Both C-Bus and Dynalite provide outstanding lighting control systems for the Australian residential property market. They are both Australian designed systems and are widely recognised as the Australian lighting control industry leaders. There are several variables between the two which we will take a look at in more detail. C-Bus vs Dynalite head to head, let’s find out the differences between the two.
1. Lighting Control: Is it Worth it?
First off, having a home lighting control system brings with it many benefits, let’s take a look at the main ones. These benefits apply to both C-Bus and Dynalite.
Lighting control is the ultimate in convenience. It lets homeowners control any light in their home from any smart light switch.
Not only does a lighting control system control lights but it is also used to control a variety of other motorised and electrical sub-systems. This includes ceiling fans, exhaust fans, air conditioning zones, blinds & curtains, motorised windows and water features.
Scene control allows for a whole entire group of lights to be switched on or off with just a single button. By grouping together different circuits in the programming with different light dimming; we can create dynamic lighting that accentuates your homes architectural and interior designs.
By scheduling lights to automatically come on and off at set times; you don’t have to worry about living in the dark. You can even set the lights to dim up as the sun keeps setting and the ambient light levels drop. You can also have lights triggered by motion in the room they are in. These are just a few possibilities to help simplify your life.
Smart programming can lead to energy saving benefits. Programmers generally set a maximum output of 90% when setting light dimming levels.
Installing sensors can further increase energy savings. They are best put in locations where you don’t frequently enter, like bathrooms, garages or pantries. You can set them to switch off after 10 or 20 minutes if they detect no motion in a room.
You can also set up an ‘all off’ button, to make sure all lights are turned off each night.
Lighting control helps to provide extra security. External motion sensors can automatically turn lights on surrounding your home in light and deterring any potential intruder. It’s perfect for places like stairs, hallways, or paths outside. This also reduces the chance of any accidents or injuries occurring at night in the dark.
If a compatible security system is combined with a lighting control system you can use the lights to trigger a scene when the security alarm is set off. Imagine every single light in your home turning on to 100% all at once to scare off the intruder and allow you full visibility of the situation.
2. Lighting Control Hardware
C-Bus Vs Dynalite both provide a range of lighting control dimming/switching modules for different applications. The equipment both brands produce is long lasting and reliable.
They allow users to control a large assortment of lights such as:
- Halogen and incandescent lights which are controlled by phase dimming or relays for both leading and trailing edge
- LED lights by phase dimming or relays for both leading and trailing edge
- Direct DC control LED lighting
- Lighting with DSI control and dimming with 1-10v
- DALI addressable lighting
- DMX lighting (which is often used for colour changing lights, stage lighting and shows)
When it comes down to the price of the hardware, Dynalite is at a slight advantage by having slightly cheaper dimming/switching modules compared to C-Bus.
3. C-Bus Vs Dynalite: Keypads and Switches
Most decisions when it comes down to which system to pick; C-Bus or Dynalite, is often resolved by keypad or switch finish that the end user ends up with on their wall.
Both Dynalite and C-Bus have a range of keypads. They have a variety of different capabilities, styles, and prices. Here is a look at the different options.
C-Bus Switches – Zen Keypad
The C-Bus Zen range is available in a white or black finish. The keypads have a plastic finish with the ability to have up to 6 buttons on each keypad. The keypad buttons aren’t able to be engraved. Instead they can come with a range of different pre-engraved words or symbols for each button to represent the function. Each button has a back light that notifies the user if that function is active or not. The benefit of the Zen keypad is that Clipsal provide a matching style for the rest of your power outlets around the home for a seamless aesthetic.
C-Bus Switches – Saturn Keypad
The C-Bus Saturn range is available in a range of finer finishes such as different coloured glass and metal. The keypads have the ability for up to 6 buttons on each keypad. The keypad buttons aren’t able to be engraved. They come with a range of different pre-engraved words or symbols for each button to represent the function. Each button has a back light that notifies the user if that function is active or not. The benefit of the Saturn keypad is that Clipsal provide a matching style for the rest of your power outlets around the home for a seamless aesthetic.
