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Thread: Programming training

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Apr 2016
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    Programming training

    Hi all.
    I have been installing Lutron Homeworks for about 18 years now mostly in the UK, but rarely have to do anything complex within the programming, regarding variables, conditional logic etc.
    Very much Vanilla programming.
    I know the system can accomplish much more but as I am based in Africa predominantly (now) I have the opportunity to include much more.
    For instance over here we all have private boreholes for water which is generally manually switched by a Gateman or house staff when the owner is at home. I would like to automate this depending on an occupancy sensor or a previous button press indicating occupancy but cant find any actual programming guide or even guidelines.
    There are also many variables that I can add but again can't find any 'how to' guide or application notes.
    There are so many different scenarios where I can add a 'WOW' (in African eyes anyway) that I don't want to be constantly on the forum asking how to do this and that and being a general nuisance to everybody.
    Many thanks in advance for any assistance you can give

    Andrew

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Oct 2013
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    1,835
    Under the main program drop down there is a field called 'variables.' When programming buttons, clock events, etc. there is a drop down at the top of the right window called "Program Type," that you can change to conditional. They are fairly intuitive but you may have to do some experimenting.

    There used to be some videos for Illumination but I don't think they would apply.

    I have sent some stuff to Lutron and said, "Will this work?" They are pretty good about it as long as you don't send them 10 a day.

    Lutron RPS sensors all have a timeout. You would have to find a 3rd party sensor that does not have a timeout. I've had zero success in getting the homeowner to remember to press buttons to let the house know they are home or away.
    LED, Incorporated
    Raleigh, NC 27614

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  4. #3
    Junior Member
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    Dec 2015
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    Andrew's issue raises a good point. The Homeworks QS programming possibilities are not well documented. Lutron should provide some documentation like in Illumination, which was extremely helpful. By the time I went through it all, I was explaining things like Global Variables to the best dealer in India who had never used them before.

    Also Lutron should provide online repository for their own code examples and code examples from other Dealers who want to share what they've done. For instance, someone posted some code someplace (it might have been Armando) for turning a keypad into a combination locks. It's a very good idea, and keeps everyone from having to "re-invent the wheel". I think that probably the vast majority of dealers aren't fully exploiting the features and possibilities of HWQS, and that's a shame. There's so much than can me done. Lastly, there were some things in Illumination that never made sense like programming time of day based on midnight to midnight schedule. It was cumbersome to say have Occupancy Sensors activated from 6pm to 6am; you had to 6pm to midnight and then midnight to 6am if I remember correctly (it's been some years now).

    I spoke with a very successful and competent Lutron dealer / master electrical contractor in Santa Barbara a few years ago. They work on houses and commercial probably starting at the $2MM mark and the average house price in the $5MM range. They didn't know anything about Ecosystem addressable drivers, and they said they never used motion sensors because clients complained they didn't work properly. In one of my projects, I've got about 30 wireless occupancy sensors and they work incredibly well, but you have to be smart about how you use them and how you setup scenes accordingly. For example, if you have a occupancy ON setting in a room with the TV, you need to make a scene that has some minimal level of the light on or a way to cleverly disable the detector the the client is going to be disappointed with the lights come back to the default level if he/she hasn't moved for 5/15/30/etc minutes. Likewise, the sensor placement is crucial.

    One more note, it would be helpful if Lutron had some direct email addresses / point of contact on a global level to deal with mistakes in the documentation, spec sheets and ambiguities. I've pointed out a number of things and reps have said it would be escalated to a product manager, but nothing ever happens so who knows if it ever goes anyplace.

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  6. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingfisher View Post
    Andrew's issue raises a good point. The Homeworks QS programming possibilities are not well documented. Lutron should provide some documentation like in Illumination, which was extremely helpful. By the time I went through it all, I was explaining things like Global Variables to the best dealer in India who had never used them before.

    Also Lutron should provide online repository for their own code examples and code examples from other Dealers who want to share what they've done. For instance, someone posted some code someplace (it might have been Armando) for turning a keypad into a combination locks. It's a very good idea, and keeps everyone from having to "re-invent the wheel". I think that probably the vast majority of dealers aren't fully exploiting the features and possibilities of HWQS, and that's a shame. There's so much than can me done. Lastly, there were some things in Illumination that never made sense like programming time of day based on midnight to midnight schedule. It was cumbersome to say have Occupancy Sensors activated from 6pm to 6am; you had to 6pm to midnight and then midnight to 6am if I remember correctly (it's been some years now).

