New and existing home automation - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
Forum Jump: 
 1Likes
  • 1 Post By smoothtlk
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 20 Old 08-16-2019, 02:39 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
Drake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 70
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Question New and existing home automation

Have an existing home that has no automation. Looking to control the lights and HVAC units. The switches are older style and if I can replace the switches and control one load in each room that would be great. So looking around Lutron seems popular and has a couple choices one being the RA2 and homeworks that might work. I assume these switches work on RF and form a mesh and dont rely on the internet to work locally? I assume the switches talk to each other and communicate with a controller or multiple controllers? App control and setup?

I also have a new build coming up and would like to utilize a whole home system. Probably just do lighting and hvacs , so maybe the RA2 or homeworks depending on price is a solution here too?

Lot of choices out there now but I do see good reviews coming from Lutron for DIY projects with no dealer or service involved.

Any help appreciated! Thank You
Drake is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 20 Old 08-16-2019, 11:21 AM
Advanced Member
 
FlyingDiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 646
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 241 Post(s)
Liked: 71
Caseta is Lutron's complete DIY line and everything is programmed (and controlled) via mobile app. RadioRa2 is the mid-tier line and consumers can get the programming application (Windows only) by taking an on-line course. Maybe 4-6 hours total. There's an advanced version of the programming software which requires an in-person training class. That gets you the ability to go over 100 devices plus some additional advanced devices.

HomeWorks is pretty much dealer only.

All Lutron systems are RF and use a central controller/repeater. It's not a mesh system. Internet not required, but with certain hardware you can control the system remotely via the internet.

RR2 and Homeworks have HVAC control. I don't think Caseta does.

I have an RR2 system in my house I programmed completely myself. About 100 devices total, lights and shades and keypads.
FlyingDiver is offline  
post #3 of 20 Old 08-16-2019, 05:38 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Bigus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: The South
Posts: 5,738
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 660 Post(s)
Liked: 597
Homeworks QS is hardwired I believe, not RF. Is there another version of Homeworks?
Bigus is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 20 Old 08-16-2019, 06:32 PM
Advanced Member
 
FlyingDiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 646
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 241 Post(s)
Liked: 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigus View Post
Homeworks QS is hardwired I believe, not RF. Is there another version of Homeworks?
I thought it could do either, depending on the device. But I've never actually worked on an HS system, so I could be wrong.
FlyingDiver is offline  
post #5 of 20 Old 08-16-2019, 07:39 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
Drake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 70
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingDiver View Post
Caseta is Lutron's complete DIY line and everything is programmed (and controlled) via mobile app. RadioRa2 is the mid-tier line and consumers can get the programming application (Windows only) by taking an on-line course. Maybe 4-6 hours total. There's an advanced version of the programming software which requires an in-person training class. That gets you the ability to go over 100 devices plus some additional advanced devices.

HomeWorks is pretty much dealer only.

All Lutron systems are RF and use a central controller/repeater. It's not a mesh system. Internet not required, but with certain hardware you can control the system remotely via the internet.

RR2 and Homeworks have HVAC control. I don't think Caseta does.

I have an RR2 system in my house I programmed completely myself. About 100 devices total, lights and shades and keypads.

Ok thanks for the replies. Is the RR2 and Caseta hardware different? I will be doing only lights as most HVAC has their own app as does security and cameras. So do I need to go with RR2 or will Caseta do the trick? I guess I have to stay under 50 devices? I would need the ability to create a few scenes. Thanks
Drake is offline  
post #6 of 20 Old 08-16-2019, 07:57 PM
Advanced Member
 
FlyingDiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 646
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 241 Post(s)
Liked: 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Ok thanks for the replies. Is the RR2 and Caseta hardware different? I will be doing only lights as most HVAC has their own app as does security and cameras. So do I need to go with RR2 or will Caseta do the trick? I guess I have to stay under 50 devices? I would need the ability to create a few scenes. Thanks
Caseta is really designed as a single room or small home solution. RR2 is designed for larger house use. How large is the property?

The hardware is similar, but not interchangeable.
FlyingDiver is offline  
post #7 of 20 Old 08-16-2019, 08:21 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
Drake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 70
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingDiver View Post
Caseta is really designed as a single room or small home solution. RR2 is designed for larger house use. How large is the property?

