Cinema and AV equipment – are easily satisfied.

For residential applications, a convenient sleep delay feature for bedrooms switches off lights after a pre-set delay of up to 2 hours, and the timer can be set to fade up bedroom lights in the morning with a ‘wake-up' scene. ‘Welcome' scenes - which automatically switch on selected house lights for your return home - or security settings - can be programmed, as well as temporary settings for entertaining.

PFX System Features and Specifications

All digital control - each PFX dimmer contains the latest generation controller and hard-fired digital dimmer circuits

Programmable scenes (20 per area standard, expandable to 120 with Home-Icon)
3 phase dimming or switching
4 selectable dimming curves
Each channel can be set to be a switching only (non-dimming) circuit
1024 step fade resolution for all fade and cross-fade functions
Variable fade rates from 0.5 seconds to 2 hours (to gradually turn lights on/off)

4 data buses including:

  • X bus
  • RS485
  • RS232
  • DMX (option)
No minimum load on any channel
Multi-zoning 256 zones in one local area
15 room multi-partition control
Mains voltage compensation
Voltage stabilization
24-hr 7-day built-in event timer (battery backed)
Occupancy detection
Daylight balancing
Low noise operation – audible noise from a 16 channel 10A dimmer fully loaded at 50% is less than 30db @ 1m
Energy saving - efficiency <98%

Programming and operation from:

  • remote control handset, infra-red
  • PC laptop
  • Futronix Home-Icon® TFT Color Touch Screen Controller
Permanent memory – in the event of a power blackout pre-set scenes are not lost and re-programming of dimmer is not necessary
Temporary circuit adjustment without save
Master raise and lower
Exit Delay & Sleep Timer
Security settings

Virtual I/O for control of:

  • non-lighting equipment
  • audio and video equipment
  • curtains, shades, blinds
  • water features
  • security and alarm systems, etc.
Direct control of AV systems
Electrician-friendly installation
Type Channels Load dimension
Height, Width, Depth
PFX-32 32 5A 980 X 980 X 150mm 1 phase
PFX-16 16 10A 950 X 500 X 110mm 3 phase
PFX-12 12 10A 950 X 500 X 110mm 3 phase
PFX-8 8 10A 950 X 500 X 110mm 3 phase
PFX-4 4 10A 950 X 500 X 110mm 3 phase
PFX-620 6 20A 950 X 500 X 110mm 3 phase
PFX-720 7 20A 950 X 500 X 110mm 3 phase
PFX-820 8 20A 950 X 500 X 110mm 3 phase
PFX-340 3 40A 950 X 500 X 110mm 3 phase
Mains Supply Input 380-415V ac @ 50/60Hz three phase
270V ac @ 60Hz
200-240V ac @ 50/60Hz single or three phase
110-130V ac @ 50/60Hz single phase
Dimming Output (no minimum load) 5, 10, 20 or 40A per channel continuous tungsten, low voltage, halogen, neon/cold cathode, and fluorescent (high frequency)
Dimming Output (0-10Volt Optional) LED transformers & fluorescent regulation ballasts
DMX Control for colour changing lamps/LEDs & accessories
Switching Output 5, 10, 20 or 40A per channel continuous HID, non-dim fluorescent, other loads
Dimming Unit Output devices rated at 40A 1000V peak
Interference Suppression Heavy duty, high inductance chokes 200uS rise time 1.4 mH
Cable Termination (incoming 200A single or three phase switch disconnector
Protection MCB 10A, 20A or 40A type B or C
Cable Entry – Power Bottom of chassis 3 x 51mm + 5 x 25mm
Cable Entry – Control Left side of chassis 20mm + 12mm
Ambient Temperature
40ºC maximum, generously rated heatsinks limit internal temperature rise to less than 25°C above ambient temperature
Network X-bus protocol network switch panel bus, BMS, PC network, RS485, RS232
Approvals Conforms to relevant UL, BS & EN safety standards; CE approval
PFR – 1610 16 10A
PFR – 1210 12 10A
PFR – 810 8 10A
PFR – 620 6 20A
RM-80 Module 8×2 10A
RM-40 Module 4×2 10A
DSD – 16 16 10A
DSD – 12 12 10A
DSD – 8 8 10A
DSD – 620 6 20A

PFX System provides 14,000 channels of dimming for the Burj Al Arab Hotel, Dubai

Futronix are proud to have been selected to design, fabricate and commission the largest single architectural lighting control system ever built - a 14,000 channel installation for the prestigious Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai. The Burj Al Arab is testimony to the flexibility of the PFX System to adapt to the most complex of requirements and meet the highest of standards.

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