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Discussion Starter #1
The many products/options still have not quite jelled for me. My walls are open so I can wire whatever I need.


I am looking for a system to control lighting and draperies in multiple areas that will be both intutive and easily understable for users. (I recently went to a real estate open house where people entered a room and were poking and stabbing at a single wall plate with six tiny buttons trying to figure what the heck the little buttons did. They always walked away shaking their heads.)


I have researched these products but I'm not comfortable that I have found a blend of reliable communications between switches and controllers - and intuitive, easily understandable scene switches.


I will install it so I will know what it does - but I picture myself yelling across the room in my new home "push the second button on the right!" "no, the second button DOWN on the right!". I'd like to avoid that
.


Has anyone been down this road? Any suggestions? TIA


HardWay
 

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Sounds like someone failed to get the buttons engraved.



I have a Lutron system with the SeeTouch buttons and anyone who looks at any keypad knows what any button does.


Lutron is the best IMHO for lighting and shading. If you have even seen 3 windows with 3 separate Lutron shades close it is amazing to watch. They track with mm of each other and are VERY quiet compared to A/C shades.


Plus the Lutron shades can be integrated with a Lutron processor so a keypad can control lights or shades. And the shades can also be on timers to do things such as open the bedroom shades in the morning or close them at dusk.


There are other solutions, but nothing really compares.
 

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I like the idea of one system for lighting and shades. I looked at Lutron and liked it but I believe they offer only wireless solutions. I could go that route, but my research indicates hardwired is most reliable and UPB is next.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by HardWay /forum/post/14194831


I looked at Lutron and liked it but I believe they offer only wireless solutions. I could go that route, but my research indicates hardwired is most reliable and UPB is next.

Lutron makes the best wireless solutions, but they are for retrofits. They make excellent hardwired products as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #6

Quote:
Originally Posted by herdfan /forum/post/14195069


Lutron makes the best wireless solutions, but they are for retrofits. They make excellent hardwired products as well.


OK I think I see, that would be the Series 4 and Series 8? I looked at their literature on-line. Their literature doesn't explain enough for this first-timer. The diagram makes me presume the main high voltage load goes to a Lutron Panel, then high voltage is run from the Lutron Panel to each fixture (lights/drapes) - and then low voltage only is run from the Lutron Panel to the switches. True?


So there is no wire run at all between the switches and the lights/drapes?


TIA, HardWay
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by HardWay /forum/post/14194831


I like the idea of one system for lighting and shades. I looked at Lutron and liked it but I believe they offer only wireless solutions. I could go that route, but my research indicates hardwired is most reliable and UPB is next.

Edit: I see we were posting at the same time.


As herdfan states, that is not the case. Lutron was famous for their hard wired lighting control systems long before they entered the wireless market.


Also, regarding wireless, people need to understand that the reliability of "wireless" depends on the application and the specific product in question. Lutron's wireless system is completely and totally reliable. Not pretty reliable, not mostly reliable, it is rock solid. It is routinely used in very large homes with 100+ switches with no issues. I believe herdfan has a wireless lighting system in his home and can attest to its reliability.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by HardWay /forum/post/14195236


OK I think I see, that would be the Series 4 and Series 8? I looked at their literature on-line. Their literature doesn't explain enough for this first-timer. The diagram makes me presume the main high voltage load goes to a Lutron Panel, then high voltage is run from the Lutron Panel to each fixture (lights/drapes) - and then low voltage only is run from the Lutron Panel to the switches. True?

Basically, yes.
Quote:
So there is no wire run at all between the switches and the lights/drapes?

If you look at the shade section of their website, you should find a several hundred page manual you can download. There are a number of ways to wire the shades, it depends on the system and what type of controls you want.
 

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Discussion Starter #9

Quote:
Originally Posted by herdfan /forum/post/14192505


Sounds like someone failed to get the buttons engraved.



I have a Lutron system with the SeeTouch buttons and anyone who looks at any keypad knows what any button does.


There are other solutions, but nothing really compares.

I sure like the sound of that. I can't find an image online of the See Touch Dimmer. Any idea where I can get a look?


Thanks!


HardWay
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by QQQ /forum/post/14195272


Basically, yes.


If you look at the shade section of their website, you should find a several hundred page manual you can download. There are a number of ways to wire the shades, it depends on the system and what type of controls you want.

Thanks, QQQ. I took a look and it seems to be what I need



HardWay
 

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Discussion Starter #12

Quote:
Originally Posted by joatmonjf /forum/post/14196212


This is not a Great example, as it's a narrow plate, but the lighted buttons basically look like these.


http://www.lutron.com/homeworks/aday_morning.asp

Thank you



I also looked hard again on the Lutron site - I found the order form where one orders the switches. The form shows a rendering of the switches - the button size isn't bad, and one can order up to 10 charaters of text on the buttons. Here is that link:

http://www.lutron.com/technical_info..._engsb3wrl.pdf


I think I'll go with that system.


Thanks again!


HardWay
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by QQQ /forum/post/14195248


I believe herdfan has a wireless lighting system in his home and can attest to its reliability.

As QQQ stated, it is rock solid. They only time I had missed commands was when someone unplugged a repeater and didn't plug it back. (That situation has been resolved.
)


And I have one switch inside a metal handy box, inside a metal housing, outside on a brick wall over 30' from a repeater and it works 100%.


QQQ can probably add more here, but with a 4 Series you use mainly local dimmers to control loads and keypads just add to the functionality. So the house is wired pretty much the same except for adding control wire.


