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It's a toss up trying to eliminate 'wall acne' versus making the system annoying during everyday use.

This is your existing house, right? And you've been in there long enough to have a good feel for how you regularly use lighting? If so, that's good, that means you'll be able to better predict how you'd really want to control the lighting. When it's new construction that's harder to accomplish.

From personal experience, keypads are not ideal for everyday "give me light now" actions. The buttons are just too slim. For everyday use I find it's a lot less annoying to have buttons the size of a 3BRL Pico instead of the regular keypads. The problem with keypad buttons is you end up having to LOOK AT THEM to use them, and that's not really all that natural.

So it's been my advice that for the first switch position it's more natural to use a regular full-size dimmer. This way anyone coming into the space can reach for the switch and get the 'intended' main lighting for that switch location. It's a safety thing, too. Guests, service personnel, etc, will all be able to get lighting without being confused.

With the advent of Pico integration I lean toward using them more often in situations where a companion dimmer often gets used. The remote dimmers provide nothing more than a single dimmer control. With a 3BRL Pico you get the same kind of dimming control, but also have the option to tie in other lighting loads. One annoyance is the system doesn't allow for using the individual Pico buttons as toggles. They're 'one action only'. So a button press is only going to perform one thing (which can be triggering scenes). But you can't tap it again to reverse the action. I mention this not as a complaint but as a design issue to be aware of and to plan around.

There are ways to avoid the row of dimmers scenario. Things like a Grafik Eye QS allow concentrating up to 6 loads into one wall unit. Or there's the other option of putting the dimmers 'somewhere else' and using other controls for them. Going that route takes a bit more planning, but may be worth considering.

So it boils down to you really want to think about how everyday control over the lighting is going to be used. This for each room/area AND each and every control location.

Also know that Lutron Claro wall plates can also be engraved. You can have each position engraved above the opening. This can help deal with the row-of-dimmers confusion.

Keypad/Pico engraving is one of those things that often benefits from waiting until you use the spaces with automated switches. Sometimes your initial planning for a space doesn't really fit with how you end up wanting to control it. I'm more than a year into the house and still haven't gotten all mine engraved yet. I'm close though, only a few spaces that have gotten new furniture and lighting elements are still 'in flux' with regard to keypads and scene programming.
 

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Another set of things to consider is resale value and retrofit scenarios.

If you plan wiring (in a traditional way) based on no automation you're pretty much guaranteed to be 'future proof' as automation systems change over time. So if you have a 3-way wiring circuit, keep with it even if you know you might use a wireless control there instead. This also applies to situations where controls are hidden, especially if they're not using regular AC wiring. Hiding RA2 dimmers still uses regular wiring, so that's good.

Just think about whether a fixation on hiding things is going to have a negative impact on resale value.

Home automation on anything less than a large custom home/mansion can have an actual negative impact on home value. It's gotten less-worse in recent years, as some past automation systems were quite oddball. But put yourself in the shoes of a prospective buyer coming to look at your house. Just how comforted are they going to be when they see how the lighting is controlled? Just food for thought...
 

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I completely agree on the (negative) value of many automated setups. Right now the walls are all open and I have a decent sized wiring closet where I could locate all the load controls and then just have wireless controls for the actual controls. And I would love the look (and the wife would get used to it). But I know that life throws curveballs, and I could be out of the house sooner than I think, in which case it would likely be a negative. Plus it's not such a high end home that buyers would expect to have a system which might require professional programming, etc. If I leave I can give them the option of keeping the main controller (and automation) or ditching it and using the controls as dumb ones (albeit nice, lutron ones - which is another reason I like RR2 vs. the more DIY systems like insteon or UPB which, imo, look cheap).

This is another question I have - and I suppose it is really for the electrician. If I just put in keypads for the 'remote' dimmer control, can he put in some sort of capped carrier (blue wire) wires in that location so that if I hated the keypads or a future buyer wanted to go back to traditional controls I could easily replace the keypad with a gang of RD-RDs, rather than have to open up the walls again to feed carrier lines to the RD-RDs? I.E. can I pre-wire the carrier lines, or would that effectively leave a live load in the wall (certainly not advisable or legal)?

My thoughts (though I'll hold off for awhile on the actual engraving) is to go with the 3 button spaced model (RRD‑W3BSRL) in some of those areas to make it a little easier for guests to use them.
 

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Right, wire up the 3-ways as if they were regular ones, with traditional, non-automated switches.

Side note: make sure ALL WALL SWITCH BOXES HAVE A NEUTRAL. Do not let them set anything up with only a switch leg. Neutral, in ALL switch boxes. Otherwise it'll be a pain trying to use automated switches in them in the future.

Without seeing a circuit plan (floorplan, but with the wiring circuits laid out) it's impossible to say what would or wouldn't be the best ways to arrange it.

