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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dug up an area to make a new patio. Found some existing wiring which was done kind of sloppy, wire just thrown into the ground, I almost dug into it with my shovel because I didn't know it was there. The electrician that put it in was drunk and he did a lot of haphazardous things such as run a piece of conduit using a white pipe which is now jammed full of dirt and mud.

What I need to do now is tap into it and add some path lighting. There's already some landscape lighting around the yard with a photocelled timer. Meaning in the winter time you set it for about 8 hours so when it gets dark it turns on for eight hours and shuts off. As it starts getting darker later, you have to keep adjusting the timer throughout the year to keep up with the amount of daylight. So if I add another timer, not only will they have to deal with the hassle of constantly adjusting the timer, but now they'll have to do it in multiple locations. But my question is if there's a remote controlled timer switch available that can attach to two different power supplies for the lighting. I'm thinking of a switch that lets you stand there and adjust the timer remotely instead of having to walk around the yard to the different timers. Or maybe take it a step further and hook it up to the computer so it can adjust the timing to match the time of year instead of having to remember to readjust it constantly. Or maybe a way to control it with your cell phone?

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Lighting control, what's the budget?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Inner10 said:
Lighting control, what's the budget?
I'm not sure yet, would the Lutron be the way to control something like this? The sun smart timers they are talking about is what I had in mind but they would have to be remotely controlled because I don't want to undermine the sidewalk to run new cables. And preferably it would be in an outdoor enclosure. Do you have an idea of a ball park price just for the equipment so we can decide if it's worth looking into further?
 

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I'm not sure yet, would the Lutron be the way to control something like this? The sun smart timers they are talking about is what I had in mind but they would have to be remotely controlled because I don't want to undermine the sidewalk to run new cables. And preferably it would be in an outdoor enclosure. Do you have an idea of a ball park price just for the equipment so we can decide if it's worth looking into further?
Lutron would be an expensive way to do it, a cheaper solution would be MiCasaVerde and ZWave switches. You can buy some as a kit for ~300 bucks, needs to be connected to a network for control.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
$300 would be within budget. This is my idea for a design. Still not sure exactly where to find the right parts, or if they even exist. Does the MicasaVerde refer to Vera Smarter Home Control? I looked through that and ZWave but all I could find for the remote switching is a basic switch. I would need a remote switch that incorporates the controller to turn it on at dark And off at midnight. It would also need to be in an outdoor enclosure.

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$300 would be within budget. This is my idea for a design. Still not sure exactly where to find the right parts, or if they even exist. Does the MicasaVerde refer to Vera Smarter Home Control? I looked through that and ZWave but all I could find for the remote switching is a basic switch. I would need a remote switch that incorporates the controller to turn it on at dark And off at midnight. It would also need to be in an outdoor enclosure.
You can program lighting schedules based on sunrise and sunset in the controller. Not sure how well the controller would survive outside, I'd put it inside and put the switches outside within zwave range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

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What's the difference between a controller and a module? I assume the one you are talking about is this http://www.zwaveproducts.com/Zwave-Controllers/All-In-One-Zwave-Gateways/Mi-Casa-Verde-Vera-3-Z-Wave-Controller-with-WiFi.html I notice it uses a Wi-Fi, does that mean your Wi-Fi has to be fast? The Wi-Fi here is kind of slow and unpredictable.

They have a plug in module that's made for outdoors for $48 but the description is limited, I'm not sure if it can do what I need.
The controller controls the modules, you only need one controller but you need a "module" IE dimmer or switch for each lighting circuit.

The controller is programmed and controlled over IP, so WiFi or hard wired. The "modules" or load controllers are triggered by ZWave commands sent by the controller.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Inner10 said:
The controller controls the modules, you only need one controller but you need a "module" IE dimmer or switch for each lighting circuit. The controller is programmed and controlled over IP, so WiFi or hard wired. The "modules" or load controllers are triggered by ZWave commands sent by the controller.
After going through their website and videos, they explain what it does but they don't really explain how it works. So if I'm understanding this right, you take your existing desktop computer and router, which they already have in the house. You plug in the controller, go to your PC, open up your browser and configure your dashboard for the controller. Then the router emits a Wi-Fi to the controller, and the controller transmits a radio signal to whichever module is within range. Then you walk around with the controller and pair it with one module at a time, so it works the same way as pairing Bluetooth. Once everything is paired you can go to your computer and program whatever you want the lights to do.

After seeing what it does, if I'm going to do this might as well add some things to the house. There's two lamps in the house that are plugged into an old fashion timer. They want the lamps to come on when it's dark so throughout the year they have to constantly adjust when the timer clicks on. So the lamp modules would basically replace the timers they have and be controlled from the computer. They also want the deck lights to do the same thing so I would just swap out the deck light switch with a switch module. Then I would need two outdoor modules for the landscape lighting. And the power supplies that go with the lighting would plug right into the modules.

If I'm understanding this right, my only questions left is if the outdoor modules will work with the same controller. I'm not sure because the video for the outdoor modules only showed a handheld remote control with it. I also want to know if you can swap out an existing 3-way switch with a switch module.
 

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After going through their website and videos, they explain what it does but they don't really explain how it works. So if I'm understanding this right, you take your existing desktop computer and router, which they already have in the house. You plug in the controller, go to your PC, open up your browser and configure your dashboard for the controller. Then the router emits a Wi-Fi to the controller, and the controller transmits a radio signal to whichever module is within range. Then you walk around with the controller and pair it with one module at a time, so it works the same way as pairing Bluetooth. Once everything is paired you can go to your computer and program whatever you want the lights to do.

After seeing what it does, if I'm going to do this might as well add some things to the house. There's two lamps in the house that are plugged into an old fashion timer. They want the lamps to come on when it's dark so throughout the year they have to constantly adjust when the timer clicks on. So the lamp modules would basically replace the timers they have and be controlled from the computer. They also want the deck lights to do the same thing so I would just swap out the deck light switch with a switch module. Then I would need two outdoor modules for the landscape lighting. And the power supplies that go with the lighting would plug right into the modules.

If I'm understanding this right, my only questions left is if the outdoor modules will work with the same controller. I'm not sure because the video for the outdoor modules only showed a handheld remote control with it. I also want to know if you can swap out an existing 3-way switch with a switch module.
You have the jist of it, I've never using the plug-in style outdoor ones but they should:

http://www.zwaveproducts.com/Zwave-Lighting/Zwave-Plugin-Modules/GE-Z-Wave-Outdoor-Module.html

If you are serious about it buy one yourself and set it up at home before looking like a fool infront of the client. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks Inner for your advice. Lol, it's ok in this case the clients are my parents, good place to start. I will give it a try.
 
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