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Thread: New Feature Requests

  1. #151
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    Quote Originally Posted by SparkyCoog View Post
    Yeah since Lutron bought Ketra, there really seems to be a disconnect between the installers who are out there on the field dealing with customers and their concerns and what Lutron thinks the customers need. Lutron's actions remind me of how Steve Jobs would act but Lutron is not the only game in town now and as far as luxury home/rich people market goes, Control 4 & Crestron dealers who already have the ear of the builders and homeowners with AV stuff are already jumping in to take lighting away too. Lutron is playing a dangerous game here of trying to bully rich people into replacing their entire system to QSX by not offering legacy support. It will backfire not just for them, but for electrical contractors like us who don't do AV and are constantly getting pushed out of doing lighting by AV companies. It puts us at a disadvantage when someone wants to upgrade their Series 8 system or QS system with RPMs. They'll get our Lutron quote to replace all the RPMs, keypads, processor, etc. then the AV guy comes along and offers the the Control 4 equivalent and packages it in with their touch screens, video distribution etc. and boom...we lost. On the other hand, if we tell them "you can use a lot of your existing equipment but you'll get all the benefits of the newest Lutron system and as time goes by, we'll upgrade the rest", we'll have the advantage.

    The only thing I feel Lutron is actually doing right is with Caseta, but that's a younger, not as rich customer base who do their own research. Homeworks is completely out of touch right now. They really need to get out of their bubble.
    We are upgrading our showroom to QSX and have to replace 2 panels worth of RPM's. I hear what you are saying and wonder if their current actions are really pushing them down a path where they can't turn around on. I love Lutron and appreciate what they've been able to create. But now they continue to create division within their company when it makes it very difficult to decide what product to use. Caseta, Ra2 Select, Ra2, Ra3, Homeworks, Ketra, etc. They should really figure out how to allow more products to work with each other or create one scalable system based on dealer level. The same Ra2 dimmer costs $70 less than a Homeworks switch for the same product with the same technology. WTF....It's not like Lutron is paying for a fishing trip in Florida anymore.

    I get there should be different levels of dealership. i.e. if you are a Caseta dealer, you simply get product for less than HD and maybe it's a downgraded dimmer. If you are a Ra2 dealer, you now get keypad responsibilities (including engraving) and maybe a few more products. Homeworks literally uses the same products but adds logic programming, panelized lighting, additional keypad options, etc. Ketra is amazing product but Philips sells wifi bulbs for $20 that are tunable white. I would love to put Ketra in every project instead of once a year.

    I'm thankful that Ra3 will support most Ra2 products (Sorry Sparky for your Grafix issues). They did get this right and thankfully they are open to 3rd party control. We ripped out a Caseta system for a Ra2 system only for the Ring cameras to stop working together. Customer was pissed.

    Lutron needs to figure out a way to stop creating more division. 1 software where maybe logic programming is turned off until you are authorized. Same dimmers between Ra and Homeworks. Different processors but allow us to upgrade from Ra3 to Homeworks because the product will work together. Less sku's for them and more scalable systems. I'm sure they'd get more upgrades this way.

  2. #152
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    Quote Originally Posted by drewski300 View Post
    I'm thankful that Ra3 will support most Ra2 products (Sorry Sparky for your Grafix issues). They did get this right and thankfully they are open to 3rd party control. We ripped out a Caseta system for a Ra2 system only for the Ring cameras to stop working together. Customer was pissed.

    Lutron needs to figure out a way to stop creating more division. 1 software where maybe logic programming is turned off until you are authorized. Same dimmers between Ra and Homeworks. Different processors but allow us to upgrade from Ra3 to Homeworks because the product will work together. Less sku's for them and more scalable systems. I'm sure they'd get more upgrades this way.
    Your last paragraph kind of hits the nail on the head regarding my frustrations with Lutron. We are rapidly getting to a point where people expect everything from the same company to work together or at the very least, have a seamless upgrade path. In the past, perhaps there were technical differences (Did ra2 classic dimmers have a different chip than Wireless Homeworks?) but when there is no good technical reason to make a product incompatible, they should keep it compatible.

    You brought up the Grafik Eye not being compatible with Ra3 as a source of my frustration, but it just makes no sense to me why Lutron makes my life harder and loses a sale. I have a customer who has a P5 Series 4 system that is entirely wireless, except for a single Grafik Eye which is in a study that has very expensive wood trim walls. I didn't install the system but have had many battles with it over the years and it is finally ripe for an upgrade. The current Radio Ra2 system can easily cover the whole house and meet their needs including the Grafik Eye in the study but by the time they decide to go through with the upgrade, Radio Ra3 will be out and they will be asking me why I'm not going with that. I mean the only reason for their upgrade is because their system is obsolete so why trade one obsolete system for one that's almost out the door? With that one simple act of leaving out Grafik Eye, Lutron is going to lose this sale because they have an AV guy who is just licking his chops at selling them a lighting system with all the AV trimmings and in the AV world, his Crestron or Savant system all works together and the customer has nothing to lose because they have to rip out all the old dimmers anyway.

    But yeah you'd think with the money they're saving from Florida trips, they could put into a few software developers to add RPM support to QSX, Grafik Eye support to Ra3, and stop artificial differentiation between products. They really need to go back to being an engineering first company and tell the marketing side to settle down a little. Just give us the Lutron screw drivers (I had to buy my own the other day :( ) and don't overthink this. Customers are smart and you can't just go in their house with a Frat boy attitude of superiority bragging about how great your system is and not be able to answer a simple question of "why cant I use the existing thing I already own from your company with my new system?"

