We would like to deploy the three switched power bars to electronically switch on and off all our equipment. When coupled to an arduino/something-that-speaks-serial we can then automate/regulate that.
Currently there is a project running to do this: Baytech-inc.
When there is a working and stable controlling system, then -and only then- can we start laying the wires to our equipment.
Some outlets can be coupled to space button, some can be made dependent on time of day, or duration etc. This enables us to automatically switch off unnecessary stuff while keeping 24/7 stuff powered on. Think of monitors for example. It is also a good failsafe, to make sure when the space is closed, no soldering irons or hot-glue guns will be left on inadvertently. Also, it enables us to group stuff, so all lights could form a group, or all workbench outlets, or all monitors, etc.
In addition, it will thankfully clear up some of the cable mess there is now.
Things to keep in mind
Doing this is non-trivial though; The serial protocol needs to be figured out (may have been done), one or more arduinos or other computers must be set up to control all this, one or more boards/cases with physical switches needs to be constructed so as to be able to switch on/off a few groups by hand (to be placed at the entrance).
Further more the system (or parts) could be controlled over smartphone, a webpage, or irc. Security needs to be discussed, so people from Croatia can not simply switch on all our soldering irons in the middle of the night from irc, etc. The control system needs to get coupled to the space button for sure, and probably to SpaceNet, too. Macro's will be needed, so you can make several lighting setups: ambient, cozy, bright, dim, beamer-dark, for different events/circumstances...
- We have some DMX lights and will possibly get a (automated) controller (currently needs firmware). Integration of this in the light-macro system would be the next step.