The hardware is similar, but not interchangeable.
Ok , well I will be doing mostly the whole home lighting which is about 2800 sq ft. Can the electrician just get the software? I will be under 100 devices.
Drake is offline  
post #8 of 20 Old 08-16-2019, 10:53 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 59
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Liked: 5
Also look at RA2 Select. It uses the same switches/dimmers as full RA2 and is fully app programmable. If you ever expand beyond 100 devices you keep the switches/dimmers.

Work with electricians who know RA2 and/or Lutron Pro. This is something to have experienced people design and install.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
stevestms is offline  
post #9 of 20 Old 08-18-2019, 09:01 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
ifor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: La Quinta, CA
Posts: 2,711
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 104 Post(s)
Liked: 83
How many switches are you thinking about controlling?

AV Professional for 23 Years
ifor is offline  
post #10 of 20 Old 08-19-2019, 04:53 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
Drake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 70
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ifor View Post
How many switches are you thinking about controlling?
The new job will probably be 30-40 light switches and possibly the HVACs if control works correctly. On the existing home I'd say it could be up to 60-70 switches and HVAC. As much as I can depending on where the 3-4way neutrals are located and such. I would assume RA2 relies on a neutral but have not looked at an actual build yet. Obviously app based and hopefully have a PC based GUI would make install and layout much better. Hopefully go see an actual build this week and get a better feel. I use Control4 and HE at my home and I like it for the most part but do not want to be tied to a dealer for equipment repairs and new hardware and updates and price and etc......
Drake is offline  
post #11 of 20 Old 08-19-2019, 12:40 PM
Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 140
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 82 Post(s)
Liked: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
The new job will probably be 30-40 light switches and possibly the HVACs if control works correctly. On the existing home I'd say it could be up to 60-70 switches and HVAC. As much as I can depending on where the 3-4way neutrals are located and such. I would assume RA2 relies on a neutral but have not looked at an actual build yet. Obviously app based and hopefully have a PC based GUI would make install and layout much better. Hopefully go see an actual build this week and get a better feel. I use Control4 and HE at my home and I like it for the most part but do not want to be tied to a dealer for equipment repairs and new hardware and updates and price and etc......
Within the Ra2 line there are the RRD-6CL dimmers which can be utilized in retrofits where there is no neutral present. Though if that's the case I would rely heavily on Lutron's LED compatibility tool to make sure you utilize bulbs/fixtures which will behave correctly.
freeoscar is offline  
post #12 of 20 Old 08-19-2019, 12:59 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 38
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Liked: 9
I vote for Lutron Caseta system.

Lutron caseta consumer hub will work with only upto 50 devices including the hub, so effectively 49 devices total (that includes pico remotes, each serena shade).
The commercial hub that comes lutron's dealer installed system ( I guess RR2) has larger device capacity. The way people get around it is to have 2 hubs(if required).

I have lutron caseta switches throughout the house, 3 google homes and apple homekit. The house is 3700 sq ft. The idea is to automate the lights, fans, shades in the common areas. I do not want any of the bed room lights and fans to be controlled by voice command anywhere in the house. So, I keep them on manual switches. With 3 serena shades, 2 plugin lamps, 14 overhead light circuits including pico remotes for the ones that I want 3-way controls, I am at 27 out of 50 allotted individual devices. I am going to add one fan and more caseta switches to the hub. I feel I should be right at the limit once I am done having the basement finished. With basement, I would be at around 5400 sq ft living space and all common area lights and fans controlled by lutron caseta.

Now the reasons I like lutron caseta:
- It runs in its own clear connect frequency. Meaning it wont hog your wifi bandwidth and is not dependent on your wifi or internet. It will work without internet or wifi network.
- The normal light switches do not need nuetral wire, makes it a lot easier to wire them. Hence DIY friendly.
- Works with Google home and Apple homekit.
- Integrates with Smartthings.
- Its really nice that they have come with the fan control switches.
- All devices (if you stay within lutron system) are controlled by one hub/app.

