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post #1111 of 1255 Old 08-06-2014, 05:11 AM
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Paul, thanks so much for your help.
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post #1112 of 1255 Old 08-06-2014, 07:39 AM
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Picos can be used to control sets of lighting. A keypad offers that and quite a lot more. So be sure you're not short-changing your needs.

With a 3-button R/L Pico you define what devices (dimmers, switches, table dimmers, RF switches, etc) are associated with it. Either as a group where all the functions are carried across all of the configured dimmers, or separated. The light on/off buttons will do just that to the defined devices. Likewise the Raise/Lower. The center button sets the defined devices to a defined state. I have one on the car visor configured to use the center button as a "All Off". It has pretty much the entire house's list of devices on it, set to off or 0% dim. The Light on/off and raise/lower, however are set to affect just the front porch and entry lighting.

But in other places I have keypads and a pico couldn't hope to come close to the same level of functionality. One on the kitchen island is configured with toggles (on to a defined percentage, or off) for several sets of lighting in the open-floorplan space. One button for the recessed cans directly over the sink, another for the island pendants, one for the nearby couch endtable lamps and another for the breakfast table. The last button is an "Area Off" that kills all lighting in the space. No chance a Pico would be able to give me that.

There's good reasons for both keypads and picos.

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post #1113 of 1255 Old 08-07-2014, 06:49 AM
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Dimmer vs switch

Assuming there are no electrical load restrictions/requirements to use a switch, ex: assuming all LED loads, is there any reason to install a switch versus dimmer? Pricing looks identical on 6CL versus a switch, why not use all dimmers? I think it's possible for a user to accidentally reset the double tap setting? Just trying to understand from a functional stand point if using all dimmers would be the way to go?
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post #1114 of 1255 Old 08-07-2014, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Foos-Man View Post
Assuming there are no electrical load restrictions/requirements to use a switch, ex: assuming all LED loads, is there any reason to install a switch versus dimmer? Pricing looks identical on 6CL versus a switch, why not use all dimmers? I think it's possible for a user to accidentally reset the double tap setting? Just trying to understand from a functional stand point if using all dimmers would be the way to go?
No reason that I can think of, other than unusual/large loads. I'm putting dimmers on closet lights and other things that we probably will never dim.

I suppose one difference is that someone can dim a light using the rocker switch on the side, and then maybe get confused about if the light is off or on (I'm grasping at straws a bit here)... you can program the dimmers to always default to a certain level on the first tap, eliminating some of the possible user-error issues with a dimmer...
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post #1115 of 1255 Old 08-07-2014, 07:20 AM
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I've got switches in a couple of places where the lighting would not lend itself to being dimmed. Some overhead fluorescent fixtures in the workshop & shed, a closet, etc. No point in having a dimmable setting as that could potentially shorten the life of the lighting. Better to just avoid the issue entirely by using the switch. Otherwise you're at the mercy of someone inadvertently setting a dim level.

My only gripe is the switches don't treat a double-tap as a 'full on'. Instead they're dumb and see it as a quick on & off sequence. Kinda annoying. But in most of the places that have a switch I've since added a motion sensor, so it's less of an issue.
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post #1116 of 1255 Old 08-07-2014, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post
Paul, thanks so much for your help.
Paul is the man when it comes to RA2 and other electrical needs. He's been an absolutely tremendous amount of help for me. You'd be hard-pressed to find a better supplier.
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post #1117 of 1255 Old 08-07-2014, 07:43 AM
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Why are you double tapping a switch? A switch only has two levels of course, full on or full off. Or am I missing something?

Thanks.

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Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post
My only gripe is the switches don't treat a double-tap as a 'full on'. Instead they're dumb and see it as a quick on & off sequence. Kinda annoying. But in most of the places that have a switch I've since added a motion sensor, so it's less of an issue.
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post #1118 of 1255 Old 08-07-2014, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by DMILANI View Post
Why are you double tapping a switch? A switch only has two levels of course, full on or full off. Or am I missing something?

