Pat went to Lutron training, and came away so excited about their new RadioRA 2 system that he bought two demo packages for our home. Out with the X-10! The biggest challenge was the beta software. Why do manufacturers release beta anything? It is only bad advertising.
Anyway, we hired our electrician to switch out the switches. In our 2100 square-foot house, it took less than a day. Not bad, for a job well done, and done well. We used the new Lutron switches as we would normal switches (decora style, of course), and waited for Pat to do the programming. The majority of time invested in this project was1) determining what lighting scenes we wanted; i.e.: evening, cleaning, romantic, panic; and 2) dealing with beta software, which was a matter of getting an experienced Lutron tech support person on the phone (5 times) and a firmware update. (I’m only telling the truth.) The final step was labeling the buttons on the keypads.
Automated lighting offers some great features. For instance, we were out of town for nine days, and by using “vacation” mode, we were able to make it look like we were home in the evening. There are other beneficial options: “panic” mode will flash the outside lights, making it easy for emergency personnel to find our home—it will also turn on all the lights in the house to provide adequate lighting for moving from room to room in an emergency. Of course, there’s the sheer ease of “evening,” “romantic,” and “party.” Really, the possibilities are endless, and we keep coming up with new ideas. There are many styles of keypads and touch screens, and custom colors available for switches and wall plates.
Visit Lutron for information on the RadioRA2 system. But don’t forget to visit the home page, to see the other innovative products Lutron offers.