Consider starting a new thread for just this, as the questions would eventually get a little complicated and it probably deserves it's own thread.
 

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Anyone had a look-see inside of a Caseta Bridge? I'd be VERY curious to compare the two...
OK, so now I have both a Connect Bridge and a Smart Bridge Pro.

From a look inside they appear to be EXACTLY the same hardware. Same part numbers on the circuit boards, same CPU. One could definitely form the opinion that the only thing differentiating them is the firmware. Basically the same box but being sold at a premium merely because they can. Meanwhile, the premium price is buying hardware that's had it's RF equipment disabled. So you're paying more and getting less.
 

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But my guess is we can't change the firmware to "upgrade"?
 

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OK, so now I have both a Connect Bridge and a Smart Bridge Pro.

From a look inside they appear to be EXACTLY the same hardware. Same part numbers on the circuit boards, same CPU. One could definitely form the opinion that the only thing differentiating them is the firmware. Basically the same box but being sold at a premium merely because they can. Meanwhile, the premium price is buying hardware that's had it's RF equipment disabled. So you're paying more and getting less.
I have also struggled with this concept for years.

It helps to realize that prices of items are uncommonly based solely on physical value - the cost of the parts. Much more importantly, the price depends what people are willing to pay. Top of the line smartphones are $500, and the cheap ones are $50. Is there really a $450 difference in parts? It's like that for luxury items especially.

I'm not saying it's right, but that's the way it works. Companies charge what they can.
 

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If you read Lutron's statement, SmartBridge Pro for Caseta has WiFi and HomeKit capability, while the RA2 version has neither. Apparently WiFi may be in there and not enabled, but they suggest perhaps there's no chip compatible with HomeKit.
 

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You'll find the same situation with today's multi-core processors. For example, a generation of Intel Core series processors will all use the same die and all of the chips are identical during manufacturing--regardless of price or model--Intel simply physically disables additional cores to fit each chip into it's product matrix. Other features like hyperthreading, etc are enabled/disabled in microcode.
 

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You'll find the same situation with today's multi-core processors. For example, a generation of Intel Core series processors will all use the same die and all of the chips are identical during manufacturing--regardless of price or model--Intel simply physically disables additional cores to fit each chip into it's product matrix.
It's a bit more complicated than that though. Quality among identical processors cut from the same matrix is not identical. So they use the "binning" process - they test the processors and separate them into good / better / best piles and sell as such.
 

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Connect Local Access

Played around with my new Connect bridge. Good news: local access (with no internet available) works just fine.

Bad news: all communication between connect bridge and application is happening over SSH. That means until and unless someone cracks the key, there are not going to be any third party integrations possible with Connect bridge.
 

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BTW, I spec'd mostly 6NAs but actually have found a number of Cree LEDs work better on 6CLs even if it's below the minimum rating. Why, I'm not sure.
 

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Anyone have any tips to get the new connect found in essentials? I can see it on my dhcp table but just can't seem to find in design tab.
 

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Anyone have any tips to get the new connect found in essentials? I can see it on my dhcp table but just can't seem to find in design tab.
I don't have essentials, but you have to be on at least version 10, and it should be enabled from the title page.
 

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I don't have essentials, but you have to be on at least version 10, and it should be enabled from the title page.
Former is correct, latter is not. It can be added to any existing project. Go to the first (design) tab, select a room, then add a new device location, and select Connect from the list of devices. Then go through the find process, and then Transfer.
 

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Former is correct, latter is not. It can be added to any existing project. Go to the first (design) tab, select a room, then add a new device location, and select Connect from the list of devices. Then go through the find process, and then Transfer.


I got that far but for whatever reason it can't be found on my network in lutrons search. I get an IP address via DHCP. Would it work via direct connect like with the main repeater?
 

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Any suggestions on what recessed housings to put in new construction? We need around 90 total and I can't quite figure out which ones to go with. I'm planning to use radiora2 to the high traffic areas.

* Edison Base ~$10/each
* Halo H750ICAT, I think this is a halo connector ~$10/each
* Cree RC6-GU24
* Other?

I'm not sure I want to spend the money to put led trims in all 90 cans unless i can accurately predict the costs. It looks like led trims range from ~$12 to > 40.
 

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My builder used the Halo H750ICAT, as I recall. Didn't use LED trims as we installed TCP LED10BR30D30K BR30 bulbs which didn't need a special trim. At the time we selected those TCP bulbs, they were on Lutron's approved list. They no longer are, but it was too late for our install. No problems except for one fixture which seems to be getting bleed power from other dimmers in the WPM it's connected to (when the other dimmers are on). Personally, I think this is a problem with that specific WPM as I have others configured similarly which don't have the same problem.
 
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