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Topic:
Lutron Homeworks programming
This thread has 16 replies. Displaying posts 1 through 15.
Post 1 made on Sunday July 13, 2008 at 10:54
Intecon
Long Time Member
Joined:
Posts:
November 2007
195
I just found out that I will be doing all the programming for the Lutron
Systems that we install.
So far it will just be in-house training

There are no Homeworks training classes scheduled anywhere near us
Listed on there site, if there was, Iím sure the Company would have no problem sending
Me there. Are the classes listed on there site the only ones available ?

How have you guys started and what would you recommend to help me prepare ?

I look forward to learning this, and am always thrilled to be given the opportunity
To learn new things and at the same time become more valuable to the Company.

Somehow this just seems like new territory (Iím no electrician) and for whatever reason
I just canít seem to look at it the same way I would consider a new remote control for the
Challenge.

Any help, comments, or advice would be appreciated.
Post 2 made on Sunday July 13, 2008 at 11:06
cma
Super Member
Joined:
Posts:
August 2003
2,695
Are you doing the design or the programming or both? The design of the system is much more difficult. If someone else is doing the layout and load calculations and then handing it off to you to populate the keypads with programming then it will be a cakewalk.
Post 3 made on Sunday July 13, 2008 at 11:09
jcmitch
Founding Member
Joined:
Posts:
May 2001
410
This is not the right product to learn as you go. Book the flight to Coopersburg and pray you learn enough to get the 1st one right. The homeowner will be rewiring their electrical system based on your recommendations, and a conventional switch layout is not likely to work when you are done. Imagine what happens when a mistake is made.

jcmitch
OP | Post 4 made on Sunday July 13, 2008 at 11:45
Intecon
Long Time Member
Joined:
Posts:
November 2007
195
Sorry guys, I should have added some more details.
Right now the only thing that I will be doing is the programming, the layout and
Design at least at this time will not be my responsibility.

Thanks
Post 5 made on Sunday July 13, 2008 at 14:11
SRJ
Long Time Member
Joined:
Posts:
April 2008
154
I agree with cma. The person who designs the system does most of the work. He has to do the floorplan which is all the loads and keypads. He has to do all the addressing of the devices and numbering plan so all the homeruns go to the proper panels and proper rpm's. He has to work with the electrician because most of the time he needs to be trained. After that it's very easy to program Button 1 on Keypad 1 to turn on Kitchen Recess lights. There are more advanced programming steps like conditionals, scheduled events and sequences but the basics are pretty easy. You should plan on going to training so you can be familiar with the software. I always find it easier if I do the whole job.
Post 6 made on Sunday July 13, 2008 at 14:38
Bubby
Advanced Member
Joined:
Posts:
July 2007
760
There is an installers course in Plantation FL in August. This will at least give you an idea of what all the parts and pieces are and what you do with them.
Post 7 made on Sunday July 13, 2008 at 14:46
Audible Solutions
Super Member
Joined:
Posts:
March 2004
3,156
Everything is easy once you know how to do it. You may find, as easy as this software is to use, that without some training it can be inpenitrable. The software philosophy of Lutron since the very first software was to budle design and programming utilities into once software utiltiy.

Trouble shooting is essential in lighting programming and how will you do this without some education? How will you define a load on a RPM-4A? Can you add a GRX-FDBI to a load on a RPM-4A? How do you setup smart devices? How do you program shades? How do you setup QED shades? How do you define the LED logic?

You need training either from the factory or an experienced lighting programmer. There is just too much to master, even in GUI programming.

Alan
"This is a Christian Country,Charlie,founded on Christian values...when you can't put a nativiy scene in front fire house at Christmas time in Nacogdoches Township, something's gone terribly wrong"
Post 8 made on Sunday July 13, 2008 at 14:56
sirroundsound
Advanced Member
Joined:
Posts:
November 2003
775
As Alan stated, the software is used for both design and programming. Who is doing the system design, and how are they doing it? If you have someone on staff that already knows the software (because they are designing the sysytem) them you should be working close with them during that stage, and have them help you with your first programming job.
If Lutron is new to your company, they often make you work with another dealer on your first prioject to ensure there are no screw ups.
Otherwise you had better get to where ever you can to get the training started.
Post 9 made on Sunday July 13, 2008 at 15:40
39 Cent Stamp
Elite Member
Joined:
Posts:
May 2007
13,626
Sorry guys, I should have added some more details.
Right now the only thing that I will be doing is the programming,
the layout and
Design at least at this time will not be my responsibility.

