Lutron is the byword for lighting control in the luxury home sector, and that knowledge and experience has been brought to bear in the company’s new home smart control: RA2 Select. The introduction of smart technology also means that Lutron is widening its target audience by making the product available across the wholesale counter. It’s that simple.
The principle behind RA2 Select is demonstrated in the way the system can be installed by electricians and programmed by homeowners. There’s no need for a Lutron engineer to visit the premises and set up the system. That’s all in the hands of the end user.
The technology behind RA2 Select is becoming familiar to everyone who’s been keeping an eye on smart controls for the home. The hardware consists of wireless dimmers and switches, programmed to receive signals from Lutron’s Pico wireless remote controls and other smart devices. But it’s what happens next that lifts Lutron above the norm for this kind of service.
The biggest problem with most smart control systems is usually a poor user interface; the technology works fine, but there always seems to be a problem in getting the system to do what you want it to do. Showing us how it’s done, Lutron has introduced Pico wireless controls. These control plates are provided pre-engraved with icons describing each of the lighting scenes. Nothing prescriptive – just very, very, sensible.
Via the main repeater, the lighting can be programmed from a smart device via a free downloadable app. The app provides individual light circuit (zone) control or full scene-setting, including an option for window blinds that can be incorporated into the overall control package.
Exploiting the wireless technology a little further, Lutron is also offering a range of sensors that are designed to identify when a room is empty or occupied. And, as you might expect from Lutron, RA2 Select can also connect to other in-home smart controls, including the proprietary voice-command services like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, environmental controls such as Honeywell, Nest and entertainment controls such as Sonos.
David Ribbons, senior director of sales, Europe and Africa, says: ‘Modern technologies such as voice assistants alongside our growing comfort using wireless products have increased demand for fully integrated solutions. We’re excited to bring our reputation for quality and reliability to a wider audience.’
Wireless systems save costs in new and existing installations. The only wiring required is the fitting of the dimmer or switch into the circuit. From there, all control instructions happen wirelessly; there’s no need for chasing down walls to bring new wiring to control locations.
All this needs is a download of the free Lutron RA2 Select app, available for both Apple and Android devices. The app provides an intuitive guide to the programming of the system, automatically recommending light scenes – all of which can be personalised later, as often as desired.
Day-to-day control is available from both smartphones and from the Lutron Pico range of remote controls. Lighting control at the push of a button or the touch of an icon. Working behind the scenes, RA2 Select also offers special functions:
Scheduling allows lighting to be adjusted according to the regular pattern of the home. Arriving/leaving home uses location tracking, switching lights off when occupants leave the house and switching lights back on upon return. Smart away can turn lights on and off in a random pattern while the house is unoccupied. This can also be triggered by the Nest home/away assist feature.
Lutron uses the patented Clear Connect wireless technology. This RF technology works in the uncongested frequency band (868MHz in Europe), providing ultra-reliable operation.
RA2 Select will be on display during LuxLive (London ExCeL, 14-15 November) at the Lutron booth (H12).