EnOcean® Wireless RIB®: Dock Light Application

March 9, 2021
Tech Tuesday

Problem: An interesting application came through technical support some time ago, and I thought it was a unique and creative use of our products. A customer with a lake house would spend many evenings boating on the lake, and those evenings would quickly turn to nights. The problem was that their dock did not have a light on it, so navigating back as darkness set in was difficult and dangerous.

Background: They did not want a dusk to dawn light, because they did not want the constant light pollution at night. They knew they could add a switch to a dusk to dawn light that could turn it off if they wanted to, but they feared this switch may be left in the off position accidentally the next time they went on an excursion. Ideally, they wanted a way to turn the dock light on or off from the house or the lake. Turning the light off from the house could be achieved by burying some cable through the yard, but that would be expensive, time consuming, and not solve the “on the boat” scenario.

Solution: If you read the title, or know our products well, you know where this is headed. Functional Devices’ wireless, EnOcean enabled RIBs to the rescue. The customer decided on a three-piece solution:

  • One EnOcean RIB Relay as a receiver – Specifically, they chose RIBW01B-EN3, because they had 120 Vac power at the dock.
  • Two WWS2-EN3 (wireless rocker switches) as transmitters – One of these would be at the house, and the other would be kept on the boat.

The diagram below shows the wiring for the application. Both switches would be linked to the RIBW01B-EN3 in Rocker Mode. When Up is pressed on either switch, the Normally Open (N/O) relay contact will close, and the light will turn ON. When Down is pressed on either switch, the N/O relay contact will open, and the light will turn OFF.

The wireless range for the EnOcean products is listed at 50-150 ft on our datasheets, but that is conservative and assumes some minimal obstructions. If there is a clear line of sight between the transmitter and receiver, the range has been tested at our factory to over 300 ft. This, the customer said, was more than adequate for their needs. The main caveat with this application is that our EnOcean products are not weather rated, so the customer had to mount the receiving relay in a plastic, watertight enclosure. They also must make sure the switch on the boat is kept dry, and preferably, out of direct sunlight on hot days. While the switch is rated up to 149°F, it is better to be cautious.

If you would like more details about applications like this or our EnOcean products, reach out to us. Our Technical Support is available M-F 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST, and we can always be reached through email at support@functionaldevices.com.


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About the Author

Henry Smith is a design engineer at Functional Devices, Inc. He has a BS EET obtained from Purdue University in 2014 and a lifelong interest in electronics. As an engineer at Functional Devices, he gets to provide Technical Support to our customers, from distributors to specifying engineers and installers.

Henry enjoys providing tech support, as it allows our company to assist at every level of our product’s lifecycle and exposes us to interesting and unique applications. While not every technical question is unique, even answering a simple question or providing someone with the information in a timely manner can go a long way to helping him or her meet a deadline.