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Old 02-17-2013, 06:10 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Missouri Bound View Post
It doesn't work in all situations, but it's inexpensive enough for him to try, and see what wireless will do for him. And he won't have to pay anyone to install it.....
It's still crap, just saying...

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Old 02-17-2013, 08:03 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by MCB View Post
Wireless is still unreliable and just doesn't last, in my opinion, of course.
If you want cool automated lighting see Lutron's home automation.
I disagree. My Lutron Homeworks Wireless will be 6 years old next month and has been rock solid. I did have two repeaters fail, but they were quickly replaced by Lutron.

I also don't see the need to control crap from my phone, but when my wife comes home after dark and opens the garage door, if no one is home then the garage, mudroom, kitchen and living room lights all come on. One the way out of the house, we press one button and all the lights are turned off. No more running around turn off lights.
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:06 AM   #18
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Radio RA is incredibly annoying to work with and very expensive. .......I was forced to use it (by an architect who had never used it before) on a $2.5M home project and the results were more annoying than beneficial. The owner regretted buying into that plan.
RadioRA, especially the original, is not meant for that scale of home. Homeworks should have been what was spec'd.
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:54 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by herdfan
I disagree. My Lutron Homeworks Wireless will be 6 years old next month and has been rock solid. I did have two repeaters fail, but they were quickly replaced by Lutron.
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We're on the same page, I was referring to the cheap wireless switches and junk that's out there....I should have been more specific.
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:56 AM   #20
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It's still crap, just saying...
Not arguing the point, but why? The X10 protocol has been around for probably 20 years. Surely somebody makes some quality X10 devices??
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:41 AM   #21
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Not arguing the point, but why? The X10 protocol has been around for probably 20 years. Surely somebody makes some quality X10 devices??
Its not the devices that make or break it, it's the technology itself... it leaves itself open to interference and can just be a real pain in the ass.
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Old 02-17-2013, 05:34 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by md2lgyk View Post
Not arguing the point, but why? The X10 protocol has been around for probably 20 years. Surely somebody makes some quality X10 devices??
I've used it for about 10-12 years with no problem and being a cheapskate I have bought the cheapest modules I could find. I certainly agree with others that it's not perfect, and I wouldn't rely on it for critical switching. But I use it to turn on light when I'm away, and eliminate walking into dark areas of the house instead of nightlights. As long as your household power is relatively clean it's probably 95% reliable. What's nice about it is it is 100% plug and play and you can change it as often as you like. I think it's a perfect starter system for someone who want's to try the wireless without a huge investment.
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Old 02-17-2013, 05:50 PM   #23
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Try lamps like this
http://www.espow.com/product_info.ph...FUlcpQod-1YAPA

The control gear is in the light bulbs,
so no modifications to wiring are needed.

Do a search and i am sure you will find many more !
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:07 AM   #24
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Wireless lighting


Mstrlucky74,

Wireless lighting, hvac etc is very possible and can be quite affordable if you DIY. You CAN replace the lights with controls built into them such as some insteon bulbs and a few others, but these are pretty expensive just yet. The most common method is to either retrofit your existing wiring (either at the switch OR at the fixture) or use plug-in modules or a combination of both.

Alot of post's on this thread are correct in regards to some of the options they offer. X-10 is a technology thats been around since 1978 in the US, and it is the most inexpensive and possibly the most modular out there, but like others are saying it can be a little less reliable than other DIY systems but only if you are not willing to invest the time to learn it and support the products installed. The problem with X-10 is that you're very limited as X-10 USA is the only company left (and they invented the protocol) and they went into chapter 11 restructuring 18 months ago. They are back to some degree now but its not the same nor will it ever be. Use x-10 if you only want to easily control a few devices like lights, in a smaller install x-10 is ok. They now offer some pretty good security systems now though, although their integration into anything other than lighting controls, nowadays is going to be pretty difficult to do - if you can even find the products.

Z-wave is probably the way to go for you. There are enough products, over 700 now, made by over 250 manufacturers (like GE, Honeywell, Schlage, Kwikset, Cooper, Leviton, Trane, HAI, Elk, etc) to give you the flexibility and range of use that you may need. Zwave can allow you to control lights and appliances, hvac, door locks, home security and even security cameras plus it can be controlled remotely by a universal a/v remote control, a specific remote, an android phone or tablet or iphone, wireless networks such as Wi-Fi, and even via PC/Mac using software and/or the internet. It is cost effective too as there are so many products to choose from that are all compatible, that you can surely find something that fits almost any budget. And it is very DIY, so no huge installation costs and you keep control. Somebody posted that you can even buy from Lowes and Home Depot, thats true to some extent although in Lowe's case you have to be careful to stick with them once you start. I personally don't like those kind of limitations.

