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post #2221 of 2336 Old 01-17-2019, 04:39 PM
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I dearly wish Lutron made something like the Maestro Fan Timer for any of their automation lines (they don't). So it comes down to how you expect to make use of the fan, and what you'll be adding automation-wise.

Yes, any group of Ra2 devices can be configured in a roll-back, based on the last time any device was changed. Go into a room, turn on this, that or another device and if they're part of a rollback the timer will start counting down. But only when no other activity on devices within the group has happened.

I also find it useful to put a hybrid keypad (buttons with a dimmer built-in) at the entrance/exit area of a space. The bottom-most button always gets configured as "all off" for that area. Handy in the master bath... but with one exception and that's the exhaust fan. You really want a fan to stay running for up to a half-hour after a shower/tub or other high-humidity source has been operating. Do this and you greatly cut down on any chance of mold/mildew. Leave it out of the 'all off' but part of the rollback and it use an 8ANS Ra2 switch to control it. The benefit would be able to be sure the fan gets turned off. Otherwise use a non-Ra2 Maestro count-down switch.

If you've got five circuits, how are the wall switches arranged for them now? Any plans on changing that?

Personally I don't use any of Lutron's thermostats. They're just not that great and there's plenty of other good ones that have better automation options.

If you're doing any work to the floor in the bathroom, we've been quite pleased with in-floor electric radiant mat under the tiles. Well worth the expense, and better than trying to heat up the air when it's really just the feet that need the warmth.
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post #2222 of 2336 Old 01-17-2019, 04:47 PM
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I should add that rollback wasn't an available feature when we implemented our Ra2 system. Otherwise I'd probably have gone with an 8ANS for the fan instead of the MA-T51 timer.

There are limits on how a rollback and a motion sensor can interact. I seem to recall that you could not combine the two. I don't know if that's still true or not. As in, have a rollback on let's say a vanity, ceiling and fan, but also have a motion sensor. Motion sensors have two scenes, occupancy and vacancy and they don't have to control the same devices. As in, occupancy turns on the vanity light, but vacancy turns off the vanity and the ceiling (in case someone turned it on). I don't know if a rollback could be added that would handle all three or not. Worst-case you'd put the fan in it's own rollback group and it'd automatically turn itself off after the set timer counts down.
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post #2223 of 2336 Old 01-17-2019, 05:49 PM
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I have Lutron RadioRa2 and I have a similar situation in my master bath as well but I’ll share with you what I use in the main floor half-bath. I also use the timer below in my master bath for the exhaust fan.

I use this for the bathroom fans so they don’t stay on too long though I should point out this is a completely manual control. The one below is up to 30 min but they also have 1 upto60 min.
https://www.intermatic.com/en/timer-...n-timers/ei200

And here is what I use in the main floor half-bath lights to “automate” the lights. It is a pseudo-automatic occupancy sensor built into the switch and can be manually controlled as well. We also use this in the laundry room.
http://www.lutron.com/en-US/Products.../overview.aspx

Not sure these will help but wanted to give you a cheaper alternative for areas that may not need full automation. I haven’t felt the need to change the main half-bath from its pseudo-automatic control.

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post #2224 of 2336 Old 01-17-2019, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by dgage View Post
And here is what I use in the main floor half-bath lights to “automate” the lights. It is a pseudo-automatic occupancy sensor built into the switch and can be manually controlled as well. We also use this in the laundry room.

http://www.lutron.com/en-US/Products.../overview.aspx.


Why not just use the same device in switch format for the fan? You can adjust the fan so it goes off after X minutes since last movement?
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post #2225 of 2336 Old 01-17-2019, 09:49 PM
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Why not just use the same device in switch format for the fan? You can adjust the fan so it goes off after X minutes since last movement?
Because we don’t always need to use the fan in the downstairs bathroom and upstairs in the master bathroom, sometimes we need the fan on for personal business and we need more time when taking a shower. But no reason it wouldn’t work as you state though I like the flexibility of setting the time as needed.

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post #2226 of 2336 Old 01-18-2019, 04:16 AM
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There's a fine line between want/need when it comes to bathroom exhaust fans. Often over-ridden by the WAF... so don't discount that.

If the fan is quiet you're less prone to worry about running it. Which is great for eliminating mold/mildew risks. But then you can't use it to mask bathroom sounds. I'll trade less work/expense for me over hiding the sound of normal bodily functions. Heavier interior doors and bathroom wall insulation has largely reduced the noise concern. That required planning ahead during new construction.

With modern houses there's also the potential complication of needing make up air, to avoid causing problems with fuel-fired devices (water heater, dryer, chimney, etc). Not a big concern for a lot of existing housing, but not something to ignore either.

Ra2 has fantastic motion sensors. It's FAR BETTER to use the separate ones than one on the switch itself. The ones on the switch are good but give you zero options for fine tuning detection. I've got all three kinds, corner, wall and ceiling in various places around the house. Each has been moved at least 4 times before finding the 'sweet spot' for detecting exactly the right desired motion. Not walk-by traffic from an adjacent hallway, or leaving someone in the dark because they were out of line-of-sight off the sensor. Wall-switch sensors are notorious for this. Where they're placed is usually only good for detecting entry... not continued use in the space.

