Futronix – the transformation from lighting control pioneer to industry leaders
Futronix (est. 1989) is an international lighting controls manufacturer that has played a pioneering role in the development of today’s professional lighting control systems and a variety of related products. Futronix designs and manufactures a unique and comprehensive range of all-digital intelligent lighting and home automation controllers for both commercial and residential applications. Almost 20 years of research and development, innovative product design, and advanced manufacturing skills are integrated into Futronix products, converting basic lighting into an advanced user benefit – effortless, comprehensive and energy-efficient control over lighting environments.
Futronix have successfully focused on the developing convergence of lighting and electronics, and integrating products to both the overall lighting industry and markets. With major installations worldwide, annual sales growth exceeding 25%, and a growing reputation as a key innovator in the field of all-digital lighting control systems, Futronix has transformed itself from pioneer to industry leader, and Futronix switching and dimming systems are specified by leading architects, lighting designers and end-users worldwide.
Lighting controls play a critical role in modern electric lighting systems, basically providing the functions of:
• Turning lights on and off using a switch; and/or
• Adjusting light output up and down using a dimmer.
As significant innovators in the industry, Futronix has increasingly automated these functions, enabling integration of devices into larger, more flexible and reliable systems with increased interoperability between devices from different manufacturers. Applications range from lighting a child’s bedroom to integrating powerful switching and dimming systems for an entire commercial complex.
The company has remained focused on its’ core business – lighting controls – and on achieving success with superior quality, pricing, dependability, flexibility and technical innovation. Research & development programs are based on innovation and customer requirements, developing advanced systems that are reliable, easy to install and operate, yet sufficiently versatile to offer fully-featured control.
In line with product development guidelines, different but compatible controller systems can be integrated to create complete lighting control ‘solutions’ without the need for third-party components. ‘Scene’ setting or room partitioning do not require add-on modules, power supplies can deliver ample power without additional components, and cabling is simplified with patented X-BUS protocol. All Futronix systems provide for seamless integration with 3rd party equipment if required.
Products are frequently upgraded to increase energy efficiency, connectivity and performance, and to ensure compliance with international industry and safety standards. To ensure model continuity, all digital lighting controllers are built around the most popular microprocessor available worldwide with multiple supply sources, guaranteeing backward and forward compatibility with other company products.
Build quality, product lifetime and repairability are always of paramount concern to the company’s engineers. Manufacture of all products in the company’s own plant ensures that consistent high quality is built in at every stage of the production process, and all dimmers and systems undergo extensive system testing prior to shipment. Futronix maintains a worldwide dealer network, providing sales support and service to clients of all sizes.
product innovations & development
Futronix introduced its’ first product in 1989 – an analogue ‘scene dimmer’ that provided pre-programming of lighting levels and timer settings for creation of lighting ‘scenes’. Scene dimming has remained one of the principal features of Futronix products.
In 1992 Futronix introduced the PF16, a 16-channel all-digital scene dimmer, and since then all products throughout their range have been fully digital. All-digital dimmers with no analog content are smaller, more accurate and more reliable – and with all setting up done in software, commissioning is greatly simplified. Futronix is still the only lighting controls manufacturer to offer exclusively all-digital products.
The PFS commercial scene dimmer system, and the PF4 – the first low-cost residential scene dimmer system – went into production in 1994. By this time Futronix had established a reputation for innovation, quality and service, resulting in wider acceptance of their products and spurring further investment in research and product development. The results became apparent over the following years, with a constant flow of industry-leading product introductions. Futronix’ development strategy has always been to offer the most comprehensive range of all-digital residential and commercial dimmers. The list of significant product introductions below demonstrates their achievement of this goal.
In 1995, the P400 residential scene dimmer was launched, and is still being upgraded regularly to expand its’ capabilities. In 1996 the PFX commercial digital scene dimmer was introduced, offering feature-rich specifications, multi-zone control, 3-phase mains compensation and more, and quickly became an industry standard for commercial applications. In 1997 the Enviroscene light-commercial scene dimmer was released, targeting larger residences and smaller business applications wanting a durable reliable light commercial system. The residential Classic P400 dimmer – now the best-selling residential scene dimmer – was also upgraded in 1997.
