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COMcheck Lighting Export

Monday, November 25th, 2013

This post describes how to export information from Design Master Electrical to COMcheck.

Create a COMcheck File

Create a file using COMcheck. Set the Location and Project Details. Use the Code pulldown to set the code that is being used.

Create Light Fixtures, Rooms, and Lighting Groups in Design Master

Using Design Master Electrical in AutoCAD, create light fixtures, rooms, and lighting groups.

Light Fixtures

All of the light fixtures in your project will be exported to COMcheck. Information for each light fixture type will be exported from the light fixture project schedule. Quantities will be exported grouped inside of rooms and lighting groups. Lights not inside a room or a lighting group will be exported to a room called “No room specified.”

Light Fixture Schedule

The following information from the light fixture schedule will be exported to COMcheck. All of these values should be set and changed in Design Master Electrical. If you change the value in COMcheck and run the export again, the value will be modified to match what is in Design Master Electrical.

The one exception is the Ballast field. It is export the first time a fixture is created, but then is not exported again after that. To change the Ballast field, use COMcheck.

All other fields are exported with default values to COMcheck. Once the fixtures are created in COMcheck, modify the default values to the correct values.

Callout: Exported to the Fixture ID field.

Number of Lamps: Exported to the Lamps Per Fixture field.

Input VA: Exported to the Fixture Wattage field if Energy Code Settings, Watts is not set.

Ballast: Exported to the Ballast field the first time the export command is run. After that, the value is not changed in COMcheck even if it is updated in the project schedule.

Energy Code Settings

Exempt: The default value for whether a fixture is exported to COMcheck or not. This value can be overriden on each individual fixture in the project.

Watts: Exported to the Fixture Wattage field if set. If not set, the Input VA is exported instead.

Fixture Type: When you create a fixture in COMcheck, you select the type from a list. The type is stored in the COMcheck file and controls some fields you can specify. The type does not appear to be displayed and cannot be modified. This field in Design Master Electrical is used to set this type in COMcheck.

Description: Exported to the Description field.

Rooms

If you are using the Area Category Method, each area needs to be created as a room in Design Master Electrical. The Room Name will be exported to the Area Description field in COMcheck.

All other fields are exported with default values to COMcheck. Once the rooms are created in COMcheck, modify the default values to the correct values.

Lighting Groups

If you are using exterior lighting in COMcheck, you will need to create lighting groups in Design Master Electrical. Each lighting group is exported as a separate exterior lighting area. The Name will be exported to the Area Description field in COMcheck.

The Quantity that is exported depends upon how the lighting group is defined. If the group is drawn as an area, the area is exported. If the group is drawn as a line, the length is exported. Otherwise, no value is exported and you should manually set the Quantity field in COMcheck.

All other fields are exported with default values to COMcheck. Once the exterior areas are created in COMcheck, modify the default values to the correct values.

Use the Add Lights button to select the lights that will be included in the exterior area.

If you do not want a lighting group to be exported as an exterior area, check the Subtract Area from Room Area box in Design Master Electrical.

Export from Design Master Electrical to COMcheck

Close the file in COMcheck. This is important because the file cannot be modified while it is open in COMcheck.

In AutoCAD, run the DM Electrical->Light Fixtures->Export to COMcheck command. Select the previously created COMcheck file.

All of the light fixtures, rooms, and lighting groups will be exported. Open the file in COMcheck to view the results and make changes as necessary.

When you make changes to your design in AutoCAD, export the information again to update your COMcheck file.

Make Changes in COMcheck

After the information is exported to the COMcheck file, you can then open it in COMcheck and make changes.

Certain information you should set properly using COMcheck. Changes to this information will not be overwritten when you export from Design Master Electrical.

Other information should be set in Design Master Electrical if it needs to be changed. When you export from Design Master Electrical again, it will be overwritten with the new information.

Each of the tabs in COMcheck is listed below with a description of what fields should be modified in COMcheck and what fields should be modified in Design Master Electrical.

Project Tab

Most of the information in the Project tab should be set in COMcheck. Some of the area information is set in Design Master Electrical.

Location: Set this information in COMcheck.

Project Type: Set this information in COMcheck.

Compliance Options: Set this information in COMcheck.

Space Conditioning: Set this information in COMcheck.

Project Details: Set this information in COMcheck.

