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Lutron Homeworks QS vs RadioaRA 2?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I have an old Landmark Phast system (10+ y/o) that needs updating. I have a few Lutron control modules, but nearly everything else will need to be replaced. My local dealer has quoted a full replacement using RadioRA 2 as well as an upgrade to Homeworks QS. He is recommending the RadioRA 2 route--which is a few thousand dollars cheaper even though I could utilize my 3 existing dimming modules with the Homeworks QS upgrade. They are basically saying that for a single family home my size, there isn't any advantage to going Homeworks QS because RA provides pretty much the same functionality. And the Homeworks switches and components cost more. My house is already wired with Cat5 cabling to all the switch locations.

I appreciate that they want to sell me the cheaper system. But I also don't want to miss out on any upgradability or future functionality I might need because I choose the wrong platform. I would like iPad/iPhone control, as well as the ability to add on a whole-house control system later for things such as keyless entry and integration with my alarm system.

Any comments/suggestions/experience in this area?
post #2 of 13
Do you have a control system set up?

Is your installer certified for HW QS?
post #3 of 13
If your system needs to be installed immediately and is less than 150 devices (200 is the hard cap but I would recommend a 25% buffer for additions, plug in devices like lamp dimmers, shades, etc.) I would say Ra 2 could be the better choice.

While Homeworks QS has been launched, much of the product line has not yet been released. A lot is slated to be released in April, so if you can wait maybe revisit this question a month from now.

Advantages of QS would be a greater product offering, and conditional programming.

Hope this helps,

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
I do not have a control system currently, other than the Phast that I am replacing. My installer is certified for Homeworks QS and RadioRA2.

My immediate need is to get the lights to a stable situation. My Phast switches are dying, the 10+ year old computer the Landmark program is running on is on its last legs, and I have very little control over my system as a whole.

Any idea what types of products we're talking about with Homeworks QS?
post #5 of 13
Lutron has put some limitations on RA2, to promote QS.

As BradKas said, conditional programming is a feature of QS, and the number of dimmers is limited with RA2.

QS has the 'Dynamic Keypad', a touchscreen that replaces a keypad.

QS offers a better selection of keypads and dimmer styles, at least they will.

RA2 only uses 'See-Touch' keypads, but they're available in a wide variety of finishes.

This QS brochure may help

Page 27 of that document lists the major differences between RA2 and QS.
post #6 of 13
What is the configuration of your current system you will be replacing?

Localized? (normal wiring with the addition of keypads, dimmers are visible and used for control)

Centralized? (homerun style wiring back to a central area, keypad only control)

Hybrid? (mixture of the two)

RadioRa 2 is a system designed to be localized, sometimes to get around that some dimmers are hidden in closets, or other places out of sight. If your system is fully localized QS would use essentially the same products as Ra 2 because they have done away with (so far) hardwired dimmers.
These products will have a slightly higher price tag, but will have more options on the programming side because of the QS software.

If your system is centralized a QS panel based system will certainly fit the bill.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
The previous owner had wired most of the house with home run wiring. There originally had been 4 banks of 4 switches in the basement. 3 of those banks were replaced with Lutron dimming modules. But there are a number of other switches throughout the house. Everything from a single gang all the way up to 4 gang. Some of these Phast switches have already died and were replaced with regular toggles, looking really unprofessional. So the answer is "mostly centralized, but some hybrid."

That said, when the installer ran the quote, even considering throwing away (or reselling) the lutron dimmer modules, the RadioRa2 solution was going to be at least $3000 less, because the Homeworks QS would require a new processor and interface module, the switches are more expensive, and programming is more expensive.

Their recommendation is to reuse the banks of switches which used to house the old Phast switches. It just seems like a step backward, and not reutilizing the Lutron dimming modules seems like a waste, but I'm not seeing a truly compelling reason to spend the extra on Homeworks QS given that all I want to do is control lighting and eventually shades. I don't see where i'll need conditional programming or vacation mode, the "dynamic keypad" seems nice but probably overkill for my situation, and I'll likely end up with a control system on top of the lutron anyway. Which opens up another issue: what DIY control system should I be looking at for basic (no AV) control. I say no AV because I have Sonos and that's all I need for music throughout the house.

Anyone have any last minute reasons why I should go Homeworks QS over RadioRA 2 before I take the plunge?
post #8 of 13
Hardwired QS control might be more reliable than wireless RA2. But if the Aux controllers/repeaters are positioned appropriately, I don't think it will be an issue.

DIY Controller installation with either might be a challenge.

With either RA2 or HW QS, you'll need to GET THE SOFTWARE (and control of the software) from the installer so you can install your own control system.

Without the software, you'll have to call the installer for any changes. Integration with other systems, I've read, requires the software.

Make this a part of the contract/agreement.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks Neurorad. I'm definitely going to get a copy of the software.

Also - are you a neuroradiologist? I sell PACS.
post #10 of 13
I've used Agfa for 13 years. See you in Chicago the week after Thanksgiving.

Make software, and access to their programming, part of the contract.
post #11 of 13
Homeworks 8 dimming modules? If so, HW QS is backwards compatible with this hardware.

As far as the dimmers scattered about, they could be replaced with QS RF dimmers, and RF keypads could be installed wherever you have 120V power.
post #12 of 13
radio ra2 version 2-4.2.8 just released contains all of the
hvac temperature control stuff. So the hardware release is
probably very soon.
post #13 of 13
I would also get your electrician involved, seeing as he is likely going to have the put the in the switch hardware. He is just as likely to have a very strong opinion on the subject. You may not be saving any money at all, BTW. HomeWorks systems are often much less time consuming to physically install. Especially if your integrator can provide the detailed load documentation that is available for these systems.

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