Anyone using Colorado vNet products? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 05-18-2012, 10:56 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm in the process of building a new house and was looking for a way to control lighting with an iPad and wall switches and have a system with room to grow. I came across Colorado vNet's wireless dimmer product and it almost seems too easy as long as your switches as less than 30' apart. No special wiring to run and you can supposedly program scenes to the buttons. Would love to get anyone's thoughts/recommendations.

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 8 Old 05-19-2012, 11:32 AM
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Be aware that Colorado vNet has been bought and sold a few times in recent years, the last time was last month as Russound sold them to a group of investors (IIRC, folks that are/were connected with vNet). Don't like to tell people "don't buy from them 'cause they may go out of business" as it's a circular argument, but you should at least be aware of their situation.

Sounds like they're going to continue their products, but with automation gear, getting support for "orphaned" products (if that were to happen) is extremely difficult because of the proprietary nature of the industry...

You should also take a look at HAI's system and the Lutron RadioRA2 as potentials.

Jeff

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post #3 of 8 Old 05-19-2012, 02:59 PM
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If you don't object to a PLC (power line carrier) system UPB is nice.

1. Multiple vendors.
2. The configuration tool is readily available and very complete.
3. Supported by many home automation systems.

I have appx. 100 devices installed (some from SimplyAutomation, some from HAI) and everything works just fine.

Regards, Frederick C. Wilt
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post #4 of 8 Old 05-20-2012, 02:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions and comments. I saw where vNet was recently sold again. It appears their wireless products are Zigbee based. Does that mean they could be be cross functional with other brands?

I'll certainly take a look at the HAI, UPB, and Lutron products. I just didn't even know where to start. I have Grafik Eye now and have always been happy with it. Just want something more this time. One thing I am concerned about is not needing to have a service tech come out anytime I want to change/add something to the set up. Any concerns with the products mentioned so far when it comes to that?

Thanks again!
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post #5 of 8 Old 05-20-2012, 04:11 PM
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That's one nice thing about UPB technology - the configuration tool is available to all.

Now if you want to tie UPB into some home automation (HA) system there are many HA systems out there that support UPB - you would have to be sure and chose a system that allowed you access to the configuration tool(s) for the system.

Regards, Frederick C. Wilt
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post #6 of 8 Old 05-23-2012, 10:02 AM
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Having done a few Colorado vNet installations I would highly recommend Colorado vNet's hardwired architecture. Wireless lighting still has it's share of challenges. That being said Radio RA is fairly well established.

It is true, the company is under a management change, but I think this is going to be extremely positive. The company seems poised well poised for continued growth.

I urge you to take a close look at the hardwired solution on any new construction build, and the wiring isn't proprietary in this case. All switches, or "keypads" as they are commonly referred to are wired with straight CAT5-e. I recommend two pulls of CAT5-e to each of the switch locations.

Wire all dimming modules off the panel and down in that main area. Easy! Easy! Easy! And super reliable. Cost is a bit more up front, but you won't regret it.

I'd put all main areas on lighting control and leave non-essential areas on standard switch legs.

Go to Coloradovnet.com for more info on Wired/New Construction architecture.
If you need to find an integrator in your area, let me know how I can help.
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post #7 of 8 Old 05-23-2012, 10:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Novatus,

One of the things that appealed to me about the wireless solution was that you could run wiring in a traditional sense and in a worse case scenario you could always go back to old school switches. Obviously that's not something I want to do but am concerned that if I went to a hardwired solution and something went wrong such as no replacement parts, I'd potentionally have to rewire things or find a replacement that happened to function in the same manner.

Any thoughts? Also, what are some of the challenges you're referring to? I'm very new to this and am basically clueless.

Thanks again!
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post #8 of 8 Old 05-24-2012, 07:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkinmoval View Post

Novatus,
One of the things that appealed to me about the wireless solution was that you could run wiring in a traditional sense and in a worse case scenario you could always go back to old school switches

The folks I use for my high voltage work are of the same opinion.

They are up to speed on home automation, etc and have worked with the lighting systems using centralized dimmers but still like the option to revert to traditional switches if future needs or desires change.

When I built my current home we had many a discussion about this. I like the idea of all the heat producing dimmers in a central location, etc BUT decided the have the option to revert was important - so went with UPB - it has worked very well - no regrets.

Regards, Frederick C. Wilt
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