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Thread: RA2 Select Questios

  1. #1

    RA2 Select Questios

    Hello. I'm a newbie to Automated Lighting. I started experimenting with some Caseta components back in October. I've grown our system to about 26 devices and just pulled the trigger on some Sivoia QS Shades. The addition of the shade is going to put me real close to the 50 device limit and I would like to add more light controls and shades in the future. I am a DIY guy. I really enjoy Do'ing It Myself. That is half of the enjoyment for me. I have seen here that Lutron makes another DIY line, RA2 Select. I am considering pulling my Caseta switches and dimmer out and replacing them with RA2 Select devices. I realize I will need to remove and replace my Caseta Switches and Smart Bridge.

    Here are my questions for you knowledgeable folks.
    1. Is the RA2 Select line really targeted toward and available to the DIY customer?
    2. If so, where can I buy them...?
    3. Can I use Maestro RF Dimmers with RA2 Select?
    4. Can I re-use my Pico Remotes?
    5. What would be the RA2 Select Equivalent to:


    • PD-10NXD Caseta Pro MLV Dimmer
    • PD-6ANS Caseta In Wall Switch
    • PD-5NE Caseta ELV Dimmer
    • PD-3PCL Caseta Outlet


    Is there anything else I need to know or consider...?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  2. #2
    Hi,

    To answer some of your questions:

    RA2 Select is sold by a dealer but customers can add/remove devices from the contractor setup after it has been installed. I suppose you can purchase the devices from a dealer and install them yourself once you have the bridge and switches. No, I don't believe you can use re-use the Maestro RF stuff. Yes, you can reuse the Pico remotes.

    The equivalents aren't as straightforward but I'll provide some insight:

    PD-10NXD is a dimmer and the MLV dimmers are: RRD-6NA, RRD-10ND (these require the neutrals) The RRD-6CL and RRD-10D don't require any neutrals.

    PD-6ANS is a switch that's replaceable with RRD-8ANS.

    PD-5NE is a dimmer and I believe the RRD-6NA is the equivalent. Although I had an LED fixture using the PD-5NE and replaced it with an RRD-6NA and I couldn't get the fixture to stop flickering.

    PD-3PCL can be replaced with RRD-3LD.

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  4. #3
    So tell me... Why would I want to upgrade to RA2 Select...? The device limit is obvious. What are the other reasons to consider RA2 Select, and what are the drawbacks....? Is there an upgrade path from RA2 Select to RA2...?

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gator Bite View Post
    So tell me... Why would I want to upgrade to RA2 Select...? The device limit is obvious. What are the other reasons to consider RA2 Select, and what are the drawbacks....? Is there an upgrade path from RA2 Select to RA2...?
    Upgrading to RadioRA2 from Select requires a default of all the devices, and then laptop programming of the RadioRA2 main repeater (different from the Select). Devices can be re-used in the new system. You'll need to take the online course from Lutron's LCI (link at very bottom of Lutron.com) to get access to the software or take an in-person class. You'll also need to set up a myLutron account- at the top of lutron.com.

    Picos can always be re-used, they are system agnostic.

    Maestro RF will not work with RA2Select or RadioRA2. The repeater may recognize the device, but you'll never be able to activate it.

    Now that Caseta has a fan controller, the only reason to go RA2 Select is the device limit, once you've gone done the Caseta path.

    There are ways to link two Caseta systems, check Homeseer. Allows multiple bridges under one master Homeseer controller. I am a Control4 programmer as well, but there is no path for a consumer to get this unless a dealer sells it.

    Look on the "where to buy" on Lutron's website, find a distributor that will sell RA2 Select to you and go DIY if you need to upgrade. Programs just like Caseta. Watch the four button scene Picos in RA2S, it auto-populates dimmers at certain levels when the Pico is assigned to a room. You can edit that later, so it really isn't an issue, just something to watch for when programming.

    And finally, RA2S is more expensive than Caseta. List on the RRD-6ND (basic dimmer for RA2S) is $140, about double the Caseta PD-6WCL. Main is $250. Quite the $$ outlay. Glad you are looking into it before hitting the limit like some have. I was starting to get grumpy in the "my Caseta is maxed out" thread. Feel free to email me (in signature) if you have questions. Happy to help.
    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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  7. #5
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    My advice is to go for full RadioRA2 over RA2 Select.

    The cost is a few hours of on-line training and a couple hundred more $.
    The benefits are: 1) memorized default dimmer levels and ramp rates, 2) access to keypads, 3) motion sensors showing on Telnet. The system has to be programmed in Lutron's PC software, but it's really a pretty good program, better than any web or phone app.

    Multiple Caseta bridges can be aggregated in a home automation platform called Hubitat. The Caseta bridges need to be the Pro model as Hubitat controls them via Telnet. RA2 Select and RadioRA 2 can also be used in the Hubitat environment. The major benefit is the ability to add automations to the Lutron lighting system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BillD View Post
    My advice is to go for full RadioRA2 over RA2 Select.

    The cost is a few hours of on-line training and a couple hundred more $.
    The benefits are: 1) memorized default dimmer levels and ramp rates, 2) access to keypads, 3) motion sensors showing on Telnet. The system has to be programmed in Lutron's PC software, but it's really a pretty good program, better than any web or phone app.
    I completed my online training and have the software, but I believe the software we get by completing free online level 1 training is Essential, which is NOT a full blown RadioRA 2. We cannot use keypad and some of the features in dimmers remain blocked for RA2 Select. If you want to do full blown RadioRA2 own, which is essentially get an access to the real application, I believe we have to attend physical course, which costs I believe couple thousands dollar or so?

