Communicating with BACnet


“Lighting control system must be able to communicate with BMS”

How many times do we see the above (or similar) in a specification? A one liner asking for one system to talk to another with no further detail on the specifics of each system’s communication requirements, or indeed what is to be communicated.

The systems integrator for the lighting control system faces this regularly, when the spec calls for their system to communicate with a BACnet enables Building Management System (BMS) to allow meetings to be booked, or an event to be scheduled that interacts with the building HVAC system.

RAPIX lighting control systemIEL (Intelligent Environments Ltd) have decided to “take ownership” of this requirement in order to ensure a seamless integration from start to finish. To this end the company has developed a specialist Gateway protocol converter to move data between a DALI RAPIX lighting control system (manufactured by Diginet) and a BACnet building automation system.

Having developed and tested this with IEL projects, it is now available for purchase by other RAPIX integrators to allow the installer not only to meet the requirements of the specification, but also their delivery needs for a pain-free commissioning and handover process.

The protocol converter IEL supply is small in size and accepts a wide DC power range. It is can be simply installed alongside the RAPIX Zone Controller or BACnet HVAC controller on the DIN rail or placed within the IT communications cabinet, and be conveniently patched into a relevant network switch.

An easy to use, browser based UI (user interface) allows the lighting system integrator to quickly and efficiently configure the zone data to be exchanged. There is also the ability to monitor this data dynamically at any time to assist with commissioning and diagnostics.

A maximum of 250 RAPIX zones can be connected, with the ability for the IEL device to ‘auto map’ the relative zone data into relevant BACnet objects for availability via the BACnet Server, and ready to discovered by a BACnet Client.

Along with 250 RAPIX zones configured, te device makes available 1000 BACnet objects: Analogue Inputs, Analogue Outputs, Binary Inputs. This allows a BMS to read the ‘Level’, ‘Fault’, and ‘Error Code’ or to write the Level of a particular zone.

The BACnet object data model produced to the BACnet network is intuitive, with each object supporting a description to further support the building system integrator with their discovery and integration from the device.

So what do we call this product? BACIX – a simple blend of BACnet & RAPIX!

For further information on this product, for all things BACnet, or for integration between your RAPIX lighting control system & BMS system, please get in touch.