In 2021 leading architectural controls specialist Pharos launched the latest evolution of its Designer 2 software, version 2.8. This new cutting-edge release of Pharos’ market-leading Designer software has been developed in line with user feedback, ensuring the technology delivers exactly what clients – and the industry – need and want.

Pharos Designer 2 is a powerful application with an intuitive graphical user interface that allows even new users to start work immediately, taking them through each stage of their lighting project. It also has a vast array of precise control options and features for advanced users to experiment with on their larger lighting and media installations.

Designer 2.8 builds on this successful platform and offers a wealth of new features. This includes the addition of support for the new Serial Data Interface (SDI) – an accessory for the Pharos Ethernet Data Node (EDN). Together, the EDN and SDI generate a variety of synchronous and asynchronous protocols for directly driving LED products such as digital LED tape. This ultimately enables projects that choose to utilise bespoke features that use SPI-type protocols (rather than DMX) to still have a complete Pharos hardware solution.

Another important addition is support for the new EDN 10-port variant, newly implemented RDM functionality for the EDN (important for setting up your fixtures) as well as support for sACN synchronisation packets that ensure your fixtures stay in sync no matter where they are.

New VLC enhancements – namely support for 60fps, finer precision on fixture rotation and improvements to 16-bit colour support – have been developed. Users of Designer 2.8 can also benefit from dark mode, an alternative look to the application with a darker background that makes it ideal for working in low-light environments.

Designer 2.8 also brings improvements for users of Pharos Cloud. Developed in parallel with Designer 2.8, these updates to Cloud allow the Controller software to manage firmware updates with remote devices and report their status, and provide significant improvements to creating Tasks in Cloud: Controllers can now run Cloud Task actions that directly control the activation of Scenes, Timelines and fixture overrides without the need for a corresponding trigger in the Designer project. Designer 2.8 allows controllers to generate notifications to be sent to subscribed Cloud Site users, as well as the ability to fire remote Tasks from Cloud.

Pharos Designer 2 is free to download, and supports all Pharos lighting controllers and remote devices. The software can be used to configure controllers of any size, from single-universe TPCs and LPCs to the 3000 universe VLC+, supporting systems that scale up to 40 Controllers and 200 Remote Devices.

Pharos prides itself on being a value-added company, ensuring Pharos clients have everything they require to meet their lighting control needs. While Designer 2 has been a phenomenal success, Pharos has not rested on its laurels; Designer 2.8 is just one example of where the company is striving to deliver the best and most up-to-date, technologically advanced products and solutions.

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