LED lighting control


(Simon) #1

Hi folks - I’m a rank noob at the home automation game so go easy on me. I’m coming to the end of a total remodel on my house and have installed recessed Utilitech LEDs throughout the house controlled by Lutron C-L Maestro dimmers with no neutrals (I rewired the house and code dictated that I bundle all neutrals in the switch boxes). I haven’t bought the ST hub yet because I want to know I can do what I want to do with it before I jump in.

My goal is to be able to control certain LED lighting circuits through the ST hub, which I can then control through an app like iRule or Roomy. I’ve spend the past few days trying to understand if I can do this. Here’s where I got to:

  • In order to communicate with the ST hub switches require a trickle of power which can cause LEDs to turn on slightly/flicker continually because there is often not enough load in the LED circuit. This problem is exacerbated with no neutrals.
  • Current best solution would be to use a Z-Wave switch and add a resistor to eat up enough power so the LEDs don’t come on when they should be off. This seems rather ridiculous to me since I’ve gone to great lengths to increase the efficiency of my house.
  • I am yet to see a switch that is as sleek and well designed as my Lutron Masetro dimmers - the GE/Jasco ones look like cheap janky plastic barely better than standard decorator switches which I’ve replaced, the WeMo seems fraught with problems and the MS-owned Insteon look good but probably won’t be supported by Samsung-owned ST. Oh, and the Ube switch looks OK but they’ve been saying they’re releasing it for years so I’m not holding my breath.
  • Also, Lutron do a very nice line of switches in the Radio Ra2 line, but I think I would need to buy their hub and then I can’t do anything with it unless I have a Lutron-approved installer do it for me, which isn’t happening.

So, my conclusion is that at the moment my best bet would be the ugly GE Z-Wave switches with a dummy resistor if my LED lights flicker. Is that correct, or are there any better options for LED lighting control now?

Also, I’m pretty sure I can’t control the ST hub through iRule or Roomy, but I might be basing that on info from old posts. Any ideas as to whether this has changed or might change in the future?

Cheers
Simon


#2

@AnimalHungry [quote=“AnimalHungry, post:1, topic:8961”]
code dictated that I bundle all neutrals in the switch
[/quote]

My house is wired the same way with all the neutrals bundled in each box. I have all GE switches, and they work great, and look pretty good too. :wink: I just use a pigtail wire from the neutral bundle in the box to the neutral connection on the switch. All my bulbs are LED, and I do not use any kind of resistor. Basically If you have neutrals at each switch box, you’re good to go; and you do not need resistors. Here’s something to look at as well: http://store.homeseer.com/store/HomeSeer-Z-Wave-Wall-Switch-Matrix-W7C37.aspx

I also have one GE dimmer w/LED’s I’m experimenting with, and it will dim if there’s enough LED’s in the circuit, which in my case are 6 Utilitech par38’s ceiling floods. More than likely I may end up going with Linear (looks like the GE). I have several dimmers w/low voltage halogens, and I’d like to be completely LED pretty soon.

Switches by Lutron look good, but I don’t believe they have zwave devices, just their own RF stuff (I think). Cooper/Aspire make decent looking zwave devices, but they are pricey.


(Mike Maxwell) #3

If you want distinctive device plates, with a huge number of options, have a look at the Legrand Adorne line.
I’ve combined these with AEON dimmers and switches.




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(Simon) #4

[quote=“johnconstantelo, post:2, topic:8961”]
My house is wired the same way with all the neutrals bundled in each box. I have all GE switches, and they work great, and look pretty good too. I just use a pigtail wire from the neutral bundle in the box to the neutral connection on the switch. All my bulbs are LED, and I do not use any kind of resistor. Basically If you have neutrals at each switch box, you’re good to go; and you do not need resistors.[/quote]

Thanks, I can run a pigtail from my neutral bundles in each switch box, but all my LEDs are currently on dimmers and I really want to keep them that way which is where I think the problem lies.

