Cost effective way to control 3 zones of lights? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 01-13-2012, 11:40 PM - Thread Starter
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I've decided that even though I can't spend the time and money drywalling my ceiling this year - I AM going to improve the lighting in my room.

Right now I have 2 fluorescent light boxes in the room, and they NEED TO GO! I have them hooked up to a X10 controlled switch with a X10 remote sensor that lets me control them along with the bias light/back light behind my tv and a lighted Harman Kardon sign I have in the room.

I am going to be picking up 6 recessed lights for the room - and I would LOVE to have each pair of lights controlled separately.

This is what I have planned - pardon the horrible job... I couldn't get the "light" to simply copy and repeat so each one is slightly different :


The blue box is where the current light switch is - this is on the OUTSIDE of the movie room. The green box represents where I intend to place the new light controls. There is already a switch there that has power to it, but does not control anything yet. I am strongly considering making that a dedicated circuit for the whole theater room since it was originally set up for some sort of neon lighting that the previous owner had in the room.

I would like the ability to use my remote control (Harmony 1100) to be able to dim the zones separately and turn them on/off either together or individually.

This may be a little overkill, but I would really like to be able to make this happen as cost effectively as possible.
I already have the X10 IR box - would it be just as simple as adding 3 X10 switches into the mix?
Is there a better option? I have seen some that let you set "scenes" - but I'm not interested in going to a Control4 setup or Grafik Eye... those are way out of my price range.

I have a couple of Maestro IR switches - but they are kind of useless for this since they can't be controlled individually...

Thoughts are all appreciated!

-Aaron

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post #2 of 21 Old 01-14-2012, 09:02 PM
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Take a look at insteon, much more affordable than control 4, and it's x-10 compatible. My whole house is insteon controlled and I'm very happy.
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post #3 of 21 Old 01-14-2012, 10:38 PM
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+1. Insteon has all that you want. If you use the 2411r it will allow you to greater flexibility ( such as turning lights off automatically when your DVD player is turned on). Scenes are definitely worth it.
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post #4 of 21 Old 01-15-2012, 06:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys!

I had been looking at the insteon options, but I was getting a little confused about how they were triggered.

Looking at scubasteve's build I saw this:



He mentions being able to control 3 zones with it - I was thinking that would be a good option.

Will insteon products be able to be controlled by my x10 box, or would I be able to ditch the x10 box (the IR receiver box) and just use the insteon to control it all including the x10?
(did that question make sense?)

-Aaron

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post #5 of 21 Old 01-15-2012, 07:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Looks like I will need to pick up this: ITLinc IR to Insteon converter to send my remote commands to the switches?

Expensive little piece...

-Aaron

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post #6 of 21 Old 01-15-2012, 10:04 AM
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post #7 of 21 Old 01-15-2012, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Ray Jr.

-Aaron

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post #8 of 21 Old 01-16-2012, 05:46 AM - Thread Starter
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So far this is what I have in my SmartHome shopping cart - if anyone can comment on my selections please let me know:
1 x 2486DBK8 KeyPadLinc 8 button scene control keypad with dimmer
2 x 2476D SwitchLinc dimmer
1 x LED color change kit for SwitchLinc (to make it blue)
1 x LED color change kit for keypadlinc (to make it blue)
1 x paddle color change (to black)
1 x black wall plate

After talking with RayJr I am going to give it a try using my IR543 (x!0 IR module) to see how well that works in sending commands to the new switches.

Unless anyone has any other feedback on this - I was going to place this order this week.

If anyone thinks I should get the Insteon IR converter instead - can I ditch the keypad for a regular switch and still get scene control a different way?

Also... am I going overboard having each pair of cans being controlled separately? Would it make more sense to go with just 2 zones - as in the pair over the TV as one zone and the back 4 as a separate zone? I know it would save me $45... but... hmm...