Thanks.
This happens because with dimmers you double tap to go to full (instead of preset) brightness... muscle memory for many...
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post #1119 of 1255 Old 08-07-2014, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by DMILANI View Post
Why are you double tapping a switch? A switch only has two levels of course, full on or full off.
Force of habit. Double-tapping a dimmer always brings it up to 100%.

It'd be convenient if the switches had some de-bounce logic to allow interpreting a quick double-tap as just an on. Instead it dutifully sees the taps individually and does a quick on then off again.

But, like I said, in most of the places where I've got a switch I'd added a motion sensor anyway, eliminating the use of the wall switch most of the time.
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post #1120 of 1255 Old 08-07-2014, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by tritium6 View Post
I want to use Picos in place of keypads in almost all locations of my house. Is this doable? Can I have one button on the Pico that turns on loads on 2 dimmers?
Yes, but with a PICO you can only do "Scenes" and cannot toggle the Scene on the same button. So you can turn on (off or both) any group of lights on the system at any level with one button, but you'll need another button for the opposite action.

Commonly you will have a button to turn on and a button to turn off. If you think that gives you enough options, by all means it will work. If you need more than 3buttons/scenes (1 commonly being off, so really 2) than you should use a actual Keypad.

FWIW, You can also setup virtual keypads in the programming and use them on the app.

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post #1121 of 1255 Old 08-07-2014, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by spiwrx View Post
Yes, but with a PICO you can only do "Scenes" and cannot toggle the Scene on the same button. So you can turn on (off or both) any group of lights on the system at any level with one button, but you'll need another button for the opposite action.

Commonly you will have a button to turn on and a button to turn off. If you think that gives you enough options, by all means it will work. If you need more than 3buttons/scenes (1 commonly being off, so really 2) than you should use a actual Keypad.

FWIW, You can also setup virtual keypads in the programming and use them on the app.
I'm unsure about Pico and scenes. In 7.6 it does not allow attaching a scene to a Pico button. That is, not a scene shared by anything else. Yes, you an define a set of devices to be controlled by a button. And that's, more or less, a 'scene'. But in RA2 there's also the notion of shared scenes and it does not appear a Pico can call them. As in, I couldn't set the middle button to use my 'All Off' shared scene. Instead I had to manually put all the devices into the button's config. Nor does it appear to allow a Pico to send a command to a virtual keypad button.

I don't know exactly how the Pico controls fit into the operation. Are they speaking to the various devices directly, or are they using the repeater to do the work? Not that it matters, I suppose, but it'd be interesting to know.

The app 'works' but it's really a bit clunkier than it ought to be.
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post #1122 of 1255 Old 08-07-2014, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post
I'm unsure about Pico and scenes. In 7.6 it does not allow attaching a scene to a Pico button. That is, not a scene shared by anything else.....

....The app 'works' but it's really a bit clunkier than it ought to be.
No, you cannot use a "shared scene" on the Pico. That's not what I was intended to suggest. Only that compared to a actual keypad you cannot select the type button logic. On a regular or hybrid keypad, you have several options, Scene, Toggle, path of light shared scene, etc... For the Pico, as you suggested Bill, there are no options. Only Scene. From my experience, first time users have some trouble wrapping their heads around what a "scene" is. Intuitively most expect a button to turn something on & off (toggle). A scene (in my words) is basically a preset. It will bring a light or a certain group of lights to whichever state you set them up for and that's it. If you press it again, nothing. If the lights are locally or otherwise altered (raise / lower) pressing that scene again will return them to their programmed state.

If you want to turn that Scene off you have to program another scene (different button) to set all those loads to zero.

Most basic scenario: if you want to use a pico to turn a light on and off you need a 2 button pico, one button for on and one button for off. I'm painfully overstating to hopefully make it clear. And on a regular keypad you can use the same button set up for "Path of Light" or "Toggle" to turn that light (or group of lights) on and off with the same button.

