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Thread: Home Wiring, 3 and 4 way switch options

  1. #1
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    Home Wiring, 3 and 4 way switch options

    I’m building a custom home and have researched some home automation switches, Lutron dimmer with remote pico switch. I’m tempted to reduce wiring cost by doing only one direct wired switch and adding pico switches instead of 3 or 4 way hardwired switches. Seems it would reduce wiring cost significantly and still accomplish the same thing. My worry is reliability. Most home automation is based on existing wiring, but with new build I’m thinking traditional wiring of 4 and 3 way switches isn’t the best solution anymore. Any thoughts and perspectives are welcome. Thanks

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hkinkade View Post
    I’m building a custom home and have researched some home automation switches, Lutron dimmer with remote pico switch. I’m tempted to reduce wiring cost by doing only one direct wired switch and adding pico switches instead of 3 or 4 way hardwired switches. Seems it would reduce wiring cost significantly and still accomplish the same thing. My worry is reliability. Most home automation is based on existing wiring, but with new build I’m thinking traditional wiring of 4 and 3 way switches isn’t the best solution anymore. Any thoughts and perspectives are welcome. Thanks
    I think it is way too early to abandon traditional 3-way/4-way wiring. Systems like Lutrons Ketra, Philips Hue, and others are moving control to individual fixtures. There are a lot of details to be worked out. That could be a couple of years or it could be 20 years.

    I think you would limiting yourself in terms of resale. Potential buyers are going to be forced to use some form of lighting control.

    I'd also get some numbers on the money savings. Electricians don't like change. You may get some credit but you won't get the full amount.
    LED, Incorporated
    Raleigh, NC 27614

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    Randy’s, thanks for your perspective. I have requested the electrician to requote without the 3/4/5 way switches. You’re probably right, it won’t come down proportionate to what it would as an added. Funny how that works :-/I’m am concerned abou obsellesence, yet I can’t see how hardwire will help future proof. I suspect new technologies will be less and less dependent on hardwired 3/4/5 way switching than some alternative. I’d hate to be wrong though. The caseta product does have a reputation as being very reliable and effective. I’ll always have one hardwired outlet, the risk may not be that significant. Only time would tell though

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    Sorry, I should have proofed my post first. . .Randyc, thanks for your perspective. I have requested the electrician to requote without the 3/4/5 way hardwired switches. You’re probably right, the quote won’t come down proportionate to what it would be as an adder. Funny how that works :-/ I’m not too concerned about obsellesence, I can’t see how hardwire will help future proof. I suspect new technologies will be less dependent on hardwiring than some other alternative. I’d hate to be wrong though. The Caseta product does have a reputation as being very reliable and effective. I’ll always have one hardwired outlet, the risk may not be that significant. Only time will tell though

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    I wasn't thinking of future-proofing. I have (had?) a client that bought a house with a Lutron HomeWorks lighting control system. They were an older, retired couple who aren't big on technology. Slowly but surely, we wound up replacing most of it with traditional 3-way switches. I don't think they have any dimmers, but they are happy!

    I'm guessing 2/3 of existing homes don't have a lighting control "system." I'm not including homes with a 1 or 2 zone system. Without the traditional 3-way wiring you are limiting potential buyers or telling them they are going to have to do a major renovation to get switches in convenient locations.

    As far as future proofing, there are millions of houses out there with 3-way wiring. Any new systems will have to take that into consideration.
    LED, Incorporated
    Raleigh, NC 27614

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    Add all the wires.

    You’re comparing the wrong costs.

    Price to run wires now vs price to run wires after the walls are finished. It will be 10 times or more cost and hassle to add wires after the walls are done. And trivial now compared the total house cost. Even with them just passing through the extra locations.

    Plus, not having them will upset the inspector for locations that are supposed to have a switch. Doesn’t matter that you’ll have a battery pico, it’s different.

    Same reason waterless toilets have a supply line run and then not used. Cheap during construction as easy insurance against change later.

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    I'd like to attach a picture to be more specific about what / how I'd like to accomplish the reduction in wiring, but don't see the 'button' for attachments. I read the section on how to attach, yet I can't figure out how to get access to these controls when posting. Can anyone point me in the right direction, thanks

  8. #8
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    You should be able to click on "manage attachments." When I do that it takes me back to the home page. This site definitely has some issues. Someone said they are a couple of years behind in updating the forum software.

    You can try emailing me the attachments at randy.ledinc@gmail.com.
    LED, Incorporated
    Raleigh, NC 27614

  9. #9
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    Same problem on my end, manage attachments sends me back to home page.

  10. #10
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    Thank you for the notification about the attachment issue. We are looking into this and will have a solution ASAP.

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