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Thread: Representing remotely located dimmers: Keep in oom the dimmer is or the light is?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013

    Representing remotely located dimmers: Keep in oom the dimmer is or the light is?

    This is an age old question but say you have dimmers installed remotely in an equipment closet, pantry, etc. What's the best way to represent them?

    Personally, since I am both the electrician and programmer, I like to put the dimmers where they are physically installed in the design software and then place the lighting load where they go. This way when I want to troubleshoot a dimmer not working 3 years later, I can look in the software and see "Oh I had this in the broom closet, 3rd row, device 2". Of course this makes the initial programming a little harder because when I go to program the keypad in that room, none of the lighting loads show up (I wish Lutron had a way to address this), so I have to go hunt down the dimmer.

    Lately however when I have gone after other people's work, I've noticed they just pretend the dimmers are physically in the room as the lights. So when you go to the room and want to program the lights, you see the location as "AV closet" and pick your loads. I'm honestly ok with this approach too IF AND ONLY IF the boxes in the remote location match what's actually on the wall. Like for instance, you have a 4 gang box in the closet just for the kitchen lights and it's a 1 to 1 match.

    Where it gets messy is you have a 4 gang box and half of it is for the kitchen, and the other half is like for the front entry. In that case I almost always use the true location of the dimmer in the software and move the lighting. Same with when you have a hybrid approach where you have a lot of dimmers in the room itself too in addition to remotely located ones.

    The worst case I saw was last week where a very nice house had a mixture of remotely and locally installed dimmers, but in the software they had like a 10 gang box located in the room. For example in the actual room there was a 2 gang box with 2 dimmers, 3 single gang boxes with a keypad in each, and a single gang box with a dimmer. The other 6 dimmers were in a closet somewhere scattered randomly between 3 different boxes. In the software however, it bunched up all the remotely and locally dimmers together. Even with the keypads instead of putting 3 single gang boxes and their locations, they made a 3 gang box with 3 keypads next to each other. Thank god they labled the dimmers in the closet.

    I guess in the old days before the apps it didn't matter a whole lot but now the customer will actually will see the keypad location in the app so it would really help if it's in the correct location. Anyway, what do you guys think? How do you do it?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    I keep the device in the room it is located. Among the things you mentioned, it keeps the BoM accurate. Assigning the load to the actual room keeps the app accurate.

    Like you, I'm ok with moving a whole box to the room. If I do, I also label the control station with its real location (broom closet, etc.).

    I feel like Lutron has spent all of their time and resources on Ketra and Vimco while RA2 and HQS have been neglected. I said 10 years ago that RA2 needed a programming screen similar HQS.
    Convergence Technologies Raleigh, North Carolina

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Yeah I remember when Ra2 first came out, they didn't have the ability to detach the zone from the device so I was glad when they got it, but they can still improve things so much. I honestly don't know where QSX is now days. Been in the dark with what's coming up, when features are added, etc.

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