New Home Control 4 system - Lighting question - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 6 Old 07-15-2019, 05:43 PM - Thread Starter
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New Home Control 4 system - Lighting question

Hello everyone! thanks for reading my post and lending me a hand on making a decision.

My new home is currently under construction and during the Electrical tendering process I've selected the Crestron system; as time wore on I did more research and it seems that Crestron support is not as available as C4 based on where I'm at (Edmonton, Alberta) and hearing the Crestron is more geared nowadays for commercial applications. I've gotten a C4 system quoted and they're pretty much the same.

However, I'm stuck on the lighting control aspect. 

I have two options, have my electricians do the lighting on conventional 110v fixtures and mate it with the C4 system OR kibosh all lighting (Reducing the electrical scope) and doing DMX lighting with Lumastream fixtures for a net premium of around 15 to 20k



My question is, is it worth it to go DMX? or should I just stick with the conventional lighting and have it mated with the C4 system?

Thank You

KJ
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post #2 of 6 Old 07-16-2019, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by KJ1225 View Post
Hello everyone! thanks for reading my post and lending me a hand on making a decision.

My new home is currently under construction and during the Electrical tendering process I've selected the Crestron system; as time wore on I did more research and it seems that Crestron support is not as available as C4 based on where I'm at (Edmonton, Alberta) and hearing the Crestron is more geared nowadays for commercial applications. I've gotten a C4 system quoted and they're pretty much the same.

However, I'm stuck on the lighting control aspect. 

I have two options, have my electricians do the lighting on conventional 110v fixtures and mate it with the C4 system OR kibosh all lighting (Reducing the electrical scope) and doing DMX lighting with Lumastream fixtures for a net premium of around 15 to 20k



My question is, is it worth it to go DMX? or should I just stick with the conventional lighting and have it mated with the C4 system?

Thank You

KJ
how do you plan to "mate it" to control4?
Personally I'd go with C4 lighting and keep it simple:
1) each lighting device (switch, dimmer or keypad) increases your C4 zigbee mesh
2) ability to single, double or triple tap and have those all programmed to do different things - I have some keypads with 5-6 buttons that can do dozens of things like ramp % of dimmable lights up/down, press a button to cycle thru 5 preset music channels, pause/mute music, start scenes, etc
3) Backlight engravings look sharp
4) since its native the reaction is instant

if you ever leave and take the C4 hub (EA controller) or the Controller is down the switches/dimmers still work like dumb switches/dimmers. the fancy programming you add will not work but simple on/off/dim will still work.
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post #3 of 6 Old 07-17-2019, 04:12 PM
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I was under the impression that C4 is a fraction of the cost of Crestron????
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post #4 of 6 Old 07-18-2019, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by westcojack View Post
I was under the impression that C4 is a fraction of the cost of Crestron????
should be - but I'd be curious if the quotes were apples to apples. same type of AV distribution, network installation (rack, stack and wiring), etc.
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post #5 of 6 Old 07-30-2019, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by ezlotogura View Post
how do you plan to "mate it" to control4?
Personally I'd go with C4 lighting and keep it simple:
1) each lighting device (switch, dimmer or keypad) increases your C4 zigbee mesh
2) ability to single, double or triple tap and have those all programmed to do different things - I have some keypads with 5-6 buttons that can do dozens of things like ramp % of dimmable lights up/down, press a button to cycle thru 5 preset music channels, pause/mute music, start scenes, etc
3) Backlight engravings look sharp
4) since its native the reaction is instant

if you ever leave and take the C4 hub (EA controller) or the Controller is down the switches/dimmers still work like dumb switches/dimmers. the fancy programming you add will not work but simple on/off/dim will still work.
The idea of spending $10k+ on a lighting system and then having it reduced to $10 dumb switches if you decide that you don't like the automation system, or the dealer, or they go bankrupt, etc. is mind boggling to me when you can just get something like Lutron (whichever one is appropriate for your needs) and not have to worry about that. Lighting is likely the single most expensive component of an automated home, and the most expensive one to change out. Go with something controller agnostic.
Are the C4 dimmers more capable in a C4 system - yes, though I'll leave the wisdom and desirability of having a switch operate on double taps, triple taps, etc. to the user. To me it harks back to x-10. you shouldn't have to teach someone how to use ilght switches in your house, and lighting shouldn't be vulnerable to someone accidentally double tapping. To me it's a completely unnecessary contrivance.
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post #6 of 6 Old 07-30-2019, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by freeoscar View Post
The idea of spending $10k+ on a lighting system and then having it reduced to $10 dumb switches if you decide that you don't like the automation system, or the dealer, or they go bankrupt, etc. is mind boggling to me when you can just get something like Lutron (whichever one is appropriate for your needs) and not have to worry about that. Lighting is likely the single most expensive component of an automated home, and the most expensive one to change out. Go with something controller agnostic.
Are the C4 dimmers more capable in a C4 system - yes, though I'll leave the wisdom and desirability of having a switch operate on double taps, triple taps, etc. to the user. To me it harks back to x-10. you shouldn't have to teach someone how to use ilght switches in your house, and lighting shouldn't be vulnerable to someone accidentally double tapping. To me it's a completely unnecessary contrivance.
Even if C4 goes belly up your lights would still work. They are not cloud based. As long as you got a controller and your an use older ones, your lights will work.

I agree there are use cases for bringing lighting outside of c4 but cost savings start to dwindle when you start paying someone to program Lutron then program it into C4. And C4 lighting increases your zigbee mesh, so if you need to buy other hardware to increase the mesh again there goes your cost savings.

Also if you walk into a properly designed house, 90% of the functions on c4 keypads are very normal and easy to understand. The 10% are usually for more fancy options (rotate playlists/streaming sources) or complex codes only 1-2 people in the house should know about security, party modes, etc. If a stranger walked into my house they could turn on lights, music, TVs and move blinds without any training or tutorials. They couldn’t put my house into away mode or party mode, but I would not want them to do that, so that was a design/programming choice.
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