Replacing IR dimmer switch...not yet using smartthings...harmony remote too!


(elite) #1

So I am just waiting for the new ST 2.0 hub to come out and ill jump all it. BUT, it the mean time, I have a lutron IR remote. I have it integrated into my WATCH TV setting. It turns on everything, plus dims the lights (IR). I just switched to LED (4 br30 Crees) and the dimmer is not LED compatible. I want to get a new dimmer thatll work with my Harmony home remote via IR or RF. I do hear there is support for the untimate remote but I don’t want to plan or rely on that. While I do have the hub, I see the home extender is “coming soon” and I dont think I need to spend 100 on having STs technology from my remote…I simply want 1 dimmer thatll handle what I am wanting to accomplish. Is there such an animal? Single location, not 3 way…thanks in advance.


(Alex) #2

You can get Harmony Home remote to operate any z-wave dimmer that is compatible with SmartThings. You will need a SmartThings hub for that.


#3

I have the Harmony Home remote and really like it. However, the Harmony Home zwave extender has been “coming soon” for over a year, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting on that. :wink:


(elite) #4

So do you need the extender thats notneven out uet, or itll work now with that I have? That’s what I can’t figure out.


#5

It won’t work with what you have yet. To talk to zwave devices, you need a zwave antenna. SmartThings hub has one, Harmony as yet does not.

If your Lutron remote is listed on the following page, it sounds like the
Lutron Maestro Wireless CL Dimmer switch will do what you want for now. (Note that it will NOT be controllable from ST, though–you’d have to replace it eventually or always use the Harmony for it.)

Every manufacturer has their own terms. There are dozens of Lutron Maestro switches, so make sure you get the right one. “Wireless” means controllable by the Lutron remotes listed on that page. “CL” means it can dim CFL or LED bulbs.

There are other switches that look exactly the same and have similar names, but won’t work for your set up so again, make sure it’s exactly the right model.

So as long as your remote is on this page, I think the switch would give you what you want for now. But it’s not compatible with smart things in the long run.

http://www.lutron.com/en-US/Products/Pages/SingleRoomControls/Energi_TriPak/ModelNumbers.aspx


(elite) #6

Ya…I think I got it. The dimmers aren’t really any different than what I have. Just more compatable with LEDs. In a perfect word the dimmer i need would work with STs and be IR :wink:


#7

Different protocols have different purposes. IR remotes can only control devices that are very close to them in an unobstructed line of sight. IR is also only a one-way communication. that was one of the earliest forms of home automation.

Z wave and zigbee are about 30 years newer than IR remotes. They don’t have to be line of sight, so you can be sitting on your couch in the living room, press a button on the remote, and turn on all your outside lights. Or hit one button on a remote in your bedroom and turn off lights in several rooms. They are also two way communication.

There are infrared “bridges” which allow you to use Wi-Fi to send commands to the bridge which then sends infrared commands to the IR devices in range. The global cache iTach is popular for this. Or of course, the harmony hub models that come with mini IR blasters. Right now the iTach is the most flexible in terms of integrating with ST, but the harmony integration may improve over time. The iTach itself costs about $100, though.

So there are some options, but generally the more protocols a hub/remote controls, the more expensive it will be.