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Thread: My Ra3 Wishlist

  1. #1
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    My Ra3 Wishlist

    My biggest frustration with Ra3 is that it is not 100% backwards compatible with Ra2 and it can absolutely prevent existing Loyal customers to not update their systems, take advantage of new products coming out (like the outdoor outlet, wire free shades, etc.) and create needless frustration for installers. I hope Lutron reconsiders removing these things from Ra3:


    • Grafik Eye and Wall Mount module support. For the life of me, I can't understand why Lutron would do away with these and not only prevent those with existing Ra2 systems from upgrading to Ra3, but also prevent those with older Radio Ra (Classic) systems, and even those with standalone GRX grafik Eye systems. I remember we did a house 20 years ago that has 6 zone Grafik Eyes and remotes all over it and one of these days, they'll want to update it. Except we can't because those are in 4 gang boxes and they have 6 zones. They spent thousands of dollars with fancy wood trims. We'd have to delete or merge 2 zones to put in dimmers. It makes no sense. I have another house that has 7 wall mount modules in an equipment room. They are out of luck too. I have another customer with a series 4 Homeworks Illuminations system that has a couple of them...it'd be perfect for Ra3, but nope. I recently had a old Radio Ra customer with 8 grafik eyes, but we had to sell them Ra2 instead because there was no room to add more dimmers and Homeworks QSX cost more.
    • Grafik T support. Again, this makes no sense. I was never a fan of Grafik T because it looked ugly and engraving had to be done before ordering or they'd have to pay twice for it. But I know someone who has that all over their house. What's going to happen to them if they want wire free shades or in 5 years can't get Ra2?
    • Old Thermostat and other temperature control support. I know, it's discontinued. fine. Don't sell any new ones. But like it or not, people shelled out $500 each for those things plus god knows how much for the HVAC modules...At least let them keep them.
    • "Path of Light" support. Come on...this one is easy. Just today the homeowner told me they hated my "entertain" button because they couldn't turn it off later. In Ra2, you can't have a path of light global scene (it uses Room logic) but fortunately it was Ra2 so I just converted it to a Path of light and copied and pasted the scene a few times and voila! I dread having to upgrade this house in 5 years and converting my toggled scenes into a toggled room button and getting an ear full.
    • Telnet support. I know this is a losing battle but Telnet is so simple and universal. Give a huge warning about it, but keep it.

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  3. #2
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    We hear you and have brought this feedback to our RA3 team. Please keep a look at the announcement pages for any developments or updates containing to RA3 compatibility with RA2 and future upgradability.

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  5. #3
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    I wish Lutron was still in the lighting controls business. I'm happy they make boat loads of money on shades. I'm happy they make boat load of money on Ketra. I'm sad it has come at the expense of lighting controls.
    Convergence Technologies Raleigh, North Carolina
    www.convergenceusa.com

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  7. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by randyc View Post
    I wish Lutron was still in the lighting controls business. I'm happy they make boat loads of money on shades. I'm happy they make boat load of money on Ketra. I'm sad it has come at the expense of lighting controls.
    Yeah when I look at the timeline of where Lutron went from a engineering/customer centric lighting control company to hostile Steve Jobs type of attitude towards customers and installers the Ketra purchase is a giant blinking red light.

    The first clue that things were getting weird was when QSX came out and they just flat-out got rid of RPM support. This still blows my mind. I remember asking the webinar hosts about all the existing RPM panels that work perfectly and all the host said was "I think we can all agree that modules do a better job of dimming" which was a deflection because there is no argument there, but is it $60,000 better? because that's going to be the average cost to replace an entire existing system versus just the processor and a few wireless devices. For those, Lutron says "QS isn't going anywhere!" but then when new devices like wire-free shades and outdoor plugs coming out which weren't compatible with Ra2 or QS which when convenient, Lutron points out that they are still current systems and "aren't going anywhere"...except they are already being left out. So currently Lutron is not making new devices compatible with the older yet "current" QS and Ra2 systems, and they are making it impossible to upgrade existing systems to the newest system to take advantage of the newer devices. This Lutron is unrecognizable to me.

    I've been fine with not having shades because I don't know any shade companies anywhere near me who also do lighting so there is mutual respect between us and either they do their own thing and run the wires and install the shades or we run the wires for them and they install the shades and then we add it to the programming. Everybody stays in their own lane and we work together well.

    Ketra...I just don't get it. I work in mostly luxury homes and stay on the electrical and lighting side of things for a couple of decades now and I have NEVER seen Ketra in any house. I've seen a lot of hue lights that people try to tie together with their lighting system with a weird patch work so it would have been nice to make a deal with Phillips to make them compatible, but Ketra just creates more confusion and division. As it currently stands, only the biggest Lutron dealers can afford to have a showroom, training, and provide Ketra to a customer. I'm in a major city and don't know a single one but I'm sure sooner or later, one of these bigger audio/video companies will becomes Ketra dealer and then start convincing their builder to let them do not just AV, not just lighting, but also get into lighting and completely shut out the electricians who will ultimately be the ones who are called when one of those lights doesn't work. It's a recipe for disaster in my view. Let's say 5 years from now I'm called to take over a house with Ketra and I'm not a ketra dealer. Can I even service it? Can I even get parts? I go through a supplier and they're not a Ketra dealer. And now thanks to Ketra, we have even more division with Sunnata and 2.4 GHz devices.

