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-   -   Help with Lutron Maestro IR dimmers (http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/help-lutron-maestro-ir-dimmers-95629/)

jkr77 02-16-2011 11:19 AM

Help with Lutron Maestro IR dimmers
 
Hi, new here and looking for anyone familiar with Lutron Maestro IR dimmers and universal remotes.

I have a newly remodeled basement in which I plan to replace the existing Lutron toggle dimmers with the MIR600-THW dimmers with remotes. I have already replaced one dimmer switch that controls 4 recessed incandescent cans. Works like a charm. Programmed my Universal Remote with Lutron Maestro codes and away we go. Now I have questions about multi-ganged dimmers in the remainder of the room.

Here is the basic scenario:

I have 3 additional locations that I wish to replace existing dimmers (non-IR) with IR-capable Lutrons. Each location is a two-pole, 2-switch setup. For example, top of stairs switch controls stairway lights and bottom landing recessed can, switch at bottom of stairs also controls same. My goal is to control all the dimmers with the universal remote. I am wondering if they all utilize the same IR code, and if they do, will that make sending signal to any specific dimmer impossible inside a large finished basement? I figured I would go on Lutron's site and investigate which models to buy (multi-location with companion dimmer??)

Does anyone have experience with these dimmers in multi-locations and / or programming multiple same-model dimmers with a URC?

Thanks if anyone does!

Ehsoccer15 02-26-2011 09:06 PM

I have a ton of experience with these dimmers. When working in a 3 way application, i.e. two switches on the same set of lights you need one "master" and one "accessory" dimmer. The reason is that you can't have two making decisions, one just relays to the master an the master handles the commands. As far as IR they send one command and all dimmers that see it will react to it. Unfortunately, for this situation anyways, they're range is much better than advertised. Because of this you need to keep the masters separate if you don't want them controlled together. Otherwise the master should probably be RF. I hope this helps, otherwise ask away.

jkr77 02-26-2011 11:19 PM

ehsoccer, thanks for the response and clarification. i found the proper master/companion dimmer combination and will look to make sure i split the masters apart (I can hopefully position one master on a wall in an adjacent room). As for controlling with IR alone, that won't be an option as the Maestro's dont have a programmable code per device. So if I position all masters together they would all respond to a single IR signal.

I'll look into an RF solution

thanks again

Ehsoccer15 02-27-2011 05:38 AM

Especially with universal remotes it can be impossible to not hit both devices at once. Can you tell me what is the goal for being able to control the two separately? Might have some other ideas for you if you can tell me a little more about the layout and what the end goal is.

jkr77 02-27-2011 09:19 PM

The room itself is quite big, it is essentially the entire basement - and its pretty much configured as 3 seperate living areas. Its roughly U-shaped due to a utility room that is enclosed in the center (boiler, water heater, slop sink area, etc) And since the three areas have their own recessed lights and dimmers (a total of about 14 recessed lights) the idea was to control the lights seperately so that in the home theater area we could dim the lights when watching movies, and control the 2 other 'rooms' remotely as well

I installed a Maestro IR dimmer in the home theater section already. It works great, via my universal remote. We hit the lights from the remote, and watch tv and its really exactly what I wanted. However, from the home theater section of the basement, the remote can also reach the 3-gang wall plate that controls the stairs/landing area, as well as home office side of the basement. With identical Maestro's, when I hit the home theater lights via remote, Im likely to also dim/raise the lights in the rest of the basement which I dont want.

But, it may work fine based on the fact that the wall that breaks the home theater area off from the other parts (a leg of the 'U' shaped room if u will) may prevent the IR from reaching the other master dimmers.

Im going to see how the IR responds once I install a second at the base of the stairs. Careful aiming is going to be far cheaper than RF system.

Ehsoccer15 02-28-2011 08:38 AM

The problem with IR and many universal remotes is that they have wide angle, front and rear IR blasters which can make it impossible to not hit all maestros in sight. The remote that comes with it is likely much more directional if you going with the aim approach. Looks like am RF solution (maestro wireless) with remote (pico) would run $80 at home depot. The nice thing is these use the same accessory dimmer as maestro IR so you won't need to buy another for 3 way. If the IR aiming fails I would recommend the RF solution to fix it. You can buy additional RF remotes too and have up to 10 controlling the same device, or have certain ones associated to multiple devices. Hopefully I've helped, good luck.


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