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Pre-wire for Shades. Cat5? 16/4? High Voltage? Lutron/Somfy/Mecho/Hunter Douglass

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'm in the middle of a remodel and I'm planning pre-wire for next week.

There's about 5 windows and 4 skylights I'd like to pre-wire for shades. All the low voltage guys have said just run a cat5 to the window and leave it there and that should be ok.

But after researching I'm a bit confused as some say wire 16/4 gauge low voltage.

Do I do both?

I don't know if I want to do Lutron, Mecho, Somfy, or Hunter Douglass. My wife wants to do Roman shades There is one rather large window over the stairs that is probably 7 feet high (i'll measure tomorrow)

Do I also wire from the window to a local wall switch spot?

I don't have a home automation system now. I think i'll eventually go control4, but with so much in the industry changing I want flexibility.

So for now, a physical switch and probably next year I'd like to tie it into a system. And can I do blinds on an intelligent timer like it's going to be more than 75 degrees for the day, then close the blinds after 2pm. Vs. it's only 60 degrees and cloudy then dont' close the blinds?

While I'm at it, what brand should I go with? cost/reliability/quality

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post #2 of 9
not sure if I can answer all your questions...but I had some experience here

recently I had 10 Lutron QS shades installed in my home: there was some question at first if some shades had to be wired but Lutron provided all 10 as wireless: this means each shade has batteries in the top assembly and no external wiring needed

Control is done by a Radio RA2 system: I use their Pico battery operated wall switch for local shade control; these switches are around $26.00 each and can control the shade directly if there is no central processor or through a processor (one or the other not both): Pico controls are wireless so no prewiring there either

I can also automatically control shades using the time clock of the RR2 system and through iPad app or remote control system (RTI)

I am happy with the shades: I did run into some quality issues but Lutron replaced them at no cost for me: they claim the shades are covered by warranty for 8 years.

For me wireless was preferred as I had no prewiring : the wife was originally skeptical of shades controlled by a processor: and the batteries do not seem to last as long as advertised: battery replacement requires a ladder for me but is no big deal...if the power goes out and the central processor stops working, I would not be able to control the shades : I addressed this by using a UPS supply for the processor

hope that helps
post #3 of 9
Mark, do you recall if there is a wired option for RA2 shades? I've done a fair bit of digging in the Lutron specs, and I don't see wired as an option.

OP, there is probably a Lutron shade specialist in your area. I would talk to him about the needed cables and costs, ASAP. Call Lutron TS to contact him. It may turn out that wired Lutron shades are cost prohibitive, and you may just end up with Lutron wireless, Somfy, or some other wired brand.
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

Mark, do you recall if there is a wired option for RA2 shades? I've done a fair bit of digging in the Lutron specs, and I don't see wired as an option.

Wired power, yes. Wired control, no.
post #5 of 9
Care to share a document, or details? I'd greatly appreciate it.
post #6 of 9
I think that is correct:

for my Sivoia QS Wireless Insulating Honeycomb shades, there are two AC power supplies available as an option:

CSPS-P1-6-WH to power an individual shade, and CSPS-P1-10-6 10 output power supply panel: I think it is batteries OR one of the AC supplies: not both

I don't see any provision for wired control
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

Care to share a document, or details? I'd greatly appreciate it.

AFAIK, none of the QS wired products (homeworks, energi savr, grafik eye, or sivoia) work with RA2. I don't know if it is explicitly stated anywhere but there are no wired products on the list of compatible models. But as you often recommend, call Lutron to confirm.
post #8 of 9
I might suggest you tread carefully while considering Mecho. The other names you gave are all good.

If your wife wants Romans, and you can find a really good local custom dealer to make them, BTX offers an excellent blank motorized unit for Romans. BTX stuff runs forever without service. The completed BTX approach would most likely be a little more costly than the other names you mention.

http://www.btxinc.com/motorized-roman-shade-systems
post #9 of 9
I'm only looking for hardwired power.

Thanks, Mark. Much appreciated. That's exactly what I needed!
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