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A few newbie questions



I have a few questions I'l like to get cleared up.

1) The sales guy at one of the places I got a quote said the adaptive phase dimmers can dim ANY light. Even ones that say they are not dimming bulbs. Is that correct? He even showed me in the demo room and said the lights were just cheap LED bulbs that normally wouldn't dim.

2) I'm sure there are some performance differences between the older dimmers, switches, and keypads or they wouldn't have made new ones. I've read in the forums that the newer model of dimmers are significantly better, although I'm not really sure how much better it could actually be....It seems like it can dim the bulb or it can't (maybe they can just dim more types of bulbs?) I switch is a switch, so I'm assuming only the look and feel has changed. Same with the keypads. Are there any older hardware that I should avoid and stick with the new stuff? I'm trying to do as much as I can with my budget, but the older stuff still isn't "cheap" and I don't want to pay for something I have to upgrade in the near future for one reason or another. Same with the matrix amps, any reason to stay away from the older models? I will be getting an EA-3 controller.

3) In my basement which is long an open there are two fans which are both controlled by the same switches. One for the fan, one for the light. When you hit the switch both fans respond. In this scenario, would I just need one fan controller and dimmer? Or is it not even possible to control them at all with Control4 with that setup? Also I read in a post that the fan controller can have problems with fans that already have fan settings. That post was from several years ago though, is that still a problem? 

4) From what I understand a zone is one channel - usually two speakers or on stereo speaker. Is there a way to merge zones so you can have several speakers on the same zone? As I mentioned before my basement is very long and narrow. I'd like to put 4 speakers down there but there is no reason to split them into zones.. Anytime they are on it will be all or nothing. I think I'm getting the 16 zone audio matrix and I won't have 16 zones. Can you combine zones if some aren't use or is there another way to accomplish this?

5) Is it ok to use a splitter from the output of the controller so we can use the on screen navigator on two TVs? We would never be using the on screen navigator at the same time. Is there anything else doing that would negatively effect? I was thinking you would just send those to the 2nd input of both TVs and you could change the input to get to it, and the DirectTV input would just be the main input.

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4 answers to this question

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1. No. The new dimmers are adaptive-phase, which means that they can dim loads that require either forward-phase dimming or reverse-phase dimming. They can and should not be used with non-dimmable bulbs. That can cause damage to the bulbs or the dimmer.

2. More types, being adaptive-phase. Previously there were separate reverse- and forward-phase dimmers. Also better dimming of those types. Having dimming of both types of bulbs means you can dim fluorescents now and LEDs later.

3. Fan Speed Controller is only rated for a single fan up to 2A. You could use a Wireless Switch to just turn on/off those fans; separate dimmer for the lights.

4. You can combine zones either with wiring or with the Control4 system. Totally doable.


5. You can use the on-screen menu for two TVs but isn't recommended. What you're describing is the reason why--you can take control of someone else's menu.

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1- few additions:

-Not using it on non-dimmable bulbs would go for any non dimmable LOAD, so including motors such as fans.

-To be somewhat fair to your dealer, I have used within the limits of my OWN place some LED bulbs that technically aren't rated as dimmable, and don't dim with standard slider dimmers, but that DO allow for some dimming using C4's APD units - especially once tweaked with minimum levels, cold start levels and times. That said, it can indeed severely decrease the lifespan of your bulbs but more so your dimmers. Don't get cheap non-dimming bulbs just to save money - you won't in the long run.

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