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Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 13
Member
G'day,

I have a client who's remodeling her house, and I'm considering using relay-based control systems for lighting control.

Anyone have experience with the Touchplate system or the Lutron Homeworks system? Or anything similar?

I've worked on old Touchplate systems. Very reliable in my experiance. The company is still in business and has developed new 2-wire (control bus) based systems that look pretty good.

Lutron has a whole raft of different systems, including seveal for residential use. The Homeworks system looks appropriate for my application, and Lutron has a good reputation in my book.

What I'm after, is an opinion on these or similar systems based on experience with them.

Thanks in advance.

Cliff
Sacto, California

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,663
Likes: 4
G
Member
I was in a big complex with the old GE RR-7 system pretty much everywhere. It was really fairly reliable once they redesigned the switches so they would not bind on the cover but if they do stick, you burn out the relay coils. Other than that is is a very flexible way to do things since you are just running bell wire and you can quickly redesignate which switch does what.


Greg Fretwell
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,273
T
Member
My sister has an ancient ( circa 1962 ) Touchplate system.

Such low voltage systems cut down on wiring -- especially such items as 3 ways and 4 ways.

You can easily control the circuits via the relays.

Only downside is that they can stick in a latched single to relay condition. When that happens, as Greg said, you've got coil issues.

For whatever reason, it has not occurred to Touchplate and its imitator GE to resolve sticking plates with a C/B or fuse.

Why? I can't say. A fuse would have to be cheaper than ruining the coil.

IF that were done...

This type of lighting control would be all the rage -- years before electronics.

My sister's house is 48 years old -- and still has the original switches!

How many homes have their light switches unchanged after 50 years?



Tesla
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 132
M
Member
I have worked with most of the Lutron systems, and they are all fairly good once you know each's limitations.

You need to decide if you want central "dimming racks" or local dimming.

Check out the Radio Ra 2 system, very powerful and flexible. The new homeworks is great too, but unless you are certified in it, you will have to farm part of the job out. It really depends how much automation you want. If you don't need IF...THEN control logic and massive integration with other systems, Radio Ra 2 is probably fine, as long as you have under 200 zones. It includes the ability to interface with other systems, add timeclock events, etc.

I am in your area, if you would like more info and possibly help designing this, please contact me privately,

-Mike-


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