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Thread: Replacing Grafik Eye with Caseta

  1. #1
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    Replacing Grafik Eye with Caseta

    I am glad I found this forum.

    I have a large home with 5 circa-1995 Grafik Eye controllers and a number of smaller satellite switches (many of which no longer communicate with the controllers). I want to replace with a wifi enabled system and was quoted close to $20K to do so. I was told that my only option would be to upgrade to the RadioRA.

    After looking at the wiring with my electrician, I am confident I can replace my system with Caseta devices. The current configuration is that power is run into each GE which then distributes it to four sets of lights (the Grafik Eye allows you to determine which sets of lights are part of a zone). I plan to replace each GEs with a set of 4 Casetas and the smaller "satellite" switches with wall-mounted pico remotes. My understanding is that I can program the lights to work individually or in concert with each other, thereby replicating the functionality of the GEs. I need to install 26 switches and 10 picos.

    Total cost for the new system will be about 10% of the quoted price for a new GE system. Does this seem doable? Any advice before I get started? Thanks in advance for your help!

  2. #2
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    @thynes, were you able to complete this replacement? We're in a similar situation with a residential built-in Grafik Eye system, which is now hopelessly obsolete, since there are not a collection of dimmable LED bulbs available that are compatible with Grafik Eye. It seems like Caseta would be a good supportable solution for us, but there's very little information on how to make the transition (one would think that Lutron would publish a white paper on this, but that doesn't seem to exist). So we're looking for advice and how others have made the switch. Thanks!

  3. #3
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    GRX series Grafik Eyes come in 2-zone (2-gang), 3-zone (3-gang), 4-zone (4-gang), and 6-zone (4-gang). Its basically a 1-for-1 replacement, i.e. replace the 3-zone with 3 Caseta dimmers. If you have a 6-zone, you will need to combine some of the zones or add a box and move some of the zones to it. The GRX has a single power connection. You may need to add wiring to get power to all of the switches. Same with the neutral.

    Some GRXs use a line-voltage (120v) switch to turn the unit on/off remotely. Just cap those wires off. You will need to use Pico remotes in those locations.

    Some GRXs use low-voltage keypads for remote control. They are not compatible with Caseta so just abandon them as well.

    There are a variety of interfaces that can be used with GRXs. Power boosters were often used because of the wattage limits of the GRX. If you switch to LED you may not even need them. You can leave them in but they need a neutral device, like PD-10NXD, to work properly. You may also have interfaces like CCI/CCO, RS232, etc. They won't hurt anything once you take the GRX out but the interface between them and the other system(s) will obviously be broken.
    LED, Incorporated
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    Thanks, @randyc. So from what you're saying, it might be possible to just replace the incandescent lamps with Caseta-compatible lamps, and then use Caseta switches? Our current setup includes a 3000-series six-zone controller managing a mix of about 24 low-voltage MR16 and xelogen lamps, and a dozen or so 120v BR30 lamps. All but the xelogens are Lutron recessed luminaires. I don't know the model numbers of the Lutron switches, nor how everything is wired up (but my hunch is that they're all home-runned in some way to the controller). Sounds like I should perhaps engage a Lutron expert nearby to take a look at what we've got in place to work out the specifics of the upgrade, even if it turns out we can make the changes ourselves.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Balthazar B View Post
    Thanks, @randyc. So from what you're saying, it might be possible to just replace the incandescent lamps with Caseta-compatible lamps, and then use Caseta switches? Our current setup includes a 3000-series six-zone controller managing a mix of about 24 low-voltage MR16 and xelogen lamps, and a dozen or so 120v BR30 lamps. All but the xelogens are Lutron recessed luminaires. I don't know the model numbers of the Lutron switches, nor how everything is wired up (but my hunch is that they're all home-runned in some way to the controller). Sounds like I should perhaps engage a Lutron expert nearby to take a look at what we've got in place to work out the specifics of the upgrade, even if it turns out we can make the changes ourselves.
    The MR16s are going to be a challenge. The transformers used with halogen MR16s will not work with LEDs. I've tried lots of options and none of them work. The options for MR16 are: stay with halogen, convert to line voltage, replace all the transformers with new LED drivers. The last 2 options are very expensive. The PD-10NXD should work well with the halogen MR16s.

