Installation of wireless lighting in Kirklees with Lutron RA2 Select
This time we’re talking about a Lutron RA2 Select installation we’re in the process of completing for a customer in Kirklees. All the lighting in his new extension including driveway lighting, perimeter lighting, garden lighting, is all wirelessly controlled using Lutron in-line dimmer and switch modules. He was so impressed with the Lutron equipment that we’re also in the process of retro-fitting modules to allow him to integrate his whole home onto this system.
Pico switches can be installed to mimic traditional light switches. These are battery powered so can be positioned anywhere (and moved if you change your mind) but are not necessary: everything can be controlled easily from the user friendly app. In this article we’ll take you through the installation process and some of the gear required if you would like something similar in your home or business.
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An overview video of equipment required for wireless switching:
What gear do I need for wireless switching?
To achieve a basic Lutron RA2 select wireless switching system, you actually only require 2 pieces of equipment: a wireless in-line switch or dimmer module, and a pico switch. The in-line module does the actual switching of the lighting load, and the pico switch is the means to remotely control the module. In-line dimmers are small enough to be hidden away – for example they can be easily installed behind a downlight. Picos and modules can be paired with one another by holding down a button on each device.
With an installation of this size, we’ve added a Lutron main repeater onto the customers home network. this device allows management of the installation via the Lutron app. It makes the organisation of rooms, modules, picos and occupancy sensors much easier to manage; plus it allows you to control your lighting directly from the app.
It’s important to note that although the repeater is accessed via wi-fi, the Lutron system itself communicates via RF. This means that even if you lose your internet, the system will continue to function via the picos and modules – you’ll just temporarily lose the ability to control from your phone.
Scenes can be set up either using the relevant pico or via the app. A scene is the control of a number of modules simultaneously at the touch of a single button. For example if you have LED tape and down lights in your lounge controlled by 2 separate modules, a scene could be set up whereby both come on and dim to 50% brightness with the touch of a single pico button. As mentioned, this can be set up using a pico, but is much easier to manage with the addition of the repeater and app-control.
There are 3 main types of in-line module we’ve used in this installation: switch; dimmer; 0-10V dimmer. The switch module is for 230V lighting and can either be set to on or off. For an dimmable 230V lighting you can use the in-line dimmer module. Both these modules look identical aside from the labelling. The final module would be used to control any loads responding to 0-10V dimming: for example 12V LED tape.
Bespoke lighting design in Kirklees
The Lutron RA2 Select system is great to install from an electrician’s perspective, in that no switch wires are required. A supply is taken to a module (or a rack of modules in this case) from the consumer unit; from the module a cable is then taken to the zone of lights. No switch drops are needed. Wireless pico switches can be added, moved or removed as required. The batteries in a pico switch last for 10 years by the way, just in case you were worried!
Finally, if you really wanted to push the boat out, this type of Lutron system will integrate with your voice assistant or smart speaker to allow voice control.
Technology aside, Paul at Heritage Electrical has an eye for lighting design. With a project this size it can be difficult for the customer to envisage the type and number of lights required to illuminate the spaces appropriately. Paul has the ability to plan and install effective functional lighting and attractive feature lighting, and the ability to imagine how lighting will work in a space, even when the building is still a shell.
Highlights from this job include the spotless LED tape routered in to the upper and lower surface of an oak feature shelf. We included some low level flush mount plaster-in fittings in the cinema room to give the space a “theatre” feel. Subtle driveway and garage lighting pick out the detail of the stone work after dusk. This uses the astronomical clock referenced by the Lutron app to automatically come on at dusk and switch off at dawn. Certain spaces are illuminated upon entry using a Lutron occupancy sensor. Of course this has all been programmed by Heritage and handed over to the customer to allow them to use straight away.
If you would like to discuss either a custom lighting design, a retro fit wireless lighting installation, or a brand new wireless lighting installation, then please drop us a line to arrange a visit from Heritage.