Lutron: RadioRA 2 VS Homeworks QS - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 2 Old 08-22-2012, 07:15 AM - Thread Starter
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I am currently in the build phase of my house. I wanted a light control system integrated into the house. I am looking to understand the difference between Ra 2 and Homeworks.

To understand what I am looking to integrate I listed needs below...
- Ability to have panel near garage/bedroom that can kill all lights in house. (purpose is to hit button before bed or exiting house to kill the lights and keep my bills respectable.)
- Motion control - as a person walks into room it will automatically light up.
- APP based control. Able to dial into it via iphone/andoid and control lights while AT home and AWAY.
- MUST integrate into HVAC system. Would be great if it could integrate with the NEST Thermostat. Want ability to monitor while at work.(via app)
- Must be able to dim LED lights/dimmers in each room.

Thoughts on my needs and what it is I should be further investigating? Is lutron the right product for me?

If So based on needs can someone explain the difference between RadioRA 2 and Homeworks and how they would differ for me? I have read everything on Lutron's site but I did not see a comparative break down of what is difference. I beleive RadioRa is all radio/wireless and Homeworks is Wired/Wireless. Is there other differences? Cost difference? Is one more beneficial than the other? This is not my end all house - its a 5 yr city living house, so I want the benefits of the above "needs" list, but I am NOT going to scale this up and add a Savant/Crestron Home Automation system on top of this. That will be saved for the next build.


Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 2 Old 08-22-2012, 08:42 PM
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The main difference between Ra 2 and Homeworks QS would be scalability and programming flexibility.

Ra 2 is system designed around being able to retrofit into a home with regular wiring, so all of the devices are designed to fit into wall boxes, and work in various switching configurations. The devices communicate wireless with each other and rf repeaters. Of course one can install the Ra 2 dimmers in a remote location, and opt for keypad control, but the system design is never truly 'centralized'.

From a programming standpoint with Ra 2 you have:

Scences - a button press bringing system devices to a preset state
Toggles - a button press toggling a load or loads between 2 states (On & Off usually)
1 time clock with the ability to create modes, and events which can be tied to different modes (for example, random lighting turning on and off would be applied to the 'Away' time clock mode, and not the 'Normal'.

A programmed Ra 2 system feels pretty vanilla, but it excels at being vanilla. As soon as you start trying to make it more than it is things get a little crazy.

Where Homeworks really shines is it's ability to be totally centralized from a design point of view. Dimming panels and processor enclosures can be installed in mechanical areas where all system wiring would be routed too. If you need to add an interface, or power supply all the wiring is in one location. Homeworks QS can also scale up to thousands of devices or zones, where Radio Ra 2 caps at 200 (with a few gotchas thrown in there for good fun).

Programming with QS gives you a lot of flexibility with conditional logic (however a little limited at this time) and the ability to dial in the way keypad button presses work and how the end user will use the system.

As far as your specific requests, there is not anything that Ra 2 will not be able to achieve. For HVAC I would recommend the Lutron Honeywell stat (with a remote sensor if you want it out of sight). Having the stat integrated instead of stand alone will be much more functional for you, and many stats can be used for multiple zones, which displays very nice on the app.

I find sensors with Ra 2 kind of suck, because without conditional logic programming they never really seem to do what you want them to do. For example with Homeworks you can have the sensor respond differently based on time of day, or any other factor you find important whereas with Ra 2 that light comes on to the preset value every time.

As far as remote access, Lutron recommends VPN for the apps, so you're going to want to have your installer review the app notes on that topic. Port forwarding does work, however it is not supported by Lutron.

Keep in mind with either system that dimming LED's can be challenging. It is getting easier because the quality of dimming drivers is always increasing, however they can still be quirky. I would recommend testing all your fixtures/lamps before hand if possible. There is a Lutron tool for selecting LED fixtures/lamps on their website but it's getting quite dated as they do not seem to update it much (ever).

As far as price goes, Homeworks does cost quite a lot more, maybe 50-60% more than Ra 2. One can expect to pay about $300-400 per zone for an installed Ra 2 system (depending on a ton of factors), and Homeworks about $550-650 per zone. Of course prices will vary from place to place and how the system is designed.
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