Our master bath is a pretty large space, with a separate WC and walk-in shower. Which makes automating the space with motion control somewhat problematic. I've not put a motion sensor in the master bath because there's not enough predictable use to make it work with total satisfaction. Early morning/late night... needs entirely different lighting than other times... until it doesn't (like crack of dawn departures for vacations). No sense lighting up the WC if someone's heading in for just the shower, or vice-versa. So rather than setting myself up for failure, I've chosen not to use motion sensing in there at all. Leave the use controlled by easy to access wall switches and the non-automated fan timer.

Sometimes the hardest part is resisting automation because it's going to make the system more annoying than helpful.
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post #2227 of 2336 Old 01-18-2019, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgage View Post
Because we don’t always need to use the fan in the downstairs bathroom and upstairs in the master bathroom, sometimes we need the fan on for personal business and we need more time when taking a shower. But no reason it wouldn’t work as you state though I like the flexibility of setting the time as needed.
That's the whole point. The user doesn't need to 'set a time'. The vacancy sensor turns the fan off X minutes *after you leave*. Just configure the time to 15 minutes, and who cares how long your shower or business takes? The user doesn't need to think about anything, they just press the button to turn on the fan and they're done?

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post #2228 of 2336 Old 01-18-2019, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post
I dearly wish Lutron made something like the Maestro Fan Timer for any of their automation lines (they don't). So it comes down to how you expect to make use of the fan, and what you'll be adding automation-wise..
I simply want the fan on for removing humidity during and after bathing, and for other "smelly" activities.

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Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post
I also find it useful to put a hybrid keypad (buttons with a dimmer built-in) at the entrance/exit area of a space. The bottom-most button always gets configured as "all off" for that area. Handy in the master bath... but with one exception and that's the exhaust fan. You really want a fan to stay running for up to a half-hour after a shower/tub or other high-humidity source has been operating. Do this and you greatly cut down on any chance of mold/mildew. Leave it out of the 'all off' but part of the rollback and it use an 8ANS Ra2 switch to control it. The benefit would be able to be sure the fan gets turned off. Otherwise use a non-Ra2 Maestro count-down switch.
What kind of switch is an 8ANS Ra2? Is it simply an on/off switch or is there something more to it?

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If you've got five circuits, how are the wall switches arranged for them now? Any plans on changing that?
Right now I have a 4 gang box next to the door that I was planning on having the hybrid keypad, fan control, Lutron thermostat, and 4th opening currently unassigned. On the other side of the door in a closet space I am installing all the switches, include floor heat thermostat, that aren't used on any regular basis. None of this is so fixed in place at this point that I can't change it except for the floor heat. Those wires aren't moving since they are now under tile. If you are thinking about something specific here, please share.

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Personally I don't use any of Lutron's thermostats. They're just not that great and there's plenty of other good ones that have better automation options.
Okay, that is good to know. Do you have any specific suggestions? And again, I want it to turnoff if no one is in the bathroom. Would an occupancy sensor be good for this?

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If you're doing any work to the floor in the bathroom, we've been quite pleased with in-floor electric radiant mat under the tiles. Well worth the expense, and better than trying to heat up the air when it's really just the feet that need the warmth.
So you may have now guessed that I'm planning both. Everything I've read says the in-floor electric radiant mats are really only for getting the tiles warm and not much more. I'm still finishing the tiles so haven't had a chance to test it yet. I could hold off on installing the heater and see if we actually need it but I do like a warm bathroom first thing in the morning. Also, are there any Ra2 devices that can control this in floor heating too?

Louis
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post #2229 of 2336 Old 01-18-2019, 10:51 AM
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There's a fine line between want/need when it comes to bathroom exhaust fans. Often over-ridden by the WAF... so don't discount that.

If the fan is quiet you're less prone to worry about running it. Which is great for eliminating mold/mildew risks. But then you can't use it to mask bathroom sounds. I'll trade less work/expense for me over hiding the sound of normal bodily functions. Heavier interior doors and bathroom wall insulation has largely reduced the noise concern. That required planning ahead during new construction.

With modern houses there's also the potential complication of needing make up air, to avoid causing problems with fuel-fired devices (water heater, dryer, chimney, etc). Not a big concern for a lot of existing housing, but not something to ignore either.
Old house so make up air is not an issue. Fan is a remote Fantech, so quiet. Walls are insulated to deal with noise. We like quiet.

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Ra2 has fantastic motion sensors. It's FAR BETTER to use the separate ones than one on the switch itself. The ones on the switch are good but give you zero options for fine tuning detection. I've got all three kinds, corner, wall and ceiling in various places around the house. Each has been moved at least 4 times before finding the 'sweet spot' for detecting exactly the right desired motion. Not walk-by traffic from an adjacent hallway, or leaving someone in the dark because they were out of line-of-sight off the sensor. Wall-switch sensors are notorious for this. Where they're placed is usually only good for detecting entry... not continued use in the space.
Floor plan attached. So I only need the fan to come on when someone is bathing or leaving a deposit in the toilet. The toilet is behind a knee wall so it may be possible to use a motion detector to determine when someone is using the toilet although I'm doubting it is possible to distinguish between urinating or leaving a more substantial deposit. The tub/shower could have a motion sensor but it would need to be a close proximity detector, as in when you get into the tub. Would a humidity detector be more effective? Is there such a thing for this purpose?

