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Thread: Newbie with a few basic questions

  1. #1
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    Newbie with a few basic questions

    The current (manual operated) honeycomb fan fold window treatments in my bedroom need replacing. 2 Windows: one (70 ¾ by 28 ⅝) faces west so I definitely want room darkening. The other (70 ¾ by 47) faces north so I figure just "regular" material. This is a retrofit and an ideal opportunity to upgrade to motorized shade control. Basically, this is the first of many projects to eventually transform my "dumb" home into a "smart" (automated) home.

    What I've not been able to get my head around is difference between a (wall mounted) keypad control and a wall mounted pico remote control. I basically do NOT want a mobile control that gets lost so I waste way to much time looking for it. All controls will be wall mounted in place of or an addition to current boxes.

    I am thinking the keypad is programmed for scenes (requiring a RadioRA2) and the remote can be used to control a single shade without a RadioRA2? But when I do eventually install a RadioRA2 controller, what happens to my pico remotes? Can they be eventually programmed like a keypad?

    Either way, does one have to continuously hold down the (open/close) button to operate the shade, or can one just "trigger" an open/close by clicking the button (like the way garage door openers work) and the shade knows when to stop the open/close cycle?

    I am a computer programmer by trade, and the whole programmed, automated house thing has intrigued me for many years. My last question, does the RadioRA2 include an astronomical clock for sunrise/sunset timings? It is pretty clear to me the Homeworks system does, but have not been able to definitively determine that RadioRA2 provides this feature as well.

    (I have read through some of the documentation available on the web site, so if you can point me to document/page #, I will be glad to discover what I may have missed.)

    Thanking you in advance for your help.
    OC_Carl

  2. #2
    Authorized Lutron Contributor
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    You are on the right track. The PICO controls will be direct shade controls. When you add the RA2 system, simply default the shade and activate the shade and PICO in the RA2 system.

    The wall keypads are RA2 devices.

    You can mount a PICO on the wall, then mount a wallplate over it to keep it from being moved.

    With any Lutron shade control, the Open and Close buttons are momentary presses. Raise and Lower require you to hold the button. When you release, the shade stops.

    The RA2 software will allow both astronomic and time-of-day programming. Keep in mind that this software is accessible only after you have gone through the RA2 certification process.

  3. #3
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    @OC_Carl - Another option you have when it comes to creating a "smart" home is the Staples Connect system, which supports a variety of Lutron lighting and shading solutions. The system is aimed at the DIY type of homeowner who wants to build up their own connected home system over time. The system supports Lutron's Serena motorized shades (www.serenashades.com) and Lutron's Caseta Wireless dimmers and Pico controls (www.casetawireless.com). The system also supports a wide variety of other manufacturers connected home type products such as door locks, cameras, window/door sensors, etc. More information about the Staples Connect system can be found by visiting their website (http://www.staples.com/sbd/cre/marke...aples-connect/). If you're looking to just start with a few Lutron honeycomb shades with some wall-mounted Pico controls and require some assistance on determining which style and fabric to choose for the windows, you can visit the Serena Shades website (www.serenashades.com) or call 1-855-5-SERENA to speak with a Serena Shades Specialist.

    One thing to note is that if you go the route of purchasing Serena shades, they will work in a stand-alone mode with Pico controls, or with the Staples Connect system, but they will NOT work with a RadioRA 2 system. If you do decide to go the route of a RadioRA 2 system, you will need to complete the RadioRA 2 online qualification training in order to download the software, as well as the Sivoia QS Triathlon Shades online qualification training to order Sivoia QS Triathlon shades, which can be activated into a RadioRA 2 system. Note that if you pursue the option of a RadioRA 2 system, Lutron strongly encourages working with a factory-trained RadioRA 2 dealer in your area for proper system design, installation, and programming.

  4. #4
    Authorized Lutron Contributor
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    Just to clarify, the Sivoia QS Triathlon version (formerly known as Sivoia QS Wirelsss Honeycomb) of our Honeycomb shades is compatible with Radio RA2, Homeworks QS, and with the Staples Connect system.

    Serena Honeycomb shades are only compatible with PICO controls and the Staples Connect system.

  5. #5
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    Thank you very much for the valuable information. It is very helpful.

    The problem right now with Lutron window treatments is the limited color options. Specifically while Mint (from the Rio collection) is the "perfect color" for our room (based on the color samples I received), there is a West facing window for which we MUST HAVE a room darkening shade.

    I just got a follow up call from a Lutron rep. (Taylor) who confirmed there is NO WAY to order a shade in room darkening Mint. I pretty much surmised this from serenashades.com, so unfortunately, I purchased my window shades from another major motorized window treatment supplier 8-( who offers VERY LIMITED home automation control options 8-( !!

    Now if Lutron would "merge" (LBO or whatever) with this other motorized window treatment company (its initials are HD 8-), Lutron would be a powerhouse in the home automation window treatment industry! Maybe in another universe there exists a home automation company that also provides an array of window treatments that a major (motorized) window treatment company does. In other words Lutron seems to be a lighting control home automation company in need of a window treatment company. Or, the major motorized window treatment company needs to acquire a lighting control home automation company to integrate its battery powered window treatments into home automation. (It even went so far as to make a statement in 2012 that is has no plans to 8-(

    The home automation industry reminds me of the personal computer industry back in the 70's. Home brew and lots of little guys custom building very expensive small computers. (I guess that is why CEDIA exists 8-) Then, when a very big international marketing and business machine manufacturing company "partnered" with a small micro-computer software company they brought personal computing into the main stream at ever decreasing affordable prices! ;-)

    Until Lutron can increase their array of window treatment (color) options, they will be forcing buyers (like me) to purchase elsewhere 8-( I really wonder why Lutron has not gone all in to offer a full line of window treatment (color) options?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Tim S. View Post
    You are on the right track. The PICO controls will be direct shade controls. When you add the RA2 system, simply default the shade and activate the shade and PICO in the RA2 system.

    The wall keypads are RA2 devices.

    You can mount a PICO on the wall, then mount a wallplate over it to keep it from being moved.

    With any Lutron shade control, the Open and Close buttons are momentary presses. Raise and Lower require you to hold the button. When you release, the shade stops.

    The RA2 software will allow both astronomic and time-of-day programming. Keep in mind that this software is accessible only after you have gone through the RA2 certification process.
    So i don;t need the smart bridge for standalone operation from pico? (that's good news)

    If I want to use an applewatch, I assume I just buy the smartbridge?

  7. #7
    Authorized Lutron Contributor
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    Yes, for integration with Apple, you will need the Lutron Smart Bridge (L-BDG2-WH).

    Note that for Apple integration, this needs to be the second generation version of the Smart Bridge. This is noted by the '2' in the part number. These units have been shipping for a few months now.The previous bridges (L-BDG-WH) will work with the Lutron App, but not the Apple phone.

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