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Thread: Upgrading an older Homeworks Illumination System - What is the best approach?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2021

    Upgrading an older Homeworks Illumination System - What is the best approach?

    I have a older Homeworks Illumination system (installed in 2007) with a Homeworks HWI-LV24-120 4 Series panel with a HWI-PS panel. I have 6 remote hydro panels, 11 multi keypads (7 illuminated buttons), a HRT-15RL-C remote keypad, a HRT-6RL-C remote keypad, and a Homeworks HR-REP (repeater). The Lutron software is a Beta program (HW Illumination, 1.16 Beta) only works with Windows XP. In the system I have an RS-232 interface to control some 3rd party shades.Everything is functional and I can access the system with an older XP laptop and make changes if necessary. This system has worked flawlessly since 2007 - amazing!I want to upgrade this system without re-wiring and minimal re=programming. What is my best option? I see on the Lutron website that they have a newer processor for HomeWorks, the QSX processor that creates a link between your HomeWorks system and the cloud, enabling control, integration, and monitoring of a HomeWorks system from a smartphone or tablet using the Lutron app. Will this be the way to go to upgrade without re-wiring and re-programming everything or is there a simpler solution?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    I would look at RadioRA 2. To use a QS/QSX processor you would need (2) legacy licenses - one for keypads and one for wired dimmers - at $1,500 each. You would loose the RS232 interface but you would have the same app as QS/QSX.
    Convergence Technologies Raleigh, North Carolina

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Not sure what you mean by hydro panels...are they Grafik Eyes? No matter which way you go, this is going to be a major overhaul- ie. expensive. Homeworks QSX:It's Lutron's newest and greatest Homeworks processor that is the future buuuuut, as of this writing, it has no legacy support. Like none. You can't use your old keypads, old grafik eyes, or RPMs (which series 4 can't use anyway). You would have to replace every single thing with a Homeworks QS device. Not only that, it no longer uses Telnet so if you have other automation systems integrated that need Telnet, you are out of luck. It uses the "LEAP API". What's LEAP? It's supposed to be a super secure way to integrate but there is no public documentation on it and only a handful of the major dealer systems that currently support it...poorly. But wait, there is more! (or less) It uses the same app that Lutron's lowest end system Caseta uses which has limitations. So what is it good for? The same processor has the cloud based stuff in the processor and it replaces the QS processor which already is on its way out the door given that newer keypads are not compatible with it and the software is stuck on 15.x and likely won't ever move beyond. Oh and Ketra lights...Lutron bought Ketra so naturally, they have to push Ketra. It's also supposed to be the greatest light ever created but even though I've worked with Luxury houses for 20 years and focus exclusively on lighting, I have yet to see them in any house but some on here say they've seen them and they're great. Personally I'd trade telnet and legacy support over Ketra any day.Homeworks QS: With a license fee of $1500, you can reuse your keypads if they are wired keypads and not wireless. Let's say a new QS keypad costs $400 so you'd save $2900 on keypads but it also means you'll use one QS link so if you have older grafik eyes that you want to use, they too will use up a link (and also have a license fee)so it means in order to add wireless capabilities, you'd need a 2nd processor so you'd pretty much negate most of the savings. You'd still save some money over QSX, but since the old keypads use 15V, you'd have to maintain the old power supply too so that could come back to bite you. QS is still a current system but the writing is on the wall that it's not long for this world. Lutron is focusing everything on QSX. QS however is mature and works with everything. You do need a Connect Bridge to make it work on the cloud. If only QSX had what QS had in addition to their new stuff, they'd have the best of both worlds, alas, that's not how Lutron is rolling with this. Now we have to have this awkward conversation about compatibility, the future, discontinuation, etc. Radio Ra2: Radio Ra2 is a one tier lower than Homeworks and is 100% wireless but it's about 1/3 cheaper than QS for identical looking keypads and dimmers and RF technology. You can get rid of your entire system and put in Radio Ra2. It too is very mature, supports telnet, etc. and has the same cloud based app as QS. As of now, Lutron hasn't announced any replacement processors for it which is both good and bad news. It's good because it means you don't have to make any tough choices, but it'd also be nice if they had an updated processor that had the built in cloud based stuff without the need for an additional connect bridge. If it were me, I'd ride that Illumination system to the ground. Wait till the processor is dead and then spend the money. Maybe by then QSX has legacy device support.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    This is why people who have owned these systems and been through this sort of upgrade BS don’t put systems like this in their new homes. It’s cool if its your building your first home and including all the bells and whistles but after 10-15 you start thinking what a mistake it was and if and when they build their next house they keep it simple and dumb it down. Being forced to replace working gear just because the processor failed and making new processors that are not capable of controlling older gear is either poor design or just greedy, arrogant design. If these folks already have Crestron, Savant, C4 and you’re left with the only option of replacing all your lighting gear you really might think of using a native lighting system to your control system.
    Danbury, CT

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