0-10V lighting desk


Active Member
I was just wondering, whether it was safe to build a 10V lighting control desk, for the small and mainly redundant dimmers we have at my theatre. I have seen a couple of other threads on building lighting desks, but from what I have seen, they have been more about dimming the lights directly from the desk as opposed to controling them elsewhere.

So, is it safe?

Thanks for your help



Active Member
In theory it is safe. As it is only 10V there is no problem from the desk side of things. The only possible problem could come in how you connect it to to the dimmers. If you have all the connection information for your dimmers and there are external connectors then it shouldn't be a problem. Some dimmers actually had the wires go directly inside the dimmers before they are terminated. If your dimmers are this type then you will need a qualified person to help you. This is because the inside of the dimmer will contain exposed wiring at mains voltage. And you don't want to expose yourself / others to risk.

If the dimmers are quite old and haven't been used for a while then they should be checked for working / safety before you start using them anyway.

Heres a link that shows how to build a basic 10V lighting board

All being well with your dimmers this is quite a simple but worthwhile project.
You also may find existing control boards lying around in someones junk pile as well.
im am doing this at the moment but i am elaborating of that simple one just a bit and following more of http://sound.westhost.com/project62.htm design, mine will include audio chasers and presetable scenes, using dip switches. I will probably finish the wiring for it tonight if i dont spend too much time on this forum lol


Active Member

I have built a small prototype, and that seems to work, so I am going to try and build the whole thing now.

How did it go Jacobbiljo? And if you dont mind me asking, how did you make the presetable scenes? Was it as in an A and B fader to change scenes like that?




CB Mods
Premium Member
Departed Member
I can't see a problem with it not being safe, except for the issue of hardwired cabling mentioned previously. Good luck with it. You would want to check your voltages before you plug in since, while most are 0 - 10 volts, there are some irregularities, like Strand use 0 - -10 volts (that is negative 10 volts).

I'm trying to work out if there is an easy way of taking a dimmer pack that is of minimal use and building a controller that allows me to press a button and have the lights dim over a defined time interval so that I can use it for house lights.

Again, good luck.
i considered doing a complete A B scene set up but decided to go with small dip switches. On my board there is a row of 6 faders to control individual channels and then a row of 3 scenes with each scene having one slider that can be considered a master with it's output being routed via a dip switch to any number of the 6 channels. Unlike conventional dimmers, mine run on either a control signal of 1-7 or 0-15. The only problem which i have encountered so far is the dificulty i am having in getting good sliders. At this time i am waiting for new sliders to come in so my board isnt complete.
To give an idea to Chris's fading question you can look into the use of a plc output to act as the control signal, fading down in voltage when a imput button is pushed.

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