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post #1 of 19 Old 03-25-2011, 11:28 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm having a Ra2 system installed in my house, and was hoping to install LED bulbs rather than halogens. After a lengthy conversation with one of the Lutron reps, it turns out this is a pain in the rear. Each bulb type has its own issues and is independently tested. The bulbs available to me (3rd generation Sylvania LEDs) have been tested, but must use a more expensive Ra2 dimmer and require a power module to be installed for each switch, specifically the RRD-10ND dimmer and PHPM-PA-120 power module. And any more than 10 bulbs per load can cause flickering issues. Fortunately all of our loads have less than 10 bulbs. This equipment would up the total system cost significantly. The other issue is that the power modules are huge 4-gang plain wall plates.

Wondering if anyone has had experiences with non-halogen type lights with Ra2 that aren't as finicky as this. I'd prefer not to go with CFLs at this point, but am open to any more efficient alternatives.
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post #2 of 19 Old 03-25-2011, 12:13 PM
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We built a showroom display with all LED fixtures controlled by RA2. It was hard to do because we did this when RA2 launched and the dimmer selection consisted of the 6D/10D/10ND. We used CREE and CSL new construction LEDs though.

The issue with 10 or more fixtures is common with LEDs. They may not draw much power, but Lutron tells us that the in-rush current on startup is high.

If you have 6" recessed cans I would suggest the CREE retrofit modules LR6 or CR6. We've had good experience with those and they dim well with the RRD-6D. We haven't experimented with LED lamps yet. If you have access to Lighting Science, those lamps are good performers also.


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post #3 of 19 Old 03-25-2011, 06:18 PM
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There is a new adaptive dimmer (neutral required) that works with absolutely
every led bulb that i have tried. The mlv/elv neutral dimmer works with most
everything. I have 8 led bulbs in one room, and 7 in another, no problems
with either. All of the bulbs home depot sells work except for the par30.
There are sharp manufactured bulbs that also work great.

Although it is hard to tell from the outside, some of the led bulbs have
electrolytic caps in them, and some don't. The ones that don't also
don't have the high inrush currents and work much better. Also cost
a bit more.

In addition some led bulbs are just plain NOT dimmable. They turn into
strobe lites if you try.
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post #4 of 19 Old 03-25-2011, 06:54 PM
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I you're at all thinking about bulb types other than incandecent/halogen on a zone of lights right now I would recommend having your installer put in the new adaptive dimmer (when its available).

The upfront hardware cost will be far less than having a new device added, and programing changed to accommodate it later if you go with dimmable CFL or LED bulbs.
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post #5 of 19 Old 03-27-2011, 04:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for all of the replies. Does anyone have the part number for the newer adaptive dimmer? I'm not sure if they will be available in time for my project.

Lutron does have a number of "approved" LED lamps on their site, many of them from Lighting Science, as well as one of the CREE models for 6" cans. I've inquired with our lighting fixture provider about providing any of the listed lamps. I'll need to confirm that the approved lamps work without power modules though. I'd like to do this all in one shot. Living in a home for years without ever changing a bulb out is completely worth the up front cost to me!
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post #6 of 19 Old 03-27-2011, 05:28 AM
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RRD-6NA-WH for white
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post #7 of 19 Old 08-09-2011, 02:05 PM
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Hi:
Sorry to resurrect an older thread, but I'm finishing construction on an addition and have a situation similar to the OP.

My plan is to use Cree LR6's in some rooms, CR6's in others and the Home Depot branded Lighting Science Group Par 20's in other rooms. I've been planning to install RadioRa 2 dimmers in those rooms.

According to the Lutron "selection tool" and the reports, it seems that the RRD-10ND will work with all of these. I'm not sure if they've tested the RRD-10D, RRD-6D and/or RRD-6ND (and their absence from the "OK" list means they won't work) or if they've not tested them. Also I'm unclear if I'll need the PHPM-PA-120 power module or not with the RRD-10ND. The Lutron report doesn't seem to say so, but if I do that could be a big deal.

Kevin: You've recommended the RRD-6NA. Have you tried that with the Cree LR6/CR6 and/or the Home Depot Par 20 and if so, how many at once. (With the Par 20's, I'll have as many as 9 per load).

Also does anyone know whether the slave dimmers (Lutron calls them "remote" dimmers) will work with these bulbs or not?

Lastly, I read on the Cree website that they are trying to address/have addressed the lower dimming capacity of the LR6's and have "begun implementing [the fix] in our current production lines." Does anyone know anything about this?

Thanks!
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post #8 of 19 Old 08-09-2011, 02:42 PM
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If an installer is programming your RA2 install, he can call a local Lutron rep for guidance on specifying the LEDs and other hardware.

