Control & Automation

Why Crestron’s New Fee for Lutron and Vantage Integration Makes Sense

Here's how hard Crestron works to fix building- and home-automation problems with third-party subsystems.

·

Read full article.

21 Comments
Posted by MitchK on March 3, 2017

How much to integrate with door locks? Security systems? That also requires support, yes?

Posted by Julie Jacobson on March 3, 2017

They don’t make those products, MitchK, so they can’t offer solutions that are easier to support. In the case of lighting, clearly it’s much easier for Crestron to support Crestron lighting. (You silly man)

Posted by jrainey411 on March 3, 2017

Some of the comments that I see indicated that the “tax” will be very unevenly enforced only on IP integrations and not on RS-232 connections as those are harder to police….looks pretty stop gap at this point .

Posted by kipoca on March 3, 2017

How are HDMI switches, HVAC controllers, and other products Crestron competes with different than lighting?

We’re now seeing a lot more Mitsubishi HVAC systems without the traditional t-stats. Will Crestron make a license for third-party HVAC control? What about Atlona switches? AudioControl or Biamp music systems?

Posted by avnowtw on March 3, 2017

Its all in the name of customer experience? Nominal $500 fee?  what a spin!
If I pay that $500 I can also walk away from the responsibility as the installing dealer and Crestron will take over?
Anyone really believe this is not just about pushing out a better product?
what happened between the time of that large growth number published here about Crestron and now this?
I thought as “integrators” our industry was about us selecting best of breed products for the customer?
how many projects have ever gone to a point so bad that the manufacture has had to get involved on the customers behalf?
it sounds like Crestron needs to focus on improving its dealer base not coming up with ways of “illuminating” competition. pun intended.

Posted by kipoca on March 3, 2017

avnowtw is right. If a dealer is having problems integrating, make them attend classes or drop the dealer.

This is a “stick” solution to sell Crestron lighting. Why not use a “carrot” solution and offer a $500 discount when lighting is sold on the same job? Crestron ran an offer when they started selling speakers that if you used Crestron speakers on a project you got all of the Crestron on the project’s PO 10% off. Why not expand the program that way? Sell a Crestron amp, speakers, lighting and shades on one project PO and get a discount worth your while.

Another issue is you build long term relationships and learn to do things and build operating systems, so you’ve got to change all of that to switch brands. You expect everyone to give up all of that investment to save a few hundred?

Posted by mbaty on March 3, 2017

This reminds me of the $5.00 “Administration fee” AT&T and Comcast charge me. Hopefully they use that extra income to hire some good GUI designers to bring the interface into the 21st century.

Posted by avnowtw on March 3, 2017

Good point kipoca. Offering incentives for not using competitive product and charging as needed service fees makes more business sense. That would seem less like a knee-jerk reaction to a situation that required there involvement as opposed to something that’s less likely to be needed by 90% plus of the market. That is of course if that was the goal and not an alternative or extrinsic reason like it appears to be .

Posted by Adroit1 on March 3, 2017

As I noted in your Lutron Tax article, the fee is just that, a tax for using a competitor’s products. As I also noted, Lutron works without an outside controller. As a matter of fact, all my Lutron installs are finished and ready BEFORE a 3rd party controller is added. Lutron has its own apps to control all their systems, so I use their iPad app and set up the systems before adding them to a controller. So the tech support claim with Lutron is pure bull excrement. I have even had a customer who was leary about automated lighting, but was willing to try a Caseta system in his home. It worked perfectly, so he wanted to upgrade to a Radio Ra2 system, but didn’t want to waste what he had spent on his Caseta. This is where the 3rd party controller became necessary, as Lutron has no way to operate the 2 systems in conjunction with each other. But, with both systems controlled by thier own hubs, it is easy to isolate any problems to either system by operating each independently on the iPad. No, Crestron is just trying to force its dealers to no longer use Lutron, rather than give them incentives to use Crestron lighting. While $500 may not be a lot in the overall price of an installation, it would pay for 2 Lutron dimmers and a switch.It is the Crestron greed that bothers many, and the really bad excuse for treating their dealers so poorly.

Posted by JFrank on March 3, 2017

The math doesn’t add up….. The $500 is not enough money for anyone using another lighting system to switch, they are already using it because they either think its better, or easy to program, or the client wants it.  So great more money for Crestron, but that doesn’t stop the service calls, or lead to more people choosing Crestron lighting (which really is the goal , i’m betting).  What they aren’t really thinking about is how this Attitude affects there current dealers.  Lets say they get 10 dealers to pay the $500, that’s and extra 5k for the service side, but what happens when just one dealer with a 50k system decides they don’t like Crestrons attitude and uses Control4 or Savant….... That’s a 15-20K loss for the sales side. Doesn’t add up…... this plan (Tax) isn’t going to make them any more money, it’s not going to make it any better on there service department, and its not going to lead to any more lighting sales.  Incentives make way more cents.