Insteon is another terrific technology, does almost everything you would need but is very expensive and you are limited because its only made by one company. Smarthome is fantastic but they do not allow others to sell their products.

I recommend you check out zwave at least as a starting point, and consider a gateway/controller to integrate your specific systems. By this I mean hardware device like the VeraLite or Vera3 products from Mi Casa Verde, or maybe a software/hardware combination from Homeseer including their software and hardware they sell such as the Z-troller for zwave, or an ISY994 for insteon and more, maybe even Insteon Hub if you want to go with Insteon. Homeseer is compatible with all technologies using 3rd party plug-ins, and the Vera products are zwave, x10 and insteon plus support wi-fi and streaming IP video.

OK sorry for the long post, but this is a big subject and I hope I gave you some food for thought at least. I am a contractor for 25 years, have used X-10 for over 15, insteon for 12-13 years and now for the past 4-5 years use Z-Wave. Trust me, there are all kinds of options out there for you.

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Old 04-10-2013, 10:55 AM   #25
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I don't get all this wireless/I want to control my home's electric from my iPhone stuff.

I do get the wireless TStat, but I think you'd be better served changing lamps to LED or CFL and leaving select lights on when you are gone. A cheap $5 plug in timer could turn lights on/off when you are on vacation to act as someone is home.

I would be curious to see a homeowner's thinking on this.

Here's my take, I go downstairs to watch a movie. I get all comfortable with my popcorn and wife, start the movie, then notice the glaring light upstairs. It sure would be nice to be able to hit a button and turn that light off, while at the same time, dimming the hallway light.

Or...I'd really like to have an extra switch installed at the top of my stairs, but this would require either fishing additional wire or opening up the wall. I could easily replace the switch downstairs with one that's a wireless receiver and install a wireless transmitter switch on the wall upstairs.
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:02 AM   #26
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I'm going to do my own automation....I'm thinking of using an L1 CompactLogix processor....Modbus or another CAN protocol.....couple of touchscreens around the house.
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Old 04-24-2013, 06:45 AM   #27
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Wireless lighting is most popular lighting in that time. It gives a perfect luxurious look to your home. If you want to know more about them you can simply search on Crestron lighting and Creston automation. And if we talk about HVAC it is a good control system helps you to control home appliances such as: heating, AC etc. It also helps you to save electricity.
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Old 04-24-2013, 12:00 PM   #28
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Insteon is another terrific technology, does almost everything you would need but is very expensive and you are limited because its only made by one company. Smarthome is fantastic but they do not allow others to sell their products.

I agree with the perspective from haworld, however, my perception was that insteon is no more expensive, and potentially slightly less than other options. Also, Home Depot used to sell it, and best buy sells it now, in addition to smarthome.

Yes, X-10 still works and is cheap (crap? maybe, but it can work). Z-wave seems most abundant. UPB appears to have a loyal following. For me, insteon has been really nice.

For those who don't get the point of home automation, it is like a lot of what all of us do: spoil ourselves. We don't need BMWs, Home Theaters, big houses, perfect yards, smartphones, etc. But, for those willing to spend a little time and some dollars, home automation offers a level of luxury and convenience that is very nice to live with. Turn off all the house lights from one place, yes. Turn on all outside lights when you hear a bump in the night, yes. Have the lights come on when it is dark and you open the garage door, yes. Have certain lights come on when you have guests staying, yes. Lighting that comes on at sunset, trivial!

Another benefit is that such devices can simplify wiring in a retrofit application. Want to add a few more exterior lights and control from the same switch as existing lights? Find the nearest source of power/neutral and you are done (don't need to snake a wire from an existing fixture or switch).

Want to control a bunch of existing lights from a single switch? No problem and no new wires. Are you anal (like me) and like all your christmas lights to come on at the same time? No problem.

I am the opposite of several who have reponded. I don't understand how the value of home auotmation and devices such as this is not self-evident. The only question is whether you are willing to pay the price in terms of time and treasure.


Last edited by oberkc; 04-24-2013 at 12:40 PM. Reason: update
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