If you're going at it without a pro, I suggest calling Lutron TS. Because you have fairly specific questions, maybe they'd prefer an email. Ask them.

A RA2 certified local Lighting Designer could also design the system for you; he/she could also involve the local RA2 rep.

There are also some very knowledgable distributors out there. Maybe a PM and call to bayshoresupply will help you avoid paying for the lighting professional, if you still need to buy RA2 devices and/or lights.

Edit - I put an LR6 on a standard slider dimmer, couple years ago, and it didn't dim below 20% - wasn't dark enough, so I moved the dimmer to some incandescents nearby. Call a local Cree distributor, or call Cree, for the info on recent LR6 revisions (if there are any).

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post #9 of 19 Old 08-09-2011, 06:56 PM
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I'm working with a Lutron installer who just went through RadioRa 2 training. However, I don't think they spend a lot of time on LED bulbs. I was hoping that some of the installers/users here could chime in so that I can provide as much help to my installer.
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post #10 of 19 Old 08-10-2011, 06:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaulP View Post

Hi:
Sorry to resurrect an older thread, but I'm finishing construction on an addition and have a situation similar to the OP.

My plan is to use Cree LR6's in some rooms, CR6's in others and the Home Depot branded Lighting Science Group Par 20's in other rooms. I've been planning to install RadioRa 2 dimmers in those rooms.

Great bulb selection.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaulP View Post

According to the Lutron "selection tool" and the reports, it seems that the RRD-10ND will work with all of these. I'm not sure if they've tested the RRD-10D, RRD-6D and/or RRD-6ND (and their absence from the "OK" list means they won't work) or if they've not tested them. Also I'm unclear if I'll need the PHPM-PA-120 power module or not with the RRD-10ND. The Lutron report doesn't seem to say so, but if I do that could be a big deal.

The main difference between the 10ND and the 6D/10D is the dimmer requires a neutral connection. This is the prefered dimmer because your minimum wattages are decreased, and the dimmer does not use a trickle current through the load to power itself, it gets power from the line and neutral connected to it. This is better because LED bulbs can be very sensitive to even small amounts of current.

Think of the PHPM-PA as an 'Adaptive Power Booster'. You would only need it to control more loads from 1 dimmer than recommended by the Lutron report cards. For example, you'll notice on many report cards they may allow 10 fixtures with the 10ND, and 25 fixtures with the PHPM-PA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaulP View Post

Kevin: You've recommended the RRD-6NA. Have you tried that with the Cree LR6/CR6 and/or the Home Depot Par 20 and if so, how many at once. (With the Par 20's, I'll have as many as 9 per load).

The 6NA is Lutron's 'Adaptive Dimmer'. It will auto sense the load and adjust it's dimmer method (forward phase, or reverse phase) to fit the prefered method of the load. It's only draw back is it is rated for 600 watts where the 10ND is rated for 1000. When dimming LED's calculating loads is not as simple as taking a 15W bulb rating, and multiplying it until you reach 1000W or 600W respectively. LED's load a dimmer much more than their rated wattage because of inrush current and other factors.
To sum it all up, if the 10ND is approved, go with it, because there will be more fixture allowance because of it's higher wattage rating. If you're not sure, or testing, the 6NA is your choice because of it's versatility.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaulP View Post


Also does anyone know whether the slave dimmers (Lutron calls them "remote" dimmers) will work with these bulbs or not?

The remote dimmers are dumb devices, and only 'communicate' with the smart dimmer they are wired too. They do not have actual dimming properties, so yes they will work.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaulP View Post


Lastly, I read on the Cree website that they are trying to address/have addressed the lower dimming capacity of the LR6's and have "begun implementing [the fix] in our current production lines." Does anyone know anything about this?

Thanks!

I'm not sure about this, I have not heard about it yet.

There is a pretty good white paper available from Lutron called 'Controlling LED's that will help you understand some of the challanges.
Check it out and good luck!

Controlling LEDs
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post #11 of 19 Old 08-10-2011, 07:24 AM
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Brad:
Wow! Thank you very, very much for the information. It now makes sense to me!
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post #12 of 19 Old 08-11-2011, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bayshoresupply View Post

If you have 6" recessed cans I would suggest the CREE retrofit modules LR6 or CR6. We've had good experience with those and they dim well with the RRD-6D.

How do the CREE's handle the trickle current used to power the dimmer? I have a house full of older HRD-6D (Homeworks wireless) and have tried some of the LED bulbs on the market. While they dim fine, when they are off, the LED's on the dimmer flicker, most likely due to not being able to bleed current evenly.

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post #13 of 19 Old 08-11-2011, 02:13 PM
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Brad - have you tried to control any LED loads with a Hybrid Keypad? Instructions forbid it.

LEDs are taking over.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

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post #14 of 19 Old 08-11-2011, 10:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

Brad - have you tried to control any LED loads with a Hybrid Keypad? Instructions forbid it.

