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Homeworks Qs Review

Amongst the many announcements concerning Amazon Alexa integration with higher-end control systems—including Control4, Crestron, Savant, and others—one of the more exciting reveals was the news that Lutron is adding Alexa integration to its HomeWorks QS and RadioRA2 lighting control systems, providing voice-activated control of lights, shades, and temperature setting via an Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Amazon Tap, or Amazon Fire TV.

Lutron, of course, is no stranger to the voice-activated world of Amazon Alexa having introduced integration with the wildly popular and talked-about (in addition to talked-to) voice recognition service with Luton’s Caseta Wireless System. Versions of Lutron Caseta systems are available for both custom integrators and DIY installation, while HomeWorks QS and RadioRA 2 are exclusively for installation by custom integrators due to the more extensive complexities and capabilities of the programming required to control the systems.

While convenience may be the prime feature of voice control that’s touted in the advertising, it can be a literal life-saver for some people. Ed Blair, Lutron VP and general manager, pointed out the importance and usefulness for the “aging in place community” (elderly people who are trying to stay in their own homes for as long as possible without requiring assistance or moving into an assisted living facility). “For people with limited mobility, voice technology can restore some freedom once taken for granted – like easily moving about to set the lights, shades and temperature. Smart home products are not just about the wow factor anymore – they’re changing peoples’ lives.”

The integration of HomeWorks QS and RadioRA 2 systems with Amazon Alexa will be available later this year. Configuration of the voice control feature requires the use of the free Lutron Connect app.

post #1 of 12Old09-30-2015, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
 
Replace Lutron Homeworks Interactive System

The home I purchased 7 years ago has a Lutron Homeworks Interactive System in it. After 7 years, it is having some issues as of last night. It might be the processor, in which case lutron is recommending upgrading to a lutron QS system. This is obviously a pretty expensive endeavor.

I really don't need all the fancy features of a lutron system. I simply need to turn the lights on and off.

Is there another low voltage lighting system in the market that is more affordable than upgrading which would install using the same wiring foundation that is already in place for my lutron homeworks interactive system?

Or is it just most cost effective to upgrade to a lutron QS system. I think the upgrade will cost around $3500 for the process and programming, assuming I can use the other components of my current system.

Your help is much appreciated.
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post #2 of 12Old09-30-2015, 12:47 PM
 
 
Originally Posted by lutron
The home I purchased 7 years ago has a Lutron Homeworks Interactive System in it. After 7 years, it is having some issues as of last night. It might be the processor, in which case lutron is recommending upgrading to a lutron QS system. This is obviously a pretty expensive endeavor.

I really don't need all the fancy features of a lutron system. I simply need to turn the lights on and off.

Is there another low voltage lighting system in the market that is more affordable than upgrading which would install using the same wiring foundation that is already in place for my lutron homeworks interactive system?

Or is it just most cost effective to upgrade to a lutron QS system. I think the upgrade will cost around $3500 for the process and programming, assuming I can use the other components of my current system.

Your help is much appreciated.
You could go up to the current processor, a QS-series box, but I don't think you'll be able to convert the existing lighting file; it will have to be re-written. I get the order of the Lutron systems mixed up, but when this happened to one of our customers, we put in a Homeworks Illumination processor (I think). It's newer than Interactive, but the lighting file can be converted to go right into the processor with no other changes. This came in really handy because it was a big house. It would have been a chore to re-write all that.

You may want to have the programming extracted before the processor actually dies or becomes too unstable.
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post #3 of 12Old10-03-2015, 08:01 AM
 
 
Location: Toronto, Canada
If you have a wifi network in your house, you can use Insteon Home Hub. It would cost you about $100 with 2 dimmer switches. You can control the lighting (with the Insteon dimmer switches) with your iPhone or other Smartphone (Insteon Hub app is free). You can buy Insteon in Smarthome.com and some of them in Home Depot.
I am using Insteon and also Logitech Home Hub (to control my home entertaintment systems). Insteon 2245-22 integrates with Logitech Home Hub.

If you do not have wifi in your house, you can buy a wifi router to set up a LAN in your house, another $100. You do not have to connect to internet for it to work.

Last edited by e268; 10-03-2015 at 08:05 AM.
post #4 of 12Old10-03-2015, 09:06 AM
 
 
Homeworks is generally a panelized lighting solution--all loads are home-run back to central dimming panels. Replacing it with in-wall dimmer switches (like Insteon) is going to require re-wiring the entire home.

To the OP, I would find a local Lutron dealer. Lutron still has the Homeworks Illumination series processors in stock, so you could upgrade to that without needing to reprogram the system. With Illumination you also get the benefit of having the system network-enabled so it will integrate with all of Lutron's mobile apps.
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post #5 of 12Old10-03-2015, 09:58 AM
 
 
Location: Toronto, Canada
Instead of rewiring the whole house, can OP just get rid of the Homeworks, and reconnect all the wiring to supply power to the in-wall switches, using existing wiring at the Homework box? Of cause he will need an electrician to do it if he is not handy.
post #6 of 12Old10-03-2015, 10:19 AM
 
 
Just seems unnecessary (and frankly, absurd) to replace all of the working dimming modules, module interfaces, dimmers, keypads, and controller(s) with an inferior Insteon system when all he needs to do is replace a single processor. Homeworks products carry an 8- or 11-year warranty--replace with Illumination or QS and be done with it.
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post #7 of 12Old10-03-2015, 10:37 AM
 
 
Originally Posted by e268
Instead of rewiring the whole house, can OP just get rid of the Homeworks, and reconnect all the wiring to supply power to the in-wall switches, using existing wiring at the Homework box? Of cause he will need an electrician to do it if he is not handy.
If it's a panelized Homeworks system, there are no in-wall switches to connect to. The wall "switches" will just be control keypads.

I agree with another poster. If the dimmer panels and keypads work, then just replacing the master controller is a no brainer.
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post #8 of 12Old10-03-2015, 11:08 AM
 
 
Location: Toronto, Canada
It is all the matter with cost. Yes, Insteon maybe inferior, maybe in cost only, not functionality. If it cost $3500 to get a new Homeworks panel, and everytime you need some programming done, and it is additional cost, then, replacing all wall switches with Insteon dimmers would be a much cheaper alternative. Other benefits of Insteon is video monitors, Thermostat control, mechanized curtains, water leaking monitor, general motion sensors, garage door control, etc. You can monitor all these in your iPhone when you are away from home too, and it is DYI. I am not knocking these expensive systems like Homeworks or Savant, just a suggestion the OP asked for a less costing alternative.
post #9 of 12Old10-03-2015, 11:13 AM
 
 
It's not a matter of replacing all the wall switches. He might have to rewire the whole house to put switches where he needs them. Converting from a panelized lighting system to a traditional layout is a non-trivial undertaking.
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post #10 of 12Old10-03-2015, 02:47 PM
 
 
The Lutron Home Control+ app allows the user to make programming changes themselves, control and monitor the system from anywhere, etc.
SweetSpot is offline  
post #11 of 12Old10-03-2015, 02:59 PM
 
 
Location: Give a monkey a brain...
OP - how old is the system?

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Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

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post #12 of 12Old10-07-2015, 08:12 AM
 
 
Hold on... What is it actually doing?
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