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Chowmain - Generic Lighting Driver (IR)

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Chowmain - Generic Lighting Driver (IR) 

Control4 allows for you to easily integrate infra red based audio/visual devices but it does not give you the ability to integrate infra red based lighting devices. 

This is where the Chowmain generic lighting driver comes in. With customizable properties where you can enter in IR HEX codes you can now integrate infra red based lighting devices into Control4 with the correct icon. 

Features 
Definable On/Off Hex IR codes in properties 
* Easy to manage 
* Can have multiple copies of the same driver with different IR codes 

IR Binding 
* You can bind it to any infra red output in your Control4 system. 

On/Off/Toggle functions 
* With notifications to the proxy means that the client will know when the light is on/off (note that as it is IR based/without feedback it is assumed On/Off) 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can you give us some examples of how we could use this driver? 
This driver is useful for integrating IR based lighting devices into Control4. This includes the Lutron based IR lighting devices, Dynalite IR lighting devices and more. 

Are there any other cool things we can do with this driver? 
Since the driver has definable properties you can have multiple drivers connected to the same IR port. This includes the IR blaster on supported controllers. This means that you can control any amount of IR based lights on a singular IR port (upto the limitations of the port). 

What hardware will this work on? 
This driver will work on any IR controllable light through any IR output compatible with Control4. 

How do I find out more information about the driver? 

Please see the links below for more information about the driver. 

Download Product Information Sheet 

Download Installation Guide 

How do I buy the driver?
This driver is developed by Chowmain software & apps and is distributed and supported by Houselogix, Inc. 

Download Driver / Purchase Licence

Who do i contact for technical support?
This driver is developed by Chowmain software & apps and is distributed and supported by Houselogix, Inc. 

Support

Do you provide trial licences?
All Chowmain drivers for Control4 come with a 48 hour trial. This is activated once you add the driver to the project. No additional steps are necessary. 

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I have noticed an unexpected action with this driver, which I am using to create "dummy" light switches in 2.8.

When I open the Control4 Navigator application on my iPad, every single "light" defined with this driver gets "turned off" in every room  (If I leave the ap open on the iPad rather than closing/reopening it, the states remain unchanged).

Is this the expected behavior?  If so, how can I prevent this from happening?  If not, what could be causing this?

 

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3 hours ago, jfh said:

I have noticed an unexpected action with this driver, which I am using to create "dummy" light switches in 2.8.

When I open the Control4 Navigator application on my iPad, every single "light" defined with this driver gets "turned off" in every room  (If I leave the ap open on the iPad rather than closing/reopening it, the states remain unchanged).

Is this the expected behavior?  If so, how can I prevent this from happening?  If not, what could be causing this?

 

Do you have a license for the driver?

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5 hours ago, msgreenf said:

 

 

5 hours ago, msgreenf said:

Do you have a license for the driver?

Yes

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Another data point - when my wife connects using her (Andriod) phone, when she turns a switch on, it turns itself off in a one or two second beat.

 

My iPhone sees the same result as my iPad.  The switches may get turned off when the device reconnects to the controller - if I keep the iPad ap open for a long time and don't do anything, when it connects all the switches turn off.

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Even stranger, it looks like every switch status is local to the device.

Three different devices

 IPad: Switch 1 turned on.  iPhone and Android phone show it it off.

iPhone: Switch 2 turned on. iPad and Android show it off.

Android: Switch 3 turned on. iPad and iPhone do not see the state change before Android auto turns switch off.

 

if any device turns a switch on or off, the appropriate programming fires.  But when the switches turn off by themselves when not expected, stuff that you don't want to happen happens. :)

 

Update: to make debugging even more difficult - the switch status not reflecting on all devices is not consistent.  Sometimes they reflect on other Navs as expected.  But there doesn't seem to be any pattern I can discern.  I thought it might be related to switches that don't have any related code, but that doesn't seem to be a factor.

Edited by jfh
Update

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Ok, thought I had a license for the driver, but HE says I have an invalid key entered.  Will check that avenue first ...

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5 minutes ago, jfh said:

Ok, thought I had a license for the driver, but HE says I have an invalid key entered.  Will check that avenue first ...

that is likely it.  Driver isn't activated so it doesn't work....

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Not it.  There were some instances of the driver that did not have the key entered, but now they all do.   Same problem.

