Welcome to our support page for the Pharos Expert range of lighting control products and software.
From here you can download software and documentation, check our online Help and FAQS, explore training and product resources, and if you need further assistance, contact Technical Support.
Let the Expert software guide you through setting up and creating your lighting design, with helpers and clear, easy to follow processes.
This desktop app is a brand-new programming platform, designed from scratch to give you just the tools you need, with innovative approaches to scheduling and triggering your lighting, based around an intuitive spaces-based approach which simplifies managing your installation, fixtures and lighting looks.
Current release: 0.9.1
Full system requirements are given below.
Expert makes light of it
Expert is a brand new lighting control solution.
Our goal with Expert is to provide a cost-effective control solution with simplified, powerful programming software that maintains the Pharos DNA of the most reliable set and forget hardware on the market. Expert debuts new features and technologies from Pharos not yet seen in our software before.
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New features and enhancements
Users new to Expert you can find out all about the features included at the Expert software product page.
- Cloud compatibility and integration with Expert
- Support for Tasks and Actions in Control Panel and Scheduling
- Add multiple Expert Controls to a single Remote Site
- Manage a Expert Control in a Remote Site directly from Expert
- Interactions for hardware features and playback events
- Support for Expert Control Inputs with Contact Closure, Digital Input and Analog Input options
- Support for Expert Control Digital Outputs
- Support for Expert Control Push Button
- Activate Scenes and Tags, and adjust Intensity Masters
- Option to view Schedule on Touch Stations
- Touch Theme improvements:
- Support for portrait orientation
- Added a Welcome Page
- Improved navigation menu
- Five new colourful skins
- Menu bar automatically hides when a single option is available
- Performance improvements
- Select a default page on Touch Station wake or unlock
- Welcome Page is optional
- Customise fixture order in a Space
- Fixture alignment tools
- DALI Fixture highlight
- 20 new Preset Templates
- Many other improvements and bug fixes
Known issues / partial implementations
- Playback: direct colour options are work in progress
- Playback: Timeline Scenes with programming for child spaces may not start correctly
- Playback: Intensity masters always report as 100% via HTTP API and Cloud
- Fixture library: fixture profiles with parameters unsupported in Expert are shown in the online library and could cause a crash when added to the canvas
- DALI: fixtures will not respond to Space Intensity Master
- Cloud: No fade time option is available for Master Intensity Action at launch
What to expect from Expert in the future
A selection of features we are planning to rollout soon. This list is alphabetical: it does not represent order or priority.
- Customisation options for Touch Theme Welcome pages
- Mobile device apps for Android and iOS devices which display touch interfaces
- More Walkthroughs
- Schedule editing from Touch devices
- UDP API for 3rd party triggering
Is Expert right for your project?
We developed the Pharos Expert range to fulfil a specific need – namely a straightforward, less complicated control solution that would be ideal for typical architectural lighting control requirements. It has been carefully created from scratch and, while maintaining the Pharos DNA for the most reliable set and forget hardware on the market, it debuts unique new features, technologies and programming approaches especially for this market, with a single-view, user-friendly user interface.
As a result, there are some projects that Expert isn’t suitable for which may instead require a solution from the Designer range. Pharos Designer offers you a comprehensive, flexible and versatile control package, with every tool you will need for the most demanding lighting installations.
If your project requires any of the following functionality we advise you to consider the Designer range: show control – audio input/output – advanced timeline features – timecode – specific and detailed integration options – import/export – multi-layout – IO modules – scripting – custom web interface – moving heads – direct emitter control – scalable system with over 1024 control channels.
This list is not exhaustive, please contact the Pharos Sales team to discuss your project requirements and let them guide you to the best choice of controller and commissioning software for your installation.
Minimum Hardware Requirements
- Intel Core i3 processor or above
- 2GB RAM
- 1GB free hard disk space
- 1024×768 screen resolution
- Intel(R) UHD Graphics 620 or better
- Network connection (for connecting to Pharos hardware)
Supported Operating Systems
- Microsoft Windows 7/8/10 (64bit)
- Apple macOS 11 (Big Sur) – 13.x (Ventura)
- Intel Core i5 processor or above
- 8GB RAM
- 1920×1080 screen resolution
How do I choose between Expert and Designer controllers?
The Designer and Expert ranges both offer reliable, thoughtfully designed control solutions for the control of dynamic DMX & DALI lighting.
Designer focuses on architainment and show control, offering all the flexibility you need. Expert is created with architecture in mind and focuses on ease of use for common control requirements you’ll find, for example, in heritage lighting, retail, and hospitality.
Both Expert and Designer software applications are free to download for Windows and macOS. We encourage you to explore and evaluate both, side-by-side, to see which approach and feature sets suits you and your next project best. There are plenty of tutorials available for Designer to give you a feel for using it, and we are working hard on getting the same resources online for Expert.
Contact our Sales team to discuss your requirements in detail, but below you can find a taster of the sort of things to consider.
Expert is a great fit for projects requiring programming of DMX and/or DALI fixtures to static and dynamic scenes which will typically be activated by any of the following;
- Clock and Calendar events set on a Schedule
- User interaction via a touch station
- User interaction via Pharos Cloud
Expert supports one active scene per space providing clear, easy to predict, straightforward playback. Pre-designed effects and presets are available with artistically chosen colours and parameters. Some limited parameter editing is possible.
If you need lots of programming freedom to cater for more complex requirements, you might want to consider Designer. Playback is completely flexible – multiple timelines, simultaneous playback and release hierarchies. Fully flexible presets with fully customisable and fully editable parameters.
Zoning and grouping
Expert uses a concept of Spaces to define the control hierarchy. Each fixture belongs to just one space, and spaces are organised in a parent – child – sibling structure.
In Designer a fixture can be included in many groups and be part of multiple matrices. For freeform, overlapping fixture grouping and mapping, Designer should be your choice.
Triggering and integration
Expert uses a concept of Tags to conveniently ensure the correct scenes will play at the right moment in time. Tags provide an intuitive way of programming conditional logic without the need to program for each specific case manually.
Tagged scenes are primarily driven by scheduling, location (for sunrise/set) and user input via touch screens. There are also two contact closures, a built in HTTP API and soon via Pharos Cloud.
Triggering and integration options in Designer are much more flexible. With serial, Ethernet and IO module triggers, a Designer controller can act on many different inputs. The programmer is completely free to determine behaviour via the powerful trigger – condition – action principle and can use IO modules and scripting to realise show control and more complicated interactions. For themed environments, Designer systems can also support Video in, Audio In / Out, MIDI, and various linear Timecode.
Scaling and channel count
Expert Control operates as a standalone controller, for 512 or 1024 channels and a DALI bus for maximum 64 fixtures. There are no technical restrictions regarding having more than one Expert Control on the same network, but they would operate independently with their own, unique project files.
Designer LPC capacities start at 512 channels which is one DMX universe. The LPC X supports up to 100 universes in one unit. Designer LPCs can be linked together in the same project file to act as one seamless system. Networked Designer RIO Ds can support up to 200 DALI buses on a single system. More details here
Expert supports fixture types common to architectural installs such as intensity-only luminaires and LEDs in any type of colour, and fixtures with multiple elements.
More advanced fixtures with non-intensity parameters are only supported in Designer.
Please download the datasheets for the two nearest equivalent controllers from each range to view more details about the hardware and functionality:
Example Project Files
Download sample projects to give you ideas and inspiration and to help you understand setting out and planning your programming.
Our feature highlights PDF contains more information on what is contained in these Project Files.
Here you can download full technical details for the Expert range.
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