The following years saw product development targeting various residential sectors – apartments, family homes, luxury home resorts – with new products including the P100 (the first & only available single-switch size scene dimmer) in 1996, and the best-selling P800 8-channel, multi-zone residential scene dimmer system following in 1999. In 2000 the needs of the retro-fit market were addressed with the P50 drop-in replacement 3-level dimmer, requiring no neutral.
More technically, in 2002 the IGBT digital sine wave dimmer was manufactured to dim specialist lamps of all types, while in 2003 the PFX System 2nd generation commercial scene dimmer raised digital scene dimming to a new level of flexibility. In 2004 the focus was on developing a specialized version of Windows software adapted for programming and operation, and on developing accessories for PFX & Home-Icon systems.
In 2004 the Home-Icon Color Touch-Screen Control was introduced for easy setup and programming of PFX & Enviroscene systems, providing building-wide automation control from a color touch-screen display with a customizable graphic interface.
The Hx Dimmer (2007) provides a remote-location residential/light commercial scene dimmer for homes, hospitality, hospitals, offices, etc.. The same year saw introduction of the stylish Eclipse glass/stainless screwless removable flush-mounted ultra-thin switchplates, to complement Futronix’ trademark solid metal standard-range faceplates. 2006/7 also saw upgrades to many systems.
This record of innovative technologies and products has positioned Futronix as a recognized leader in the lighting controls industry worldwide.
Futronix’ unique scene dimming systems now provide on-demand, remote control of lighting ambiance and mood anywhere, at any time. Scene dimming and switching lighting controllers designed and manufactured by Futronix offer seamless professional command of all lighting requirements in major hotels, commercial complexes and other buildings in over 50 countries worldwide.
With almost 20 years of experience and customer feedback in intelligent lighting control, Futronix’ can now provide standardized product ranges and practical solutions for specific industry sectors, such as condos & apartments, home-cinemas, luxury residences, luxury hotels, home-resorts, hospitals, retail and entertainment malls, cinemas, cruise liners, industrial control rooms, and many others. End user/customers include some of the world’s most famous and professional companies and persons.
For larger projects, Futronix dimmers and switching systems offer solutions for most lighting control industry requirements. Switching of heavy duty lighting loads can be performed by unlimited-channel dedicated switching controllers such as the PFR and PFS System linked to a central control location. Commercial or light commercial scene dimmers can be installed where scene dimming is required for atmospheric lighting in atriums, lobbies, entrances or exteriors. With Futronix’ component inter-connectivity, system-wide programming and operation of these systems can be performed from a remote control handset, or from a PC or touch-screen controller in a centralized control room.
typical projects completed
Projects completed to date include residences ranging from single-room installations to whole-home lighting control and home automation for luxury home resorts. Property projects have included dimming and switching controllers for apartment and condominium developments for both private and public areas, and exterior and landscape lighting.
Futronix have successfully completed major installations worldwide, including the grand ballroom and conference room at Times Square Complex in Kuala Lumpur, IMAX and other theater complexes, places of worship, hospitals and corporate auditoriums, as well as restaurants, lobbies and accommodations in prestigious 5-star hotels, including all suites and corridors at the Burj Al Arab Hotel Dubai (the world’s most exclusive hotel). Many other major projects worldwide testify to the quality and value of Futronix’s innovative technologies and solutions.
Futronix leading position in the field of all-digital lighting control is based on constant research and development, comprehensive and planned ranges of products, and providing appropriate solutions for various sectors within the lighting controls industry. The company’s clear vision and dedication to achieving its corporate goals continue to benefit the industry as a whole, setting performance and connectivity benchmarks for other manufacturers to emulate.
The following link http://www.ElectricalPortal.co.uk/electrical_article.asp?ArticleID=10322 to numerous white papers and other documents, as reviewed and approved for upload by leadng online portal www.ElectricalPortal.co.uk, provides some indication of the scope and depth of Futronix’s contributions to the development of today’s lighting control systems.