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Our master bath is a pretty large space, with a separate WC and walk-in shower. Which makes automating the space with motion control somewhat problematic. I've not put a motion sensor in the master bath because there's not enough predictable use to make it work with total satisfaction. Early morning/late night... needs entirely different lighting than other times... until it doesn't (like crack of dawn departures for vacations). No sense lighting up the WC if someone's heading in for just the shower, or vice-versa. So rather than setting myself up for failure, I've chosen not to use motion sensing in there at all. Leave the use controlled by easy to access wall switches and the non-automated fan timer.

Sometimes the hardest part is resisting automation because it's going to make the system more annoying than helpful.
Yep, that is the balance i'm trying to find.

Thanks again for your replies.

Louis
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post #2230 of 2336 Old 01-18-2019, 11:15 AM
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Part numbers explain what something is, likewise how it was worded. To switch something in Ra2 you'd use an 8ANS not one of the various dimmers. Now, some of the dimmers do support having their programming changed to not act as dimmers when operated, but in general if you have a fixed load or something motorized (like a fan) you should not use a dimmer on it.

Correct, the dilemma is shower or toilet use, or both. I find it's better to leave the shower's activation NOT controlled by motion. If people want the fan running, let them make the choice. With regular occupants it's a matter of learning "run the fan if you take a shower". But they know it'll automatically turn off after a certain time, in my case because the T51 has a series of LEDs on it and markings that show the time. But now that rollbacks exist it would be possible to set one up to do sort of the same thing. That is, automatically turn off, but always after the same duration. With the T51 there's on on-switch-face way to change the interval. With a rollback it'd have to be preset. Which might leave it running longer than desired. My fans likewise are all in-line Fantech units and are very quiet. So quiet they don't provide 'covering noise' nor annoy us when they're still running.

The downside to the T51 is no automation so if anyone leaves a fan fully-on (not timed) then it'll stay running until someone notices. Just like any old non-automated setup. The only time it happens is guests or cleaning folks double-tapping the timer control or running the timer up to the fully on position. That happens rarely enough to not make it a big deal to just look and see that the T51 isn't showing Green on the LED (which indicates full on, no timer).

Were I installing this today (not back in 2012) I'd very likely use an 8ANS Ra2 switch instead of the T51 timers. I still could.

Humidity detection won't work if you're in an area that can actually get quite humid. We are, summers here can be 99% humidity and not be raining. We have HVAC making it unlikely it'd be an issue in the rooms. But the sensors are also potential wear/maintenance items over time. I've largely avoided bothering to use them since there are other automating options (or none, as cases may be).

I have the floor controlled by a Nuheat thermostat, their Wi-Fi model. The recovery time to raise/lower a floor is long enough that it's really best done with a schedule. I've never really checked it to see how long it truly takes to get 'warm enough'.

If the bathroom gets cold enough to require a boost then you're the right track to be considering auxiliary heat. I don't depend on the floor mats to affect the air temperature, just the underfoot comfort. It does that nicely. They've recently released a way to control it programmatically using the online IFTTT cloud service. I use that to toggle the home/away setting for trips.
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post #2231 of 2336 Old 01-18-2019, 11:22 AM
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Heavier interior doors and bathroom wall insulation has largely reduced the noise concern.
I'm not sure really if that makes much of a difference. Sound finds the 'easiest' or 'weakest' entry point to escape through - this would be underneath the door. Or are you installing weather stripping and a floor bump for the bathrooms too?

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It's FAR BETTER to use the separate ones than one on the switch itself. The ones on the switch are good but give you zero options for fine tuning detection. I've got all three kinds, corner, wall and ceiling in various places around the house. Each has been moved at least 4 times before finding the 'sweet spot' for detecting exactly the right desired motion. Not walk-by traffic from an adjacent hallway, or leaving someone in the dark because they were out of line-of-sight off the sensor. Wall-switch sensors are notorious for this. Where they're placed is usually only good for detecting entry... not continued use in the space.
For toilets and shower fans, I really like the vacancy switches. It's not easy to predict if someone's taking a shower or doing their business, so just let them hit the physical switch, and have a vacancy sensor turn it off after X minutes of no movement.

Personally, I don't like motion-activated lights (or fans), except in a laundry room or walk-in closet (or outside security). It's not that complicated to hit a light switch to turn it on, and it outweighs the problems that get created when usage patterns don't follow the typical, and the motion-detector automation activates things in the way you don't want them to. But, that's just me. If you prefer to do things differently, so be it. For those few instances that you don't have your hands free, voice control via Google or Amazon works just fine.
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post #2232 of 2336 Old 01-18-2019, 11:35 AM
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Floor plan attached. So I only need the fan to come on when someone is bathing or leaving a deposit in the toilet. The toilet is behind a knee wall so it may be possible to use a motion detector to determine when someone is using the toilet although I'm doubting it is possible to distinguish between urinating or leaving a more substantial deposit. The tub/shower could have a motion sensor but it would need to be a close proximity detector, as in when you get into the tub. [U]Would a humidity detector be more effective? Is there such a thing for this purpose?
You're way over-complicating this. Just use a vacancy switch near the toilet and shower. Your floorplan looks easy to work with. The user turns it on via the switch and it automatically turns off after 'X' minutes with no movement. Play around with a motion detector to find the best placement, but you should be good to go.
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post #2233 of 2336 Old 01-18-2019, 12:09 PM
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Floor plan attached.
Where are you planning on the switches being located?

