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Dimmer Controll for HT

3411 Views 40 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  Crackshot
I have searched around for a couple hours now and haven't found a cheap solution for what I'm looking for. Can you guys comment on how you would go about it?


I want the HT room to be on a 3 way switch. One switch at each entrance to the room. Basically, either switch will turn everything on and off for the average Joe walking into the room. Then from my chair (remote control) turn off the main lights and dim sconces. So I guess that would be 2 zones. Probably a total of between 700 - 1000 watts.


I've looked at the Grafik Eye (GRX-3102 I believe it was?) and it was much more money than I would like to spend. The Maestro looks good for single zone but I would like to be able to shut off all my cans and dim the sconces. Any ideas?


Steve Conner

Wentzville, MO
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I would second Bud's approach. Doing what he did with Insteon for only a couple of zones would be a great way to get "GE" functionality for much less cost.


I will have Insteon throughout my house but will have a GE in the Theater because I wanted six zones in a nice neat package.
Thanks Bud. That looks like it might do what I want! I should have kept up with your thread more. Just too many good threads to read them all!


Looks like I'll need 2 of the larger models 2476DH for a 3 way operation of my approximately 700-800 Watts.


The part I still don't understand is if I use the 2476DH dimmer switches that would controll one circuit. How are you controlling all the different circuits you have? Ie. Step lights, riser lights, rope lights etc seperately? Do you have a seperate 2384W for each circuit?


Thanks guys!


sconner
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Controlling them separately is not required, but it makes the room lighting much more flexible and attractive. It solves your load problem, and it makes future transition to a smart controller like a Grafik Eye much easier.
Correct, I have multiple 2384Ws, once for each circuit. I use the powerlinc to trigger the scenes (defined by software/USB connection included) and I use the controller at the door to trigger the scenes upon entrance/exit. I can also trigger them using my H880 (different scenes for Watching a DVD, pause, resume, Turn off equipment). When I exit the theater, I use the Off button on the wall controller to kill all the lights in the HT room and the concession area.


Bud
I agree that Insteon/X-10 is a good option. I would also consider the Futronix dimmers. I bought a P800, which has significantly more functionality than the Lutron 3106 GE, but cost much less. Futronix is a huge manufacturer of dimmers and commercial electronic lighting controls worldwide, and they're different from Lutron in that they sell direct to the public.


They've supplied control for some pretty amazing places, including this hotel in Dubai:

http://www.futronix.us/BurjAlArab.htm


They have several models, that you can look at here:

http://www.futronix.us/products.htm


The included Futronix remote with my unit has tons of functions, and you could teach the controls to your universal remote (I'm going with a Harmony 880). My room should be complete in the next couple of weeks and I'll have more to report on this subject then, but I would suggest anyone considering a GE should also examine this unit.
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Oh yeah, I forgot about them. I'm looking forward to your report, kktx.


As an aside, have you seen these shots of Agassi and Federer playing tennis on top of that hotel...?

http://www.burj-al-arab.com/tennis/agassi_6.jpg

http://www.burj-al-arab.com/tennis/agassi_3.jpg
I get queezy just looking at those pictures!


I use X-10 extensively in not only my theater but throughout the rest of my house. It's easy to start small and you can add to it as you see fit. I have lighting scenes for seating/end, intermission, previews and feature presentation. I also use X-10 modules to controll my horizontal and veritcal screen masking.


Have fun!
I'm using this for the 4 zone lighting in my sound room:
http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b1...ter/spacer.jpg


It's the Spacer System. The panel shows a master control unit that you may or may not want there. It all depends on your room layout and where you'll be aiming your remote to control the lights. I have two master control units. One with the dimmers as you see and another at the front of the room being used as an IR repeater so I don't have to aim the remote backwards. One of the dimmers you see in the cluster is a 3 way dimmer that I have another dimmer control mounted in a different area of the room to provide manual control over that zone. I don't know how much the other system is but I don't see getting 2 Spacer System dimmers with one being a three way dimmer, a remote dimmer for the 3 way dimmer, and a single or 4 scene remote being all that expensive.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ebr
Oh yeah, I forgot about them. I'm looking forward to your report, kktx.


