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Thread: How to upgrade old grafik eye/wired keypad Radio-Ra Classic combinations

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013

    How to upgrade old grafik eye/wired keypad Radio-Ra Classic combinations

    We've been debating about how to upgrade a house that was a marvel of the most cutting edge technology Lutron offered 20 years ago. The backbone of the system are Grafik eyes. LOTS OF GRAFIK EYES. Each Grafik eye has a corresponding wired connection to a RA-GRXI interface as well as low voltage keypads which are physically connected to the grafik eye. The house also has a bunch of 120V Radio Ra classic keypads and dimmers. All in all I think it's about 100 zones and 35 keypads.

    Originally, before we knew that half of the keypads were wired back to the grafik eyes, we were thinking of putting a Radio Ra3 but we have the double whammy of having to add a bunch of new boxes because Ra3 doesn't support grafik eyes and also because of the wired keypads where we can't run 120V power to them and it's not practical to put that 54V transformer for them remotely.

    So it seems that the better option would be to go with QSX and Grafik Eyes, but 2 things I am unsure of:
    1. As this system would have to be wireless, will QSX allow us to have an RF Grafik Eye QS be connected via wire to a QS keypad? I remember doing this with an old QS system and while it worked, I could not independently program the buttons of keypad because they were not on the QS link. They would just mimic what the buttons on the connected Grafik Eye did. Is this still possible under QSX? Would there be a way to independently program the remote keypad's buttons?
    2. I'm not sure if Grafik Eyes are planned to be discontinued. I say this because Ra3 doesn't support them at all and QSX stopped support for WPMs which are essentially just grafik eyes. Worse yet, they USED to be supported until with one update, Lutron ended support.

    If Grafik Eye isn't going anywhere anytime soon, that would be my preferred choice but I just don't know. I hate to tell the customer to spend $20,000 in Grafik Eyes and then the next month Lutron says "nah, we don't like those anymore". Can someone from Lutron tell me with certainty whether Grafik Eyes are on the chopping block or not? Also, what's the Grafik Eye with Eco? Is that new?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    We are doing a large takeover that has the same type of system. About 100 RA devices total (plus 200 or so more conventional dimmers that we are replacing with RF). But we are doing QSX so we were able to replace the Grafik Eyes, and the companion keypads we were able to get new wires to some of the locations. The other locations where we cant wire to the plan will probably be to use in wall Picos.

    I think QSX is your best bet here with anything Grafik Eye because of Lutron's stupidity. I'm sure they are going to discontinue them in the near future which is a shame. But at least we can get another 15-20 years before this will all need to be redone again...

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    If we were doing the job this month, I would take the risk and go with Grafik Eyes, but the other wrinkle here is that they are going to be remodeling the house in about 5 months. So thanks to how Lutron treated WPMs, the worst case scenario is that we order the grafik eyes now and before we even start the project Lutron comes out and says "To help our customers have the best tech, we are removing Grafik Eye support beyond version 23.x". Is it likely? probably not but I would have never thought Lutron would stop supporting a product within the same generation either and they did that with WPMs.

    So we could go the cautious route and order the parts when it's closer to construction time and then re-evaluate things but the uncertain part is that they may just stop selling grafik eyes all together by then and we've already designed our system around them.

    We look like amateurs in front of the customer and as a person who's been doing lighting automation for 20 years, I hate that Lutron has put me in this position. I care about my customers and don't want to insult them. I treat them the way I would want to be treated by a contractor so I wouldn't want them to spend $60,000 on an upgrade only to have part of their system be obsolete again. They are smart too. When I explained this, they were asking why would the same company that made the first version not continue the first form factor?

    So our plan now is to revisit the issue in 4 months before construction and make the decision then. For now, we installed some Caseta dimmers and picos to get 4 zones going because we didn't think spending $1200 on a GRX grafik eye would be smart.

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