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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings all.

I just bought a home with about 75 low voltage lights connected to a Lutron Grafik Eye QS system consisting of three wireless 6-zone controllers (QSGRJ‑6P, no shade controls). All of the networked switches in the house appears to be seeTouch 5-button with raise/lower (QSWE‑5BRL).

Note that this is brand new construction, but that rather than use a RadioRA 2 system, the builder/electrician elected to use GE QS to control multiple rooms lighting loads from a central location (all of the controllers are mounted next to each other).

Currently the system is essentially unprogrammed; all switches control (and dim) every networked light in the house! I want to program the switches to make more sense, and I would also like the option to do the following, in order of priority:

  • Turn off lights in unoccupied rooms
  • Turn on lights when an occupancy sensor is triggered
  • Locally control lights via a smartphone app
  • Remotely control lights in different areas from a single remote
  • Turn off every light in the house from a switch or remote
  • Turn off lights during daylight
  • (Future) Control shades
  • (Future) Remotely control lights via smartphone

So my questions are:

  • Which of the above can I do with my existing controllers / switches, or by adding compatible accessories (Pico remotes, occupancy sensors)?
  • Which of the above can I do myself by programming the GE QS, without an installer?
  • What would require the addition of a RadioRA 2 controller, which I understand I cannot and never will be able to program myself?
  • Can my existing seeTouch switch buttons control different zones for on/off rather than setting a dimming level for a single zone?
  • What wireless range issues do I have to consider with the GE QS units I already have? Home is 3,700 square feet on 2 levels.

Many thanks for any input members can provide!

/afb
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
So some further thoughts...I spoke today with an installer who was recommended by the builder of my home. I was under the impression that I could program the Grafik Eye QS zones and then simply send zone/scene messages via the RadioRA2 repeater to the GE QS to tell it what to do. It sounds like that is not in fact possible and that if I want to open up wireless capabilities I essentially have to toss the GE QS controllers and start over.

Does that comport with others' understanding?

The installer also suggested that one quick and dirty approach to replacing the GE QS keypads with RadioRA2 keypads would be to bond the four wires in the low-voltage GE QS keypad wiring into two pairs of two, which would give me the two conductors that RadioRA2 keypads need and enough wire cross-section to safely carry 110V. (He said that the RadioRA2 keypads do not need a neutral or ground wire.) Again, feedback on that idea would be appreciated.

Thanks!

/afb
 

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So some further thoughts...I spoke today with an installer who was recommended by the builder of my home. I was under the impression that I could program the Grafik Eye QS zones and then simply send zone/scene messages via the RadioRA2 repeater to the GE QS to tell it what to do. It sounds like that is not in fact possible and that if I want to open up wireless capabilities I essentially have to toss the GE QS controllers and start over.

Does that comport with others' understanding?
Yes, unfortunately, while the GE QS can be a RadioRA2 device, the wired SeeTouch keypads for the GE cannot be used at the same time.

The installer also suggested that one quick and dirty approach to replacing the GE QS keypads with RadioRA2 keypads would be to bond the four wires in the low-voltage GE QS keypad wiring into two pairs of two, which would give me the two conductors that RadioRA2 keypads need and enough wire cross-section to safely carry 110V. (He said that the RadioRA2 keypads do not need a neutral or ground wire.) Again, feedback on that idea would be appreciated.
The low-volt wire is not rated for 110V usage (by code), but the RA2 keypads certainly aren't drawing significant current. I've contemplated the same thing and while I decided not to do anything - I would have pulled new romex to those locations. I'd like to hear the opinion of a licensed electrician on this - as I suspect I know that their answer would be... (uh, NO).

The other option would be to abandon the SeeTouch keypads, and replace them with wall-mounted Pico remotes. Lutron showed the new 4-button RA2 Pico's with custom engraving at CEDIA - I don't know if there are any color choices yet to allow that to be a viable option...

Jeff
 

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RadioRA2 does allow for user programming through BLAST-ON training. However the incompatibility with the existing equipment makes it a poor choice. The more straightforward option would be to go to HomeworksQS which supports wired products, but you cannot program it yourself.

You can add wireless devices to your existing setup through QS sensor modules. However in order to get smartphone app control you would have to do it yourself through something like iRule and the QS standalone ethernet interface.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
@jautor and @AZ1234:

Thanks for the clarifications. I programmed all of the seeTouch QS keypads this weekend (found a bad one the installer missed, somehow) and did more research. I think I can get done most of what I want with a combination of Picos and QS sensors connected to the Grafik Eye. For the smartphone control, I found a Lutron Ethernet/serial interface new on eBay for 60% off so I bought it. I will either connect it to a Raspberry Pi and program my own app, or look into iRule.

Appreciate the help!

/afb
 
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