 

When the iOS device connects, two entries show up in debug when the switch gets turned off:

28/12/2015 11:05:15 - ReceivedFromProxy [5001] : GET_LIGHT_LEVEL
28/12/2015 11:05:15 - ROOM_ID
   418
28/12/2015 11:05:15 - ReceivedFromProxy [5001] : GET_LIGHT_LEVEL
28/12/2015 11:05:15 - ROOM_ID
   418
 

if you turn the switch on or off, you get the appropriate debug message.  But as soon as a client connects, the two GET LIGHT LEVELS happen and the switch(es) turn off (GETs happen regardless of if switch was previously on or off)

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51 minutes ago, jfh said:

Not it.  There were some instances of the driver that did not have the key entered, but now they all do.   Same problem.

 

When the iOS device connects, two entries show up in debug when the switch gets turned off:

28/12/2015 11:05:15 - ReceivedFromProxy [5001] : GET_LIGHT_LEVEL
28/12/2015 11:05:15 - ROOM_ID
   418
28/12/2015 11:05:15 - ReceivedFromProxy [5001] : GET_LIGHT_LEVEL
28/12/2015 11:05:15 - ROOM_ID
   418
 

if you turn the switch on or off, you get the appropriate debug message.  But as soon as a client connects, the two GET LIGHT LEVELS happen and the switch(es) turn off (GETs happen regardless of if switch was previously on or off)

I recommend you have your dealer open a case with Houselogix support

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This seems to be fixed in the 8.2.1 driver level released today.   Not sure yet if the Android funkiness is fixed, but opening a navigator on iOS no longer turns the lights off 

Thanks to HouseLogix and Chowmain for a quick fix!

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MAJOR UPDATE 

This driver now has additional functionality and is seperated into two drivers. 

Generic Lighting Driver - Is used for On/Off based IR Lighting and RGB Based IR Lighting. 
Generic Dim Lighting Driver - Is used for dimmable IR Lighting that has discrete commands for 25%, 50%, 75%, 100% and up and down levels. This covers quite a few of the generic LED controllers on the market. 

Generic Lighting Driver Features 

  • Definable On/Off Hex IR codes in properties makes it easy to manage. You can have multiple copies of the same driver with different IR codes 
  • IR Binding - You can bind it to any infra red output in your Control4 system. 
  • On/Off/Toggle functions. With notifications to the proxy means that the client will know when the light is on/off (note that as it is IR based/without feedback it is assumed On/Off) 
  • NEW - Ability to integrate RGB Lighting. 

Generic Dim Lighting Driver Features 

  • NEW - Definable On/Off/25%/50%/75%/100%/Up/Down Hex IR codes in properties makes it easy to manage. You can have multiple copies of the same driver with different IR codes 
  • NEW - IR Binding - You can bind it to any infra red output in your Control4 system. 
  • NEW - On/Off/Toggle/Level functions. With notifications to the proxy means that the client will know when the light is on/off (note that as it is IR based/without feedback it is assumed On/Off) 
  • FAQ 

What IR based dimmers will this work with? 

This is designed to work with the generic IR based LED lighting controllers you find with online retailers that has Up, Down, Off, On, 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% commands on their remotes. It should also work with other ones however the driver is designed to utilise the 25/50/75/100% discrete levels as reference points. 

We developed the driver against this RGBW IR controller. 

http://www.banggood.com/DC-12-24V-2A4-Channel-40Key-RGBW-Led-IR-Remote-Controller-Dimmer-For-RGBW-Strip-Lights-p-1016889.html

What RGB based lighting will this work on? 

This will work with any IR based RGB lighting controller that has discrete codes for individual colours, on and off. The driver will fire an ON code prior to the colour code to ensure it is in sync. 

We developed the driver against this RGBW IR controller. 

http://www.banggood.com/DC-12-24V-2A4-Channel-40Key-RGBW-Led-IR-Remote-Controller-Dimmer-For-RGBW-Strip-Lights-p-1016889.html

Can you give us some examples of how we could use this driver? 
This driver is useful for integrating IR based lighting devices into Control4. This includes the Lutron based IR lighting devices, Dynalite IR lighting devices, fan's that have IR controlled lights, RGB lighting strips on them plus much more. 

Are there any other cool things we can do with this driver? 

  • Since the driver has definable properties you can have multiple drivers connected to the same IR port. This includes the IR blaster on supported controllers. This means that you can control any amount of IR based lights on a singular IR port (upto the limitations of the port). 
  • The driver allows for multiple instances to be grouped together. This is useful for RGB lighting strips. When you turn on colour on the other colours will go to an off position without firing the OFF IR code. If you want to turn the strip off toggle the colour that is currently on. 

0001758_generic-lighting-driver.png 

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Will this auto update or are there special instructions for those of us that already have the prior version installed?

 

i have 8.2.2 - which version is this?

