In this series of articles we will be cover 10 simple but useful tips for technicians that are using Lightwright 5. Every month we will release a short explanation and tutorial of each tip. 

  Top Ten Tips


1. Work Notes

2. Gel Cut Sheets

3. Dimming System Balancing

4. Focus Charts

5. Instrument Counting

6. Networked Editing

7. Update Tracking

8. Reporting

9. Gobo Inventory

10. Color Scrolls/Wheels 

   Tip #3 - Dimming System Balancing  


When laying out your dimming system generally there are two approaches; one, having house dimmers that are hard patched and cannot be changed, and two, having a dimmer rack in which the patch can be adjusted. We are going to look into the second option and how to keep your 3-phase legs balanced when using a dimmer rack of this model.

First, you need to setup your dimming system in Lightwright to match the system you are using. This is done in Setup – Dimming & Control. Once this window is open you can name your system, set the highest channel# and highest circuit#. I am naming this one conventionals with the highest channel and circuit set at 192.




Next, you need to label the rack(s) and determine the size and starting numbers. I am just using 96 racks with generic names; sometimes it might be useful to name the racks by location. Now open the details page and you will see each dimmer, the type, capacity, volts, current load, status, and which phase it is in.  The current load and the phase will not have any settings until we set them to our dimmers' specifications.



I am just going to use the ETC Sensor Portable racks phase layout, which when selected, will aggregate the phase legs to the dimmers. In the paperwork I have set the dimmers in numerical order for the conventional fixtures and if you look at each leg in the Dimmer Details window they are out of balance.  



When we press Auto Balance, it will re-patch the system to get them as close to the same as possible.


Using the Auto Balance feature allows you to save time in making sure your legs are balanced and makes sure that you are not overloading any single leg of power in your system. Also after setting up your system this way you can have Lightwright report the total electrical load in your system, the loads on each rack, the current and maximum loads for each dimmer, and power load in each position for the selected system. This is all done from the Utilities menu after selecting Reports.



Next Month: An overview of focus charts