[quote]Here’s something to look at as well: http://store.homeseer.com/store/HomeSeer-Z-Wave-Wall-Switch-Matrix-W7C37.aspx[/quote] V helpful, thanks! I want to avoid toggle switches because all my lighting zones I want to automate are three and four pole switches and having toggles makes no sense. So looking at that table and what I can find to buy online, I’m left with only one choice which is the Cooper Aspire RF, and the one I think I’ll need is THIS one. Not the prettiest, but at least it doesn’t have a toggle switch and people seem to say it works well dimming LEDs.

[quote]I also have one GE dimmer w/LED’s I’m experimenting with, and it will dim if there’s enough LED’s in the circuit, which in my case are 6 Utilitech par38’s ceiling floods. More than likely I may end up going with Linear (looks like the GE). I have several dimmers w/low voltage halogens, and I’d like to be completely LED pretty soon.[/quote] Yeah this is the problem I’m seeing - all my LEDs are on dimmers and this is the functionality I’m after if I’m going to automate my lights.

[quote]Switches by Lutron look good, but I don’t believe they have zwave devices, just their own RF stuff (I think). Cooper/Aspire make decent looking zwave devices, but they are pricey. [/quote] I think you’re right, hence having to buy a Lutron hub at vast expense, which I’m not gonna do.

Thanks again!
Simon


(Simon) #5

Thanks Mike. I’ve used LeGrand GFIs in my bathrooms which are nice for a change, although for the rest of the house I’m really after dimmable switches without toggles that work well with LEDs and which can connect to the ST hub.
Cheers
Simon


(Scott G) #6

I’d give the Linear dimmers a shot. Simple paddle switch style, but I’ve had them operate a single LED up to 16 with no flickering issues or buzzing. Many people on here have done the 3 and 4 way setups. The accessory switch just needs a neutral pigtail to work.

Just a heads up: you may need an Aeon Minimote to do the zwave association for any 3 or 4 way setups with any of these switches.


(Mike Maxwell) #7

Mine aren’t toggles, they’re all pushbuttons…
And the Aeon’s work fine with LED’s


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(Simon) #8

Afraid I can’t find a Linear dimmer that isn’t a paddle switch so they’re a non-starter for me right now. Do you if they do a push button?


(Adam Carewe) #9

I currently have converted my entire home to LED. That includes primarily cans with BR30 and 40s. I have used all GE/Jasco switches for the home. Most are just on/off and 3way but I set up two circuits with 3-way dimmer and the LEDs dim perfectly and go completely off. From what I understand with the GE dimmers is you have to have a total of about 40 watts on the circuit for them to not flicker. Both of mine have 6 cans at either 9 or 13 watts each.


(Simon) #10

Thanks Mike. I’m afraid I don’t have enough space in my junction boxes to use those micro dimmers, and even after the mod those switches still look like paddle switches - all I’m after is a simple looking push button.
Cheers
Simon


(Simon) #11

Thanks Adam. All the circuits I want to control are 3 or 4-way dimmers and not all have 40W on them. Also, I just want simple push button switches and I’m not sure GE makes anything like that.


(Mike Maxwell) #12

What you are looking for was what I wanted, and couldn’t find. BTW, if you can fit a GE module in your existing box, the AEONs will fit, they are very small. The Aeon’s trigger of any dry contact (the input circuit is 3v dc), toggle, pushbutton, anything.


(Dave) #13

You can use the Adorne Push Switch with the Micro Dimmer and the Micro switch. So if you do the want to do the pebble hack or don’t want the look of a toggle/paddle it will work. It is a bit more expensive but I have managed to do this.

I will be testing the Micro switch shortly with an Adorne Touch. According to Aeon it should work. Will let you know when I am successful.


(Chad Hyett) #14

@rushboys did you get this to work with the Adorne Touch? I am going to attempt this tonight, but with an Insteon micro dimmer, which works with momentary switches.


(Chad Hyett) #15

I can confirm this works with the Adorne Push. You have to bend the top contact sensor as described. Works well.