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Thread: Noobie here...I thought I had it all figured out

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Posts
    1

    Thumbs up Noobie here...I thought I had it all figured out

    Heh, as the title says, I thought I had everything figured out and boy was I mistaken!I purchased a Lutron Casetta starter kit from a big box store a few weekends ago and was going to put it in this weekend. I was in the process of totaling everything up in terms of switches and devices that I wanted to control and as it turns out, I can't use the Casetta because I have too many switches in the house. No reason to spend money twice so I did some research and found that i'll have to use the RA2 System. I have about 60 light switches/fans, not to mention sensors for the Ecobee thermostat (2 of those + 3 room sensors) and the new doorbell I'm going to put in. As it stands now if I was using Casetta I'd need: 16 Dimmable, 10 Pico, and 32 either fan or on/off switches (don't need a dimmer in the hallways or garage). House is about 3300 sf all single story so I'll need 2 repeaters as well. So, my main question here is: 1. Where can I buy them? I'm looking for them on Amazon and all I see is Casetta stuff. So any links and deals you can send my way I'd appreciate it! 2. What is the "true range" of a single repeater. After reading the forums on the Casetta stuff many people are getting greater than the published 30'. I can't even find the range of a single repeater for the RA2. I'm going to have probably 45'-50' between repeater locations.3. When doing some searches I keep seeing Maestro switches as being compatible with RA2, but i've also seen that everything is Pico. So any info here would be appreciated as well.4. What don't I know and what haven't I thought of?Thanks in advance!Thanks!

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Posts
    9
    I'm dealing with similar issues on a much smaller scale fortunately ($) and moving away from a competitor that seems like they are going out of business . I was attracted to Lutron because they've been in business for a long time, know what they are doing, and probably not going anywhere anytime soon. Unfortunately for us however, Caseta is really the only system marketed towards the home owner as they tend to rely on the professional installer network for all their other products and don't make it easy on us. Lots of research ahead unfortunately if you want anything other than Caseta or to hire a professional to install. That's what I'm finding at least.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    157
    I installed a full RadioRA 2 system myself. It can be done. But you are correct, it requires research.

    A great place to start is to complete the Level 1 online training. I followed that up by buying a few controls and using one room as a lab. Then once I was sure I liked the system, I placed the big order for the other rooms.

    You can buy the controls at local lighting stores that are Lutron dealers, or you can find them online.

    Mike

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Posts
    258
    1. If you go on the "how to buy" it will show local distributors. My local pro electrical supply house can get RA2. They are generally pro-oriented type places, but they are generally happy to take your money. Just don't expect them to be able to answer your questions. I have also been able to get them on online distributors if you call/email with your list and ask. Not universal but can save money.

    When you buy at these places, you should have a definite list of everything. Not just x number of dimmers, you will need the model number including color etc. Don't forget wall plates if you are doing plates. That will go a long way.

    2. Range depends. It's like asking for the true range of WiFi. Depends. It will absolutely go 30 feet. No argument. That's the conservative Lutron spec. 40' will likely be no problem. You could think about 50' if you have light construction/open spaces but you are risking less reliability. That's OK for some DIYers but I wouldn't do it for a client.

    Official is 30' range, 60' between repeaters. IF you have an outbuilding you can do a wired link.

    3. General population can buy Ra2Select. They use the same dimmers as Ra2. RRD-6ND, RRD-PRO, etc. That's what you are finding.

    4. It doesn't really sound like you have done the online Level 1 training. It's not that hard and will give you a lot more clarity on what the Ra2 system is, and how it works. It's free and allows you access to the programming software. Level 1 gets you 1 main repeater, 100 devices.

    Something else to consider is that the 6ND (forward phase) dimmer is actually cheaper than the standard switch. I like dimmers, and would install them everywhere. If you prefer to switch that's fine, just don't think you are doing it to save money with Ra2.
    Evan Kirkhart- Home Electronics Solutions
    Santa Barbara, CA
    evan@homeelectronics.solutions

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