I have approx $3,500 in lighting in my HT, this includes the cost of a 6 zone Grafik Eye, 10 low voltage halogen ceiling lights, 4 wall sconces and a lighting system for the soffits (Ambience by Seagull).
Probably not basic to some but not overkill either. Did I plan to spend this amount, NO. Had Dennis Erskine design the HT after that the budget was blown but it's done right.
On installation, the Grafik Eye is not bad if that's all you are going to use, gets more complex if you want to have multiple controls linked together etc.. Basic electrial knowlege is a must, with the amount of wires you can end up with you will prbably need a secondary joint box so that you can meet code. I did my own.
Kind of a general question. It depends on how much you want to do with it. If you're just thinkin of about 3 to 4 switches that you want to control remotely, probably the Spacer System from Lutron is a good bet.
If you want to be able to integrate it with the rest of your house, then you're talking RadioRa or the Grafik Eye system.
The Spacer and RadioRa install just like any other light. I have a 50 year old house with 50 year old wiring and I have Radio Ra throughout. I'm not an electrician and I put them in. And I majored in International Relations... so no electrical schooling to help.
Pricing depends on if you have low or line voltage lights, the total wattage and if they're single location or muli location dimmers/ switches.
The Grafik Eye is a great unit if you have more than 4 dimmes in a row. 1) It looks much nicer than 5 or 6 dimmers (a 6 zone Grafik Eye takes a 4 gang box) 2) It gives you 'scene' control over all those dimmers. So you could have your reading scene, movie scene, guest scene and so on. Plus extra features like dimming rates.
RadioRa does this (less the dimming rate options) and the Spacer System gives you 3 scenes- the least of the three systems. You're also limited to 3 dimmers (zones) right next to eachother. You might be able to get away with four. But if it's just for a home theater, you might only need 3 scenes/ zones.
The Grafik eye is also pretty easy to install. Nothing much fancier than you normally would need to do for regular dimmers.
If you want to add 3 way switches to the Graphik Eye, that will take some extra wiring.
All three system have hand held remotes. The Grafik Eye and Spacer System are IR so you need line of sight with them. The RadioRa is RF, so you can have that sucker 30' away, if you like.
The Lutron website has all this info and more in great detail.
Once you figure out what light sources you want to control and how much flexibility you want. Then you can really start thinking of pricing.
But for a basic overview.
RadioRa will be the most expense. List price wise, dimmers run on average around $200.00 a pop. Plus you need a repeater at $400.00 and a master control at about $400.00. Before you gag on the price, read up on it, it's a pretty cool system.
A 4 zone Graphik Eye (going by memory here) is roughly $800.00, plus the remote.
A basic Spacer system with 3 dimmers, a master control and a handheld remote will probably run around $500ish.
These are rough list prices though, but as you probably know, the final prices can go all over the place.
My lighting system is very basic right now - it's just one Lutron Spacer (still finishing the room)... got it for $18 + $3 s/h so I figured it's worth it to have a nice fade for my front lights. Works great in my IR macros too.
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