Originally Posted by shamoo1
Just to clarify my intentions.. yes I am leaning towards C4 but I want to make sure if I spend all this money I don't end up regretting and wishing I went with Crestron. Therefore, I am here to try and get some kind of solid undisputed fact that will lean me towards one option vs another.
There is no one solid undisputed fact. If there was you would have already heard it. It's not that simple, that's the only real fact. Crestron has the larger product line and many more expensive and higher performing products. But that does not mean that C4's product line will not deliver a great solution for you. That's what the pros are for, to help vet your needs and qualify the product line. If the installing company can commit to your project with a Scope of Work delivering your needs and stand by the performance of the installed system, then maybe you'll be less concerned if it's Crestron or Control 4.
As for the installers I met, one is the largest Crestron installer in the state, other other is one of the largest C4 installers in North America. Both have 20+ years of history in the biz.
I don't want to completely diminish history or accolades but I would give more credence to referrals from recent clients of those installing companies. Especially, from clients who had systems installed commensurate with your potential system design. Referrals from clients with projects 6-12 months complete would be best. There will be bugs, there will be glitches. Responsiveness and thorough follow up to solution is the mark of a good systems contractor.
bigpapa you said that if there's a ton of loads, C4 wouldn't be able to handle it. Well, as for lighting these people had Vantage interfaced with C4.. but why would the number of loads be an issue? At what point do you see the C4 system get "overwhelmed?"
By the book and by the specs, C4 will be able to handle it. If I called a C4 rep and asked him 'Hey, I have a project with 200 lighting loads, can C4 do it?" I'm sure he'd say 'Oh yes, we have projects with a 1000 loads out there.' They are a company that makes boxes and they want to sell 200 light switches. On paper, sure it will work.
C4's product line is not meant to conquer the 9,000sf home market, they're focused on the rest of the housing market. The light switches are self contained and communicate by Zigbee. If you have 20 switches or so spread out around 1000-1500 sf then C4 on Zigbee is probably going to be fine, snappy responsiveness and no latency. Its not just the amount of switches, its how far apart the switches are, so there's no magic number or ceiling of devices. Many more times that number of switches across a greater space, I'd be concerned about latency. Also, C4 works on your LAN using LAN linked processors(Creston can too, but in this case it's different). If you have a problem with your LAN, this may impact your lights turning ON/Off when you want. Maybe you have a glitch once or twice a year. If you have glitch with your audio system, it's annoying. If you have a glitch with your lighting, or AC when it's hot, it's very frustrating.
Vantage, Lutron, and Crestron also have many more choices for switching and keypads. Maybe not a big deal if you only have a few loads in main areas, but if your whole home is controlled by a low voltage lighting system those choices may become much more important.
On a large lighting system, I'm going to tell you 'this is a job for a self contained lighting control system.' It's closed, communications on it's own bus, and size is not an issue. Vantage, Lutron, and Crestron's lighting systems are all very reliable and can handle just about any need you throw at it, any load type, etc. It will operate on its own processor, so if the LAN goes down it will not matter, your lights will still work. It will cost more, and the company installing it will make more margin, but the key difference is that confidence in the end result will be much higher. You, the user, want that confidence. If that confidence is based on experience, take heed. If the confidence is based on them just trying to get you to sign the contract and get the deposit, beware.
That C4 was not meant to conquer the 9,000sf home market does not mean it cannot be a good solution for you. Again, if you have a few/several audio zones, HVAC zones, and a SS system or two, 20 or so lighting loads, maybe some security integration, I have no doubts with C4. Make sure the C4 dealer does your network and is network competent (same with a Crestron dealer). Maybe you can stretch it further than that, and a C4 dealer who's done more C4 than me may vouch for that. I'm just a dude on the internet who's been in the biz for a long time. I'm not a Master Guru for both lines, but I have lot of experience with both, and a ton of experience in 2ksf homes, 9,000 sf plus, and much larger. This is my opinion, and I'm not a fanboi of either product line. I'm a fanboi of making sure clients have a positive outcome in their investment.
As I've said, there's no one simple reason to pick one over the other. If there was, you would have heard it by now.Make sure you focus on the company more than the product line
. If you take anything away from this conversation, take that.