Worthington Distribution Knowledge Base

HLC/UPB tips on system troubleshooting


HLC/UPB lighting is usually very reliable. However, all technologies have quirks that can cause undesirable operation.   Most importantly, you must have a coupler or repeater installed on the job to allow signals to cross to other phases. Here are some tips to resolve some common issues.



  1. The best troubleshooting tool is to have UpStart software running on a PC with a PIM connected. There are tools in the software to check noise level and signal strength. Without this, you will have to guess what you are attempting to resolve. (best to have a dedicated PIM for this so the system PIM can still function during testing)
  2. If you are stuck without Upstart, you can do some basic troubleshooting by shutting off breakers to help track down noise issues. This won’t help with poor signal levels, which will need a coupler or repeater.

Problem Resolution:

Resolve poor signal issues: 

  1. Make sure the system PIM is plugged into a circuit without surge protection. A surge strip will block the UPB signal.
  2. If using Upstart, plug that PIM into various circuits and check level as you send UPB commands from the main system. If the level of the signal varies as you move around, you may need to upgrade to a repeater rather than the coupler.
  3. If you have very few items and can’t/won’t use a coupler, move all UPB circuits to the same phase of the breaker panel.

Resolve Noise issues:

  1. Identify the item causing the noise. It can be any one of the following items: variable speed motors/pumps, Fluorescent ballasts, LED bulbs with bad power module, generators, or computers. Keep in mind that these devices shouldn't be creating such noise.
  2.  If you are using Upstart, you can watch the noise levels as you shut off circuit breakers. If you do not have Upstart, you can test the UPB control of a light as you shut off circuit breakers. Once you isolate the circuit breaker the device(s) is on, go through the devices until you locate the culprit.
  3. At this point, you would replace a defective item or filter out one that is not defective.
  4. PCS makes plug-in and wire-in filters, as well as chokes.

Reported Problem:

Unable to configure devices: 

  1. Typically a noise or signal level problem
  2. Might be a PIM configuration issue. If the serial port, set to UPB, has a solid red light, the PIM needs to be reset. For HLC press the button 5 times, 10 times, then 2 times.
  3. Make sure there is only one UPB port

Switch/dimmer temporarily stops responding to paddle presses or UPB commands

  1. Typically a noise issue.
  2. The device turns the load on, but not off? The noise is from the device it is controlling.
  3. If the device permanent stops responding to paddle presses, replace.

Devices stop responding to the button presses on a scene switch/keypad 

  1. Typically a noise or signal level problem
  2. The scene controller does not actually store the scene information. It simply sends the link command associated with the button pressed. All scene information is actually stored in the switch/dimmer
  3. if all devices stop responding to a scene, the signal is not getting to the devices from the keypad
  4. If only one device is not responding to the scene, it is possible the device lost its program.

LED and CFL lights are only dimming slightly then shutting off early

  1. If you have these bulbs on an incandescent dimmer, many LED and CFL bulbs do not perform well with that version.  Dimming isn't smooth; the light will shut off long before it dims enough, etc.   Since the dimmers are not UL listed for LED/CFL operation, Leviton will not recommend any CFL/LED bulbs for that dimmer. 
  2. You should match the dimmers to the bulbs. Some people have been successful with CREE bulbs, but the best thing to do is change the dimmer to a CFL/LED version.

LED and CFL lights flicker, even when “Off”

  1. There is not enough load for the dimmer to work properly. In some cases you need more than a 40Watt draw to work properly.
  2. Some manufacturers are providing an artificial load. Check with them.  


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