Advice on Whole House lighting tied to H/A

Advice on Whole House lighting tied to H/A

Post by Greg Cassit » Fri, 09 May 2003 10:17:41



I'd like some advice a quality whole-house lighting system.  I'm finishing a
ba*t and have the option for direct wiring systems in the area of new
construction.  I'd also like something that would also work in the existing
house thru either RF or PLC.  And, I want a system that will incorporate
home automation and A/V distribution features.  And, I would like a
"professional-type" system that will add, not take away, value from the
house when I get ready to sell.  And, I don't want to spend a fortune.
Obviously I'm in that "cake and eat it too" area, but what systems are a
middle ground between DIY and Professional?
 
 
 

Advice on Whole House lighting tied to H/A

Post by Aaron Rosenba » Sat, 10 May 2003 08:00:47


I'm in a similar boat, planning a new house.  I'd like something above
the DIY level but not prepared for a Vantage/Crestron type solution.
The compromise I've come to is Lightolier Compose + HAI Omni.  The
Compose product line (with the pricey firewalls) give me a
traditionally wired lighting system, leverage X-10, but give a
reliability approaching others.  The switches themselves seem quite
high quality and they've just made it a lot simpler to buy (one switch
configurable to three roles.)  The fact that the Omni has direct
support for the Compose protocol let's me do some relatively simple
automation projects with a high degree of integration (shut down
lights when arming, use motion detectors to turn on lights, etc.)

-Aaron
Burlingame, CA


> I'd like some advice a quality whole-house lighting system.  I'm finishing a
> ba*t and have the option for direct wiring systems in the area of new
> construction.  I'd also like something that would also work in the existing
> house thru either RF or PLC.  And, I want a system that will incorporate
> home automation and A/V distribution features.  And, I would like a
> "professional-type" system that will add, not take away, value from the
> house when I get ready to sell.  And, I don't want to spend a fortune.
> Obviously I'm in that "cake and eat it too" area, but what systems are a
> middle ground between DIY and Professional?


 
 
 

Advice on Whole House lighting tied to H/A

Post by Charlie Der » Mon, 12 May 2003 20:54:39


I'm sure Lutron has a product that would suit your needs.  RadioRA is an
RF-based system.  You can get a starter package installed usually for around
$2000.  (Much less if you do it yourself).

HomeWorks is more along the lines of the other wired systems that you
mentioned, so if those are a little too much for you, this will be too.


Quote:> I'd like some advice a quality whole-house lighting system.  I'm finishing
a
> ba*t and have the option for direct wiring systems in the area of new
> construction.  I'd also like something that would also work in the
existing
> house thru either RF or PLC.  And, I want a system that will incorporate
> home automation and A/V distribution features.  And, I would like a
> "professional-type" system that will add, not take away, value from the
> house when I get ready to sell.  And, I don't want to spend a fortune.
> Obviously I'm in that "cake and eat it too" area, but what systems are a
> middle ground between DIY and Professional?

 
 
 

1. Central vs distributed whole-house light control

Can anyone give me a strong reason why I should install a centralized
light control system in my new home?

It appears that there is little functional difference between centralized
systems like the Centralite and distributed methods like Leviton,
PCS, or SmartLinc X10 switches.  I'll be using custom computer control so
I need RS232, CEbus, or X10 capability.

For comparison purposes I decided to get an approximate price to control
20 circuits in new construction.  I don't intend to use an automation
dealer - I'll buy the stuff and my electrician will install it.  These
are approximations of the best prices I've seen.

Centralite: controller ($825), panel ($1525), 20 switches ($400)
Total is $2750 or $138/circuit.  Not considering extra costs of more
home-run wiring and different wiring to switches.

PCS (centralized): 5 4-gang controllers ($1100), panel ($220), 20 slave
switches ($400)
Total is $1720 or $86/circuit.  Both load and switches separate
home-run wiring.

Leviton: 20 600W switches, quantity discount of $65/each ($1300)
Total is $1300 or $65/circuit.  Nothing special for wiring.

PCS: 20 600W switches, quantity discount of $58/each ($1160)
Total is $1160 or $58/circuit.  Nothing special for wiring.

SmartLinc: 20 600W 1-way switches, quantity discount of $45/each ($900)
Total is $900 or $45/circuit.  Nothing special for wiring.

A 3:1 ratio in cost (and this is for CHEAP centralized systems!).  I know
there has been some debate about quality of the SmartLinc but for
this comparison the price is similar to the other products.

I suppose there are some minor differences in features and quality
but I just can't seem to identify anything that would justify
spending for a central system.

Thanks for your thoughts.

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