RF remote + Light Dimming? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 07-26-2012, 03:27 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a Harmony 900. I plan to use the RF function to control my equipment which will be in another room.

My lighting plan:

-3 led can lights along each wall. One row of lights will be in the ceiling in front of the projection screen and the other 3 rows will be in soffits around the room. So there would be 12 lights. (I may add 3 more)

-Rope lighting around soffit to light up ceiling.

-Possibly add black lights to the soffit as well if I do a star ceiling to charge the paint.

-Possibly rope lighting around riser for second row.

There is a link in my sig to my build thread. There are several pictures and a plan for the theater that may be helpful.

I want to be able to control my lights via my RF remote. Is this possible?

Options:

1. I have looked into the Lutron Maestro and it appears I would be able to control the lights but they could not be controlled separately.

2. The Lutron Grafik Eye is of course a home run apparently but the cost is out of control. I see people that claim they are cheap on ebay but I have no luck finding anything reasonably priced.

3. Insteon?

4. X10?

It appears I need something to convert my RF signals to IR. Is there something like this that can be placed in the wall and attached to the unit?
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post #2 of 17 Old 07-27-2012, 05:59 AM
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I'd research controlling UPB with IR. Try searching at cocoontech.com forums.

Dimming LEDs is a big challenge. Use proven solutions - use what others have found to work.

You might consider Lutron's RadioRA 2.

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 17 Old 07-27-2012, 03:21 PM - Thread Starter
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I will look into the UPB thing.

I did not realize that dimming led's was difficult. Maybe that is why I have been having such a hard time coming up with something. At least a cheap something. Are there solutions for non led's that are cheap?

There is a review of the Lutron Maestro on amazon that states he is using it with a certain brand of led's successfully. Of course that unit is IR and I would like to use RF.

What if I went with an irule type IP based solution instead. Then could I control some kind of a unit in the wall through WIFI or maybe run an ethernet cable through the wall to the unit if it had to be wired?
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post #4 of 17 Old 07-27-2012, 04:57 PM
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RadioRa 2.
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post #5 of 17 Old 07-27-2012, 09:05 PM
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How does one control RA2 with IR?

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 #6 of 17 Old 07-28-2012, 07:21 AM
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you could control the Grafik Eye with IR: use an older GFE (earlier than the QS series) if you can find one used

as to the Harmony remote sending RF: you might try IR instead and use and IR to RF to IR multi room repeater: these repeaters are subject to picking up a lot of IR noise and they don't always work perfectly

btw the dimmers in the Grafik Eye QS works OK dimming LED bulbs but they do not dim down as smoothly or to the low levels an incandescent can go:

there is an optional external module specifically for LED loads if you want to spend the money for it
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post #7 of 17 Old 07-28-2012, 09:40 AM - Thread Starter
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If I understand correctly the system requires the use of the main repeater and then you add dimmers to that unit. The main repeater is on amazon for $450. Then I would have to add dimmers to that for each zone. That prices me out if true.

Now if I could only use the dimmers alone that would be an option. Can someone correct me if I am wrong?

What options are there for WIFI control of dimmer switches?
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post #8 of 17 Old 07-28-2012, 09:50 AM
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^^^

I was referring to a standalone Grafik Eye controlled by IR: without a main repeater
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post #9 of 17 Old 07-28-2012, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah Mark I actually posted that before I saw your post so I was referring to the Radio RA2 suggestion in the previous post.

I would love to go with the Grafik Eye. The cost is high. I keep hearing about these great gray market ebay deals but I find nothing. Where are people seeing this?

Are you suggesting the GFE instead of the QS for cost reasons?

I would consider selling the (still in box) Harmony 900 if there were other better options that would make it easy (and cheap) to control the lights and dim them.
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post #10 of 17 Old 07-28-2012, 10:45 AM
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I was suggesting something like a Grafic Eye 3000 series for cost savings:

they should be available used as many upgraded to QS

you need an electrician to install but you can program it yourself
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post #11 of 17 Old 07-28-2012, 12:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Mark. I appreciate the help. There are many options and it is very confusing to determine exactly what gear is needed for what application. Maybe that is intentional because they want you to go to a dealer to pay dealer prices.

I can't find much used either. Any suggestions for sites?

What are my options if I am willing to give up individual control of the lights. Could I have them all on the same dimmer switch? Would the Lutron Maestro work? I see it is 600W. And it is IR. Could I have an RF to IR converter hooked into the unit?

All this would be much simpler if I just forked over the cash. But I am trying to work within the budget and I have almost nothing budgeted for light control.
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post #12 of 17 Old 07-28-2012, 07:09 PM
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The RA2 has no IR input directly.

How does one control RA2 with IR? I think the missing component is a GC device. And I'm pretty sure you'd need the RA2 programming sw

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 #13 of 17 Old 07-28-2012, 07:12 PM
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With Maestro and addressable IR repeaters, and emitters in the junction boxes, I believe this could be done.

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 17 Old 07-28-2012, 08:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Do you know what kind of addressable IR repeaters I would need? I guess I need something that accepts RF and sends IR and can be put in the junction boxes. I really have no idea what I am doing.
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post #15 of 17 Old 07-29-2012, 06:42 AM
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That's the biggest reason why the pros charge so much. Like electricians, plumbers, and HVAC techs, they have a specialized set of skills. Sure, you can figure it out yourself, but it will take time. For most people, it's not worth the effort.

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 #16 of 17 Old 07-29-2012, 09:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Yep, I recently "gave up" on my room layout and sound treatments. I just did the room layout service from avs which includes sound treatments. I am also probably going to hire out my calibration. The amateur can get most of the way there but it takes a real pro to take it to the next level and after spending so much on the theater I think it is foolish not to do the very last step as well as you can. Just my opinion.

Here are my current two best options.
1. irule with a GC100 and Insteon 2413S and Insteon switches
-avs member ignoringmywife has this setup and he shared with me via pm how he did it.

2. Keep my 900 and try to use RF in some cheap manner. Have not figured this one out yet.
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post #17 of 17 Old 07-29-2012, 09:38 AM
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iRule is a great program

I built a 5500 sq foot home in 1999 (demolished old existing home) and had no clue how to wire/ automate it: best advise given was pre-wire as much as possible: I did that but still wish I had done more

it took a long time to settle on automation, and the technology is always changing. Best advise is go slow and do a lot of reading here on AVS and talk to as many custom installers as you can.

ended up with Lutron Radio RA 2, RTI remotes and touch panels, and lots of iPad apps: still a work in progress but I enjoy it
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