-Aaron

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post #9 of 21 Old 01-16-2012, 12:32 PM
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I'm not sure how well your x10 will work. Insteon was designed to work with x10 but x10 to my knowledge was never designed to work with insteon. ( i may be wrong). I'd get the insteon along with the 2443 or some other dual band product like the 2457d2 so that the remote will work. Or you can get the 2477d instead of the 2476d
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post #10 of 21 Old 01-16-2012, 12:40 PM
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Never mind about the dual band. I forgot you were using your harmony. Get the 2411r
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post #11 of 21 Old 01-16-2012, 12:43 PM
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Never mind. I forgot you were using your remote. Get the 2411r.
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post #12 of 21 Old 01-16-2012, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks.
If I get the 2411r - do I need to get the 8 button panel for setting scenes, or can I replace the 8 button switch with a standard Insteon switch and set the "scenes" via the remote and IR sensor?

-Aaron

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post #13 of 21 Old 01-16-2012, 01:35 PM
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You'll need the software to set scenes. The 2411r will simply allow you to use your harmony to shut lights off and on. The software (house link 2) will allow scenes such as when your DVD turns on the lights automatically goes off. The 8 button is good for controlling things in other areas but its kind of redundant to have it to control lights in a room that your already using the remote in.
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post #14 of 21 Old 01-16-2012, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay... I just read the manual for the 2411r (http://www.smarthome.com/manuals/2411R.pdf) and I see that I CAN program lighting scenes using just the 2411r and my Harmony 1100 - so that cuts $30 off the price of the switches since I can just get 3 "regular" switches... but in the end it increases the price by $69 since the 2411r is $99.

Still cheaper than a Graphik Eye...

-Aaron

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post #15 of 21 Old 01-16-2012, 01:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richaree View Post

You'll need the software to set scenes. The 2411r will simply allow you to use your harmony to shut lights off and on. The software (house link 2) will allow scenes such as when your DVD turns on the lights automatically goes off. The 8 button is good for controlling things in other areas but its kind of redundant to have it to control lights in a room that your already using the remote in.

You replied while I was writing my reply...

I wasn't aware I could make it work that way - I thought that was going to require macros on my remote (which the 1100 doesn't do ) That is good to learn.

-Aaron

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post #16 of 21 Old 01-16-2012, 01:51 PM
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The sciences you set with the harmony works the way the harmony software works. Ie: when TV is on what do you want something to do. Etc. It works well. Once you start doing the rest of your house ( you will) i would recommend house link or isy-99.
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post #17 of 21 Old 01-16-2012, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the recommendation.
I definitely have plans to do the rest of the house - I love the idea of being able to control lights, etc remotely when we are out of town.

-Aaron

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post #18 of 21 Old 01-16-2012, 03:50 PM
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No problem. It is fun and cool. The best is when someone comes in town that doesn't know you have it and you start messing with them from your phone solitudes it them realizing it. Add motion sensors and it opens up am even bigger world
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post #19 of 21 Old 01-18-2012, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
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This project may be put slightly on hold - at least the Insteon part of it - due to budgeted money being used for a driveshaft center bearing for my car... slightly more of a priority.

The cans will still be going in, 3 gang box will be going in... but I will be using the 2 Lutron Maestro IR switches that I already have for 2 of the zones and the X10 switch I already have for the other zone. At least this way I'll be able to turn them all off/on with my remote - and the 2 on the Lutrons can be dimmed by the remote, just not individually.
That should get me through for a while until I pick up another extra day at the hospital

-Aaron

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post #20 of 21 Old 01-18-2012, 01:53 PM
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What's you end goal for lighting control? If you're looking to do the rest of the house, or even more than a single room, I'd look at something a little more robust. RA2, Control4, or even URC. Budget would have to stretch a bit, but long term is a much more solid solution.

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post #21 of 21 Old 01-18-2012, 02:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Eventually looking to do more, but for now just one room. Can't justify the cost of the other systems right now.

-Aaron

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