Originally Posted by FThera
OK...So I was all set to use the Spacer System for my lighting control until I started reading this thread about the GE. ...
I am ending up with 9 lighting zones that need control, but several of those zones need to be switchable from two locations, and a couple from three. The stair lights need to be controled from three (3) locations, and I can't get low voltage wiring to one of those areas without some SERIOUS demolition (that is not going to happen).
So I need light control at 4 different locations, one of which is at the top of the stairs, with no access for low voltage wiring. Using Spacer System I can do it for about $800 in controls.
Is it even possible to do this with the GE?
One advantage I see in using Spacer System, is that the switches can be easily used by guests (and the Mrs.) without any learning curve. I'm not sure the same holds true for the GE. But I hope you guys will fill me in.
The essential difference is that Grafik Eye adds digital control to your lighting, while Spacer System is strictly manual. Anything you can do with SS you can do with GE, and GE can do much
Your application is a complex one. The questions are, what do you need it to do, and how easily/cheaply can that be done? For newbies, half the battle is learning what you can do with Grafik Eye. Your design will evolve as you do. If you have the time you can continue your learning curve (there's lots more to learn). Or you can hire someone who knows the system's capabilities while you concentrate on defining what you want to accomplish. I'll make some comments for you to consider.
The sole advantage of Spacer System is that it retrofits to an existing room with little additional work. Since you are finishing (most of) your room, that advantage disappears. When you do the final costing, SS can be a bit cheaper than the equivalent GE, but it can also be more expensive.
That location you "can't get to" with LV? How much you want to bet?
You might end up with a mixed system, and with 9 zones to control you will need at least two GEs. But that's not a difficult design issue since GEs talk to each other and the second one can be made to act as a direct extension of the first.
There's no need to expose the GE as a general-use control. It can be placed in a closet and the scenes selected by wallstation or remote control - IR or RF.
There are 16 directly addressable scenes in a GE, and with two there can be considerably more, depending on how the two are linked.
Walk-through lighting (including the stairway) can be handled in an integrated GE (not Spacer) system by defining a scene that brings up the walk-through zone while leaving the other zones untouched, and another scene that takes the walk-through zone down while leaving the other zones untouched. No need for three- (or four-) way wiring.
There is a vast array of wallstations (switches, keypads) for GE, many two-button. Surely some one of them will satisfy...
By adding a GRX-PRG to the system, you add computer programming and control, and an astronomical clock. One of the coolest features of such a system is that you can bring up the ambient lighting around dark so you never have to enter a dark room.
There are also occupancy sensors that will turn on the lights when you enter a zone (e.g. the stairway) without manual action at all.
For various reasons, target the 3500 series rather than the 3100 or 2000 series, if at all possible.