Dislikes:
- Expensive. The switches are quite expensive. So, keep that in mind when trying to automate absolutely everything.
- The look of switches is not something I'd have preferred if I had a choice.

Lutron caseta doesnt give you control of HVAC, door locks, irrigation, garage door openers etc.
My advice is to take one system and go with it. I choose apple homekit. Almost every thing that works with Apple homekit works with google home, smarththings etc. I choose apple homekit for voice control and automation because the devices have to implement hardware encryption(at the time of my purchase/2017-18) to be apple homekit certified. It at least gives me a sense of more security.

The door locks I have are schlage sense (homekit version).
The garage door openers are bestbuy's insignia branded ones.
The house locks and garage doors are the only devices that I cant control with google home, and I deliberately made it that way. Because I dont want anyone in the house(or outside) to yell at google and it opens the doors to my house. With apple homekit, I can specify the people who can have access to the automation in the house.

The lights(lutron caseta swithces), shades(lutron serena), thermostats(ecobee 3), irrigation system (rachio), vacuum cleaner (deebot) I dont care if someone wants to operate them by yelling at google home, but the locks and garage doors only work with my and my wife's apple ids. If we give access to anyone else and we are not home, we get notifications in our phones when locks are operated.

I have my own security system with sensors tied to smartthings to send me push notifications for the events. So, effectively I have apple homekit to voice control everything plus notifications and smartthings as a back up for notifications for security. It took sometime but I feel I have it all set up to work how like it.

Good luck with your decision

living room: 60" 4k TV | XBox one S | Apple TV 4k | Fire tv stick 4k | Sony BDP 6500| Yamaha rx-v7810 | Polk Audio 65RT 7 channels | Dayton Audio sub-120 | small room theater: Benq w1070 | Sony SACD player | Sony BDP 6500 | Yamaha rx-v661 | Adcom 5600->Front LCR: Polk audio RTi8 | Center: Polk audio CSi5 | Side: Polk audio RTi4 | working on inuke nu1000dsp -> 2 VBSS subwoofer | Office: Denon 1930CI SACD player | Yamaha rx-a730 | Polk RTi4

Last edited by trjn; 08-19-2019 at 03:35 PM. Reason: correction
trjn is offline  
post #13 of 20 Old 08-19-2019, 02:36 PM
Advanced Member
 
FlyingDiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 646
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 241 Post(s)
Liked: 71
Be careful how you refer to the company vs the product. Caseta doesn't do HVAC or Garage Doors. RRa2 can. It has to be a door control that works with contact closures, and you have to use their thermostat products.
FlyingDiver is offline  
post #14 of 20 Old 08-19-2019, 03:34 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 38
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Liked: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingDiver View Post
Be careful how you refer to the company vs the product. Caseta doesn't do HVAC or Garage Doors. RRa2 can. It has to be a door control that works with contact closures, and you have to use their thermostat products.
Good catch. I meant lutron's caseta line. Edited my post. Thanks.

living room: 60" 4k TV | XBox one S | Apple TV 4k | Fire tv stick 4k | Sony BDP 6500| Yamaha rx-v7810 | Polk Audio 65RT 7 channels | Dayton Audio sub-120 | small room theater: Benq w1070 | Sony SACD player | Sony BDP 6500 | Yamaha rx-v661 | Adcom 5600->Front LCR: Polk audio RTi8 | Center: Polk audio CSi5 | Side: Polk audio RTi4 | working on inuke nu1000dsp -> 2 VBSS subwoofer | Office: Denon 1930CI SACD player | Yamaha rx-a730 | Polk RTi4
trjn is offline  
post #15 of 20 Old 08-19-2019, 06:13 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
smoothtlk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,308
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 292 Post(s)
Liked: 93
If you incorporate Caseta into a larger home automation systems, then the limitations of Caseta vs. RadioRA start to disappear. ie: the automation system takes care of the climate control automation / integration. And, the limit of devices is averted as some automation systems can support multiple Caseta Pro Hubs to extend the total number of devices. And add the garage door integration.
NickTheGreat likes this.
smoothtlk is offline  
post #16 of 20 Old 08-19-2019, 06:22 PM
Member
 
mario23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 58
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Liked: 10
As a user with a few years experience I would recommend a hub that can handle multiple protocols.
I personally would want zwave, zigbee, cloud and wifi control so the hub has to handle all that.
That would cover light switches, many thermostats, garage door openers, pool controllers etc...

