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Retrofit Lighting, featuring Lutron RadioRA 3

Retrofitting – Good or Bad?

Retrofitting Smart Lighting has become commonplace among homeowners seeking to upgrade their homes and lives to a modern standard. While the process of retrofitting may seem inconvenient or daunting at first, it’s important to note that offerings like Lutron’s RadioRA 3 enable seamless integration into any environment, with best-in-class designs and beautiful finishes that go with any aesthetic. The initial investment and inconvenience should therefore not be seen as a discouragement, but rather as a way to bring a world-class experience – one that may not have been possible otherwise - to your home.

Lutron Palladiom series finishes
Lutron's Palladiom series finishes

This article will be the first in a two-part series where we’ll break down differences between integrated (considered and included in a new project from the start) and retrofit (leveraging and modifying an existing infrastructure), by comparing Lutron's answer to both – the RadioRA range for retrofit projects – our focus today – followed by their HomeWorks QSX option as a solution to integrated and centralized lighting.

Why Lutron?

Almost a year ago today, we featured an article dedicated to Lutron Electronics, praising their quality in design and pleasing aesthetics across all of their products– a compliment that remains as valid today as it was a year ago.

While the aesthetic factors are undeniably a large deciding factor when considering lighting solutions, our decision to include them here goes beyond what merely meets the eye.

  • Lutron has been, and continues to be, one of the best providers of premium Smart Home lighting products in the world. Their continued effort to provide reliable, flexible and visually stunning solutions has kept them at the top of the list when considering Smart Home Lighting options.
  • Lutron has a vast and comprehensive range of solutions that has stood the test of time in South Africa’s often punishing economic and socio-political landscape. As a company, they have a proven record of quality and dedication to provide South Africans with a world class experience.

Complementing the above is the benefit of working with a company that has an intimate understanding of the challenges faced by South African homeowners (the instability of our power being a consistent and repeated example), proving their dedication to provide South Africans with world-class lighting solutions for more than a decade despite the challenges they may face in the process.

Working with Lutron as a preferred provider of SmartLighting solutions was therefore an easy decision.

Retrofitting: How it all fits together

Lutron’s RA3 include a wide range of devices that can replace your current lighting system, or be installed alongside a new or existing automation environment.  Wireless sensors and fixtures, and control units that can be wired in-line with existing infrastructure alleviate the pain of a whole-home upgrade, but what can you expect once you have a fully installed RadioRA 3 system?

Lutron Wireless Occupancy/Vacancy Sensors
Lutron Wireless Occupancy/Vacancy Sensors

RadioRA 3 was designed to fit any new or existing residence, and their products guarantee an experience of luxury and complete control. Offering LED, halogen, incandescent, electronic low-voltage, magnetic low-voltage, and fluorescent lights, keypads, sensors, light, fan, temperature, appliance controls and shading solutions can be combined to create an environment that fits your preferences and lifestyle perfectly. In addition, integrating these devices with a Smart Home Automation platform like Crestron or Control4 can yield massive savings, with a study in 2003 showing a 40%-70% reduction in energy consumption.

The entire system is installed with a modern and robust infrastructure design at its core, with innovative features that improve compatibility and bring valuable redundancy features.   One of the more notable of these are unique wireless access points that run on a separate frequency from that of your primary network – entirely mitigating the risk of your lighting control system failing in the event of an outage on your main network.

Lutron Wireless Keypad Controls
Lutron Wireless Keypad Controls

It would be hard to miss a significant improvement in comfort and luxury, with smart functions that bring your environment to life - dynamically changing lighting and ambient conditions according to the conditions in and around your home.

The feeling of luxury is born through the combined interaction of many small improvements to your quality of life, like not having to manually turn on lights or draw shades. With RadioRA 3, these improvements come by way of your environment responding to your movements, as well as ambient conditions in and around your home. Occupancy and temperature sensors can trigger changes in light levels as well as an increase or decrease in temperature with the use of integrated air conditioning and ventilation units. Daylight harvesting sensors mean you don’t have to worry about manually switching lights on and off as natural light levels change, automatically up-dimming lighting in your home as the sun sets, for example.

Lutron Wireless and Auxiliary Wireless repeaters
Lutron Wireless (Left) and Auxiliary Wireless (Right) repeaters

Finally, considering RA3 is compatible with Lutron's Sivoia Automated Shades you have the option of full control over any roller shades, Venetian blinds, traditional drapery tracks, tensioned shades, horizontal sheer blinds or Roman shades throughout your home – Lutron’s RA3 system is sure to provide you with a world-class experience in quality and design.

Final Word

It is clear that upgrading your environment with a Smart Lighting solution like Lutron’s RadioRA3 is a worthwhile long-term investment – one that will elevate your lifestyle and bring you in line with modern Smart Home technologies, but this is only possible with a well-planned, well-designed and well-understood solution.

iDetic is a fully qualified Lutron solutions provider and integrator with years of experience in both integrated and retrofit lighting systems. If you are considering an upgrade or replacement of your lighting system, we are ready to provide you with the peace-of-mind that your installation quality will be on par with the quality and experience of the products itself.  Get in touch to start your modern Smart Home journey today.

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