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post #1 of 5 Old 10-05-2019, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Lighting control for new house

Hello,

I will be building a new house (in Europe) and I am looking for lighting control solution for my open plan ground floor + garden, that can meet the following requirements:

1. Ability to easily choose scenes, preferably with a keypad with physical buttons
2. Nice looking switches / dimmers, that will not take too much space on the walls
3. Ability to integrate with Harmony and/or SmartThings
4. Reliable, either using open standards or by a company that will most likely continue to support its products for decades
5. Not too expensive

I came across Lutron, and I like the keypads of RA2. However RA2 doesn't seem to support Harmony and SmartThings and I suspect it could be quite expensive. Caseta and RA2 Select support Harmony and SmartThings, but seem to have more basic keypads with less functionality. Also, the dimmers of Lutron in general seem to be available only with the US standard, which takes up a lot more space on the wall.

Another company I found is LightwaveRF. They have more compact switches which look nice, and they support IFTTT (so I guess Harmony and/or SmartThings also). But it seems that they don't make Scene keypads anymore, and I doubt they are anywhere as reliable as Lutron.

Any other suggestions?

The house isn't build yet, so I can do it any way I want. That said I would prefer to follow some standards with wiring, just in case I need to replace the whole system with something else in the future.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 5 Old 10-05-2019, 01:46 PM
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Wire the house thinking that there are no smart switches and put Ra2 in.
Then, when the time is right, put a good automation controller that can integrate Ra2 with everything else.
You should be thinking of that automation controller up front to ensure you are selecting all rest of stuff that is compatible.
And, that your wiring is then compatible with those devices and the controller.

Don't wire the house and expect everything to just work if you don't start with a plan that is engineered to work. Very common newbie mistake.
It is a system. Not a bunch of parts.
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post #3 of 5 Old 10-05-2019, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smoothtlk View Post
Wire the house thinking that there are no smart switches and put Ra2 in.
Quote:
Don't wire the house and expect everything to just work if you don't start with a plan that is engineered to work.
Thanks, but you confused me a bit. Should I wire the house as if there will be no smart switches, or should I plan everything in advance and wire accordingly?


Also, what would be a good automation controller, and what are the reasons you are suggesting RA2?
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post #4 of 5 Old 10-05-2019, 04:52 PM
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Wire the house conventionally.
But instead of traditional switches, put in the correct RadioRa2 switch for the type of light load (LED / fluorescent / incandescent etc).

Yes, plan everything in advance. You will also be pre-wiring HDMI / ethernet / irrigation / thermostat / speakers / security / cameras etc. You get one chance to do this economically (just before insulation is put in).

Ra2 is one of the best traditional wire (wireless communications) systems on the market. It is compatible with the most number of automation controllers. Not the cheapest, but it works and looks good.

You can also wire a Ra2 system as a "semi home run" where the lighting loads are controlled by Ra2 switches in a central location and a few multibutton keypads at key locations - or on wall touchscreens for a more deluxe system that tell the light load switches to turn on / off / dim. That does affect how the home is wired so plan that in advance. Less wall acne with that approach (multiple switches in gangs are then not needed).

I am very biased on the "good automation controller"s. See my signature And yes, works with Ra2 (and many others).

Last edited by smoothtlk; 10-05-2019 at 04:55 PM.
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post #5 of 5 Old 10-07-2019, 10:39 AM
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New Home

I would look for a local Vantage Controls dealer.
They have access to the European standard 220v switches, and really nice looking.
They can suggest overall system controls also.
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