Does the shower have a glass door?

Because from your diagram and previous comment, it looks like you've got:

  1. ceiling
  2. shower (two lights)
  3. fan
  4. toilet
  5. vanity overhead
  6. vanity on wall (two sconces, alongside, I'm assuming?).

That's a lot of single-gang switches to have at one position. There's also the question as to whether you're over-lighting the space. Ceiling AND ceiling over the vanity sink? Is a separate light over the toilet necessary? That's a lot of light for a small space and controlling them separately complicates both the wiring and how you'll use the space over time. Maybe lose the lights over the sink and the toilet and just have the ceiling? We have a ceiling light and about the only time it gets used is to clean the space. For daily use it's the vanities and shower (and toilet WC, of course).

We have our controls spread around the room, adjacent to their activity. Attached is the electrical circuit diagram (more or less, there's a few positional changes that happened during rough-in). There's a single-gang at the entrance with a keypad that has a dimmer for the ceiling. The other buttons are toggle for the vanities, the shower and the toilet WC along with a toggle to the nearby master closet.

Electrical code is particular about how close you can put a wall switch to water. That's why I asked if the shower was going to be glass. You could potentially do as I've done and have a 2-gang box on the exterior wall. That would allow reducing the number of devices over by the door.

There are things like the GrafikEye and wallbox dimmers, that can concentrate several dimmers into a separate box (up to five, if I remember correctly). That could potentially reduce the wall clutter, somewhat, but then you introduce a level of "extra thinking" that has to go into using the space. As in, little buttons on the keypad vs separate paddle dimmers placed 'near' activities). I'm a big fan of not trying to be overly clever. For places like a home theater, a wallbox or grafikeye makes a lot of sense. But for a bath, where guests might be likely using it, you're want to avoid making it tedious to use when it ought to be simple.

Perhaps a wallbox tucked away somewhere nearby (is that a closet in the lower right?). And then a 3-gang on the wall. A paddle, keypad and paddle. The 1st paddle dimmer for the 'main lighting' for the room (could be the vanity sconces, not the ceiling). A keypad labeled for the others (ceiling, toilet, shower, all off) and then the fan. This way someone coming into the room is going to see/feel the first paddle and get lighting. Then see the keypad and be able to read for more and then find the fan. Pretty simple. The trick would being finding a place for the other load controls ceiling, toilet, vanity overhead and shower). The keypad itself can be a dimmer, but then you'd still have the rest.

I am NOT a fan of playing games like putting a bunch of single-gang dimmers hidden in a closet somewhere else. That's just ugly and presents a whole range of potential hassles later). Best to have as much wiring in the room as possible. Yours is one situation where having a wallbox gang dimmer would be worth considering. The downside to a wallbox is price and versatility, as their dimmers are built-in, not separate units. Which could present LED compatibility issues in the future. For a multi-purpose lighting scenario like this one I could see where hiding a 3-gang in a nearby location might not be a heinous offense.

Also understand that a downside to using a keypad for control is it complicates having manual dimmer adjustment. The keypads do have a raise/lower button set, and that will change the last pressed load. Which could be annoying if you want different manual dimming levels all the time. I like having the shower dimmer control near it because I don't usually like it BRIGHT AS THE SUN in there. My wife, however, does (along with it nearly hot enough to boil your skin off). So having it controlled by a keypad all the way over at the door would be annoying.
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post #2234 of 2336 Old 01-18-2019, 12:29 PM
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You're way over-complicating this. Just use a vacancy switch near the toilet and shower. Your floorplan looks easy to work with. The user turns it on via the switch and it automatically turns off after 'X' minutes with no movement. Play around with a motion detector to find the best placement, but you should be good to go.
Ah, so a switch to turn in on and the occupancy sensor to turn it off? Am I understanding that correctly?
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post #2235 of 2336 Old 01-18-2019, 12:42 PM
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What I think he's saying is the Lutron Ra2 sensors have two modes. One for detecting that someone's present and the other for detecting that nobody's been around 'for a while'. You do not have to use both modes. Nor do both modes have to control the same devices.

The downside to motion detection with showers is curtains or glass often complicate detection. This leads to false triggers... leaving the wife in the dark in the shower. Which is a fun joke.... once. Then you run afoul of what's collectively known as the Wife Acceptance Factor. Annoy the wife too often with automation screw ups and you're in trouble.
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post #2236 of 2336 Old 01-18-2019, 12:45 PM
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(I was composing this reply before the other post came up)

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Personally, I don't like motion-activated lights (or fans), except in a laundry room or walk-in closet (or outside security). It's not that complicated to hit a light switch to turn it on, and it outweighs the problems that get created when usage patterns don't follow the typical, and the motion-detector automation activates things in the way you don't want them to. But, that's just me. If you prefer to do things differently, so be it. For those few instances that you don't have your hands free, voice control via Google or Amazon works just fine.
The downside to voice control is night time use. As in, having to speak loud enough to have voice detection and response, is also likely loud enough to be waking someone else. It's a factor to consider before expecting voice control to cover everything. We do make heavy use of it for dining and cooking situations. "Alexa, turn on|off breakfast table" happens several times a day. Motion control would be hilariously useless in our large open-floorplace family room/kitchen/casual dining space. But it'd be downright annoying to have to use it all the time for a powder room, laundry or master closet spaces.

