On a recent visit to the Lutron Experience Center in New York City we were overwhelmed at all of the options that Lutron has available for us to create and customize your space to help you live your best life. As the title for today’s blog eludes to, they have numerous lighting options…. perhaps the thing that Lutron is best know for…but in addition to that they have a plethora of shading options and combining these technologies into scenes allows us to create you a beautifully, aesthetically pleasing space for you to enjoy. So let’s dive in to see ALL Lutron has to offer….Light Options Galore!
First let’s take a look at Lutron’s lighting options. We are going to look at 4 lighting product options available from Lutron, although there are others. We are going to look at them from basic to more advanced as we move from their Caséta line, RadioRA2 Select, RadioRA 2 and then HomeWorks.
The first line mentioned is the Caséta line. This line is really intended to be a single room solution for your space. This is the line that you will often see in your local big box stores. It is often times considered more of a Do-It-Yourseslf or DIY solution for your space. The advantages of the Caséta line is that it can be a cost effective way to enter into the lighting control world, it is a great solution for a single room or smaller property and that set up and installation can be pretty straight forward. The cons of this lighting system is that it has a fairly small cap at only 50 devices including the connect bridge, so you may need to upgrade, but unfortunately, that’s not very easy to do with this system. While it may seem like 50 devices is a lot, once your start becoming familiar with and using lighting control, you may find that you quickly outgrow the Caséta system and unfortunately that’s going to mean you need to replace most of your parts to upgrade. Another disadvantage of this line is that you are limited with the design options you have available. The switches are only available with a decora toggle switch and in white and black color only.
The next line from Lutron is the RadioRA2 Select. This was just recently introduced by Lutron in the fall of 2018. This line is really wonderful because it opens you up to more switch options, but it also allows you to expand up to 100 connected devices. This really begins to open you up to the option of having lighting control throughout your home. You are able to add dimmers in this line as well and as you can see, there are more options when it comes to color. The real beauty in this line however is that if you should decide that you need to upgrade past the 100 devices, the switches in the RadioRA2 Select line can be used in the upgraded RadioRA2 line with only upgrading a few parts.
That brings us to the RadioRA2 line, this is the line that I use most often in my daily job at TruMedia. I really like this line by Lutron because it covers the vast majority of our clients needs. The RadioRA2 line can allow you to connect up to200 devices and most of the switches that Lutron makes are available for this line. You can also upgrade the RadioRA2 Select to this line fairly easily by just upgrading a few parts. Since this line can cover up to 7,500 square feet, this is probably the most commonly used of the lighting systems. It comes with numerous different switch options and even colors as you can see here. It is also the first option that Lutron has that allows you to use the Wall Power Modules or WPM. The great thing about these is that it allows you to use the multi button keypads with it. This is my favorite part because it means that instead of needing to take up a lot of wall space or space on your kitchen backsplash with a 3 or 4 gang wall plates with switches, because now you can have a multi button keypad that fits in only a single gang wall plate. Once you choose what each button on the keypad will control, Lutron lets us send out to have the buttons engraved. This way you can have the names right on the buttons and they end up being backlit as well. It looks really great when its completed. So if you plan for a Lutron RadioRA2 system during the start of a new construction project, not only can you have an amazing lighting control system, you can actually get so much more bang for your buck, even using more expensive switches because if planned for correctly up front, you will use fewer switches. This is the piece that I can’t express to you enough….planning early for your technology can really help you out in the long run. RadioRA2 also allows you to start adding HVAC control, there are motion sensor options and it can be a great solution for either new construction or even an upgrade situation.
The final lighting control system that we will look at from Lutron is their HomeWorks QS line. This line is really reserved for the high end luxury lighting control. This lighting system allows you to cover up to 50,000 square feet and 10,000 zones. This system is best used in new construction when you are planning to do lighting and shade control with Lutron. The reason for this is that the wiring is done different than traditional electrical wiring. In a traditional home set up, electricians will run from the main power breaker to a room and then ‘daisy chain’ the wiring on that circuit. Daisy chaining is a wiring configuration where devices are wired together in sequence or a ring style. So as an example, you may show a ‘bedroom’ labeled on your breaker and the electrician would have run a line from their to that room, but once in that room that particular line might feed the light switch, which then feeds to the closest electrical outlet, which goes to the next outlet, to the next and so forth until it circles its way throughout the room back to the light switch. This is all done using electrical wire by your electrician. In the previously mentioned Lutron lighting options, this is the same way the wiring is done, we are just using a different switch that we are able to control. In a HomeWorks QS set up the electrical is all run to a Lutron specific breaker. From this breaker, the Lutron devices are connected with low voltage wire. As you can imagine, this can prove to be difficult, although not impossible to do in an existing home. It may require more labor and maybe even some more trades to be involved in your installation than just your technology designer and electrician. This line also introduces you to the Designer switches, so when you get to the HomeWorks QS line, you have essentially opened yourself up to all of the options Lutron has available to you.
I’m optimistic that this post will help you to feel comfortable with the basics of Lutron lighting. Lutron makes some really amazing products that we are proud to provide our clients and excited to tell you all about. We’d love to help you choose the Lutron lighting option that’s best for you!
If you have any questions about the lighting solutions I spoke about here, feel free to check out our website at www.TruMediaHome.com or check out our Facebook and Instagram pages with the links here or by searching @TruMediaHome or @TruTechInsights. As always, if you have any other technology products you’d like to see reviewed, shoot me a message and I’ll be happy to look into it. Until next time, stay curious my friends!