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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My basement theater area has canned lights x 8 controlled by four separate (connected - 4 way i guess you'd call it) switches around the basement area. Sorry, I'm a newb here. Currently one of these switches is a dimmer, and this has worked well for the area. Also, I have a pool table in the area and one light switch controls the pool table lights. It's a double switch, the other side controlling the canned lights. What is the cheapest solution to turn these lights into something I can control with a universal remote? Do I have to replace all of these panels to make any solution work? My universal remote is the harmony xbox remote. I would be willing to look into an upgrade if it fit in with an inepensive plan and move the xbox remote to a different room. I've been looking around and all of the solutions look very expensive. I don't want to control my whole house in the future - just these lights.
 

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If you're looking for affordable DIY lighting control, research UPB, from various manufacturers such as Web Mountain, Pulseworx, Simply Automated, and HAI. Lots of options, do the homework.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The sarcasm is thick in the home automation area geesh!! I was just hoping that someone had a solution for one area that wouldn't cost me $400 -$500 bucks. Guess I asked the wrong question.
 

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You can look into an inexpensive IR-based dimmer, but not sure about any being 4-way. Your local home improvement store should have some there for starters.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tekbud /forum/post/18224774


The sarcasm is thick in the home automation area geesh!! I was just hoping that someone had a solution for one area that wouldn't cost me $400 -$500 bucks. Guess I asked the wrong question.

Well you didn't say how much you consider to be cheap, you just said cheap.
 

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The problem is that cheapest rarely is the same as "confidence that it works". (wait for the inevitable Insteon or X10 suggestion, despite that a large # of people can't get either of those to work). When someone comes asking for 'cheapest' solutions, they don't usually like what they hear, buy some low-end crap, then come back and ask why it doesn't work.


You're going to need to replace all 6 switches (if I counted right). Not sure what UPB costs, but the zWave ViziaRF stuff is ~$60/switch min. You're going to need a controller, which is probably ~$100. Hence you're looking at $420 minimum. Some of the switches are nicer & hence more expensive.
 

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I think Lutron Maestro Wireless would be less than a few hundred dollars for 4 switches, but I don't know for sure. It SHOULD be very reliable.

http://www.lutron.com/cms400/page.as...51799813685644


A cheaper option would be UPB, but the Lutron products would probably be more reliable.


Edit - I don't see IR control as an option with Maestro Wireless, but there is a 'Wireless Controller' that appears to be an RF remote control.


Maestro Multi-location Dimmers have IR, though. Maybe you can use that system.

http://www.lutron.com/CMS400/default.aspx?app=Maestro


Edit #2 - I installed this Maestro IR Dimmer in my bedroom yesterday. Works well, but it's a single pole only, can't comment on the wireless aspect. The web page describes 'compatible with 3-way wiring', read the manual to find out if you can do 4-way.
 

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I can't speak for Maestro IR because I haven't used it but the description does say it's compatible with multi location. Dimmers.net even sells a package with a companion dimmer.

I just installed Maestro RF because I don't have line of sight to my switch and it works nicely with their Pico controller. It can be used in multi location situations, that I can verify.
 

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Just to clarify-


Maestro Wireless = Maestro RF


Pico controller = RF remote control


That Pico controller looks really slick
It can sit on a tabletop stand, or fit into a Decora-type plate on the wall (at least I've seen pics of it, haven't seen it for sale yet).


Anyone know if the Maestro RF can be controlled via IR in any way?
 

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Home depot and lowes sell a maestro IR that the IR works very well on, if they are all grouped together they will most likely all get the IR, if not you could always get an emmiter over there.

URC also has some RF maestro's that would be the easiest solution and very reliable
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the help. You were right - I'm looking for something tha'ts going to work of course and be reliable - just not wanting to spend more than $300 to replace these switches. i was hoping that there would be a cheaper way to do it. I guess I was hoping that I was wrong by what I was reading in that I would have to replace all the switch panels. Like I said, I have one of the panels set as a dimmer now, I was hoping there was some way I could do the same with a lutron or something along those lines. the fact that this is a four-way makes this expensive to begin with...
 

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I think the Lutron RF/Wireless dimmer is $60 for the main one, + 3 remote dimmers (MA-R Companion Dimmer) at $20 a piece, + the RF remote control at $40. That's $160.


Do you have 4 or 6 switches to replace?


Here is where I got those prices

http://www.prolighting.com/mrf2-600m.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My canned lights are the ones that I'm most concerned with, I'd like to also control a single pole switch so that would be 5 total at the most. If I go the IR route will I be able to learn the codes with my harmony xbox remote or will i have to replace that as well? I'm just looking for a few simple macros same as others - just hit play and lights slowly dim down, hit stop and the lights come up that kind of thing nothing major.
 

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Can you please clarify what lights you want to control, from how many switch locations?


Would be great if you could draw a diagram, like these, showing the light and switch locations, and connect them with lines. A 'lighting layer' layout.








Sounds like you're saying that you have 4 switches controlling the recessed can lights - all on the same circuit, plus an extra single pole for another circuit?


I'm not familiar with the xbox harmony remote. You might have to read the manual on the dimmers, the harmony, and the xbox.
 
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