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I am looking for suggestions on centralized hardwire lighting control for a new home. When I built our current home I used a Centralite LiteJet system that has been fantastic. I really like the de-cluttered walls, the scene programming and the integration with my automation controller. I would simply purchase a Elegance system and use Centralite again but I am worried about 1) their lack of LED and Fluorescent control and 2) the lack of any real updates to their product line in the last several years.


I have looked at both Lutron Homeworks and Vantage. I would really be interested in getting feedback from anyone that uses or has used either of their lighting systems. In particular how difficult was the install, the programming and a rough approximation of the cost. I own a construction and electrical company and I believe I would have to become a dealer in order to use either of these products. Not sure how difficult it will be to get dealer access to either product so I suppose that is another thing to consider.


Any input would be appreciated!


Chris
 

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Talk to the reps. Your decision may be very easy, based on their input.


You may be able to partner with a Vantage dealer, locally or remotely, if you show competence to the reps and others, and are amiable.
 

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What you might want to do is put together a lighting control wish list, how many switchlegs (lighting circuits) and how many keypads. Then get a feeling of pricing from both Lutron and Vantage.

Look at their keypads, touch screens, touchscreen apps, etc. See what you like.

Vantage just came out with the Equinox 4 keypad which is a keypad that looks like and somewhat emulates an iPhone or Android phone.

As a larger Vantage dealer, obviously my preference is Vantage, but just make sure that you like the integrator, and get 2-3 references on his programming (is it very very to use??), and are the people happy they installed the system.

If you would like more info PM me.
 

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I did a DIY Lutron Homeworks system for my house. I used Homeworks Illumination which is now one generation old. I found it very easy to program. It also wins on easy integration to other automation systems (I use Crestron and Charmed Quark). They do have some specific dimmers aimed at LED loads although I've not had problems dimming LED fixtures with the standard lutron dimmers.


I also bought a small Crestron Greenlight system to play with. It's a very nice system and it feels like a bit of a clone of Lutron.


I liked Lutron for a couple of reasons. In the survey of the secondary market, it comes up by far the most often. Which I figure is a reasonable proxy of how common the various systems are. I liked the keypads the best of the vendors I played with. (I didn't try vantage however).


One of my big concerns was long term viability of the in wall wiring. I'm sure sometime down the road I may want to replace my lighting system. If you wire for Centralite, there aren't a lot of other systems using cat 5 like they are. If you do Vantage, you have a single pair -- also unique to vantage. With the (older) Lutron I have, it is easy to migrate to Lutron Homeworks QS that is much more recent. Or I could make a lateral move to Crestron which uses the same wiring architecture. I don't have hard data to support it, but it seems as though Lutron + Crestron are the most common out there. So I expect there will be some future solution that will work over their 4 wire bus to market to the existing install base. Then again, the future is probably entirely wireless, so as long as there is power available...


I looked at the Equinox 4 keypad -- there is a nice youtube video of it. I'm more a fan of hard buttons. I want my light switch to be easy to hit without having to look carefully at it and aim at a target. (I have the same feeling about TV remotes too.) Touch panels make nice interfaces for less often used or more complex tasks. All the lighting vendors are moving into this automation space, but I think the dedicated automation vendors do it much better and have much more flexibility.
 
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