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This is version 8.3. If you have the HouseLogix auto update driver then it will auto update if not your dealer will need to manually update the driver.

note that the new dimmer driver needs to be added in to your project if your system is compatible.

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1 hour ago, alanchow said:

This is version 8.3. If you have the HouseLogix auto update driver then it will auto update if not your dealer will need to manually update the driver.

note that the new dimmer driver needs to be added in to your project if your system is compatible.

Thanks.  Do I need to add the dimmer driver if I am not using any dimmer function?  I'm just using the driver to create virtual on/off switches.

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5 minutes ago, jfh said:

Thanks.  Do I need to add the dimmer driver if I am not using any dimmer function?  I'm just using the driver to create virtual on/off switches.

Nope if you arn't using the dimmer driver then you don't need it.  If you're using it as fake switches then you don't need to update it at all.  The new functionality useful if you're integratin RGB lighting or dimmable IR lighting.

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On 7/29/2016 at 9:00 PM, etrochez said:

Alan, that UI, Beta?

Even if it was do you think i could say? :)

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I have lighting strips with similar controllers to what you show.  How do I learn the IR codes for my controller, assuming that the default ones don't work?

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I bought this driver and I am using it now to control a light strip.  My remote control looks very similar, but not exactly the same, as the one shown in the driver docs.

I am using a USB-UIRT on a PC to learn the Hex codes for the colours and the on/off.  One interesting thing is that when I am learning the IR codes sometimes I get a short block of a hex code like this:  0000 006B 0000 0002 0158 0057 0016 0E75

But after two or three presses I get a longer code that looks like this:  

0000 006C 0022 0002 0158 00AC 0016 0016 0016 0016 0015 0016 0016 0016 0016 0016 0015 0016 0016 0016 0016 0016 0015 0041 0016 0040 0016 0041 0015 0041 0016 0040 0016 0041 0015 0041 0016 0040 0016 0041 0015 0016 0016 0041 0015 0016 0016 0016 0016 0016 0015 0041 0016 0016 0015 0016 0016 0041 0015 0016 0016 0041 0015 0041 0016 0040 0016 0016 0016 0040 0016 05F2 0158 0056 0016 0E56

The shorter codes don't appear to work, but the long ones do.

One comment on this driver is that for RGB lights the colour control is kind of awkward as the way that the driver works is that to change colours you seem to have to turn the strip off and then back on as I only appear to have a power toggle code.  It would be better if there was one on/off switch and then a second option to set colour.  The way things work today is that if you wanted the full gamut of colours available as discrete keys on the remote (and the photo in the docs shows a remote with 20 colour keys) then you would have to have your dealer install 20 instances of the driver and have 20 on/off type switches in Navigator.  Yuck!  It would be great if you could get a colour picker of some sort to click on to choose a colour.

Contrast this with hue devices - the way that the colour selection works with the Hue drivers is that you have sliders from 0 to 100 for each of the three colour channels.  That works way better but I don't believe that is really an option with this cheap IR type of controller (you can buy them for about $6).  I use a Dresden Elektronik FLS-PP ballast to control the exact same types of light strips and that is a better option.  It costs US$55 for the controller but there is no driver cost and it is more flexible to control, plus you can use other Hue applications to easily control the lights, like the Hue holiday apps to give you special effects.

 

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On 7/24/2016 at 9:36 PM, alanchow said:

MAJOR UPDATE 

This driver now has additional functionality and is seperated into two drivers. 

Generic Lighting Driver - Is used for On/Off based IR Lighting and RGB Based IR Lighting. 
Generic Dim Lighting Driver - Is used for dimmable IR Lighting that has discrete commands for 25%, 50%, 75%, 100% and up and down levels. This covers quite a few of the generic LED controllers on the market. 

Generic Lighting Driver Features 

  • Definable On/Off Hex IR codes in properties makes it easy to manage. You can have multiple copies of the same driver with different IR codes 
  • IR Binding - You can bind it to any infra red output in your Control4 system. 
  • On/Off/Toggle functions. With notifications to the proxy means that the client will know when the light is on/off (note that as it is IR based/without feedback it is assumed On/Off) 
  • NEW - Ability to integrate RGB Lighting. 

Generic Dim Lighting Driver Features 

  • NEW - Definable On/Off/25%/50%/75%/100%/Up/Down Hex IR codes in properties makes it easy to manage. You can have multiple copies of the same driver with different IR codes 
  • NEW - IR Binding - You can bind it to any infra red output in your Control4 system. 
  • NEW - On/Off/Toggle/Level functions. With notifications to the proxy means that the client will know when the light is on/off (note that as it is IR based/without feedback it is assumed On/Off) 
  • FAQ 

What IR based dimmers will this work with? 