    The question is how are the lights wired. I would make sure the Lutron guy has the electrical experience to be able to figure that out. Otherwise I would call an electrician. Remind him that the Caseta dimmers are all single-pole/location but some (like the 10NXD) will work with a mechanical 3-way switch. The electrician is better suited to move those extra switches, if necessary.
    LED, Incorporated
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by randyc View Post
    The MR16s are going to be a challenge. The transformers used with halogen MR16s will not work with LEDs. I've tried lots of options and none of them work. The options for MR16 are: stay with halogen, convert to line voltage, replace all the transformers with new LED drivers. The last 2 options are very expensive. The PD-10NXD should work well with the halogen MR16s.The question is how are the lights wired. I would make sure the Lutron guy has the electrical experience to be able to figure that out. Otherwise I would call an electrician. Remind him that the Caseta dimmers are all single-pole/location but some (like the 10NXD) will work with a mechanical 3-way switch. The electrician is better suited to move those extra switches, if necessary.
    Thanks, Randy. Just a couple of thoughts:1. Staying with halogens begs the question about incurring the cost of converting from Grafik Eye to Caseta in the first place, since a major driver is a better ability to utilize LEDs which should ultimately cost less and be more user-friendly (i.e., not having to climb a ladder to replace bulbs every 2 or 3 months).2. But in the big picture, staying with halogens may not be an option if my state (California) decides to outlaw the sale of incandescent bulbs, which could very well happen in the foreseeable future. In that case, we'll be forced to do a rip and replace of the Grafik Eye system anyway. Or else live without installed lighting (which would be kinda tough in a kitchen, but that won't change the state's mind).My hunch is that the way this thing was wired will determine what options we really have. Decisions, decisions....

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    I think you'd be surprised how well the old graphic eyes can handle LEDs. Each zone is a neutral wire dimmer. I have RA2 6Ds running a fair amount of Philips bulbs with only one circuit that gave me issues. Swapped for a neutral wire and was good to go.
    Business Development Associate- Design, Sales, Installation, and Programming of Smart Homes for Baker Electric Home Energy
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    "Spread the light, brother" -Blake Richetta
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    Quote Originally Posted by SDR-Mike View Post
    I think you'd be surprised how well the old graphic eyes can handle LEDs. Each zone is a neutral wire dimmer. I have RA2 6Ds running a fair amount of Philips bulbs with only one circuit that gave me issues. Swapped for a neutral wire and was good to go.
    No buzzing and/or flickering? I've seen serious issues described with MR16 and full voltage LEDs and Grafik Eye setups. And of course staying with Grafik Eye pretty much means ditching any hope of integration with modern home automation solutions as they evolve.

  9. #9
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    I don't think SDR-Mike was referring to MR16s. The GRX series (old) and QSG series (new) both require a neutral connection. You can find forward-phase LEDs that will work with either series. You won't find any MR16 LEDs that will work with the older, magnetic, core-n-coil, transformers. That's not a function of the Grafik Eye. There is a lot of reasons they don't work - in-rush current, noise, etc.

    Lutron does have an app note about dimming MR16 LEDs. See link below. Been there, didn't work and you would probably have to replace the transformers anyway.

    http://www.lutron.com/TechnicalDocum...ary/048559.pdf
    LED, Incorporated
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  10. #10
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    Dimming MR16 LEDs is the bane of my existence. Used to have contractors that swore by Green Creative. Soraa was the only other one the best of my guys would recommend.
    Business Development Associate- Design, Sales, Installation, and Programming of Smart Homes for Baker Electric Home Energy
    mbalay@bakerhomeenergy.com
    "Spread the light, brother" -Blake Richetta
    "If you think hiring a professional is expensive, wait until you hire an amateur" -Crustyloafer

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