You could do something like Smartthings or Hubitat.
Or for a real large DIY setup something like Homeseer would work well.
I'm not a big fan of dealer only installed stuff as I like to tweak.
mario23 is offline  
post #17 of 20 Old 08-20-2019, 09:46 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
NickTheGreat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Posts: 2,950
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 522 Post(s)
Liked: 397
Quote:
Originally Posted by smoothtlk View Post
If you incorporate Caseta into a larger home automation systems, then the limitations of Caseta vs. RadioRA start to disappear. ie: the automation system takes care of the climate control automation / integration. And, the limit of devices is averted as some automation systems can support multiple Caseta Pro Hubs to extend the total number of devices. And add the garage door integration.
I really like my Caseta switches and Pico's tied into my Homeseer system. You had to get the Pro hub, which is a little more expensive, but still not terrible.
NickTheGreat is offline  
post #18 of 20 Old 08-28-2019, 01:25 PM
Member
 
steve22012's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I would also recommend the Lutron Caseta line. I have just under 50 devices and they are rock solid. I have tried other brands (started out with Insteon) but none of them have compared to the reliability of Caseta. I run my home automation on Home Assistant which will allow me to add multiple Caseta hubs if I need to go over the 50 device limit. I have already decided that if I did need to run 2 hubs, I would separate the devices between interior and exterior. Exterior devices are fully automated and I never turn them on manually or through the app.
steve22012 is offline  
post #19 of 20 Old 09-02-2019, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
Drake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 70
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Question

Thank you for all the very informative replies.

I have installed a few nest cameras so far and like them so might just use them as I have solid internet and installed a solid wireless network at the home, the home had older ecobee thermostats installed which worked with the ecobee app. So I will be using a DSC alarm and probably alarm.com for the remote app for that. If I install Lutron Caseta light switches about (40-50) throughout the home should I just use different apps or can I get a few of these platforms on the same app or system? Also how does Lutron want the user to access the caseta system remotely? Do they have their own app or do you have to use homekit or something similar to access caseta? I need to install a couple doorlocks which could be nest as well. Thank You
Drake is offline  
post #20 of 20 Old 09-03-2019, 07:18 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
smoothtlk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,308
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 292 Post(s)
Liked: 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Thank you for all the very informative replies.

I have installed a few nest cameras so far and like them so might just use them as I have solid internet and installed a solid wireless network at the home, the home had older ecobee thermostats installed which worked with the ecobee app. So I will be using a DSC alarm and probably alarm.com for the remote app for that. If I install Lutron Caseta light switches about (40-50) throughout the home should I just use different apps or can I get a few of these platforms on the same app or system? Also how does Lutron want the user to access the caseta system remotely? Do they have their own app or do you have to use homekit or something similar to access caseta? I need to install a couple doorlocks which could be nest as well. Thank You
Couple of things:
The Lutron app will allow you to control your lights remotely if your home network is setup to allow for remote access
http://www.lutron.com/TechnicalDocum...pp%20Guide.pdf
page 47

Note that Google upon acquiring NEST has changed to "works with Google" which many apps don't work with (yet). This includes Lutrons. If you have a NEST account, don't migrate it to Google yet. Then the Lutron app will work with the nest hardware.

To integrate all, you will need an automation controller that does that. The problem is you have been buying stuff to integrate without the automation controller in mind so it will be lucky to get all pieces and parts to work together. Best is to select the automation controller and THEN buy the compatible subsystems.
myServer integrates with Lutron and DSC but not NEST. We will wait till Google settles down with a plan and then integrate nest.

Door locks. Most are ZWave or Zigbee. Both are supported by myServer (as one example).

I would stay away from cloud based services (like Nest cameras) if you don't have a stellar Internet connection. Better architecture is cameras connected IP to a local NVR, and the NVR is accessible via the Internet and integrates with the automation controller.
smoothtlk is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply Home Automation

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off