& yes, I agree. The app works well, but connecting and working your way through the menus probably takes more time than using a well placed keypad or pico.

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post #1123 of 1255 Old 08-07-2014, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post
Force of habit. Double-tapping a dimmer always brings it up to 100%.

It'd be convenient if the switches had some de-bounce logic to allow interpreting a quick double-tap as just an on. Instead it dutifully sees the taps individually and does a quick on then off again.

But, like I said, in most of the places where I've got a switch I'd added a motion sensor anyway, eliminating the use of the wall switch most of the time.
Thanks for the feedback. Great point about the double-tap on a switch being inconsistent...I did not realize that was the case. I'll target using dimmers except a couple locations such as laundry room which has Fluorescent...plan to use motion sensor+switch. I have several bedrooms that have Maestro Fan Contol/Dimmers, so the family is familiar with the single/double-tap. Also, seems like keeping things consistent would be preferred, as pointed out in the last few messages.
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post #1124 of 1255 Old 08-09-2014, 09:56 AM
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FWIW, fluorescents are dimmable, but require a third wire, and a dimmable ballast. I have one in my workshop, near the TV. Dims to about 30%, I estimate.
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post #1125 of 1255 Old 08-11-2014, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post
FWIW, fluorescents are dimmable, but require a third wire, and a dimmable ballast. I have one in my workshop, near the TV. Dims to about 30%, I estimate.
Let me just clarify a bit by saying most 4pin plug in and 2ft & over linear fluorescent are dimmable, assuming you have the appropriate dimming ballast and dimmer. There are at least 3 types of commonly used dimmable ballast types 0-10v, 3-Wire (as mentioned by Neurorad), & tu-wire. Each has a specific type of dimmer associated with it. There are also some more exotic ones.

Some screw in "CFL" (if labeled dimmable) will dim OK, and that's what the RRD-6CL is intended for (as well as LED screw in lamps, recessed and retro LED)

Aside from the RRD-6CL, currently RR2 only addresses 3-wire (via RRD-F6AN) & the 0-10v (0-10v module may be Inclusive only??)

So yes, most current fluorescent lamps using a separate ballast could be converted to dimming. However, self ballasted lamps may or may not be (most aren't).

Laslty, if you are dimming fluorescent lamps you should be "seasoning" or burning them in. They recommend you run the lamps initially and anytime you re-lamps at 100% for the first 100hrs. This will extend you lamp life and they will dim better, longer...

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post #1126 of 1255 Old 08-14-2014, 12:56 AM
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Question: How do you pair a dimmer to the main repeater? How about an aux repeater? Does this step need to be done before the switch is installed?

Also, do the dimmers function as normal dimmers if no programming has been performed?

Thanks.
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post #1127 of 1255 Old 08-14-2014, 05:54 AM
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Originally Posted by tritium6 View Post
Question: How do you pair a dimmer to the main repeater? How about an aux repeater? Does this step need to be done before the switch is installed?

Also, do the dimmers function as normal dimmers if no programming has been performed?
Yes, they'll work as normal dimmers even when not programmed. Which can be done easily in the RA2 software. Using a PC it connects over wired ethernet to the repeater. The software instructs the repeater to go into activation mode. At which point you press each switch, the repeater detects this and you can then activate it within the software. You can also activate them manually but the software makes it MUCH, MUCH less tedious to do it.
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post #1128 of 1255 Old 08-14-2014, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post
Yes, they'll work as normal dimmers even when not programmed. Which can be done easily in the RA2 software. Using a PC it connects over wired ethernet to the repeater. The software instructs the repeater to go into activation mode. At which point you press each switch, the repeater detects this and you can then activate it within the software. You can also activate them manually but the software makes it MUCH, MUCH less tedious to do it.
Which method, manual or software, will allow me to activate a dimmer to the repeater if the dimmer has already been installed in the wall?