Unintended motion activation is indeed an annoyance. Lutron's wireless sensors and some 3M commandstrip tapes are fantastic for finding just the right spot to detect both someone entering AND when there's nobody's left in the space. Especially since occupancy can turn on one set of lights, while vacancy can turn off those and more. We use one in the rec room. Brings up the ceiling cans when kids are there, but is programmed to turn off the cans, the table lamps, the wall wash sconces, the lights over the pool table, etc. This way anyone coming in the room gets light... but when they've all left the system cleans up after them.

It also took a while before I found just the right point on the wall to put motion sensors for the main level powder room and basement full bath (off the rec room). 3M's picture hanging style of strips are fantastic for this. In that you can put the velcro-like halves in more than one location and go back/forth or make some placement/rotation adjustments (for ceiling units) without peeling/wasting a whole 'nother strip.
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post #2237 of 2336 Old 01-18-2019, 12:48 PM
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Ah, so a switch to turn in on and the occupancy sensor to turn it off? Am I understanding that correctly?
When placed in that mode, it's called a vacancy sensor, but yes, that's right. It's an all-in-one device, and cheap too:
http://www.lutron.com/en-US/pages/Su...TION=Documents
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Lutron-M...H-WH/203647775


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What I think he's saying is the Lutron Ra2 sensors have two modes. One for detecting that someone's present and the other for detecting that nobody's been around 'for a while'. You do not have to use both modes. Nor do both modes have to control the same devices.
No, it's just a simple all-in-one device with configurable modes and timings. Has nothing to do with RA2 or other home automation gimicks.
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post #2238 of 2336 Old 01-18-2019, 12:53 PM
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Where are you planning on the switches being located?

Does the shower have a glass door?

Because from your diagram and previous comment, it looks like you've got:

  1. ceiling
  2. shower (two lights)
  3. fan
  4. toilet
  5. vanity overhead
  6. vanity on wall (two sconces, alongside, I'm assuming?).

That's a lot of single-gang switches to have at one position. There's also the question as to whether you're over-lighting the space. Ceiling AND ceiling over the vanity sink? Is a separate light over the toilet necessary? That's a lot of light for a small space and controlling them separately complicates both the wiring and how you'll use the space over time. Maybe lose the lights over the sink and the toilet and just have the ceiling? We have a ceiling light and about the only time it gets used is to clean the space. For daily use it's the vanities and shower (and toilet WC, of course).

We have our controls spread around the room, adjacent to their activity. Attached is the electrical circuit diagram (more or less, there's a few positional changes that happened during rough-in). There's a single-gang at the entrance with a keypad that has a dimmer for the ceiling. The other buttons are toggle for the vanities, the shower and the toilet WC along with a toggle to the nearby master closet.

Electrical code is particular about how close you can put a wall switch to water. That's why I asked if the shower was going to be glass. You could potentially do as I've done and have a 2-gang box on the exterior wall. That would allow reducing the number of devices over by the door.

There are things like the GrafikEye and wallbox dimmers, that can concentrate several dimmers into a separate box (up to five, if I remember correctly). That could potentially reduce the wall clutter, somewhat, but then you introduce a level of "extra thinking" that has to go into using the space. As in, little buttons on the keypad vs separate paddle dimmers placed 'near' activities). I'm a big fan of not trying to be overly clever. For places like a home theater, a wallbox or grafikeye makes a lot of sense. But for a bath, where guests might be likely using it, you're want to avoid making it tedious to use when it ought to be simple.

Perhaps a wallbox tucked away somewhere nearby (is that a closet in the lower right?). And then a 3-gang on the wall. A paddle, keypad and paddle. The 1st paddle dimmer for the 'main lighting' for the room (could be the vanity sconces, not the ceiling). A keypad labeled for the others (ceiling, toilet, shower, all off) and then the fan. This way someone coming into the room is going to see/feel the first paddle and get lighting. Then see the keypad and be able to read for more and then find the fan. Pretty simple. The trick would being finding a place for the other load controls ceiling, toilet, vanity overhead and shower). The keypad itself can be a dimmer, but then you'd still have the rest.

I am NOT a fan of playing games like putting a bunch of single-gang dimmers hidden in a closet somewhere else. That's just ugly and presents a whole range of potential hassles later). Best to have as much wiring in the room as possible. Yours is one situation where having a wallbox gang dimmer would be worth considering. The downside to a wallbox is price and versatility, as their dimmers are built-in, not separate units. Which could present LED compatibility issues in the future. For a multi-purpose lighting scenario like this one I could see where hiding a 3-gang in a nearby location might not be a heinous offense.

