In part 7 of our 12 part series, we’ll take a look at new products from Lutron, our favorite lighting control system. The Lutron booth at CEDIA this year was extremely crowded. Fortunately, we had an appointment with a Lutron specialist to get a run-down of their new products.
As you may know, LED lighting is getting more popular every day. One issue of LED however is dimming. Since LED fixtures typically have drivers there can be a compatibility issue with the driver of the fixture and the dimmer being used to control the fixture. The result can be the inability to dim or in some extremes, the LED light will just not even turn on. To offer their clients the ultimate in LED compatibility, Lutron introduced a complete line up of LED recessed ceiling fixtures. In a first for an LED fixture, they can be dimmed all the way down to 1%.
The RadioRA2 system from Lutron is my favorite choice in lighting control. I have written a couple of blogs about it in the past you can read here: Lighting control is great, using the iPad for lighting control. With the RA2 iPad app, the Sonos iPad app (for whole house music), and the IC Realtime camera app, one could put together a “poor man’s” Crestron like control system using the iPad as the piece that pulled it all together.
The only thing missing was climate control. Well, Lutron has nailed it with their new thermostat! Honeywell, one of the largest thermostat manufacturers, has partnered with Lutron to come up with a wireless thermostat that is compatible with most HVAC systems. It looks like a typical Honeywell thermostat but has the new Lutron Clear Connect RF technology. The thermostat connects normally to your HVAC system but communicates 2-way to you RA2 or Homeworks QS system to provide you with complete control on your iPad. I’ve got some of these coming to test out in my house and can’t wait to add them to my RA2 iPad app!
Finally, the thing making the biggest stir was Lutron’s newest shading product. For years, Lutron has been known for making the world’s finest motorized shades available in all kinds of materials. At CEDIA 2011, Lutron introduced cellular shades that are completely wireless!!! Lutron has developed a new power technology called Triathlon which allows for regular D-cell batteries to have a 3 year battery life! Using a battery to raise/lower also gets rid of that pesky cord that always seems to break on cellular shades.
The cellular shades come in three styles, light filtering single cell, light filtering double cell, and room darkening single cell with aluminum lining. The aluminum lining version is also quite and energy saver. There is a plethora of colors to choose from, but I have saved the best part for last. These will start at around $450 for the controlled version. This means you could take a typical family room, add the room darkening shades and at the push of one button they would all drop down and you have an instant home media room! Now how cool is that!!!!