    I spoke with a very successful and competent Lutron dealer / master electrical contractor in Santa Barbara a few years ago. They work on houses and commercial probably starting at the $2MM mark and the average house price in the $5MM range. They didn't know anything about Ecosystem addressable drivers, and they said they never used motion sensors because clients complained they didn't work properly. In one of my projects, I've got about 30 wireless occupancy sensors and they work incredibly well, but you have to be smart about how you use them and how you setup scenes accordingly. For example, if you have a occupancy ON setting in a room with the TV, you need to make a scene that has some minimal level of the light on or a way to cleverly disable the detector the the client is going to be disappointed with the lights come back to the default level if he/she hasn't moved for 5/15/30/etc minutes. Likewise, the sensor placement is crucial.

    One more note, it would be helpful if Lutron had some direct email addresses / point of contact on a global level to deal with mistakes in the documentation, spec sheets and ambiguities. I've pointed out a number of things and reps have said it would be escalated to a product manager, but nothing ever happens so who knows if it ever goes anyplace.
    I should clarify that the Santa Barbara dealer did install Occupancy Sensors in every project (something to do with California Title whatever), but ended up ripping them out each time because client's complained they didn't work well. We all know the sensors work well, but they need to be well programmed and placed. It's not trivial.

  7. #5
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    Sep 2014
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    King that would be great if they even had some kind of help files for the program itself. Many things are not as clear as you'd think, and to get clarification or an example, the only "Help" is to look on these forums, or call support. I don't have time to call support, and for the most part these forums are not that useful. Getting a response from someone from Lutron here takes days. Why should I tie up support's phone lines to get a simple question answered that could be in a help file? Practically every other piece of software out there has help files.

    As for a place where example code to be posted, that's another great idea. Then again i've been submitting feature requests for years (as directed by support) for features we absolutely should have (Ideas like Scene Saving like we had in HWI??!!! Is that too much to ask?) and it seems they fall on deaf ears.

    - - - Updated - - -

    King that would be great if they even had some kind of help files for the program itself. Many things are not as clear as you'd think, and to get clarification or an example, the only "Help" is to look on these forums, or call support. I don't have time to call support, and for the most part these forums are not that useful. Getting a response from someone from Lutron here takes days. Why should I tie up support's phone lines to get a simple question answered that could be in a help file? Practically every other piece of software out there has help files.

    As for a place where example code to be posted, that's another great idea. Then again i've been submitting feature requests for years (as directed by support) for features we absolutely should have (Ideas like Scene Saving like we had in HWI??!!! Is that too much to ask?) and it seems they fall on deaf ears.

  8. #6
    Senior Member
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    I am a master electrician. I have been doing Lutron for almost 19 years. I have been in the lighting industry for twice that time. I am also certified in Vantage, Crestron and have been certified in a couple of other systems.

    In my experience, motion sensors don't work well in most residential applications. Residential rooms are used differently and homeowners have different expectations.

    I also tend to go very light on variables and conditionals. When homeowners approach a light switch/keypad button, they are thinking on/off/dim. They don't want to think if it is before noon x will happen but if it is after noon y will happen.

    I don't do many timers inside the house. There are just so many exceptions it often creates frustration and phone calls.

    That's not to say sensors, conditionals and timers don't have potential but I just don't see their widespread use.

    As a dealer, I have spent most of my life developing techniques and code. There are ~20 Lutron dealer within 2 hours of me. I don't mind sharing some experience but I'm not interested in giving them code for free.

    I've also seen non-Lutron dealers suddenly become Lutron dealers to get a job, then drop the line when the project is completed. If I had $1 for every time I heard an owner say, "The other guy told me it couldn't do that," I'd be living in Belize.
    LED, Incorporated
    Raleigh, NC 27614

  9. #7
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Thank you all for the input and feedback.
    If any documentation is incorrect you can submit it to systemsupport@lutron.com and we will ensure it gets escalated for correction. By sending this inquiry via email it will get a case number assigned that you can use later to follow up on.

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