Clipsal by Schneider Electric

Established in 1920, Clipsal is Australia’s number one brand of electrical products, accessories and solutions. Clipsal has grown and evolved with great success, and continues to manufacture products at Gepps Cross in South Australia. Over the years, Clipsal has also developed a great understanding of the commercial and domestic building industries and continuously meets their broad and specific electrical requirements.

Development of building automation in the early 90s led to Clipsal becoming design and manufacturing specialists in lighting control and building management products, which is commonly known today as C-Bus. Since then, C-Bus has gained widespread acceptance in major commercial and domestic markets. Clipsal’s reputable, high quality product range and strong history of R&D clearly positions the brand as an electrical industry leader.

As part of Schneider Electric, the largest global specialists in energy management, Clipsal can provide a total electrical solution for any project specification or customer requirement. With a primary focus towards turning clients’ objectives into reality, Clipsal is dedicated to providing customers with the most innovative, sustainable and cost effective electrical solutions available - from the most exclusive boardroom to a robust factory environment.

The company has a long and proud history of working successfully with installers, end-users, lighting designers and consulting engineers, with the aim to develop mutually beneficial partnerships.

An extensive and innovative product offering ensures Clipsal can meet electrical specifications for any commercial space.

From project concept and design; to installation, commissioning and building occupation - Clipsal’s comprehensive solutions are backed by exceptional service and expert advice to ensure your next project is a complete success.

What is C-Bus

C-Bus is an Australian designed and engineered microprocessor control system. It provides complete control of lighting and other electrical devices. Through innovative design and extensive R&D, C-Bus is easy to install and by far the most cost effective, user-friendly control and management system available on the market.

The comprehensive C-Bus product range provides specifiers, lighting designers and integrators with the essential requirements to meet any control and management system specifications.

This includes wall switches; touch screens; high powered commercial dimmers; control relays; audio solutions; heating, ventilation and air conditioning; occupancy, light level sensors; security and access systems; energy control and monitoring solutions; and software packages.

How C-Bus Works

 C-Bus utilises “distributed intelligence”, which means it does not require a central controller like other systems. This increases the redundancy of the architecture and eliminates the risk of total failure to provide a more dependable, safer system.

The C-Bus protocol has proven to be extremely robust and reliable. The C-Bus system includes gateways and interfaces to allow for a for high level of integration with other technologies and building management  systems, including DSI, DMX, DALI, BACnet,OPC and TCP/IP.

C-Bus can control virtually any type of electrical load with ease, whether it’s simple digital control of lighting or variable (analogue) control, such as dimming fluorescent ballasts.

Each C-Bus device has its own in-built microprocessor and can be individually programmed with ease to integrate with other devices.

Through a two-way, closed loop communication system, C-Bus allows individual network devices to communicate directly with each other.

This creates a more intelligent network with precise control; enabling individual devices to provide information about their status.

C-Bus software allows simple control and monitoring of an entire network system from a user-friendly interface.

The user interface can also be customised and configured to suit specific  requirements, with a wide selection of control screens and buttons.

Why use C-Bus

Internationally Recognised: The core protocol of C-Bus is based on the internationally recognised ISO seven-layer communications model, ensuring C-Bus communication is extremely robust and reliable.

Compliance: C-Bus products have been designed to meet Australian, American and European Directives and Standards for electrical safety and EMC compliance. Clipsal’s expert design and engineering teams are specialists in mechanical design, plastics, tooling, printed circuit board layout and environmental proofing. This ensures product reliability and compliance with all International Standards.


Simple to Design and Document: C-Bus is extremely simple to document at the project design stage. Switching and control circuits don’t need to be selected until system commissioning. Network changes can also be made at any time without altering the schematics. Only a C-Bus network connection is required for each unit at the time of installation. During commissioning, the system is programmed so that specific C-Bus commands trigger specific responses in one (or more) devices. The units’ functionality can be re-programmed at any time and C-Bus units can easily be added, moved or removed.

High-Level Control: Digital or analogue, C-Bus can control any type or size of load. For example, the main switch panel in a typical building could contain 100 relay channels and 100 dimming channels (or even more), yet only one C-Bus network would need to be wired to the switch panel.

C-Bus does not require a centralised computer or any other controller, however, a PC can be used to add more features if desired.

Compared to other control and management systems, this innovative design offers considerable cost advantages, while providing greater flexibility and reliability.