Also understand that a downside to using a keypad for control is it complicates having manual dimmer adjustment. The keypads do have a raise/lower button set, and that will change the last pressed load. Which could be annoying if you want different manual dimming levels all the time. I like having the shower dimmer control near it because I don't usually like it BRIGHT AS THE SUN in there. My wife, however, does (along with it nearly hot enough to boil your skin off). So having it controlled by a keypad all the way over at the door would be annoying.

The floor plan is not entirely accurate from a lighting perspective.

There are 2 sconces over the vanity on either side of the mirror. These are T10 incandescent.

There is a recessed niche behind the toilet that has a Juno 2" recessed LED accent light. So not actually over the toilet but to graze the glass tile in the niche and what ever art piece my wife plans to put there.

The main light is an integrated Edge lighting - https://www.edgelighting.com/ - that runs the full length of the room. This thing is wonderful but was a pain to install.

I've not yet installed lighting over the tub but I'll either install 2-3 of the Juno 2" cans or something similar to the Edge. Juno has just come out with an integrated LED strip that I'm liking and should give me a nice grazing effect on the glass tile that is installed.

And there is a night light on the front edge of the vanity.

So from a pure lumens available perspective this is way more than is needed but I don't approach lighting this way. I layer and put the light where I need it but scene control becomes really important.

Most of the switches are in the area to the right when you enter the room. They will largely be out of sight.

I need to think a bit more on your other suggestions.

Thanks!

Louis
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post #2239 of 2336 Old 01-18-2019, 12:58 PM
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It also took a while before I found just the right point on the wall to put motion sensors for the main level powder room and basement full bath (off the rec room). 3M's picture hanging style of strips are fantastic for this. In that you can put the velcro-like halves in more than one location and go back/forth or make some placement/rotation adjustments (for ceiling units) without peeling/wasting a whole 'nother strip.
Is it really that difficult to hit a light switch going in and out of a bathroom (or any room)? Fans, I get, since you want them running after you leave the room. I do enjoy lighting "automation" (not really automation per se) for setting scenes like 'relax', 'cooking' 'entertain', and for waking up and shutting down the house for 'goodnight' and 'good morning' and 'home' and 'away', but I just use hard buttons for all of this, since, again, it's not that hard to hit a switch. And if I have my hands full, again voice control works well.

As for motion-detection activation of lights vs. voice control - I'm not sure how quiet you need to be in circumstances where your hands are full - usually that's during the day (laundry/shopping), or in common rooms (where people aren't sleeping anyway). I can't recall the last time I was carrying a bunch of stuff in or out of a bedroom while someone was sleeping. For example, on trips, I pack the night before or unpack the next morning.
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I think one other item to point out is the Pico remotes which can be mounted just about anywhere. I have one on each side of our bed that is used to turn on the master bedroom lights with the arrows and On. The middle circle is used to turn on the master bath nightlightbut unfortunately cannot turn off (toggle) the same light. The Off button turns off the master bedroom and master bath nightlight.

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post #2241 of 2336 Old 01-18-2019, 02:20 PM
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I dunno, in the context of a thread about a lighting automation system... I'm not one to be judgmental about anything being "really that difficult".

It's nice to have options, and to try different things. I don't find much need to insist if something is or isn't worth it. If you like it, go for it. It's also nice to be able to share opinions, especially if they're based on experience (good AND bad). It's when discussions veer into the whole "I never see the point of doing things that way, so it must be WRONG" point of view that I find strong disagreement. I mean, really? In a geeked-out forum like AVS?

I've made use of Google Home, Alexa, Siri and Cortana and a whole host of other voice recog systems going all the way back to plug-in boards for an Apple ][. They're all a pain in one way or another (Alexa being my current favorite from the easiest-to-use/least-amount-of-hassle perspective) Likewise more automation hardware than I can shake a stick at. So pardon me if I'm being jaded from all the experience. Do I know it all? Of course not, but at least i'm willing to share and discuss.

As for scenes, not everyone lives their life in ways that scenes are useful. Or have spaces that would lend themselves to scene-based control approaches. This is where voice control over devices AND scenes is a huge win over keypads and wall controls alone. Or even over just touchscreens. There's still a LONG way to go before we get real convergence between home automation systems that work for ALL audiences and situations. Until then it's nice to have choices, it's even nicer when they can interop without excessive complication or expense.

Here's a point to consider, a lot of how we interact with these things is being dictated by how the devices perform. Not on how we want to use them. This being what I call the "tyranny of bad tools". Everyone insisting on using nails, because all they've seen are hammers. Or screws, or whatever. Maybe, just maybe the insistence on what can or can't be done is worse than not actually trying something.

With that point in mind, I try to approach problems with a clean slate, open to any solution or price point. Narrow down what you NEED first. Not just what can be done with the limited stuff you've seen or can afford NOW. Then think about what you'd REALLY want and see if any combination of products could actually get there. If not now, within the current budget, then what would make reasonable compromises along the way? A few rooms to start with? But then you have to bite the bullet on the foundational/framework costs (like Ra2 main repeaters and such). Better that than than going cheap with screw-in lightbulbs that won't interact reliably with any sort of decent automation framework. This, tangentially, is what pisses me off about the false Caseta/Ra2 marketing segmentation.