    I still love Lutron's products but they really need to sit down and think what they want to be. The old Lutron did that. "we only do lighting controls"

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  9. #5
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    I had a customer inquire about Ketra. As a longstanding Lutron dealer we were told we would have to jump through all sorts of hoops, spend thousands of dollars... just to be able to quote the product. We (the customer and my company) agreed it wasn't worth it. Especially when they weren't sure they wanted it.

    I don't have a problem with Shades or Ketra. It just feels like Lutron has abandoned the controls business.

    My biggest problem is the segregation of the systems. I understand the history - I was there (I have been doing Lutron officially since 2000). RA was developed after HomeWorks. They added RF capability to HomeWorks but the systems were already established as separate. QS was the opportunity to get everything under one system. A system that could go from a handful of devices to hundreds of devices. Lutron chose to further segregate the systems. And now we have 5 products (Caseta, RA2 Select, RA2/3, HomeWorks QS, HomeWorks QSX), all with varying degrees of compatibility. You can use Grafik Eyes in RA2 and HQS but not Caseta or Ra2 Select. The RA2 Maestro and HQS Maestro look and feel the same but have vastly different price points and are not compatible.

    I do Control 4, Crestron and Vantage. They don't segregate their systems. AND they are compatible with legacy devices. I'm sure there is a legacy device or two that isn't compatible but not entire systems.
    Convergence Technologies Raleigh, North Carolina
    www.convergenceusa.com

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  11. #6
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    I agree with the requests above.

    I have several large prospective upgrade projects and they all have Grafik Eye 4-gang boxes. No clean alternative. Reality is waiting until everything totally fails and customer has no choice. But they do, at that point they will choose Vantage or something else.

    I have been on the manufacturer side in other industries, and now on the dealer and customer side in lighting. There is always a lot of bad will (for dealers, customers, distributors) when obviously artificial barriers exist between product lines.

    I talk to a lot of Caseta folks that would like to move up to RA2 (or RA3 now), but simply won't replace all of their dimmers to do that. Similarly, I have some RA2 clients that would be properly served by expanding to HomeWorks QSX but a full rip and replace isn't palatable to them either.

    There are many ways to bridge the gap between product lines. I'm not trying to do your marketing, you should have people capable of making this recommendations and decisions. There is a wide range of possible solutions from simply having very lucrative trade-in/buy-back/swap programs, to merging the underlying tech and selling based on overall capacity and features, or processor based licensing instead of firmware at the device lockouts.

    None of these are ideal. Some might cause more revolt amongst dealers or customers. But at least start a dialog of seriously exploring some way to bring all the product lines together.


    Now, for features:

    Keypads and Picos should be fully supported in AppleHomeKit and other official integrations. The official excuse of wanting "the best user experience" and the lack of feedback/LED's on Pico is total bs. There are existing hacks using HomeBridge or other prosumer/hobbyist bridges and hubs that work ok. The result is a terrible user experience because most of us simply won't support that type of hack professionally so the user cobbles it together on their own.

    Ketra, especially the retro-fit lamps with a standard Edison base, should be available across all product lines. Consumers that are aware of circadian rhythm and the benefits of tunable lighting laugh at Lutron. They can buy $20 to $50 LED lamps with tunable white or even full RGBWW so they view Lutron as legacy and out of touch trying to restrict this tech to the ultra luxury product line.

    A pro-active statement of support, or lack thereof, for a Matter bridge needs to be made. As Matter ramps up and releases towards the end of this year, it will gather a lot of PR and attention. Good or bad, hype or reality, everyone will ask more and more if a smart home system or device supports Matter. It will become bigger table stakes checklist item and the lack of a clear direction can freeze bids and proposals.

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  13. #7

    Shared Buttons

    I would like the homeowner to be able to edit shared buttons. This could be done by a question that pops up when using "shared" buttons. Something like "would you like the homeowner to be able to edit this button?"

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  15. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill13 View Post
    I would like the homeowner to be able to edit shared buttons. This could be done by a question that pops up when using "shared" buttons. Something like "would you like the homeowner to be able to edit this button?"
    Yeah me too. There have been many times when the homeowner wanted to make a simple change to an Away scene and couldn't because it was shared. I like using global scenes because it makes it less prone to error when there are 2 or more keypads that use the same scene so I've had to go back and change a shared scene back to a local scene a few times and it felt wrong.

  16. #9
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    Be able to change a Dimmer to switch or vise versa with out having to delete and re program.
    Like, ah, Ra2.?
    Just got to my job that I did some office programming then show up and electrician changed loads types.

  17. #10
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    Engraving screen takes a long time to come up. Most times it comes up blank so I close engraving and open again then it comes up.

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