    As for OP, RA2 select is totally DIY. I've never done electrical wiring myself before, but doing some online reading (Lutron learning site was very helpful) and asking many questions to Lutron Support, which is one of the best customer support I have had in US, I have been able to install switches without a problem. In fact, I saw several Caseta switch installation video but they are almost the same with slightly more complexity (but may be none to minimum for more experienced DIYers). For instance, I believe Caseta does not take Hot wire vs. Switch Leg, but RRD Switches do. More device options so you need to make sure what specific location takes.

    You can buy components online fairly easily. Just google or go to big online stores.

    I chose RA2 Select over Caseta personally for following reasons:

    1. 100 device limit. Since pico remote counts as a device, and if ever I decided to add shades, I can imagine 50 is not an impossible number to hit. This is one main.
    2. Full RadioRA2 upgrade potential by just switching/replacing main repeater i.e. no hardwiring again and buying all new switches.
    3. More device options. I live in old home and many of my switches turned out to not have neutral wire, or even a ground wire access. But RA2 Select devices support these scenario as dimmer or switch.

    This is like my new hobby, so I do not intend to replace everything in my home right away with Smart switches, but one at a time, especially when I find a good deal. So cost difference are significant compared to Caseta but I won't see that at once, and when time comes, I can even go further with RadioRA2 upgrade.

  10. #7
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    Hmmmm... Or may be am I confused that Select is different from Essential? So in reality it's like RA2 Select, RadioRA2 with Essential, and RadioRA2 Inclusive for total 3 layers in RA2 with first two being DIY?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TechFocus View Post
    I completed my online training and have the software, but I believe the software we get by completing free online level 1 training is Essential, which is NOT a full blown RadioRA 2. We cannot use keypad and some of the features in dimmers remain blocked for RA2 Select. If you want to do full blown RadioRA2 own, which is essentially get an access to the real application, I believe we have to attend physical course, which costs I believe couple thousands dollar or so?
    TechFocus- RadioRA2 (full) has an online free training that allows you to download and implement the Essentials/Inclusive program. Here is where there is confusion- Essentials and Inclusive are the same program, just those who have taken the Inclusive/Level 2 class are given a security key to unlock several features.

    1. Shared Scene/Toggle- "global" scenes applied to a keypad program that "saves' as a "favorite" and can be called again easily. Shared scenes/toggles are linked, so a change to one will affect all the buttons assigned to that shared scene/toggle.
    2. Second Main Repeater- allows for up to 200 total devices. These two systems technically are separate, but each main has the full program. The two mains talk via the Ethernet only. There is no direct communication between the two systems, yet the two behave as one and appear as one under the apps.
    3. GrafikT- this may have changed, I haven't used Essentials in years. At one point, only Inclusive users had access to the GrafikT line.

    Extraction of an existing file was added to Essentials sometime around 10.0 or 11.0.

    Inclusive/Level2 can always see/use/extract an Essentials/Level1 file. Once Inclusive/Level2 has been used, Essentials/Level1 is locked out of manipulating the file.

    RA2Select was designed to gain entry into RadioRA2 with a lower cost. Mainly from the limitations of Caseta- 50 vs. 100 devices. You lose the keypads entirely, and can only use Picos. This effectively eliminates the "toggle" function of most of the keypads, as they predominantly are 4 button scene controllers.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by SDR-Mike View Post
    TechFocus- RadioRA2 (full) has an online free training that allows you to download and implement the Essentials/Inclusive program. Here is where there is confusion- Essentials and Inclusive are the same program, just those who have taken the Inclusive/Level 2 class are given a security key to unlock several features.

    RA2Select was designed to gain entry into RadioRA2 with a lower cost. Mainly from the limitations of Caseta- 50 vs. 100 devices. You lose the keypads entirely, and can only use Picos. This effectively eliminates the "toggle" function of most of the keypads, as they predominantly are 4 button scene controllers.
    This is very helpful and I’m now pretty sure I have totally misunderstood.

    So just to clarify, Here is my personal situation. I’ve completed level 1 training and installed essential software, purchased Select main repeater. I found iOS app is adequate for setup so I’ve using it solely. But lately I get request from my spouse fade in/out of dimmers to be turned off. Since I didn’t see the option in iOS app, I went to essential and it does not recognize main repeater.

    But now I believe what I need is RadioRA2 main repeater and that is what sync with Essetial app? With it I should still be able to turn off fading of dimmer? If I then still want to use IOS app, I need to purchase RadioRA2 connect bridge? So basically I can still keep this as DIY project as long as I don’t hit 100 limits or other features you’ve kindly listed become necessary?

    Thank you for detailed reply!

  14. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechFocus View Post
    This is very helpful and I’m now pretty sure I have totally misunderstood.

    So just to clarify, Here is my personal situation. I’ve completed level 1 training and installed essential software, purchased Select main repeater. I found iOS app is adequate for setup so I’ve using it solely. But lately I get request from my spouse fade in/out of dimmers to be turned off. Since I didn’t see the option in iOS app, I went to essential and it does not recognize main repeater.

    But now I believe what I need is RadioRA2 main repeater and that is what sync with Essetial app? With it I should still be able to turn off fading of dimmer? If I then still want to use IOS app, I need to purchase RadioRA2 connect bridge? So basically I can still keep this as DIY project as long as I don’t hit 100 limits or other features you’ve kindly listed become necessary?

    Thank you for detailed reply!
    You will need the RadioRA2 main repeater and the Connect Bridge. You can alter the fade rate under the design tab of the software- right click on the dimmer in question and select advanced properties. You can change the fade rates of keypad buttons under programming tab, or via the app when editing the keypad. Essentials will not recognize the RA2S main at all.

    Sorry you invested in a RA2S main, and now the next two pieces will be a bit more. Should be able to sell the RA2S main online, or convince a buddy to buy it and start on his house too.
    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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