Anyway, my point is consider the big picture and scale up/down accordingly. Start as big as the dream requires, or suffer knowing you'll have to rip-and-replace (and explain that to the wife).
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post #2242 of 2336 Old 01-18-2019, 03:26 PM
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I think one other item to point out is the Pico remotes which can be mounted just about anywhere. I have one on each side of our bed that is used to turn on the master bedroom lights with the arrows and On. The middle circle is used to turn on the master bath nightlightbut unfortunately cannot turn off (toggle) the same light. The Off button turns off the master bedroom and master bath nightlight.
Use them with a Claro faceplate and you can set up an entirely fake wall switch that looks indistinguishable from a real one. I've got some 2-gang setups using them. With voice control the one in the kitchen has become rather redundant. But the one alongside my kids bunkbed sees daily use. The Ra2 software is pretty flexible about how the buttons can be programmed. But with 3rd party control you're basically free to use them anyway you see fit. They're really quite handy little gizmos.
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And, tangentially, how are you setting up that shower?

We went with a 'two-head rain fixtures from above setup' and it's FANTASTIC. Here's a 360 of it. Two rain heads and one wall hand shower, with just two other controls. There's a temp/flow control and a 3-way diverter. All from Hansgrohe. This allows going from single head, one-head/handshower, handshower alone, other head/handshower and then the other head alone. The in-between area allows two outlets to be flowing at once. This cuts down on having too many wall controls. I joke "some showers look like the boiler room on the Titanic" because of all the knobs. For our space and use having a single temp/flow rate works great. The controls use 3/4" pipe for effective flow (to 1/2" at the fixtures). Going with separate temp/flow controls would complicate the setup and increase the price accordingly.

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And, tangentially, how are you setting up that shower?

We went with a 'two-head rain fixtures from above setup' and it's FANTASTIC. Here's a 360 of it. Two rain heads and one wall hand shower, with just two other controls. There's a temp/flow control and a 3-way diverter. All from Hansgrohe. This allows going from single head, one-head/handshower, handshower alone, other head/handshower and then the other head alone. The in-between area allows two outlets to be flowing at once. This cuts down on having too many wall controls. I joke "some showers look like the boiler room on the Titanic" because of all the knobs. For our space and use having a single temp/flow rate works great. The controls use 3/4" pipe for effective flow (to 1/2" at the fixtures). Going with separate temp/flow controls would complicate the setup and increase the price accordingly.
Our install is fairly typical for a tub/shower combination although we have also gone with the excellent Hansgrohe system and running 3/4" pex. When we get to redoing the master bath we will be considering more of the "boiler room" approach.
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post #2245 of 2336 Old 01-19-2019, 05:36 AM
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Our install is fairly typical for a tub/shower combination although we have also gone with the excellent Hansgrohe system and running 3/4" pex. When we get to redoing the master bath we will be considering more of the "boiler room" approach.
The vertical tile orientation is a nice look. The herringbone for the niche must've been a challenge for the tile installer! And the lower part, that's tile with a faux chair rail wood look? Nice. We went with some faux wood looking floor tile for the kids bath. There's soooo many ways to tile these days, it's almost overwhelming.

Really helps moving to 3/4" feeding the mixer if you add the rain heads. No need to go 3/4" all the way to the fixtures. I had this same setup in the previous house (we tore down and rebuilt on same site). I dropped the ceiling in the tub surround area just enough to accommodate the lines to the heads. This to keep the lines 'inside' the house and not just up and over joists in the attic. It was a 50's era house with horrible insulation. But the same technique would work nicely for a bath that has no access above (like another floor). Just a bit of lumber thick enough to accommodate the hard copper plumbing. Which you want to avoid having the dropping rain head extension get twisted due to just PVC or pex, or at least some very securely mounted pex-brass elbows. The only challenge is to avoid piercing the lines when attaching tile backer. Not hard to do... but some subcontractors... ugh, never underestimate just how dumb some of them can be....

Hansgrohe's options on diverters and wall-shut-offs allow for some pretty flexible options. Like putting the handshower on a direct feed from the mixer and using a wall valve to control it. Had that in the last setup as it was over a tub. The valve was placed low on the wall to allow using the shower for bathing kids. Better than having to reach up all the way up to a diverter. The diverters, valves and mixers are pricey, but it was driven more by wanting to avoid an overly complicated setup on the wall. Simplifying looks better, being less expensive was a bonus.

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The vertical tile orientation is a nice look. The herringbone for the niche must've been a challenge for the tile installer! And the lower part, that's tile with a faux chair rail wood look? Nice. We went with some faux wood looking floor tile for the kids bath. There's soooo many ways to tile these days, it's almost overwhelming.
Tiling the niche was relatively easy compared to the rest of the tile work. The floor is also tiled with a matching herringbone albeit a larger tile - 1"x3". It has been slow but will be finished in the next couple of days. I've attached a couple of other photos. The niche behind the toilet also has the glass tile. You can see how a grazing light is very dramatic. Will be even more so in the tub area once I figure out the lighting. The other photo is the top of the knee wall between the vanity and the toilet. This is my favorite detail! And yea, I'm the tile guy.