This is designed to work with the generic IR based LED lighting controllers you find with online retailers that has Up, Down, Off, On, 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% commands on their remotes. It should also work with other ones however the driver is designed to utilise the 25/50/75/100% discrete levels as reference points. 

We developed the driver against this RGBW IR controller. 

http://www.banggood.com/DC-12-24V-2A4-Channel-40Key-RGBW-Led-IR-Remote-Controller-Dimmer-For-RGBW-Strip-Lights-p-1016889.html

What RGB based lighting will this work on? 

This will work with any IR based RGB lighting controller that has discrete codes for individual colours, on and off. The driver will fire an ON code prior to the colour code to ensure it is in sync. 

We developed the driver against this RGBW IR controller. 

http://www.banggood.com/DC-12-24V-2A4-Channel-40Key-RGBW-Led-IR-Remote-Controller-Dimmer-For-RGBW-Strip-Lights-p-1016889.html

Can you give us some examples of how we could use this driver? 
This driver is useful for integrating IR based lighting devices into Control4. This includes the Lutron based IR lighting devices, Dynalite IR lighting devices, fan's that have IR controlled lights, RGB lighting strips on them plus much more. 

Are there any other cool things we can do with this driver? 

  • Since the driver has definable properties you can have multiple drivers connected to the same IR port. This includes the IR blaster on supported controllers. This means that you can control any amount of IR based lights on a singular IR port (upto the limitations of the port). 
  • The driver allows for multiple instances to be grouped together. This is useful for RGB lighting strips. When you turn on colour on the other colours will go to an off position without firing the OFF IR code. If you want to turn the strip off toggle the colour that is currently on. 

0001758_generic-lighting-driver.png 

Great driver but is there any way to dim RGB color codes?  Seems like a simple driver update to include a color code in the dimming driver?

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Hi guys,

Have been on leave for the past 2 1/2 week so haven't been able to answer queries in a timely manner.

On 11/26/2016 at 10:48 AM, zaphod said:

One comment on this driver is that for RGB lights the colour control is kind of awkward as the way that the driver works is that to change colours you seem to have to turn the strip off and then back on as I only appear to have a power toggle code.  It would be better if there was one on/off switch and then a second option to set colour.  The way things work today is that if you wanted the full gamut of colours available as discrete keys on the remote (and the photo in the docs shows a remote with 20 colour keys) then you would have to have your dealer install 20 instances of the driver and have 20 on/off type switches in Navigator.  Yuck!  It would be great if you could get a colour picker of some sort to click on to choose a colour.

Contrast this with hue devices - the way that the colour selection works with the Hue drivers is that you have sliders from 0 to 100 for each of the three colour channels.  That works way better but I don't believe that is really an option with this cheap IR type of controller (you can buy them for about $6).  I use a Dresden Elektronik FLS-PP ballast to control the exact same types of light strips and that is a better option.  It costs US$55 for the controller but there is no driver cost and it is more flexible to control, plus you can use other Hue applications to easily control the lights, like the Hue holiday apps to give you special effects.

 

Yes you will need multiple instances of the same driver to handle multiple colours.  You most likely have not setup the driver correctly.  There is a device selector property in the driver which allows you to group all the colours together.  This only needs to be done on a single driver as the driver will tell the other drivers in the group to do the same thing.

Once done the drivers will work together in the following manner.

If all of them are off then the first one selected will change to an ON state and fire the on code and colour code.  If another colour is selected then the first one selected will change to an off state WITHOUT firing an off code.  The second driver will then first an on code (as a precaution) and then fire the colour code amd so on.  As such a single press is all that is needed to change colours.

IR based devices are quite limited and as such we cannot utilise a 0-100 slider (how would you define what IR codes do what)

4 hours ago, luminenterprises@gmail.com said:

Great driver but is there any way to dim RGB color codes?  Seems like a simple driver update to include a color code in the dimming driver?

The dimming driver works by utilising the percentages as a starting point.  Unfortunately the colour dimming only has up and down dimming IR codes.  As such we cannot provide a discrete method of going to a certain value.  We may be able to utilise experience buttons but at this stage i do not want to do it until Control4 gives the ability to add experience buttons to the lighting page (would be silly to have to change pages just to go to dim up/down).

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What if you don't have discrete on and off codes, but just a Power Toggle?  That is all I seem to have on my remote.  So then when it goes to fire an on code, which is a precaution as you mention above, if they are already on then it turns off.  Here is a picture of my remote and controller.

ir-rgb-led-strip-controller-with-infrare

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