Building Use: Set the method, Building Area Method or Area Category Method, in COMcheck.

Building Area Method: Set the type and area in COMcheck.

Area Category Method: Create each area as a room in Design Master Electrical. The export command will create areas in the COMcheck file.

Area Category: This column will be set to a default value when the area is created. Change it to the appropriate area in COMcheck. The value will not be changed when the export command is run again.

Area Description: This column is the room name set in Design Master Electrical. Do not change it in COMcheck.

Area: The area is updated when the export command is run. Do not change it in COMcheck.

Ceiling Height: Set this value using COMcheck when appropriate.

W/ft2: Set this value in COMcheck when appropriate.

Exterior Lighting Areas: Set the Exterior Lighting Zone value in COMcheck. Create each exterior area as a lighting group in Design Master Electrical

Exterior Lighting Area: This column will be set to a default value when the area is created. Change it to the appropriate area in COMcheck. The value will not be changed when the export command is run again.

Area Description: This column is the lighting group name set in Design Master Electrical. Do not change it in COMcheck.

Quantity: This column is set based upon the type of lighting group that is created.

Draw as Area: If the lighting group is drawn as an area, the area is exported to this column.

Draw as Line: If the lighting group is drawn as a line, the length of the line is exported to this column.

Not Drawn: If the lighting group is not inserted on the drawing, this value is not updated. Set it to the correct value using COMcheck.

Units: Set this value using COMcheck when appropriate.

W/Unit: Set this value using COMcheck when appropriate.

Tradable: Set this value using COMcheck when appropriate.

Envelope Tab

The Envelope tab deals with the mechanical loads. No information is filled in from Design Master Electrical. Set everything in this tab in COMcheck.

Interior Lighting Tab

All the light fixtures in Design Master Electrical that are not part of a lighting group are exported to this tab. Light fixtures that are marked as Exempt in the Energy Code Settings section are not included.

If you are using the Area Category Method, each room in Design Master Electrical is exported to this tab as well.

Component: For the Building Area Method, each type of light fixture is exported once. For the Area Category Method, each room and the light fixture types in the room are exported. The type of fixture listed is based upon the Fixture Type setting in the Energy Code Settings section of the light fixture schedule. This value is set the first time you export the fixture to COMcheck. After that, you can change the value in COMcheck.

Fixture ID: The Callout from the light fixture schedule in Design Master Electrical. Do not change this value in COMcheck.

Fixture Description: The Description in the Energy Code Settings section of the light fixture schedule in Design Master Electrical. Note that this is different from the Schedule Description. The description used in COMcheck is usually shorter than the description used in the schedule on the drawing. Do not change this value in COMcheck.

Lamp Description / Wattage Per Lamp: This column will be set to a default value of Other when the light fixture row is created. Change it to the appropriate setting in COMcheck. The choices that are available are based upon the Fixture Type setting in the Energy Code Settings section of the light fixture schedule. The value will not be changed when the export command is run again as long as the Fixture Type setting remains the same. If the Fixture Type setting is changed, the column is set to Other again and you will need to choose a new value.

Ballast: This column will be set to the Ballast setting in the light fixture schedule field when the fixture row is first exported. After that, it will not be updated. You can change it to a different value in COMcheck if needed. The value will not be changed when the export command is run again.

Lamps Per Fixture: The Number of Lamps from the light fixture schedule in Design Master Electrical. Do not change this value in COMcheck.

Number of Fixtures: The number of fixtures of this type inserted in the project or in the room. Do not change this value in COMcheck.

Fixture Wattage: The Watts in the Energy Code Settings section or the Input VA of the light fixture schedule in Design Master Electrical. The Watts value is optional and should be used when you need the load on the panel to be different from the load for energy calculation purposes. If Watts is not specified, the Input VA is used instead. Do not change this value in COMcheck.

Track Lighting Wattage: Set this value in COMcheck when appropriate.

Exterior Lighting Tab

All the light fixtures in Design Master Electrical that are part of a lighting group are exported to this tab. Light fixtures that are marked as Exempt in the Energy Code Settings section are not included.

Each lighting group is exported as a separate area.

The columns are filled in the same way as the Interior Lighting tab. See the Interior Lighting Tab section above for more information about the columns.

Mechanical Tab

The Mechanical tab deals with the mechanical loads. No information is filled in from Design Master Electrical. Set everything in this tab in COMcheck.

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