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post #2247 of 2336 Old 01-19-2019, 09:32 AM
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Tiling the niche was relatively easy compared to the rest of the tile work. The floor is also tiled with a matching herringbone albeit a larger tile - 1"x3". It has been slow but will be finished in the next couple of days. I've attached a couple of other photos. The niche behind the toilet also has the glass tile. You can see how a grazing light is very dramatic. Will be even more so in the tub area once I figure out the lighting. The other photo is the top of the knee wall between the vanity and the toilet. This is my favorite detail! And yea, I'm the tile guy.
Nice work. Thanks for the pix. Yes, that niche lighting looks fantastic. Might want to keep a halogen bulb in the fixture to get just the right kind of light for the piece.

If you use motion sensing to light that room I'll suggest using the adjustable ramp-up timing for dramatic effect. As in, pop the vanity/ceiling on quickly but have the niche come up slowly, to add some drama. Ra2 has the nice feature of adjusting the ramp time and the delay. We use it on the front porch and guests always ask how. The light ramps up with 5 second fade instead of just snapping on. I also use the delay in other areas like the rec room. Some lights pop right off, but others, like the stairs, are on both a delay and a fade. The turn off doesn't start for 10 seconds and then fades down over 5. Gives 15 seconds (which is plenty) to get up the stairs before the lights drop off.

I did all the work in our old house bath (tile, framing, drywall, everything). Ah, the spray of the wet tile saw, the fun of glass tile... I was glad for the new house to be able say "put this... there..." and have been quite pleased with the job they did.
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post #2248 of 2336 Old 01-20-2019, 08:22 AM
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If the bathroom gets cold enough to require a boost then you're the right track to be considering auxiliary heat. I don't depend on the floor mats to affect the air temperature, just the underfoot comfort. It does that nicely. They've recently released a way to control it programmatically using the online IFTTT cloud service. I use that to toggle the home/away setting for trips.
NuHeat thermostat control with voice, from Alexa/GH?

https://www.nuheat.com/products/ther...rks-with-ifttt

My newest NuHeat thermostat looks like that one, will have to check it out. Thanks!
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post #2249 of 2336 Old 01-20-2019, 08:39 AM
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I installed mine about a year ago (when it first came out) and they had nothing other than their own app. What seems to have happened is they've linked their cloud-side of the setup to IFTTT. Once they lit that up it became possible to control mine, having done nothing to it. It was already 'connected' to the online app.

Interestingly, these seem to be made by a whole other company. OJ Electronics.
https://www.ojelectronics.com/busine...ch-thermostats

If/when NuHeat/OJ release details on interacting the thermostats directly, I'll skip using IFTTT but for now, it works.

I'm working on using Homeseer3 to tie into the Timeclock Mode on my Lutron Ra2 main repeater to toggle the home/vacation modes on the NuHeat. It works, bearing in mind virtual device modes and event programming in HS3 is sometimes a bit obtuse. As it stands now I can ask "Alexa, turn on/off Home Mode" or "turn on/off Vacation Mode" and it'll toggle a virtual on/off a HS3 virtual device that IFTTT can monitor. It's a bit of a lash-up because HS3 doesn't really have a "mode driven" framework events. And Lutron's main repeater mode supports more than just Home/Away (default also includes Alternate and Suspend, but you can have many more). Home automation across multiple technologies get messy sometimes, but HS3 continues to have the lead on reliability, longevity and variety of interfacing options. It's just not free, nor open source, but it does run on Windows, Linux or Raspberry Pi. I've had mine running Windows 10 Pro for several years now.

I should add that by using the Main Repeater's "Timeclock Mode" I can coordinate everything else based on it. Which means I can set Home/Away from a variety of inputs and have them all track together. I can use the Lutron apps to change the mode, HS will see that and ripple out to the other services. IFTTT sees the HS3 virtual device going on/off and, in turn, toggles the NuHeat. Or I can tap a physical Lutron keypad button that's labeled "Vacation", which the Repeater uses to toggle Away/Home. HS3 picks up on that and off it goes. Or voice control vial Alexa that goes from the Echo device, to the AWS cloud, over to the HS3 cloud, back down to my HS3 install, which toggles the Timeclock mode and virtual device. Which the IFTTT cloud sees and tells the NuHeat cloud, which my NuHeat thermostat then picks up on. The weak point is the IFTTT cloud is not always the fastest or most reliable. But for a large action like toggling Vacation mode, that's not a big deal.
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post #2250 of 2336 Old 01-23-2019, 02:30 PM
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.... Here's a point to consider, a lot of how we interact with these things is being dictated by how the devices perform. Not on how we want to use them. This being what I call the "tyranny of bad tools". Everyone insisting on using nails, because all they've seen are hammers. Or screws, or whatever. Maybe, just maybe the insistence on what can or can't be done is worse than not actually trying something.

With that point in mind, I try to approach problems with a clean slate, open to any solution or price point. Narrow down what you NEED first. Not just what can be done with the limited stuff you've seen or can afford NOW.....


........Start as big as the dream requires, or suffer knowing you'll have to rip-and-replace (and explain that to the wife).

Really enjoyed these comments ^^^^

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