An 8 Series has mainly keypads and all loads are run back to dimming panels.


I tried to take a picture of one of my keypads, but it was too washed out. Look at the RadioRA page as it shows the engraved keypads better: http://lutron.com/CMS400/page.aspx?id=7901&mn=1477 but keep in mind that Homeworks offer many more keypad options that RadioRA.
 

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Discussion Starter #14

Quote:
Originally Posted by QQQ /forum/post/14195248


Edit: I see we were posting at the same time.


As herdfan states, that is not the case. Lutron was famous for their hard wired lighting control systems long before they entered the wireless market.


Also, regarding wireless, people need to understand that the reliability of "wireless" depends on the application and the specific product in question. Lutron's wireless system is completely and totally reliable. Not pretty reliable, not mostly reliable, it is rock solid. It is routinely used in very large homes with 100+ switches with no issues. I believe herdfan has a wireless lighting system in his home and can attest to its reliability.

Good info! But in a new construction situation would you go wireless over hardwired?


I see Lutron promotes RadioRA (& Sivoia shade) for new construction. I recall a post here where someone was asking about converting from wireless to hardwired to avoid a cost of about $350 for batteries every 18 months (not sure of the mfg or how many batteries). I would want the better solution regardless (although six of my shades will be 21' above the floor - not an easy battery change.)


I presume the same feature set is available regardless of hardwired or wireless.


Of course I'll want all the shades to do "the wave" once a year at a Super Bowl party



Thanks for sharing your experience - I know its a lot of sitting and typing to comment. I'll call Lutron on Monday and see if they will talk to me and explain all the differences for me in detail. I'll post the gist of it.


HardWay
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by HardWay /forum/post/14197494


Good info! But in a new construction situation would you go wireless over hardwired?


I presume the same feature set is available regardless of hardwired or wireless.


Of course I'll want all the shades to do "the wave" once a year at a Super Bowl party

With new construction I would go with hardwired over wireless any day. But you will want to add wireless capability for wireless only devices such as tabletop keypads, lamp dimmers and garage door control. Plus if you ever decide to add something like an outbuilding, you can just add wireless dimmers etc to it and not have to worry about hardwiring it back to the main house.


As to the feature set, yes and no. A wireless processor will not be able to control the shades. You would want a wired processor with wireless capability. If you want to make sure you are fully covered, go with an 8 Series processor and then you can do anything you want.


Yes, you could make the shades do "the wave".
 

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Quote:
QQQ can probably add more here, but with a 4 Series you use mainly local dimmers to control loads and keypads just add to the functionality. So the house is wired pretty much the same except for adding control wire.


An 8 Series has mainly keypads and all loads are run back to dimming panels.

The main drawback of the 4 series (aside from offering a little less of everything) is that it supports neither the Vareo line of in-wall dimmers (only Maestro), nor the ability (as herdfan mentioned) to link to centralized control module enclosures. But it still offers plenty of keypad and shade control, along with Maestro dimming control.
 

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Lutron does have some shades that require only 24V and communicate wirelessly directly with the HomeWorks wireless system. They are fairly new and not all sizes are shipping yet. The first size shipping is the roller 64.


HomeWorks wired with Sivoia wired shades is the way to go for new construction. Radio RA lacks several features and isn't much, if any cheaper when you have access to wire the house.


Often one chooses series 4 over series 8 if they don't have anyplace to put the large panels for remote power modules and must spread the small wall power modules around the house hiding them in closets, pantry, etc. I see lighting designers specifying series 4 for homes that have plenty of room for the big panels and just put a stack of wall power modules in the same place. It appears its because they don't understand how much easier it is to install and work on the large open panels versus a stack of WPMs.
 

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Another thing is that I think the Wall Box Dimmers look like a Grafik Eye to the processor, so you can only get 8 of them to a (an already reduced amount of) configurable link. [24 zones max/link?].


However, even though I'd prefer to always see all circuits run back to a central panel or two, the little multi-channel dimmers are kind of cool. They can promote an intuitiveness to system design, moving sections of the "Central system" into the area of each corresponding "Local system" (also reducing long line voltage runs).


I guess it all depends on needs, and budget. Series 8 offers the ability of a much larger system, with central panel capability to boot, but Series 4 is certainly no slacker. All that being said, then there's Crestron. Excellent equipment. Simple same 4-wire connectivity throughout the entire system. And if it's intuitive buttons that you want, Crestron offers direct connection (same system) to touch screen controllers. Your buttons can be any size that you want, and your shade buttons can even be pictures of Shades.

Also, I saw a new line of lighting control equipment at the Crestron site. They offer a DIN Rail mounted module for every purpose, but I didn't see a conceptual system (or panel layout) diagram.
 

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Saw a demonstration of the Lutron QED shades this week. Blew my socks off. As herdfan said, the shades are extreamly quiet. The sound of the cloth rolling out is almost louder than the precision motors. There are Homeworks controllers for AC shades, as well, but I doubt anyone who experiences the QEDs would want anything else.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by joatmonjf /forum/post/14221897


the little multi-channel dimmers are kind of cool.


Series 8 offers the ability of a much larger system, with central panel capability to boot, but Series 4 is certainly no slacker.

What are you referring to as the little multi-channel dimmers ?


For the price difference, you might as well go with an 8 Series even if you only use it for fans and other loads that are hard to control such as motors and dimmers everywhere else.
 
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