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Thread: Picos vs. Keypads

  1. #1

    Picos vs. Keypads

    I am a homeowner and have been doing research on RadioRa2. It looks like a great system. One question I have, and its a bit subjective, is what are the benefits of keypads over Pico remotes? I think that I can cover the situations I want with either the new standard scene pico remotes and a couple custom engraved ones. The benefits are that they are WAY cheaper than keypads and are easier to install in a couple locations where I don't have an extra gang to put a full keypad. The advantages of the keypads I see are: more buttons per-keypad, LED scene indicators, and they look higher-end. Anything I'm missing out on?

    thank you, already learned a lot browsing this forum :)

  2. #2
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    Function. Keypad buttons can be programmed as scenes, paths, or toggles. They can also be used to change timeclock mode and turn green mode on/off. They can be used to call shared scenes (so you don't have to program every button separately. A huge time saver with larger systems. As you mentioned, keypads have 2-way communication - you get feedback.

    Pico buttons are all single-action. You can program them so they turn some lights on and some off with a single press. You can also program the non-raise/lower buttons separately. If you do, you don't have a way to turn the lights of. If you use the top button to turn lights A & B on and the bottom to turn C & D on, you have to have another button to turn the lights off.

    When comparing prices, keep in mind that it would take 6 Picos to do what 1 6-button keypad would.

    It's not terribly hard to cut a keypad in above a switch box if necessary. There are also hybrid keypads (a dimmer/keypad combination). There are ways you can covert 3-way wiring to have a keypad at one end instead of a companion dimmer.

    Keypad buttons are engraved so they are more intuitive.
    LED, Incorporated
    Raleigh, NC 27614

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  4. #3
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    Keypads, Keypads, Keypads
    Picos have their place and are a awesome invention. I use them all the time adding 3ways or adding a switch where running wires and drywall work wouldn't make the customer happy.
    Example. Add lights in a bed wireless control goes in the attic or the closet and pico goes where ever they want it. Great solution.

    But....for serious scene control. Ick, Ewh, no thanks.
    Just did a RA2 select install. Owner wanted to save $1000 and not use full Ra2/keypads. No matter what I told them. They now have four 4 button picos in one room. Two of them stacked on top of each other. Was back last week for minor programming tweaking. They wanted to split loads but didn't have anymore buttons. Keypads would have solved that. Now they have to use app for some loads. Plus engraving pico's through Lutron is $$$$. I have a local guy.
    Ra2 select system works great. After all it is built from a reliable product. Programs fairly easily. But I'm just not a fan of pico as a main control option.

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  6. #4
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    So... that is one vote for Picos?
    LED, Incorporated
    Raleigh, NC 27614

  7. #5
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    I have an RA2 Select system and so far have found picos coupled with the Lutron app to be just great. I will also be getting a harmony remote which will extend the capability a bit more. I came from an old tech keypad system and donít miss it at all.

  8. #6
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    Even if you have keypads, picos have their place. I am going to be meeting with a client who has a bunch of pocket doors where I can't put in a box nor run power to for a keypad and it would have been super nice to use a PJ2-4B-GWH-P03 pico so I could have 3 scenes and an off. I can use the Pico with a Caseta or Ra2 Select system but this particular pico, nor any pico that allows multiple zones is allowed by Radio Ra2 nor Homeworks QS (despite them saying they're compatible on the box). The whole pico thing is out of control right now. There are entirely too many different types of picos for different types of systems which aren't compatible with other systems.

  9. #7

    Yes!

    Quote Originally Posted by MitchE View Post
    Keypads, Keypads, Keypads
    Picos have their place and are a awesome invention. I use them all the time adding 3ways or adding a switch where running wires and drywall work wouldn't make the customer happy.
    Example. Add lights in a bed wireless control goes in the attic or the closet and pico goes where ever they want it. Great solution.

    But....for serious scene control. Ick, Ewh, no thanks.
    Just did a RA2 select install. Owner wanted to save $1000 and not use full Ra2/keypads. No matter what I told them. They now have four 4 button picos in one room. Two of them stacked on top of each other. Was back last week for minor programming tweaking. They wanted to split loads but didn't have anymore buttons. Keypads would have solved that. Now they have to use app for some loads. Plus engraving pico's through Lutron is $$$$. I have a local guy.
    Ra2 select system works great. After all it is built from a reliable product. Programs fairly easily. But I'm just not a fan of pico as a main control option.
    Totally agree. If you have a choice and it's a fixed location - keypad is always my answer. I always order the 6BRL to give a lot of flexibility during initial design and set up, then when engraving time comes around I can change it to what ever was the final choice, after a quick reactivation. Also easier to change a year later as every keypad can be outfitted with any button config. The ability to have the keypad backlit -and at different levels is cool too. I find most homeowners love that feature.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by MitchE View Post
    Keypads, Keypads, Keypads
    Picos have their place and are a awesome invention. I use them all the time adding 3ways or adding a switch where running wires and drywall work wouldn't make the customer happy.
    Example. Add lights in a bed wireless control goes in the attic or the closet and pico goes where ever they want it. Great solution.

    But....for serious scene control. Ick, Ewh, no thanks.
    Just did a RA2 select install. Owner wanted to save $1000 and not use full Ra2/keypads. No matter what I told them. They now have four 4 button picos in one room. Two of them stacked on top of each other. Was back last week for minor programming tweaking. They wanted to split loads but didn't have anymore buttons. Keypads would have solved that. Now they have to use app for some loads. Plus engraving pico's through Lutron is $$$$. I have a local guy.
    Ra2 select system works great. After all it is built from a reliable product. Programs fairly easily. But I'm just not a fan of pico as a main control option.
    Totally agree. If you have a choice and it's a fixed location - keypad is always my answer. I always order the 6BRL to give a lot of flexibility during initial design and set up, then when engraving time comes around I can change it to what ever was the final choice, after a quick reactivation. Also easier to change a year later as every keypad can be outfitted with any button config. The ability to have the keypad backlit -and at different levels is cool too. I find most homeowners love that feature.

  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MitchE View Post
    Keypads, Keypads, Keypads
    Plus engraving pico's through Lutron is $$$$. I have a local guy.
    How are you locally engraving keypads?

  11. #9
    Junior Member
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    Dec 2018
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    Color Options

    As a home owner looking at DIY options I really like the Ra2 Select as it seemed like the perfect solution until you saw the limited Pico color options. The Maestro switches come in a large variety of colors while Picos are limited to just three Satin colors and a few gloss.

    This feels like a big deterrent to using Ra2 Select and just taking the online class and moving to regular Ra2 so you can use the 6 button keypads which do come in all the colors.

    Anyone know of plans to expand the Picos to include the full range of color options available to Maestro?

  12. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpivR View Post
    How are you locally engraving keypads?
    I've had issues with locals being able to engrave on the curved surface. Plus the keypad comes with pre-paid engraving so...
    LED, Incorporated
    Raleigh, NC 27614

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