C-Bus Switches – eDLT Keypad
Both the C-Bus Zen and Saturn range have a matching dynamic display keypad. This has a LED screen that allows for multiple pages of button controls. The C-Bus eDLT keypads provide custom labelling options. You have the option of 4 pages of custom buttons. Meaning there are 16 functions you can program per keypad. It can also provide feedback such as air temperature.
Dynalite Switches – Antumbra Keypad
The Dynalite Antumbra keypad is available in a wide variety of styles and finishes to suit any aesthetic. The keypad is comprised of 3 rows of 2 buttons to make 6 total buttons. The keypad is available in either a button style or a touch version.
The keypad has easily removable buttons that can be custom engraved to whatever the end user wants. This allows for greater implementation and use of the lighting control system, as the user can easily interpret the function of each button press.
Some other features of this keypad include lights to notify if a button is active. An inbuilt light level sensor to read the ambient light levels in each room. Plus a motion sensor that detects when someone walks past which triggers a back light to turn on to assist with navigation.
This is the most cost-effective keypad of all the different C-Bus and Dynalite switches.
Dynalite Switches – Revolution Keypad
The Dynalite Revolution keypad is available in a wide variety of styles and finishes to suit any aesthetic. The keypad is comprised of a single column of buttons that can be configured in a variety of ways to have anywhere between 1 and 7 buttons. This style also has the option to have 2 columns of up to 14 buttons on one keypad.
The keypad buttons can be custom engraved to whatever the end user wants. This allows for a greater implementation and use of the lighting control system as the user can easily interpret the function of each button press.
The keypad includes backlights to notify if a button is active and to easily read what each button engraving says.
This is the most expensive of the different options. However this provides for the greatest flexibility with the number of buttons and controls.
Dynalite Switches – Antumbra Display Keypad
The Dynalite Antumbra Display features multi-page functionality using a backlit LCD screen. It features scene control, scripting or logic of to up to 16 pages of functions.
You can also customise it to your home by displaying dynamic icons and custom images. The Antumbra Display can also integrate with your air conditioning system to display and control the temperature, clearing space on your wall from unsightly thermostats.
4. C-Bus vs Dynalite: Reliability
Both C-Bus and Dynalite have proved to be extremely reliable and will last many years when installed by a qualified professional.
But, with the two systems being set up differently, if a system was to fail, it will have different results.
C-Bus has a lot of its programming stored on a central device for scenes and logic control. So, if it were to fail, then it would cause you to lose control over most of your home.
Dynalite uses a distributed brain where each keypad has its own processor. Each keypad allows scripting directly onto the controllers. This means that if any keypad fails, the rest of the system can function as normal.
5. What is the process of setting up a C-Bus or Dynalite system?
Talking to an expert lighting control installer is step number one. Setting up both C-Bus and Dynalite lighting control can be confusing and unintuitive. They can often be installed poorly. We have had to go in and remedy many systems. We have seen many left incomplete by other installers and electricians who didn’t know what the system was capable of achieving.
SMARTHOMEWORKS are approved and authorised C-Bus Point1 Dealers and Dynalite Master Dealers. We are on the top tier of installers. We are versed in implementing these systems at the highest levels.
As professional installers, we will be able to discuss your project and client needs with you in detail. As well as tailor the perfect system to each home. The key is documentation. If the installer can’t provide a schedule of the different circuits and how they are controlled, your system will require ongoing maintenance and adjusting that will be very expensive to do. Appropriate documentation is paramount.
A professional should document every light and controlled circuit on a floor plan and how it is to be controlled. This is used by the electrician for ease of install and allows for tracking of any changes/additions that occur as a project continues. It is then also used for designing the button engravings and function for each rooms keypads which is done with the client to ensure they understand the full function of the system as they wanted it.
6. What System to choose
In the end between C-Bus Vs. Dynalite, which one should you choose?
Both systems are reliable and offer many customisation options to consider. Both systems have near exact capabilities in what they can achieve in terms of programmability. So, it comes down to personal preference in what style of keypad you want to purchase and the price point it comes in at.
If you have lighting design and you are wondering what the price of the different options may cost, give us a call and we can walk you through the different combinations available to you so you can go and make a decision suiting your needs.
If you have any questions, or are after free overview of what a full Smart Home system can achieve, call us on (02) 8197 1122 or contact us online.