Can anyone point me to Lutron documentation on this step? Thanks again.
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post #1129 of 1255 Old 08-14-2014, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by tritium6 View Post
Which method, manual or software, will allow me to activate a dimmer to the repeater if the dimmer has already been installed in the wall?

Can anyone point me to Lutron documentation on this step? Thanks again.
Both work once it's in the wall. There's nothing you can do before they're in the wall as they need power to activate. I suppose you could cobble up some sort of rig to temporarily power them for activation, but why?

From the software it's a simple matter of adding the devices to your configuration and then selecting activate. Then you just walk around and press the buttons as per the software's instructions. Having a wireless laptop works great for this.

Manually you press and hold a button on the repeater and then walk around pressing and holding each dimmer's paddle. The repeater will chirp as it recognizes each new one.

The docs for doing this manually come with the repeater. I believe the Pdf for that is on lutron's website.
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post #1130 of 1255 Old 08-14-2014, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post
Manually you press and hold a button on the repeater and then walk around pressing and holding each dimmer's paddle. The repeater will chirp as it recognizes each new one.

The docs for doing this manually come with the repeater. I believe the Pdf for that is on lutron's website.
But there's really no reason to do manual activation. The software is free, and makes programming 100 times easier. Not to mention, I believe certain programming can only be done with the software.
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post #1131 of 1255 Old 08-14-2014, 09:43 AM
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Both work once it's in the wall. There's nothing you can do before they're in the wall as they need power to activate. I suppose you could cobble up some sort of rig to temporarily power them for activation, but why?

From the software it's a simple matter of adding the devices to your configuration and then selecting activate. Then you just walk around and press the buttons as per the software's instructions. Having a wireless laptop works great for this.

Manually you press and hold a button on the repeater and then walk around pressing and holding each dimmer's paddle. The repeater will chirp as it recognizes each new one.

The docs for doing this manually come with the repeater. I believe the Pdf for that is on lutron's website.
Oh yeah, I guess the power issue seems pretty obvious once you mention it. I found the docs for manual setup on lutron's site:

http://www.lutron.com/TechnicalDocum...y/044-254b.pdf

Is there documentation describing how to program? Or is it only covered in the online training videos?
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post #1132 of 1255 Old 08-14-2014, 11:26 PM
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Fan Control

The training video mentions a Fan Control and a Dimmer in a 2-gang. How does that work? I guess fans with lights can be wired to have the motor and lamp on separate loads? Do all fan/light combos have that feature or do I need to find a fan that supports this?
---------
Edit: I guess my real question is this: I was planning to have my lighting dimmers located in a closet and my fan controllers on the wall. Now I'm not sure that will work for fans with attached lights. Is it possible to maintain this setup? Do I run two runs of romex to the fan - 1 to the fan controller on the wall and 1 to the dimmer in the closet?

Last edited by tritium6; 08-14-2014 at 11:34 PM.
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post #1133 of 1255 Old 08-15-2014, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by tritium6 View Post
The training video mentions a Fan Control and a Dimmer in a 2-gang. How does that work? I guess fans with lights can be wired to have the motor and lamp on separate loads? Do all fan/light combos have that feature or do I need to find a fan that supports this?
---------
Edit: I guess my real question is this: I was planning to have my lighting dimmers located in a closet and my fan controllers on the wall. Now I'm not sure that will work for fans with attached lights. Is it possible to maintain this setup? Do I run two runs of romex to the fan - 1 to the fan controller on the wall and 1 to the dimmer in the closet?
It all depends on the fan. In general, the simpler ones with pull chains and no remote controls or wall mounted controls will have separate wires for the light and the fan, and you can thus connect the fan control and the dimmer to the appropriate wires. The best way to tell is to find a schematic or installation instructions for the fan you're considering.

