FlexElite Application Guide

FlexElite from Color Kinetics was created to meet the challenges posed by large, unconventional buildings and structures, which supports long runs, large node spacing, has less intervention on the structure, and allows easy installation and maintenance.

Regardless of the size and complexity of your installation, this guide is designed to help you get started configuring FlexElite luminaires, determining node quantity and total run length per Power Data Supply.

FlexElite was developed in an innovative modular design concept, which consists of one or more sections of nodes (1, 2, 5 ,10, and 20 nodes per section) with connectors at each end. Sections are built with one of four predetermined node spacings. Jumper cables and splitters can be added to meet most installation demands. Unlike other Flex luminaires, FlexElite cannot be field trimmed. The PDS is connected to the first section with a leader cable. Additional sections are connected to each other with a terminator added at the end of the run. Jumper cables and splitters can be added as required.

Determining maximum run length per PDS is a combination of total cable length, FlexElite node count, and data requirements. Total cable length is the distance from PDS to terminator, including all ports, Leader Cable(s), all FlexElite sections, Jumper Cables, Splitters, and Terminator(s). Data requirements are determined by the type of content to be shown on the lighting system (see below).

FlexElite leader cables connect PDS ports to FlexElite luminaires. Although there is no technical limitation in the length of leader cables, Color Kinetics offers FlexElite leader cables in standard lengths up to 60 m (200 ft), to meet most requirements and allow convenient positioning of PDS units.

Data requirements

Understanding what content will be displayed on the installation (video display, fused line, ambient effects, etc.) is one factor in determining the quantity and density (pixel pitch) of FlexElite nodes required. Other considerations include ambient light at the installation location and typical viewing distance.

For video displays please consult our guide, which includes common terms and calculations.

Additional considerations

  • What is the typical viewing distance to your installation?
  • What control mode is required?
    • FlexElite IntelliHue, RGBW, and RGBA, are factory set 3 Channel In/4 Channel Out plus Chromasync.
    • FlexElite iW is factory set 4 Channel In/4 Channel Out.
    • 3 Channel control allows more nodes per run (see charts below for details). Control mode can be reset when commissioning. See FlexElite IntelliHue configuration options for more details.
  • What data resolution is required? 8-bit (factory default) or 16-bit data resolution.
  • What pixel pitch is required? FlexElite is available in four pixel pitches:
    • 304.8 mm (12 in)
    • 500 mm (19.6 in)
    • 609.6 mm (24 in)
    • 1 m (39.3 in) 
  • Where will the Power/Data Supply units be located and what is the distance to the first FlexElite node?

Power Data Supplies

All FlexElite luminaires require 48 VDC input from these Power Data Supplies

PDS-400 48V CA4

CM-550 48V CA4 Control Module

DIN Rail Mount or Surface Mount and Power Supply (sold separately)

Maximum nodes per PDS

3 channel DMX and Ethernet - 146 nodes

4 channel DMX - 128 nodes

4 channel Ethernet - 146 nodes

Node count based on configuration, data resolution, and cable limits.

3 channel DMX and Ethernet - 170 nodes

4 channel DMX and Ethernet - 128 nodes

Node count based on configuration, data resolution, and cable limits.

Power Input

100 to 277 VAC, auto-ranging, 50/60 Hz

3.4 W at 48 VDC for Control Module. Power for nodes not included.

Power Output

48 VDC

48 VDC

Environment

Dry/Damp/Wet Location, IP66

Dry Location, IP20 or Dry/Damp/Wet Location, IP66

Control Protocol

0-10V, DMX or Ethernet

DMX or Ethernet

Typical PDS-400 48V CA4 configurations

PDS-400 48V CA4 supports either DMX or Ethernet mode. In Ethernet mode each port is one universe, for a total of 4 universes. In DMX mode each PDS is one universe. 

PDS-400 48V CA4 and FlexElite luminaires specifications

  • 305 m (1,000 ft) maximum PDS run length from PDS to terminator, including all ports, Leader Cable(s), all FlexElite sections, Jumper Cables, Splitters, and Terminator(s).
  • Four ports per PDS-400 CA4, one DMX Universe per port.
  • Up to 146 nodes per PDS with Ethernet control, based on configuration, data resolution, and cable limits.
  • Up to 128 nodes per PDS with 4 channel DMX control.
PDS-400 48V CA4 supports either DMX or Ethernet mode. In Ethernet mode each port is one universe, for a total of 4 universes. In DMX mode each PDS is one universe. 
  • Maximum splitter count: 8 levels per port.

Typical CM-550 CA 48V configuration

CM-550 48V CA4 and FlexElite luminaires specifications

  • 305 m (1,000 ft) maximum PDS run length from PDS to terminator, including all ports, Leader Cable(s), all FlexElite sections, Jumper Cables, Splitters, and Terminator(s).
  • One port per CM-550 48V CA4 (one DMX Universe).
  • Up to 170 nodes of FlexElite IntelliHue, RGBW, or RGBA, per PDS with factory set control (3 Channel In/4 Channel Out plus Chromasync) based on configuration, data resolution, and cable limits. 4 channel control allows fewer nodes (128 nodes maximum).
  • Maximum splitter count: 8 levels per port.

FlexElite Maximum Node Count per Run Length

The charts below show the maximum number of FlexElite nodes per power supply at various run lengths for both PDS-400 48V CA4 and CM-550 48V CA4. FlexElite is shown with 7 common on-center node spacings (pixel pitch). Control limits are noted when applicable.

Control limits apply per universe. Node quantity limits apply per PDS.
*Larger pixel pitch can be achieved by using single node sections and jumper cables.

If you require additional guidance, Color Kinetics Applications Engineering Services is here to help with your project. http://www.lighting.philips.com/support/connect/contact-us.


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