Thanks

My boss does the hard stuff, he is a lighting guru :). When we started using lutron He bumped around the software for a couple days then taught me what he knew. I was able to do 90% of the programming on the first project without any help. The other 10% came from lutron tech support and bugging my boss.

Being part of the hardware installation helped me alot. Reading the manuals for the products that were installed gave me an understanding of how the system was going to work.

Some advice.. First day that the devices show up.. have someone make labels for everything with the serial numbers and put them on the outside of the switches or keypads. After everything is installed i take a set of prints with me to each "control station" and sketch everything out. This helps me lay the whole system out in no time. The serial numbers are normally located on the back of the device where you cant see it after installation. The serial numbers can be used to quickly address everything.

I know that this might seem backwards and the better way to do this would be to lay the system out in advance, program it and have the electrician install things where you tell them so that you can just pop in and bring it online..but this rarely works out. If the electrician gets 1 bad switch or 1 guy who cant read..you might as well delete the program and start allover. Also...whatever the plan was.. you end up with more dimmers & switches. IMO better to wait and sketch the whole thing out once its done.
Look like a pro: http://39websites.com
No more fugly touchpanels: http://guijaboard.com
Post 10 made on Sunday July 13, 2008 at 21:32
zinon
Founding Member
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September 2001
617
On July 13, 2008 at 10:54, Intecon said...
I just found out that I will be doing all the programming
for the Lutron

Systems that we install.
So far it will just be in-house training

|

How is it that your company is selling and or programing Lutron homework's without being trained .

There are no Homeworks training classes scheduled anywhere
near us
Listed on there site, if there was, Iím sure the Company
would have no problem sending
Me there. Are the classes listed on there site the only
ones available ?

I have an Installer attending training this week in .Coopersburg, PA. Check with your rep.

How have you guys started and what would you recommend
to help me prepare ?

With a mentoring program . I might be wrong but I think it is the only way to become a Lutron Homework's certified programmer .
I look forward to learning this, and am always thrilled
to be given the opportunity
To learn new things and at the same time become more valuable
to the Company.

So true, nothing like knowing what you are installing and or programming
.
OP | Post 11 made on Sunday July 13, 2008 at 23:16
Intecon
Long Time Member
Joined:
Posts:
November 2007
195
I feel like the guys that are trying to get RTIís Integration designer software to
Program the new remote they just bought off E-bay.

The Company has two divisions, electrical and low voltage. They have been
In business for over twenty years, and although I do not know exactly how long
They have been Lutron dealers, my guess would be 15 + years.
Lutron lighting goes into 90% of the jobs we wire. ( just my est. and may be off a bit )

They want someone from the low voltage division to take over the programming and
I was chosen. Itís not like there intentions are to just load the newest version of HW
Illumination on my laptop and give me the tech support #
I will be working with the boss himself and certified programmers.

Like all of you ( at least the oneís who give a #### and enjoy what you do ) I spend
Countless hours goofing around with remotes, research, taking phone calls from
Customers 15 min. after kick-off that I have done installs for, searching internet
Sites, forums, all on my time.

ďSo true, nothing like knowing what you are installing and or programmingĒ

I could not agree more and am only trying to make it easier for the guys that will be
Doing the training.

Thanks for the imput !
Post 12 made on Sunday July 13, 2008 at 23:40
ejfiii
Select Member
Joined:
Posts:
July 2003
2,021
Of course the info here is good, but not complete.

Programming the keypad presses is the easy part and can be learned in class, from manuals and even tech support calls. Knowing what each each keypad press *SHOULD* do is the hard part. And the hard part only comes with age, experience and maybe 10% traditional learning methods.

There are few good lighting design books that you could find at the CEDIA bookstore. There is one class at Denver that covers what to actually program on the keypads - Robert Ridenour teaches it. Its pretty good if you are new to central light system programming.

