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Thread: New construction

  1. #1
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    Apr 2019
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    New construction

    I am starting a project and the homeowner wants to use a Caséta system for just the first floor and some outdoor lights, with using pico remotes in all 3way-4way locations. I spoke to the building department and they were not sure if I could do this. What I need to know is there any code that states switches have to be wired. Can they be wireless? What information can I forward to the inspector? I would hate to wire a bunch of switches just to cap all of the wires.

  2. #2
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    The NEC does not address the issue of how switches are powered. However, there is the CYA part about "the authority having jurisdiction" which basically says the local inspector can say what ever they want. There is a rule that you have to be able to turn at least 1 light in the room on/off from inside the room. Technically a pull-chain meets this requirement.

    I would still wire for traditional 3-way circuits. There would be minimal, if any, savings. Not wiring for 3-ways would limit your controls options. It could also limit your options when it comes time to sell.
    LED, Incorporated
    Raleigh, NC 27614

  3. #3
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    I agree with the resale and wiring for the 3 ways. The homeowner is against it so I am trying to see if I can get away without it

  4. #4
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    There is no requirement to have a 3-way. If you meet the requirement for turning the light on/off from within the room they shouldn't say anything about the Pico. They might balk if the Pico is the only control "in" the room. However, this isn't any different than having a wired keypad in the room. If the processor fails you have no control from within the room. It's easier to replace a battery than repair a processor.

    I find most inspectors want to work with you. Just get them involved early so they don't feel like they being pressured later in the process.
    LED, Incorporated
    Raleigh, NC 27614

  5. #5
    Junior Member
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    Late to the party here and nothing to add as far as the code side.

    We are finishing up a new build right now. I had a "high end" lighting control system in a previous house. A very well done design and executed LiteTouch system. It did amazing things and we pushed it to its limits. The problem with this system was it had a pretty unconventional wiring scheme with all low voltage halogen loads home running back to transformers in the garage, racks and racks of relays in the garage and all the keypads on the walls were sense wires only. Luckily, when we decided on the system, I bought a lifetime supply of spares. The company was bought out by a competitor and the product discontinued. With the unconventional wiring scheme, it became a little uneasy when things went on the blink and dead boxes started to pile up.

    With this new house, I knew what features I really cared about and the Caseta would do it, as long as the 75 device limit came along. We wired everything in a fully conventional way with three and four way wiring to switch plate locations where design dictated it made sense. We are installing PD-5NE's and using PICO's for the 3 and 4 way locations so the wires in the non-single pole location remain inside the box. But I can always drop back to conventional dimmers and switches if for some reason down the road, i need to.

    My electrician was not too warm to the idea of smart lighting, so when I said I wanted all conventional wiring he liked that a lot. With the first 3 way with a PD-5NE on one leg and a Pico's in the other spot, he didn't even want to learn how to pair them. After a few, he became interested and now that he understands why I am doing everything and he sees the capability, he thinks it is pretty cool stuff.

    When I pointed out he could use a Caseta dimmer in an old house that he was remodeling and a Pico paired in any location he would have to open walls up for to provide 3 and 4 way capability in a fully conventional way, his eyes lit up (he does a lot of old homes).

    In the end, I just don't want to get too far away from conventional design and implementation, but I want the intelligent lighting capability I want. The Caseta and a carefully designed setup will provide that.

    With the all new dim to warm Halo ML 4 and ML 56's and all the Caseta PD-5NE's, I am still buying a lot of spares as I am sure they will be discontinued one of these days. They all work together too well and are too perfect for our needs, for the manufacturers to keep making them all... :)

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