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Control4 Dimmers & Switches in a large installation


superikey

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Greetings

I am new to this forum and wanted to thank everyone in advanced for your contributions and responses. I like to see when fans a product, platform or soultion come together to share ideas and help each other with installations and offer advice.

I am working on an installation for a large NYC Home. The construction is all brand new so running cables is not an issue. The home is 4 floors including the basement. Basement i about 2500 SF, First Floor is about 2000 SF and a simple layout including a center hall entrance, a living room, dining room, kitchen, breakfast room, and a Den. Second Floor is also about 2000 SF and half the floor is the Master Suite, the other half is 2 Additional Bedrooms. Third Floor is about 1500 SF and has 3 More Bedrooms. All in All its about an 8000SF Home including the basement.

The house is a luxury home very well constructed of Steel Beams, Steel Frame, Steel Studs and Steel Joists.

We are looking at Control4 for Lighting, Audio/Speakers, Motorized Shades, To Manage Cameras, Manage TV/Video and Integrate with the Alarm/Security System.

The main focus on this post is lighting. Since this is a luxury home, there is an interior decorator who is asking that we eliminate switch banks from areas like the Dining room, Living room, Den, Kitchen, etc, each of which will otherwise have Banks of 5-6 switches each. The advice I am getting is to centrally locate clusters of switches in a closet or hidden area and place either Touch screens or Six Button Keypads for a cleaner look, and to be able to control more than just lights. While I think this is a good idea and it seems workable, I am concerned about placing too many Zigbee switches in a single cluster and wanted to know what the best practice is with respect to doing it this way. Note that there are 30 or so switches on the First Floor alone that need to be hidden away. It would even be better if I could place all the switches in the basement and create a single area, but this is probably an even bigger problem when it comes to RF/Zigbee.

Thanks in advance for your comments, ideas and suggestions.

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Chesterwilson,

The homeowner has no plans to sell the house and is building a custom home. And the same issue would apply if they went with a Lighting System with a Central Panel like Lutron Homeworks, or Vantage, etc.

Do you have any comments or thoughts on the maximum # of zigbess switches that can be placed in a cluster?

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I've seen as many as 22 in one bank working without issue, but if I remember right it seems I heard 8 or so is the "recommended" maximum.

I would put them in a close by closet, and avoid more than about 10. Keep in mind I'm no installer, just an end user. My advice on this topic is probably worth about what it cost you =)

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I have personall done a project with 3 clusters of approx 25-30 switches and dimmers. There are 6 buttons and tstats thru the house for the zigbee and all works great

I have heard that you dont want to cluster more than 15 devices, but again I have done more with no issues

Archie

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For your lights: pre-wire them all as two way - with one wire going to the normal light switch location and the other to the closet you will house the C4 dimmers/switches in.

Then simply do not connect the 2nd wire, nor the two way wire. This way you can always change to other switches should there be a need. And all you are paying for is some extra wire in the walls.

I have banks of 10 with no issue.

6 button keypads are best for running lights and scenes, touch screens look cool, but are not as practical for lighting.

I use many groups of a 6 button and a 3 button together in my main 'living' areas for lighting - they look good together - better than two 6 buttons together in my opinion. I use the 3 button for scenes and modes and the 6 buttons for toggle and other control.

Touch screens *need* to be higher on the wall than light switches, so can be difficult for kids to use. and having to hit more than one button to turn lights on and off is a nuisense.

Good luck

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Bruce

Are you saying to pass the loads through where one would normally place a switch on the way to the closet?

As for how things look, can you post some pics of the 6 and 3 buttons together?

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For your lights: pre-wire them all as two way - with one wire going to the normal light switch location and the other to the closet you will house the C4 dimmers/switches in.

Then simply do not connect the 2nd wire, nor the two way wire. This way you can always change to other switches should there be a need. And all you are paying for is some extra wire in the walls.

I have banks of 10 with no issue.

6 button keypads are best for running lights and scenes, touch screens look cool, but are not as practical for lighting.

I use many groups of a 6 button and a 3 button together in my main 'living' areas for lighting - they look good together - better than two 6 buttons together in my opinion. I use the 3 button for scenes and modes and the 6 buttons for toggle and other control.

Touch screens *need* to be higher on the wall than light switches, so can be difficult for kids to use. and having to hit more than one button to turn lights on and off is a nuisense.

Good luck

I no'm building inspector but I'm pretty sure that "leaving extra disconnected wires" in the walls is not going to fly.

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Only the C4 switch will carry a load to the light.

The rest of the two way circuit is disconnected.

You will basically have another wire from the C4 switch location to the other switch location that is not connected at either end.

I have many of these, including about 5 different circuits for outdoor lights not yet in use.

As I add my outdoor lights, I simply connect the wire to the switch and add a live load.

It is no different to leaving draw wires in the wall or ceiling space. - just a little more costly for the 3 core wire.

I am in New Zealand and we have pretty strict building rules (now) and I had no problems.

As for pics - I will try my best.

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If they are capped it should be ok, but I am not a licensed high voltage contractor or professional inspector either.

I always put a wire nut on each end of the unused wire.

It is common to run 3 wire conductor to ceiling light locations in case you ever want to install a fan so I would think there must be some provision to allow for spare unused future use wiring.

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