In my opinion the only way to learn this art is to do it. Everyone has a different philosophy - including different people at the manufacturers. Crestron has a few powerpoints flying around that cover different keypads and how they should be used and programmed - maybe Lutron has the same things? It took me a while before I found the right person at Crestron to get those docs.

My biggest complaint to both Crestron and Lutron - and I know all the higher ups at both places - is that they do a great job of teaching how to install, setup, design and get a lighting system working. But they do nothing to help you actually program the system.

Good luck and let me just close by saying you are going to be programming someones lights in their homes. It will be the most used system your company installs in the home by a factor of 100 or 1000. Please don't sell those clients short by learning in their homes and giving them a less than stellar lighting system experience. These systems are VERY hard to sell for most people - usually because potential rich clients have friends with keypad only systems that are never programmed right and thus your potential client wants nothing to do with the same thing. My advice, worth what you paid for it: don't replace switches with keypads and assign each load to a button. Give them scenes that accentuate their lifestyle, paths that make it easy to move around the home and automate as much as possible - ie they should never have to touch a button for any outdoor lights. That is enough to just barely scratch the surface.

Again, good luck, you're going to need it.
Post 13 made on Monday July 14, 2008 at 09:10
wildulmer
Long Time Member
Joined:
Posts:
June 2007
142
Try to make sure that each keypad follows some sort of template. Top button turns on the most used scene and the bottom button shuts off all lights in that room. Or top button turns on most used scene in that room and will also shut off all the lights in the room if there is already one light on. Second button down turns on the lights in the room next to the keypad, and so on and so forth.

I have found that most homeowners that have not lived with a lighting system want control of every light on an individual button. They want the top button to do one thing in one room and one thing in another. In six months they will hate the system because they always have to read the labels. In a well designed system when you want lights they should just press a button and not have to read it. Consistency is the only way to do this. When they walk into a room they should know what button to press to get the basic lighting scene, and not have to look at the keypad to do this.

Also try to minimize the number of pathways you use. If you have a path from every point A to every point B it will get very confusing. Have a few generic paths, if the house needs paths to begin with.
Post 14 made on Monday July 14, 2008 at 10:31
sirroundsound
Advanced Member
Joined:
Posts:
November 2003
775
In your first post you didn't give all the information.

If your company has an electrical division and has been doing Lutron for many years, there will be someone on staff that should be able to walk you through the programming. It's still a must to go and get proper training too.
You really should work with the exsisting programmer from the very start of a system design through to the end.
During the design stage you will see and learn about all the bits and pieces, the naming of things, and what is being connected to what, and hopefully some why.
Without some understanding of this part, keypad programming would be very difficult.
Good luck, once you get going it becomes pretty easy.
Post 15 made on Monday July 14, 2008 at 16:03
charris
Advanced Member
Joined:
Posts:
March 2006
808
Intecon,

I beleive everybody has provided with you with very good information but what ALan and ejfiii said in my opinion are very important. My company has closed about about 20 Howeworks systems for next year so I am quite familiar with the system. We also do Vantage Infusion which is very similar to Homeworks, and Centralite, not so similar. I am a firm beleiver that the programmer of these system should know everything abou them, including system design and infrastructure, but also read a lot and underastand about the programming capabilities of the system and learn to program these to their maximum cabalities. What ejfiii said is also very important: programming a button to do something is very easy, designing a system with proper functionality and capabilities almost to the maximum and also to the customer's requirements is not easy at all and requires experience. And as ejfii noted Lutron does not help you much in this. Fortunately Vantage Europe helped us a lot in these since the Infusion manual includes a lot of programming examples and house scenarios and system capabilities.

With a lighting control system of this level we try to do a lot more than just lighting control... e.g we control the shading systems (curtains, blinds, external blinds e.t.c), open and close doors with feedback on the keypads, switch on/off the hot water system, integrate the hot water pumps so they switch on automatically when you enter the bathrooms, install PIRs or pressure sensors around the beds so that lightpaths switch on to guide you to the wc or kitchen in the night and many more

This thread migh be useful to understand one of the various parameter in designing and programming a lighting system: [Link: remotecentral.com]
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