  3. #153
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    Here's another angle. This is the list of various lighting programs I have on my computer.

    Control4 - 1 program, supports most legacy devices. I say most because I'm sure there is something I missed or don't know about.
    Vantage - 2 programs. Qlink and Infusion. Infusion supports all Qlink devices. Open the Qlink file in Infusion and it is automatically converted.
    Crestron - 2 programs. D3 Pro and Toolbox. Supports all legacy devices.
    Lutron - 10 programs. RadioRA Classic (designer), RadioRA 2, RadioRA 3. HomeWorks Original, Interactive, Illumination, QS, QSX. Grafik Eye 3k, QS. Plus a number of single function tools (bridge update tool, etc.).

    In terms of number of programs, Lutron is kicking butt!
    Convergence Technologies Raleigh, North Carolina
    www.convergenceusa.com

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  5. #154
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    Quote Originally Posted by randyc View Post
    Here's another angle. This is the list of various lighting programs I have on my computer.

    Control4 - 1 program, supports most legacy devices. I say most because I'm sure there is something I missed or don't know about.
    Vantage - 2 programs. Qlink and Infusion. Infusion supports all Qlink devices. Open the Qlink file in Infusion and it is automatically converted.
    Crestron - 2 programs. D3 Pro and Toolbox. Supports all legacy devices.
    Lutron - 10 programs. RadioRA Classic (designer), RadioRA 2, RadioRA 3. HomeWorks Original, Interactive, Illumination, QS, QSX. Grafik Eye 3k, QS. Plus a number of single function tools (bridge update tool, etc.).

    In terms of number of programs, Lutron is kicking butt!
    Dont forget the 8 or so different versions of RA and QS you have to keep on your laptop if you want to service clients with all the various versions and not be forced to update them. Yea all the other brand's software you listed we dont have to do that I can open a 15 year old Crestron D3 program in current sotware and its no problem. Why cant QS or RA open older files wihout updating them its ridiculous. Sometimes I feel Lutron is in cahoots with the hard drive companies...

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  7. #155
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    The only automation company who's software is worse than Lutron (versions) is Savant. Their s#$t is so out of hand, it's laughable.

  8. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by drewski300 View Post
    The only automation company who's software is worse than Lutron (versions) is Savant. Their s#$t is so out of hand, it's laughable.
    I do agree with ya there. And their tech support is just as bad.

  9. #157
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    Quote Originally Posted by drewski300 View Post
    The only automation company who's software is worse than Lutron (versions) is Savant. Their s#$t is so out of hand, it's laughable.
    It sucks that some companies have great software but a terrible terrible management that focuses on new sales and gets rid of dealers who do more service work. *cough* Vantage. Just for once it'd be nice to deal with a company with good products, good software, and a cool sales team.

  10. #158
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    Quote Originally Posted by SparkyCoog View Post
    It sucks that some companies have great software but a terrible terrible management that focuses on new sales and gets rid of dealers who do more service work. *cough* Vantage. Just for once it'd be nice to deal with a company with good products, good software, and a cool sales team.
    I'd give Vantage tech support a 1 (out of 10) and their customer service a 0. Their hardware and software is ok.
    Convergence Technologies Raleigh, North Carolina
    www.convergenceusa.com

  11. #159
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    Quote Originally Posted by randyc View Post
    I'd give Vantage tech support a 1 (out of 10) and their customer service a 0. Their hardware and software is ok.
    I agree. It wasn't always like that though. They used to be a scrappy little company with a giant "We're better than Lutron" chip on their shoulder when I first got trained there in the early 2000's. Everyone from the trainer to the sales team to engineers to the guy packing the parts looked like they were invested in the company and when they came out with Infusion in the late 2000s, it was a beautiful system with virtually unlimited programming capabilities and much better than Lutron's P5 processor. In the following years though, everything seemed to become stagnant. They updated their keypads and modules to support LEDs, but support was getting worse and worse. They would seem almost angry if you called them with an issue. I remember a customer was overhearing my call and said "that guy had an attitude didn't he?" . Still on any given week I was servicing old and newer systems that were installed by companies no longer in business and trying to make the company look good.

    There was little to no sales help and then they were bought by Legrand so I was glad they didn't go the way of LiteTouch and Savant, but everything changed after Legrand. The sales team changed (I won't name names) and without warning when I called about repairing a part, I was told that we weren't a dealer anymore. No notice, no nothing and we had installs which we had promised a warranty for. The explanation was that we weren't selling enough new systems even though there was never any hard number sales requirements. They didn't say so in so many words but it seemed like they were favoring AV companies who would do whole house automation and were fully committed to them - presumably they wanted their dealers to be like Crestron dealers. It didn't matter that I was single handedly keeping half the city's systems legacy running and was one of the few people who could do their old and new system both high and low voltage parts, but we only did lighting automation and & most of our new sales were wireless where Lutron absolutely killed them. I mean they had a point, but they were quite rude about the whole thing and very shortsighted. They didn't think that the systems we're maintaining would need to be upgraded at some point and we're already in with the customers so we'd just upgrade them to Lutron when the time comes.

    I do hope that Lutron comes with a UL approved way to convert both LiteTouch and Vantage panels to QSX modules though. Right now they only offer the QS upgrade for LiteTouch and we all know where QS is leading. So that's my feature request! All the reuse of LiteTouch and Vantage panels for QSX. I have at least 2 jobs lined up for that right now.

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