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Help with Modest RF Lighting Automation

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I'm in the process of building a house with a dedicated media room, and I'm looking for a way to control just the lighting in that room. There will be 4 sconces on 1 switch, and 2 can lights on another switch. I hope to replace the switches with dimmers that can be controlled by RF, since the switches will be behind me and not in the line of sight of my universal remote (Pronto TSU7500, which does RF but only to an extender that converts the commands to IR). I guess I could always point the remote over my shoulder at the light switches, but that seems rather awkward.

So, my needs are pretty modest (2 dimmers on RF that can do full on / dimmed / full off), so I'm hoping that the solution won't be too expensive. I've looked at the Lutron AuroRa, and the dimmers would work, but there's no way for an external remote to interface into the system, and I'd like to be able to control everything with the TSU7500.

Any ideas or suggestions? I've read many of the threads in this foum, though most people's automation needs are on a much larger scale than mine.

post #2 of 5
I too am looking to be able to control lights via RF. I can't use IR since my controls are in the hallway for the media room.

I need to control 3 zones of lights with off/on/dimmed.

Anyone have any ideas? suggestions?
post #3 of 5
If you really want to stick with the pronto, then your best solution (and cheapest) is stick with IR. However, I would recommend checking out Xantech. They make great little IR extending systems that work well and are affordable. You would only need an IR receiving bud (in wallplate form) at the front of the room, a Xantech Repeater (power supply), and an IR Blaster at the switch locations.

This solution would also work for racks in long hallways... wink wink.

Hope this helps.

post #4 of 5
You could use a RadioRA RALB-9W-IR wall-mounted master controller. That's got an IR input. It'll then let you control the 9 scenes it supports via IR. You can then add up to 32 RadioRA dimmers. You can have up to 12 master controllers, including a table-top model. So you could have the RALB-9W within IR line of sight and other master controllers if other locations are more convenient. Also consider those 9 scenes don't have to be in the same room as the controller. You could put a switch on the front/back door, floodlights or anywhere else in the house and still control it from this master controller. Otherwise you'd have to move up to the RA-IR standalone IR interface. That gives you control over all 32 switches and 15 scenes.

The RadioRA stuff is not inexpensive but it works, 100% of the time.

You could also use a Grafik Eye controller. It's system also supports multiple keypads.

Otherwise you'd have to 'cheat' the electrical code to put some low voltage IR emitters 'inside' the wall boxes with Spacer dimmers.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for people's suggestions so far.

Currently, I'm tentatively leaning toward using a simple solution like the Lutron Spacer or Maestro-IR (BTW, what's the difference between the two?). The RF extender for the Pronto 7500 will be less than 10 feet away from and has line of sight to the light switches. So, I was planning to aim the extender's IR blaster at the light switches and control them that way. Does this seem feasible?
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