LEDs are taking over.

I have not.
The Hybrid Keypad is rated at 450W (I think) so I would be very careful using it with LEDs. Definitely going to want to have a neutral available, as well.

To be honest, although I think the Hybrid Keypad is a great idea, I do not use them. On full retrofits I typically rewire 3-way switch wiring for 1 single pole switch, and 1 keypad outlet. I have only ever run into one instance where this didn't work on a master bedroom ensuite 5 gang of single poles.

I think they're great for low voltage contractors, or integrations with less electrical knowledge who can hand them off to their electrician knowing following a simple wiring diagram will yield results.

Not being able to change the face plate is a deal breaker for me, having useless buttons is blasphemy!

Brad
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post #15 of 19 Old 08-12-2011, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BradKas View Post


I have not.
The Hybrid Keypad is rated at 450W (I think) so I would be very careful using it with LEDs. Definitely going to want to have a neutral available, as well.

To be honest, although I think the Hybrid Keypad is a great idea, I do not use them. On full retrofits I typically rewire 3-way switch wiring for 1 single pole switch, and 1 keypad outlet. I have only ever run into one instance where this didn't work on a master bedroom ensuite 5 gang of single poles.

I think they're great for low voltage contractors, or integrations with less electrical knowledge who can hand them off to their electrician knowing following a simple wiring diagram will yield results.

Not being able to change the face plate is a deal breaker for me, having useless buttons is blasphemy!

Brad

Brad, what are you saying, in layman's terms, about the 3-way switch? We have several 3-way switches in my house that I'm planning on switching to Ra2 with LED at some point but now I'm unsure of the compatibility with LED and the 3-way switch. Is it better to just quit the three way style since the Ra2 can be linked via accessory switches?
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post #16 of 19 Old 08-12-2011, 03:45 PM
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Well, I'll start by saying you're not going to run into problems with LED's and 3 way switches, other than not having your low end trims set correct.

As far as the wiring goes, there are typically 3 conductors that run from one switch box, to another with 3-way switch wiring. Two are travelers used exclusively for switching, and one is a common (either hot or switch leg).
In quite old homes is can be common that there will be no neutral present in both of the 3-way switch boxes, but for the most part with your average homes, the neutral will be in one box, or both.
Using the conductors available, the end goal is to get 120V power (hot and neutral) to the box where you want your keypad, and power, neutral and switch leg to where you want your dimmer. Doing this will eliminate the need for a remote dimmer, or switch and 'free up' a gang for your keypad.

There are quite a few ways to wire up a 3 way, and a lot of the time, the colors do not reveal the purpose of the conductor, so you want to make sure you understand what wire is doing what, and re-purpose as required.

If you have any specific situations in your house I could walk you through re splicing the conductors.

Brad
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post #17 of 19 Old 12-03-2013, 09:02 AM
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So now there is the new RRD-6CL-XX (600 W CR/LED dimmer) How to choose between this new dimmer and the RRD-6NA-XX (phase-adaptive dimmer)?

Alfred--
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post #18 of 19 Old 01-09-2014, 12:23 AM
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Originally Posted by aharding View Post

So now there is the new RRD-6CL-XX (600 W CR/LED dimmer) How to choose between this new dimmer and the RRD-6NA-XX (phase-adaptive dimmer)?

I have the exact same question. Lutron told me that the new 6CL dimmer is shipping next week and that it is specifically designed for the special requirements of LED dimming that the 6NA was not originally designed for. So I'm very curious how these will compare. Other basic info - the 6CL is two wire and doesn't need a neutral, and it costs a bit less since it's forward phase only and not phase adaptive like the 6NA. Anyone out there with further guidance how to choose between the 6NA and the new 6CL if the application is for dimming a bunch of LED lights?
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post #19 of 19 Old 09-03-2014, 04:21 PM
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The advantage of the RD-6CL-XX is that it only requires 2 wires (does not require a neutral). Useful for retrofits on older homes. It supposedly has a 50 W minimum. It seems like the NA series is going to be a better choice (at least for my situation). If you want to see if your LED bulb will work with a specific Lutron device, go to: www.lutron.com/led

On a side note, what I am interested in is reducing the number of switches I have on my wall. I don't see that there is a way to do that with RadioRa though short of putting expensive dimmers in a closet or the attic. For instance I have a bank of 5 switches on one wall I would really prefer to be just one of the multi-button devices. However since these devices can only control one device directly (and that with a hybrid), this really isn't possible. I woudl have to put in RadioRa toggles for each of the devices then cut another hole in my wall to support the multi-button device. Really doesn't solve the problem.

I know there are other solutions that would support my goals. Just wondering if RadioRa can do what I want but in a different way...

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