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I am looking for an inexpensive way to control three lighting zones I guess you would call them. The first is an incandescent rope light that is plugged into a wall outlet that is out of sight. The 2nd is an overhead light that unfortunately is operated at the top of the stairs on the floor above and is also out of site. The third zone will be a pair of sconces that are not installed yet. The switch for them could be installed in line of sight but as the other two are not I don't think it's important. I was hoping for all of the lights to be dimmable if at all possible. I'd like to do this probably as cheaply as possible if it is even possible.


Thanks in advance for any help you may have to offer

Matt
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cragaar /forum/post/19512253


I am looking for an inexpensive way to control three lighting zones I guess you would call them. The first is an incandescent rope light that is plugged into a wall outlet that is out of sight. The 2nd is an overhead light that unfortunately is operated at the top of the stairs on the floor above and is also out of site. The third zone will be a pair of sconces that are not installed yet. The switch for them could be installed in line of sight but as the other two are not I don't think it's important. I was hoping for all of the lights to be dimmable if at all possible. I'd like to do this probably as cheaply as possible if it is even possible.


Thanks in advance for any help you may have to offer

Matt

Hmmm... that doesn't sound like 3 zones, it sounds like 3 switches, much simpler than zones. If you never expect to expand you might want to try X10. It's not the most reliable but it's cheap and a lot of people use it. With only three loads you would probably do fine. Next up is Insteon, at 2 to 3 times the price. It's more reliable, though it got very bad press a few years ago. I have an Insteon system with 26 loads and I had a dimmer go bad years ago (easily replaced). I just ordered five of their cheaper Icon dimmers and found that one will respond to "dim up" but not "full on". I will get that one replaced too. Other than that, once set up I've never had an Insteon device not respond to a command.
 

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Look into UPB.


I wouldn't consider X10 and Insteon.


A few companies make UPB technology dimmers. Simply Automated is a popular brand often discussed at the cocoontech.com forums. I think they're in the same price range as Insteon, ~$50-80/dimmer, but not including controller(s).


Do the research at cocoontech.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad
Look into UPB.


I wouldn't consider X10 and Insteon.


A few companies make UPB technology dimmers. Simply Automated is a popular brand often discussed at the cocoontech.com forums. I think they're in the same price range as Insteon, ~$50-80/dimmer, but not including controller(s).


Do the research at cocoontech.
That's not the same price range as Insteon. Insteon is $35-$45/dimmer. The price ranges don't even overlap. I do want to add, though, I would only use Insteon if your electrical system is fairly new. I have a 3 year old house and its communication has been flawless. But if you have an older house I wouldn't take the chance, even though the newer Insteon devices use RF too.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by erkq /forum/post/19528495


That's not the same price range as Insteon. Insteon is $35-$45/dimmer. The price ranges don't even overlap. I do want to add, though, I would only use Insteon if your electrical system is fairly new. I have a 3 year old house and its communication has been flawless. But if you have an older house I wouldn't take the chance, even though the newer Insteon devices use RF too.

My home was built in '72 and Insteon works great 99.9% I only have a few switches though (the newer ones). You could use switchlinc's and/or outletlinc's and combine them together so one switch turns them all on/off or dims them.


I have switchlincs in my kitchen, dining room, living room(actually KPL). the kitchen and dining room switches work like normal but the living room turns all 3 lights on/off/dims together so when watching a movie I can hit one button and they all turn off, or when getting popcorn i hit the button on and they're all on.
 

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You can use HAI as well, HAI uses UPB for communication and it doesnt really need a controller, you can just install a Room Switch and that is your controller.


With HAI the switches talk to the Room Switch, which talk to the House Switch, which talks to the controller, but you dont need anything past the Room Switch to make things work unless you want to.
 

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Radio RA2 incandescent/magnetic LV dimmers do not require neutral wires. That is true, and will cover most required loads. However, there are some devices which do. Check your load requirements, and only deal with a certified Lutron dealer.
 
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