I have read through so much on this forum and I would like to thank everyone. Without this site, newbie DIY's that are not as technical as others would be totally lost.
With that said, I am having my basement built in and the electricians are just about to wrap up the wiring portion. I figure I have about a solid week before dry-wall begins.
I want to set up the ability to set up scenes in the home theater portion of the basement. It is not a dedicated home theater...it is adjacent to a billards room and a poker room/bar area. The lighting I specifically want to control is:
1) Series of can lights in the ceiling
2) 2 lights that shine on the fire place mantle
3) Rope lighting
I have not decided on the remote or the lighting technology I want to use and would appreciate any feedback. Ideally, I would like something flexible enough to allow me to use my remote to contol the scenes along with the rest of the theater. Eventually, I would like to tie this lighting into total HA..at some point anyway.
What it your budget? If all the loads come into one box, then a Lutron Spacer system would work fine. (Except for future connection to HA system)
Another option would be Lutron's RadioRA. It will work no matter where the load boxes are can be controlled by IR or RS232. Plus it is expandable to 64 loads so it can do your whole house in the future if you choose. It is also much more expensive.
I agree that either UPB or RadioRA are good options. Both are available to DIY installers.
RadioRA will be more costly but in my opinion has better looking keypad (controller) options and also has a more complete line of products for controlling unusual and high-power loads.
The new Generation II UPB products have me re-evaluating UPB as I haven't used it much in the past, but the new GEN II stuff seems to have resolved most of my previous concerns.
Look at UPB products from HAI (Home AUtomation Inc.), SAI (Simply Automated Inc.) and PCS (PulseWorx)... they are all interoperable and can be programmed with the free UPStart software from SAI. No config software for RadioRA... you have to program by running around to each switch and controller.
What I thought I could do was mount this in the cabinet with my IR blaster that should come with a remote that I get. I am not sure about Insteon though. I have heard a lot of negatives about it on this forum.
I would like to go with HAI if I had a solid solution to control it with a Harmony or URC type remote.
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