Every C-Bus unit is assigned a unique code, so that all devices on the C-Bus network can be identified and programmed individually. Since C-Bus uses “peer to peer” communication, every C-Bus device responds to their commands directly from the network, rather than a central  controller. The number of commands that can be programmed into a C-Bus system is almost limitless.


Integration: C-Bus can fully integrate with virtually any control or building management system. The flexibility and “open systems” approach of C-Bus makes it easy to integrate with other devices, including air conditioning, audiovisual equipment, security, access control, lighting, irrigation, automatic doors, motorised blinds/shutters, etc.

C-Bus can also be operated by a building management system (BMS) to control integrated third-party devices to create a seamless, user-friendly solution in a complete electrical package.


Simple to Install and Commission: Clipsal offers training and certification to installers involved in C-Bus installations. Accredited C-Bus installers are available throughout the UK and Ireland. C-Bus is also designed to be completely backwards compatible, ensuring continued operation as networks are upgraded.


Flexibility:  C-Bus provides the ultimate flexibility in switching and control. Functions can be changed, added, removed or reprogrammed at any time or at any position on the network, without any cumbersome hard rewiring. Extra C-Bus Units can be added at any time. Simply connect them to the desired point on the C-Bus network.

C-Bus can carry out almost unlimited control sequences, including centralised control; enabling override of individual units, groups, zones, buildings and sites. Any input device can be programmed as a master control point. Overrides can be positioned anywhere on the network to other C-Bus units.

Clipsal’s engineering and design knowledge has led to the development of an extensive range of C-Bus products to suit  world markets - meeting the requirements and regulations of lighting and building industries.

Error Reporting: In commercial buildings, rapid problem resolution is essential, which is why C-Bus products are designed to report error conditions and highlight operational problems. C-Bus can provide total master control from a central point, such as a service room. The Service Manager can monitor the entire lighting circuitry at a glance and troubleshoot any potential problems quickly and efficiently.

Energy Efficiency: Modern commercial facilities require more light, more comfort and more intelligence. With an increasing focus towards getting more from less, energy efficiency is paramount.

As part of a C-Bus system, the operator can programme specific lighting and climate control sequences - automatically operating lights and air conditioning at certain times, based on usage behaviour.

C-Bus utilises intelligent technologies to maximise the energy efficiency of commercial environments. Greater energy efficiency can be achieved through the following:

Lumen Maintenance: Lumen maintenance or light level management uses a combination of light level sensing and dimming to optimise lighting levels. Light level management saves energy by preventing over illumination.

Daylight Harvesting: Daylight harvesting is used in conjunction with light level management and takes advantage of natural sunlight by dimming lighting in areas that are sufficiently lit through windows and skylights. As sunlight decreases, light level sensors increase the level of artificial light to compensate. Not only will this save energy, but also improve the comfort of building occupants.

Occupancy and Vacancy Detection:Occupancy detection is useful for controlling rooms that are not regularly used. Storage areas, meeting rooms and toilet facilities fitted with PIR sensors will activate lighting when someone enters the room. Timers can be used to switch lights off when no movement is detected after a period of time.Vacancy detection requires the user to press a switch to first turn on the lights, after this the detectors take over and maintain the lights on while people are present in the space. Ultrasonic detectors can also be used to provide increased sensitivity in areas where people may be relatively sedentary such as individual offices, or meeting rooms.Occupancy and vacancy detection provides the convenience of automatic switching, with the benefit of energy savings, as lights are switched off when not required.

Schedules: Schedules are used to switch lights on for start of business and off at close of business. Different businesses within the same building may have varied operating hours and separate schedules can be programmed for various locations within a building, complex or development.

Timers: Timers can be used in conjunction with wall switches to enable lights and facilities such as air conditioning, to switch off after a predefined period. Timers are commonly used with occupancy sensors to ensure lights remain on for a minimum period of time, after movement is detected. This can also assist to prolonging the lifespan of lamps by preventing excessive on/off cycling.

Corridor Linking: Corridor linking is used to link the operation of corridor lighting with offices and other areas, ensuring the corridor remains lit if, for example, an adjacent conference room is in use. This provides occupants with a well-lit, safe passage throughout a building.

Scene Settings: Scene settings combine functions to create a particular effect, such as dimming lighting levels and closing blinds simultaneously. Scenes easily recreate the different lighting levels used at various times of the day for applications such as restaurants and hotels. Scenes are also useful in conference rooms and theatres or virtually any application where various functions are performed simultaneously.

For further information on how to include C-Bus into your building project please call us on 02084419788 or Schneider Electric on 0800 60 88 608.

To learn more about CBus visit our About page or our diagram and schematics page.

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