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Thread: MSCL-OP153MH at a 4-way switch and MA-RR Companion at a 3-way dead-end

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2017

    Question MSCL-OP153MH at a 4-way switch and MA-RR Companion at a 3-way dead-end

    My split level stairwell lights have 3 switches controlling it.
    The switch at the top of the stairs is a 3-way Leviton 6674 dimmer.
    The switch at the bottom of the stairs is a 4-way switch.
    The switch at the middle landing is a 3-way dead-end switch.

    So, this 4-way dead-end circuit goes:

    I want to replace the 4-way switch at the bottom of the stairs (the middle of the circuit) with an Occupancy Sensor.

    At first I started this project with a single MS-OPS5MH-WH switch.
    The OPS5 instructions do not mention "4-way", so I did some research and found this:

    That gave me a link to this:

    The stackexchange posting and PDF made me think the OPS5 probably would not work.
    I wired it up anyway, per the PDF, and nothing blew smoke, but the switches don't turn on the lights as expected (similar to the stackexchange posting).

    I returned the OPS5M and now have a MSCL-OP153MH-WH and two MA-RR companion dimmers.
    All wiring instructions assume a standard/basic 4-way circuit.

    I am working with a 4-way dead-end circuit.

    So, a few questions:
    1) Is there any difference when wiring these in to a standard vs a dead-end 4-way circuit?
    2) Can the MSCL-OP153 be used as the 4-way dimmer/switch in a 4-way dead-end circuit?
    3) Can the MA-RR be used as the 3-way dead-end dimmer/switch?
    4) If yes to both, is there any thing trick to wiring this up?


    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails sIJvnT963IwQE1DhUj7JgBQ.png  

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2017

    Using Lutron switches in 4-way circuits


    I'm not sure I can answer your question but maybe my application of Lutron products might help a bit. While I haven't had you specific wiring situation I have installed many Lutron devices in various configurations.

    First, I don't recall ever seeing any info on using a MSCL-OP153 in a 4-way circuit but Lutron does provide info for using a MSCL-OP153 in a 4-way circuit. (See section 5c of Lutron Application Note #435.) A couple of years ago I added a 4-way circuit and had a lot of confusion until I learned that a 4-way circuit using the MS-OPS5M requires the Lutron Companion Switch (MA-AS). Lutron provides plenty of documentation for wiring an existing 3-way switch when upgrading to an Occupancy Sensing Switch but the best info for using Lutron products in a 4-way circuit will be found in Lutron Application Note #435.

    Using the knowledge gained from that project I was able to convert an existing 3-way circuit using a
    MSCL-OP153 into a 4-way circuit that would allow an additional dimmer switch. My final configuration has the MSCL-OP153 on one end, a standard 4-way toggle switch in the center position and a Companion Dimmer (MA-R) at the other end. Having the 4-way toggle switch was OK because that location is used the least and the toggle turns on the light to the previous level and I wanted to dim the lights from either of the other switch locations.

    With that knowledge in mind, my personal experience tells me that the main difference between the MS-OPS5M and MSCL-OP153 is the dimming feature of the latter while the wiring into a 3-way circuit and basic operation/functionality are the same for each device. Likewise, with the MA-AS Companion Switch and the MA-R Companion Dimmer.

    If I understand your situation correctly you now have the correct Lutron hardware (one
    MSCL-OP153 and two MA-R Companion Dimmers) to make your upgrade work as intended. Looking at your wiring diagram, the proper wiring is in place so the fact that the circuit is a dead-end isn't relevant. My suggestion would be to review section 5c of Application Note #435 paying close attention to the diagram showing the two travelers tied to the single blue wire/terminal now that you have the correct hardware and wiring in place.

    One other document that might be helpful is
    Lutron Application Note #480. This contains a lot of information to allow you to use all of the features available in the MSCL-OP153.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2017

    I figured that the wiring of a standard 4 way circuit and a dead end 4 way circuit look essentially the same, the only difference being that the dead end sends either the hot or neutral back to the first switch.

    I wired things up and they work just fine.

    My *only* dissatisfaction so far is that the MSCL-OP153 cannot be set to be "auto-on, manual off *only*". I've set the occupation sensor timeout to the maximum of 30 minutes, but I'd prefer a "never" because my sensor/master is at the bottom of the stairs, and most of our time is spent upstairs, and we live at a high latitude so it is dark here a lot, so I prefer that the lights turn off not by occupation sensing but only by manual switch.
    It would be perfect if the maximum occupation sensor timeout could be "never".
    It would also be nice to have a double tap defeat the occupation sensor and leave the lights on until manually switched off.


  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2017

    RE: Stairwell lighting options


    Great to hear that everything is working! Yes, I have had applications where the 30-minute timeout is too short and a manual override would be useful. Maybe that "feature" would negate the energy saving aspect of these switches?!

    Your initial posted stated that you were installing the motion sensor at the bottom of the stairwell. To keep the light "ON" longer, have you considered putting the sensor at the top of the stairwell. Application note #435 section 5c (page #7 of the pdf) shows how to wire the circuit for any combination of the occupancy sensor and the companion switches/dimmers.

    If you preference is to have a sensor at both ends of the stairwell, your best compromise might be to have the occupancy sensor at the landing. With the field of coverage that should activate the light from both directions. another alternative would be to briefly activate a second light that allows safe movement until the "main" light is activated. Depending on the configuration of your lights, this might require an additional light fixture/circuit that is a separate project but can be made easier using another Lutron product - MaestroR Dual-Circuit Occupancy Sensing Switch MS-OPS6-DDV. Like any project, ANYTHING is possible - with enough time, effort and money!

    For my continuing education, please let me know what works out for you.


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