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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I didn't think I was going to do this but I guess I'm looking for an automated lighting solution for my home. I'm going to be remodeling the interior including a complete rewire for power and will probably rip out much of the wall board for it. I figured to wire in all my audio/video/home network cables at the same time. I've been working on the layout of the lighting and electrical outlets and have begun to see places where there are gangs of wall switches three and four deep. Most of these have dimmers related to them with two or three control points.


Wanting a nice aesthetic (and being basically lazy) I've started looking into systems to automate setting up lights, mainly in my living room and kitchen where I have 15 switches controlling 7 sets of lights. I'd like to be able to get rid of the gangs of switches on the walls and have one wall plate at each control location.


What I'd like to do is be able to walk up to a control location adn be able to hit a switch for an individual circuit to come on or, from the same place be able to light a scene. I'd also like a simple remote to be able to select one or two scenes and maybe turn off all the lights at once. That way once I get to the couch I don't have to get up to set the lighting up for viewing TV.


The rest of my rooms are mostly on or off with some dimming but only the master bedroom might benefit from some automation, at least being able to dim or turn off the lights from the bed.


One question I had was, if I go to single wall plates it seems the switches/dimmers would need to be in another location. That would mean all the wiring to power those circuits would need to go to a central location rather than the wall plate location. Is this accurate? I would guess that near the main breaker box would be a good location but I plan to have a sub-panel installed to make it easier to wire the kitchen and laundry room. Living room would be wired from the main panel. What problems would this create, if any?


I'm not looking to spend a lot of money on this but I do plan on living in this home for a long time and would like to make living there easier. What suggestions does the board have for this situation? Wired or wireless doesn't matter as long as it's very reliable. Also, what is the average cost for a simple lighting system like this?


Much thanks to the people on this board for their expertise.


Steve
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by bichmgnt
I didn't think I was going to do this but I guess I'm looking for an automated lighting solution for my home. I'm going to be remodeling the interior including a complete rewire for power and will probably rip out much of the wall board for it. I figured to wire in all my audio/video/home network cables at the same time. I've been working on the layout of the lighting and electrical outlets and have begun to see places where there are gangs of wall switches three and four deep. Most of these have dimmers related to them with two or three control points.


Wanting a nice aesthetic (and being basically lazy) I've started looking into systems to automate setting up lights, mainly in my living room and kitchen where I have 15 switches controlling 7 sets of lights. I'd like to be able to get rid of the gangs of switches on the walls and have one wall plate at each control location.


What I'd like to do is be able to walk up to a control location adn be able to hit a switch for an individual circuit to come on or, from the same place be able to light a scene. I'd also like a simple remote to be able to select one or two scenes and maybe turn off all the lights at once. That way once I get to the couch I don't have to get up to set the lighting up for viewing TV.


The rest of my rooms are mostly on or off with some dimming but only the master bedroom might benefit from some automation, at least being able to dim or turn off the lights from the bed.


One question I had was, if I go to single wall plates it seems the switches/dimmers would need to be in another location. That would mean all the wiring to power those circuits would need to go to a central location rather than the wall plate location. Is this accurate? I would guess that near the main breaker box would be a good location but I plan to have a sub-panel installed to make it easier to wire the kitchen and laundry room. Living room would be wired from the main panel. What problems would this create, if any?


I'm not looking to spend a lot of money on this but I do plan on living in this home for a long time and would like to make living there easier. What suggestions does the board have for this situation? Wired or wireless doesn't matter as long as it's very reliable. Also, what is the average cost for a simple lighting system like this?


Much thanks to the people on this board for their expertise.


Steve
For the living Room/Kitchen I would suggest a Lutron Grafik Eye 3106. It will give you individual zone control of up to 6 zones (individual light or multiple lights on a single circuit), supports scene programming with variable speed diming and supports a remote control, whether you use theirs, or use something like a Pronto. If you don't anticipate 6 zones, you can go with a 3104, 3103 or 3102.

http://www.lutron.com/grafikeye/Default.htm


For the bedroom, I would suggest the Lutron spacer system, which will allow you to gang together a couple of remote controllable dimmers, plus if you wanted to get fancy, you can add a scene controller which will give you something similar to the Grafik eye but at a lesser cost.

http://www.lutron.com/spacer/


The GE 3106 retails for around $400 or $500, but you can usually find them on E-bay for less. The Lutron spacer system goes for around $100 a zone, I believe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
robertmee,


Thanks for the suggestions. It allowed me to focus on what I really want to do.


I looked at the website and I think two Grafik Eyes might be able to handle my whole house but I've got a couple questions about how these things actually work.


I have a total of twelve circuits I want to control in the house. From what I understand, the two GEs can hold sixteen scenes each, although you can only access four each from each GE. The rest are accessed by wall plates or the remote control. Each of the wall stations can handle from four to 15 scenes, depending on the type of station. Some of these wall plates have remote control also and, of these, each can control either four or eight scenes while their remotes can access either four or eight scenes as well.


My questions concern how the GEs and wall stations work together. How much control do I actually have?


I assume each of the GE's 16 scenes can include zones controlled by the other GE. The description for the wall stations say 'Activates scenes 1-4, ... Operates one or more Grafik Eye units." What does this mean? Does it mean that each individual button can be programmed to a particular scene in different GEs or does it mean that it can tell a GE to bring up a scene that includes more than one GE?


What about the ability to control individual zones? Am I stuck with scenes or do I have the option of bringing up and controlling an individual zone? Here's what I'm thinking. I've got a scene that has the kitchen, dining and living room lights on at a certain level. While I'm in there I decide I want the task lights under the cabinets on. It seems that would require a separate switch or a different scene. How about raising the intensity of individual zones within the scene at a wall station - is that an option? Or one other scenario - I'm in the bedroom and want to turn the lights on there. Is that it's own scene or do I need something like a three way switch for that? I guess if I wanted more options I could install more, smaller GEs and get more scenes available to be able to do this.


Thanks for helping me get a handle on the details. I'm still not sure this is worth the money or the effort for my little house but I want to explore it fully before making a decision. I'll probably have more questions before I'm through but these units look like they'll handle most everything I want to do.


Steve
 
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