Visiting DMF headquarters in Carson, CA in mid-August 2022 provided insight into the growing importance of the lighting category to the custom integration channel, as well as insight into product launches. The company’s CEDIA Expo 2022 products: iX Series Small Aperture Luminaires, DID M Series Square Housings and Tunable White Light Modules.
Luminaires are still a relatively young product category for professional integrators. Although more and more channel members are designing lighting fixtures and specifying and selling fixtures, many more are still not comfortable with a category that was once the exclusive domain of lighting designers. , certified electricians and builders.
That’s why my in-person tour of the facilities of one of the chain’s most established lighting brands was particularly effective in showing just how committed these companies are to serving the smart home market.
DMF’s presentation to the home tech media began with a welcome from COO Michael Danesh, who recounted how the company was founded 30 years ago by his parents Mark and Faye, after Mark, an engineer, immigrated from Iran to escape political unrest. . Since then, the company has expanded into four different countries and has 200 employees.
Two members of the leadership team come from companies that are much more familiar with the traditional custom integrator. For example, Senior Vice President Andy Wakefield is a veteran of lighting control and shade manufacturer Lutron, Vice President of Engineering Rushi Kumar has held long tenures at Lutron and Crestron. While others, like National Residential Systems Sales Manager Mike Libman, and iX Series Chief Engineer George Saad, may be less familiar to those not yet working with DMF, but are already DMF veterans.
Danesh made it clear that DMF is a grassroots engineering company, having built that identity starting with his father and up to today, having over 30 engineers in total.
Therefore, DMF doesn’t have to look outside the company when faced with a product challenge. “If we find a problem on the ground, we can develop a solution from scratch,” Danesh said.
Particularly in the lighting fixture category, however, the challenge is to balance performance and design aesthetics.
“Ultimately, we’re placing products in high-end spaces, so we’re marrying industrial designers and engineers on the same project,” Danesh added. “I think we’re doing a good job balancing design and performance, thinking about installation perspective, working in simulated spaces, and anticipating imperfect jobsite situations.”
The challenge in the lighting category in the post-CFL world was to provide a fixture that dimmed consistently in forward phase lighting. For DMF, this meant guaranteeing up to 1% dimming in the field “no matter what”.
“The goal is to avoid callbacks for the installer and reduce the number of components to manage,” Danesh explained. “Our engineering went through a lot of thought, but there was also a lot of reliability testing in the humidity, with added surges and the injection of dirty power into the system, all to ensure that the products continue to operate in these environments. At our quality control offices in China, Taiwan, Carson, California, and outside reliability testing labs, we’ve tested LED modules for thousands of hours.
To reduce supply chain headaches, DMF engineers redesigned products to minimize secondary components and simplify the company’s product line to fewer SKUs. The modular designs also help the company simplify its manufacturing and installation process.
“This is a new category for integrators, so if you’re delaying a job, keeping the drywallers waiting…then that’s a problem,” Danesh said. “We want to help integrators embrace the category, not turn away from it.”
CI is the fastest growing channel for DMF. It’s also the most unique, as the integrators design, specify the components and install the fixtures – a unique equation for the category.
With its growing business focus, DMF chose CEDIA Expo in Dallas, TX to launch three major product announcements.
DMF iX Series Small Aperture
At CEDIA Expo 2022 in Dallas, DMF is showcasing several new products or product families. The company’s new iX Series fixtures have been designed to enhance the whole home with modern, “quiet” ceilings. As part of its longstanding commitment to the channel, DMF Small Aperture lights allow CI channel integrators to reduce size without compromising on performance, installation and serviceability.
Homeowners and designers want a so-called quiet ceiling with fewer and smaller openings, but today’s 2-inch fixtures are generally limited to specialty applications. DMF Lighting’s iX Series small-aperture solution removes these traditional constraints, allowing integrators to distinguish themselves from contractors by offering premium, high-end aesthetics.
The solution developed by DMF offers the performance of larger luminaires and error-free installation thanks to a patented precision locking collar that eliminates overcuts and guarantees perfect fit, sharp flange and uniform depth installations. The fixture also offers ease of maintenance as the custom designed driver for this fixture is easily accessible under the ceiling.
The result is a quiet ceiling and a modular system that’s as simple as plugging in, snapping in and adjusting. Overall, this provides ultimate flexibility, eliminates errors, and allows for effortless changes throughout the job.
“The iX Series offers all the benefits of a smaller footprint while maintaining high light output and versatility,” Libman said. “The same box will accommodate Standard, Wall Wash or Adjustable Round or Square Downlights. One-piece, precision-crafted metal trims are offered in a standard, rimless or flawless wood application. Trims are easy to install or replace to create the effect the homeowner wants. Additionally, the iX can be installed in new construction and renovations. »
DID M Series Square Enclosures
DMF will also be launching its new M-Series DID square boxes which offer even more installation options for the CI channel. They feature a new rimless option for wood ceiling applications, new trim colors, and are designed for “perfect alignment” installation.
“The rimless wood application is now available with square housings, taking seamless ceiling light integration to a new level,” Libman said. “DMF’s patented housing and trim technology makes the installation process both precise and easy. Combined, these create a clean, uninterrupted wooden plane while providing accessibility for any future changes and ease of maintenance.
The M-Series Square features new bronze and diffused warm and cool trim colors with white rim trims to match more design aesthetics. Additionally, DMF offers precision-engineered trims to meet every need, whether customers want a diffused glow or a narrow spotlight, an eye-catching or disappearing trim. Redesigned housings are now offered for new square construction in fire rated and standard models, as well as the Chicago plenum. All M-Series Square Trims are backwards compatible and will work with previous generation SquareFrame cases. Flangeless mud installations require the use of same generation mud pads and plates. Remodel boxes are also available in square and round versions to allow installations without tearing the ceiling.
DMF Tunable White Light Modules
Last but not least, at CEDIA Expo 2022, DMF is also launching its new tunable white light modules, offering the custom integration channel digital control protocols for LED fixtures. Dimmable light modules offer flicker-free dimming down to 0.1% and easier installation, using built-in drivers compatible with DMF’s existing modular system.
“DMF Tunable Modules with Digital Control offer a more compelling solution by providing even more installation options for the CI channel,” Libman said. “With Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, pre-deployment, deployment and maintenance are greatly simplified and managed through an app on your mobile phone. Tasks that take hours today can be completed in minutes.
With DMF Lighting’s new adjustable white light modules with digital control, integrators can install the enclosures early and then decide on the control method later in the project. They are also easy to troubleshoot and maintain. Simply replace the complete module instead of a separate driver and LED with more easily accessible wiring and connections.
Adjustable modules give integrators increased flexibility to provide multiple lighting settings to meet a homeowner’s different use cases. Integrators can manage color and intensity independently and customize scenes to enhance the space.
The adjustable light modules will be adopted across all DMF grade-specific product families, including the DID2 and the recently announced iX Series 2-inch fixtures, small-aperture lamps that set a new standard for lighting. high-end home.
DMF Lighting to Unveil New Products at Booth 14055 at CEDIA Expo, September 29-October 1
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