Need help choosing Lighting Control... - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 05-10-2012, 11:17 AM - Thread Starter
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We need some advice regarding which Lighting Control system to add to our current HA implementation.

6 months ago, my wife and I purchased a home with an existing HA system. This is my our exposure to HA, and the existing HA system is about 12 to 14 years old. For HA, we have an older Crestron system which is the main UI with multiple touch screens installed throughout the home. This Crestron system talks to three Lutron Radio RA implementations, which handles the lighting of the main house. Blinds are hardwired to Crestron control boxes in the equipment room. Aprilaire thermostats are also connected directly to Crestron. In the guest house there is an old Lutron Homeworks system (serial interface) which controls the lights and blinds in the guest house, however it is not integrated with the Crestron in the main home (neither are the Aprilaire thermostats in the guest house integrated with Crestron). AV is all handled by Crestron.

What we want to do is add more light switches to HA system, replace failed switches, integrate the Homeworks system in the Guest House, and add a few other controllers (like the whole house fan).
The existing Lutron Radio RA system is over loaded, obsolete and problematic. For these reasons, we're looking to have a parallel lighting control system installed to run side-by-side with the existing Radio RA system. This new system will host new switches and controllers, as well as be the base for replacing any failed Radio RA switches. We want the UI to continue through the Crestron.

We have a Crestron dealer who has been maintaining our HA and making modifications, per our request. He is suggesting that we add the Crestron Lighting Control system in order to meet our current and future needs. We plan on requesting that he integrate the old Homeworks system in the guest house to the Crestron - we had CAT5 cables pulled from the guest house to the equipment room to accommodate this.

A friend of ours is a Savant / Lutron Homeworks dealer/installer, and he is recommending a Lutron Homeworks system.

On the surface, the Crestron Lighting system seems more expensive on a price per part basis, as well as the extra cost for installation and programming. The Lutron system seems less expensive, however it will require some integration work by our Crestron dealer. The price for the Lutron system also includes installation and programming.

Our request of the knowledgeable folks on this forum is: How do you recommend we proceed? We trust that the Lutron Homeworks system will meet our needs, however we fear that our Crestron dealer will gouge us for integration costs if we do not choose the Crestron lighting system.

Thanks,
R & B...
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post #2 of 6 Old 05-10-2012, 05:45 PM
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I don't think you could go wrong with either.

But, I'm curious to know how your current Lutron system is problematic? RadioRA has been phased out of production, but I would expect it to function perfectly for years to come. Maybe it wasn't installed well?

I'm a fan of both Lutron and Crestron, both offer superb systems. If offered the choice, though, I personally would go with a new HW QS system.

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 #3 of 6 Old 05-11-2012, 09:30 AM
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Both systems are excellent, both companies are excellent, so in the situation you are in I would make the decision based on the company/person you feel the most comfortable with supporting you going forward. Of course if one is substantially lower in price that would be a relevant decision factor as well, though I don't see why that would be the case. If it is, make sure you're being quoted apples for apples. Admittedly that can be very difficult when you are not intimately familiar with both solutions.
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post #4 of 6 Old 05-13-2012, 09:17 PM
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OP, what part of the country are you in?

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 #5 of 6 Old 05-14-2012, 07:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Northern California...
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post #6 of 6 Old 05-14-2012, 09:43 AM
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Your Lutron-associated friend can probably show you some nice demos nearby, but there is a Lutron 'Experience Center' in Irvine, if you ever make it down that way.

It's ultimately up to your Crestron dealer, but you may be able to get the programming code for your Crestron system, and take your business elsewhere.

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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