As an aside, have you seen these shots of Agassi and Federer playing tennis on top of that hotel...?
No--I hadn't! Absolutely amazing!


Unfortunately, a couple of cut-down doors for the HT are late, so completion will probably be pushed back until the end of next week, so my patience will continue to be tested.


I keep meaning to put up my construction pictures in a thread, but haven't gotten around to doing so yet. I'll certainly post again when things are up and running (or so I hope!) and I have more to say about the Futronix system.
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I went with a similar idea but went w/ a lower cost option. I have two zones in my basement. One is on the side where you enter and the other in the theater portion. I used lutron maestro switches from a local hardware. I put a three way manual switch in the entry zone with one switch at the entrance and another by the A/V rack. I put a single pole remote control switch on next to the 3way switch the theater side. So far I am pleased w/ the setup. I manually turn off the one side after I am in the theater and then I can run the theater lighting from my universal remote w/ the rest of the A/V components. Total setup costs were less than $100.
Cool. Thanks for the info guys. I think I've got the info I need for now. I'll dive into some more reading and see what I come up with.


Thanks!


sconner

Wentzville MO
OK, another question about 3-way wiring the x10 dimmers. Looking at this picture The one that has the load attached and will be doing the dimming is on the right. What I'm afraid of is if two of the switches are accidentally dimmed at the same time, or a cumulative effect. When they are "linked" according to the manual does that mean that the secondary does not dim and only sends x10/Insteon signals?


Here's what I have on the list so far:

- IR-350 Buffalo Round Micro IR Sensor

- IR-100 4 Emitter IR Transmitter Connecting Block

- 8170S Stick on IR Transmitters

- IR-543 IR x10 Command Console

- 1132CU Powerlinc Controller & software

- 2476DH INSTEON SwitchLinc V2 Dimmer 1000w (my load is about 700-800 watts)


Bud your solution actually works out very well for my situation since I was already going to be buying IR sensors/emitters for my equipment rack. Just add the Powerlinc Controller and bam, instant lighting control!
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I'm no electrician. I did the research and integration, my father in law wired everything. I think you want a dimmer on one side only. There are 3 way X10 dimmers (master/salve). The 2384s are X10 and not Insteon, but Insteon does understand X10, but not the other way around. Keep that in mind.


Depending on what you go with remote-wise, you can use the setup to dim/raise the lights when you hit "Play" or "Pause" during a movie. Pretty slick.


Bud
Quote:
Originally Posted by ebr
Oh yeah, I forgot about them. I'm looking forward to your report, kktx.


As an aside, have you seen these shots of Agassi and Federer playing tennis on top of that hotel...?
I saw similar pictures a while back of Tiger Woods hitting golf balls off of that same hotel helipad in Dubai. Check it out here .


-Ryan
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinadog
I'm no electrician. I did the research and integration, my father in law wired everything. I think you want a dimmer on one side only. There are 3 way X10 dimmers (master/salve). The 2384s are X10 and not Insteon, but Insteon does understand X10, but not the other way around. Keep that in mind.


Depending on what you go with remote-wise, you can use the setup to dim/raise the lights when you hit "Play" or "Pause" during a movie. Pretty slick.


Bud
Bud,


Perhaps a dumb question but what remote have you been using to control your Insteon stuff - that unit one that Smarthomes sells as part of their kit or can one use a normal learning remote?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathan
Bud,


Perhaps a dumb question but what remote have you been using to control your Insteon stuff - that unit one that Smarthomes sells as part of their kit or can one use a normal learning remote?
I'm not 100% certain, but I think Bud is using the Logitech Harmony 880 remote.
Correct the Harmony 880, sorry, missed the question. Just to be clear, I have X10, not Insteon though, but pretty sure it can work the same way.


This was the link I posted before was to the post in my thread, some good discussion around the setup. Here's the details:
http://images17.fotki.com/v295/photo...control-vi.jpg


Bud
Quote:
Originally Posted by WonHung
I'm using this for the 4 zone lighting in my sound room:
http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b1...ter/spacer.jpg
Where did you get the wallplate? I've been trying to find oversized (not midway, jumbo) decora wall plates in a two gang configuration in white. All I can find are standard and midway sizes.


Bud
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