In you case, with the right fan, it would work. And yeah, just run one run of romex from the light dimmer and one from the fan controller, and put them both in the fan box.
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post #1134 of 1255 Old 08-15-2014, 08:31 AM
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The fan controller requires 1 gang. So if you have any lighting on the fan you'll need a separate 1-gang spot for a dimmer/switch to control it. There's no RA2 combo fan/light unit. Yes, it would be GREAT to have such a beast but it does not exist. Likewise it'd be great to have one with a ceiling canopy module.

There are other Lutron fan/light combos and canopy modules but they're not RA2 compatible. Also note the RA2 fan control and dimmer will require appropriate wiring to handle controlling them. As in, you'll need a /3 conductor cable running to the fan's ceiling box, not just /2 conductor (ground is not a conductor). That and the wall box will require a neutral for the fan control (and possibly the dimmer depending on which one you choose).

I make this point because there are some situations where power goes to the ceiling box FIRST and then there's just a switch leg running down to the wall box.

It's a good general point to require ALL wall switch boxes to have a neutral. Power to the wall box FIRST, not the ceiling. The latter used to be common in some areas. Code in many areas now supports neutral in the wall box. CONFIRM to be sure how your electrician is planning to do it and follow up to check that it was actually done that way. You'd be surprised what slackers they can be...

And pull /3 cabling to any ceiling locations that might ever be set up for a ceiling fan. Be sure the box installed in the ceiling is one designed for mounting a fan.
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post #1135 of 1255 Old 08-15-2014, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spiwrx View Post
No, you cannot use a "shared scene" on the Pico. That's not what I was intended to suggest. Only that compared to a actual keypad you cannot select the type button logic. On a regular or hybrid keypad, you have several options, Scene, Toggle, path of light shared scene, etc... For the Pico, as you suggested Bill, there are no options. Only Scene.
Some may have already mentioned this, but if you are combining RA2 with a product like CQC, then the buttons can do anything. You can trigger CQC to do an action based on the button pressed, and it can control any devices under CQC's control in any way you want. You can have one button to power on the theater and another to power off. But, you can also use it as a toggle, so that if CQC sees the power is on, it turns things off, else it turns them on. It opens up a lot more possibilities, and also brings all those devices that RA2 can't control into the picture.

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post #1136 of 1255 Old 08-15-2014, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post
The fan controller requires 1 gang. So if you have any lighting on the fan you'll need a separate 1-gang spot for a dimmer/switch to control it. There's no RA2 combo fan/light unit. Yes, it would be GREAT to have such a beast but it does not exist. Likewise it'd be great to have one with a ceiling canopy module.

There are other Lutron fan/light combos and canopy modules but they're not RA2 compatible. Also note the RA2 fan control and dimmer will require appropriate wiring to handle controlling them. As in, you'll need a /3 conductor cable running to the fan's ceiling box, not just /2 conductor (ground is not a conductor). That and the wall box will require a neutral for the fan control (and possibly the dimmer depending on which one you choose).

I make this point because there are some situations where power goes to the ceiling box FIRST and then there's just a switch leg running down to the wall box.

It's a good general point to require ALL wall switch boxes to have a neutral. Power to the wall box FIRST, not the ceiling. The latter used to be common in some areas. Code in many areas now supports neutral in the wall box. CONFIRM to be sure how your electrician is planning to do it and follow up to check that it was actually done that way. You'd be surprised what slackers they can be...

And pull /3 cabling to any ceiling locations that might ever be set up for a ceiling fan. Be sure the box installed in the ceiling is one designed for mounting a fan.
Since we are on the topic, I have a Lutron dual fan/dimmer too. I assumed there was seperate load wires for the light and fan. However, there is only 1 load wire. Is that where the canopy module comes in play? Anyways, my plan was to replace the dual fan/dimmer with seperate RA2 dimmer and fan controllers but I guess that wont work? Does this basically require me to run a new feed to the light?
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post #1137 of 1255 Old 08-15-2014, 03:22 PM
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I don't know which unit you have, got a model number? I'm not really up on the non-RA devices. I had a Lutron dual light dimmer/fan timer unit in the old house, for a bathroom. It had two separate outgoing hot leads. The setup required three wires going up to the fan/light unit, one neutral return for both the fan and light, and a hot lead for each (having gone through the combo timer/dimmer first).

