Changing a Three Way switch to insert a Lutron with remote dimmer in the mix? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 12-26-2012, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
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In my basement I have a gang of recessed lights which I'm assuming, but will confirm, total less than 600 watts. They are on a three way switch currently, with two wall plates on opposite ends of the room.

Can I simply swap one of the switches with this Lutron pack and insert a remote controlled dimmer into the mix, with the other switch continuing to simply turn the whole set off and on to full power?
http://www.amazon.com/Lutron-MRF2-600MTHW-WH-Multi-Location-Controller-Wallplate/dp/B003U8Y9QA/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1355845415&sr=8-2&keywords=lutron+remote+control+dimmer

Is there a different configuration that would be best for me?

Buncha savages in this town....

Sam Posten
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post #2 of 12 Old 12-26-2012, 11:24 PM
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Depends on how your 3-way is setup. Which of the following configurations do you have?

http://www.wfu.edu/~matthews/courses/p230/switches/3way/variations.html

Best regards,

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post #3 of 12 Old 12-27-2012, 06:44 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm not sure. It was done by my home builder, not by me. How would I find out by myself? I have called them asking the same question above about putting in the lutron but the sales guys don't seem to know how the construction guys did it....

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post #4 of 12 Old 12-31-2012, 05:24 PM
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you also have to get the lutron companion dimmer to go with the multi location dimmer.
(its a cheap part, like $25). and pay attention to the lutron wiring diagram carefully.
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post #5 of 12 Old 01-09-2013, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your help guys. Finally got this installed (almost) the other day.

You are of course, correct, and the knuckleheads I listened too were wrong, you cannot put the Master on 1 switch and keep a standard switch on the other. You have to have a master and a companion. As soon as I opened up the instructions I saw that there was NO getting around that.

/sigh

So off to Home Depot I go. They have no companions. The knucklehead there tells me that "sure just run it with two masters, the master is smart enough to swap into companion mode". I ask "are you sure?" He replies "100%!!!!"

So I install them and of course the whole setup starts flashing like a disco ball.

I call lutron and explain whats going on and the guy tells me "No, masters don't work like that, they will fight each other and keep trying to take over the system until something pops".

So I cut the breaker again and am waiting for my companion to arrive from Amazon. Hopefully tonight.

Also: SCREW the dimmable CFLs. Who the hell wants lights that are constantly humming? Had to order 2 6 packs of 45 watt traditional bulbs, but good luck finding N30 size floods in that wattage anywhere but Amazon. Those arrived yesterday.

Testing tonight!

Buncha savages in this town....

Sam Posten
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post #6 of 12 Old 01-10-2013, 10:49 AM
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You made me smile reading this but I feel with you. Good luck and let us know how it worked out.
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post #7 of 12 Old 01-10-2013, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey if you can't laugh at your own trials and tribulations you're no fun, I always say anyway. \

Finally got the right companion switch in there last night. Put it in via maglight, worked immediately. Took me a few mins to dig out the remote's instructions and figure out how to pair them to the system but it worked great.

Learned a lot, got r done!

I still don't understand how the companion works with the master tho, how does one know what the other is doing?

Buncha savages in this town....

Sam Posten
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post #8 of 12 Old 01-10-2013, 02:00 PM
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The companion just send 'commands' to the master, the master always controls the load.
The companion has 3 momentary switches, the on/off sends AC, through a resistor to the master.
The dim up and down buttons send half wave rectified AC to the master, + for up, - for down.
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post #9 of 12 Old 01-11-2013, 08:28 AM - Thread Starter
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OK, but how does it send those commands? Does it interrupt the flow of electricity somehow on the common?

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post #10 of 12 Old 01-11-2013, 09:31 AM
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The companion switches are fed with 120V AC, the momentary switches inside the companion connect this AC through a resistor, and optionally a diode to create the three unique 'commands'.The commands are sent back to the master on the control line.
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post #11 of 12 Old 01-12-2013, 07:59 PM
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If you need help wiring this call me Marc 714 642 1893
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post #12 of 12 Old 01-15-2013, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the offer Marc but my setup is now complete unless I decide to add an extra remote or two, but the electric is all set.

Thank you Sam64 for the details.

Buncha savages in this town....

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