When you have a canopy module (which RA2 does NOT offer) they often support using just two wires up to it. Control over the fan and the light is done via RF remote control from the switch assembly to the module. The wires in the wall switch are typically not controlled through the switch, just passed-through so that the canopy stays powered all the time; ready for RF commands. It's the module that does both the light and the fan controlling. But, again, that's not a RA2 setup and the specifics can vary based on vendor and model.
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post #1138 of 1255 Old 08-15-2014, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by A&M 350Z View Post
Since we are on the topic, I have a Lutron dual fan/dimmer too. I assumed there was seperate load wires for the light and fan. However, there is only 1 load wire. Is that where the canopy module comes in play? Anyways, my plan was to replace the dual fan/dimmer with seperate RA2 dimmer and fan controllers but I guess that wont work? Does this basically require me to run a new feed to the light?
The Maestro Fan/Light control requires canopy module and communicates over a 2-wire connection. Most electricians and fan installers (if they know there will be a light) will put in a 3-wire. So with Maestro you only use 2, with radio ra or most other fan/light controls you will need all 3. Likewise if you want to add a light to a fan only, you could do it on 2 wire with the maestro setup, that was the point of the canopy module as well as 1 control able to control multiple fan/modules of you had a large room with multiple fans.

If you already have the Maestro, and want to switch to the RR2 you will have to have 3 wires, and remove the canopy modules. If you only have 2-wire and have attic access, you may consider remote mounting the RR2 controls and using a keypad or Pico in the regular wall position.

Paul W.
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post #1139 of 1255 Old 08-15-2014, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by tritium6 View Post
Question: How do you pair a dimmer to the main repeater? How about an aux repeater? Does this step need to be done before the switch is installed?

Also, do the dimmers function as normal dimmers if no programming has been performed?

Thanks.

wkearney99 & rapamatic
already addressed most of this, but I wanted to add: please don't attempt to program manually if you have any intention of software program. You will have to manually reset each device (factory default) before you can software program. I think rapamatic also hinted to the fact, if you program manually, you can only program scenes from the keypads.

Lastly, you can just install and use all the switches and dimmers as if they were normal ones before you program. Nothing manually has to be done at this point. Some of you have taken the approach of programming via serial numbers instead of walk-around activation. This does save some steps(literally), but you have to make manual record of each device and enter it manually in the software. I personally think it's easier to walk around with a wifi connected laptop and activate. But if you haven't done either, maybe you want to just record each devices serial # before you physically mount it. It's on one side and you cannot see it once it's mounted.
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Originally Posted by spiwrx View Post

wkearney99 & rapamatic
already addressed most of this, but I wanted to add: please don't attempt to program manually if you have any intention of software program. You will have to manually reset each device (factory default) before you can software program. I think rapamatic also hinted to the fact, if you program manually, you can only program scenes from the keypads.

Lastly, you can just install and use all the switches and dimmers as if they were normal ones before you program. Nothing manually has to be done at this point. Some of you have taken the approach of programming via serial numbers instead of walk-around activation. This does save some steps(literally), but you have to make manual record of each device and enter it manually in the software. I personally think it's easier to walk around with a wifi connected laptop and activate. But if you haven't done either, maybe you want to just record each devices serial # before you physically mount it. It's on one side and you cannot see it once it's mounted.
Thanks for the tips. This is new construction. I'm placing the dimmers in the closet, so it shouldn't be too far to walk

Unfortunately that means I can't really use them before programming. Not too worried about that.

You all have been really helpful with planning this all out. Much more helpful than the dealers/installers even. Thanks.
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