Posted by Adroit1 on March 3, 2017

I re reread the letter to the customer and didn’t know that Crestron was in the air conditioning business. I thought they only made the thermostats. An air conditioning company should have been called rather than Crestron. This letter makes me wonder if the tech support is wasting Crestron’s money here. Where Crestron’s responsibility lies is to make sure their products are working properly, which should have been done with a phone call from their dealer. At that point the dealer should have contacted a local A/C company and worked with them, because he knows more about the workings of the thermostat than the A/C guys, but the A/C guys probably installed the heat pump unit, so they know more about its workings and wiring than even Crestron’s vaunted tech support team. If the dealer couldn’t accomplish this without having Crestron tech support show up, then maybe it is time for a new dealer, and not a $500 tax on integrating Lutron into Crestron’s controllers.

Posted by kipoca on March 3, 2017

I just read the letter Crestron sent out.

They’re forcing AV integrators to take on the whole lighting control job or pay the Lutron tax. Most of our installations have lighting installed by the electrician. We have good relationships with these electricians and insisting we sell Crestron lighting isn’t a great way to maintain those relationships.

Posted by JFrank on March 3, 2017

Note to Crestron:  If you want more dealers to sell your lighting.  1. Make it better then everyone else’s, or 2. Make it easier to Program then everyone else’s. or 3. Make it less expensive then everyone else’s (incentivize them to buy it). If you already believe 1 and 2 are true, then prove(educate) it to them. We are using other Manufactures lighting for some reason, find out why?????  Strong arming your dealers is not the way to win more Lighting sales……  or as they would like us to believe, “A better customer experience”

Posted by kipoca on March 3, 2017

jfrank, applause.gif

Posted by Eyal Kattan on March 3, 2017

This is beyond ridicilous. It’s like Intel would charge you extra for installing their CPUs on a third party motherboard because they already make motherboards too. Or Samsung would charge you a fee for connecting Sony BD to their TV because they make blu-ray players.

I feel really bad for integrators who need to put up with this BS and for their clients who will end up paying for it.

Posted by Niko on March 7, 2017

Crestron lighting is a joke compared to Lutron and Vantage.  Vantage especially has far superior dimming modules which handle various types of lighting loads and have a snap-in installation. Vantage also has many of the same functions that Crestron does which for many customers is more than enough so if they have to jump through hoops to connect to Crestron, they’ll just say screw it and go full Vantage Infusion.

Lutron’s wireless systems are the best in the world and their apps just work out of the box without doing a single thing to it and now have very easy Amazon and cloud integration too (Vantage needs to take note of this) .  Crestron is a dinosaur.  This is going to backfire.

Posted by Niko on March 7, 2017

Bottom Line: Crestron has an inferior lighting product and Lutron and Vantage are the kings. This is just a strong-arm.

Posted by Niko on March 7, 2017

And Julie, you called someone “silly man” when you are the silly one if you don’t get that having an inferior lighting product is the same as not having one at all.  Is Crestron paying you for this spin?

Posted by Julie Jacobson on March 7, 2017

Niko, MitchK is a friend. He would be the first to admit he is a silly man!

Posted by Julie Jacobson on March 7, 2017

btw ... I never said this was a GOOD idea. I don’t believe it’s a good idea.

Posted by Niko on March 7, 2017

Fair enough smile

21 Comments
Posted by Niko on March 7, 2017

Fair enough smile

Posted by Julie Jacobson on March 7, 2017

btw ... I never said this was a GOOD idea. I don’t believe it’s a good idea.

Posted by Julie Jacobson on March 7, 2017

Niko, MitchK is a friend. He would be the first to admit he is a silly man!

Posted by Niko on March 7, 2017

And Julie, you called someone “silly man” when you are the silly one if you don’t get that having an inferior lighting product is the same as not having one at all.  Is Crestron paying you for this spin?

Posted by Niko on March 7, 2017

Bottom Line: Crestron has an inferior lighting product and Lutron and Vantage are the kings. This is just a strong-arm.

Posted by Niko on March 7, 2017

Crestron lighting is a joke compared to Lutron and Vantage.  Vantage especially has far superior dimming modules which handle various types of lighting loads and have a snap-in installation. Vantage also has many of the same functions that Crestron does which for many customers is more than enough so if they have to jump through hoops to connect to Crestron, they’ll just say screw it and go full Vantage Infusion.

Lutron’s wireless systems are the best in the world and their apps just work out of the box without doing a single thing to it and now have very easy Amazon and cloud integration too (Vantage needs to take note of this) .  Crestron is a dinosaur.  This is going to backfire.

Posted by Eyal Kattan on March 3, 2017

This is beyond ridicilous. It’s like Intel would charge you extra for installing their CPUs on a third party motherboard because they already make motherboards too. Or Samsung would charge you a fee for connecting Sony BD to their TV because they make blu-ray players.

I feel really bad for integrators who need to put up with this BS and for their clients who will end up paying for it.

Posted by kipoca on March 3, 2017

jfrank, applause.gif

Posted by JFrank on March 3, 2017

Note to Crestron:  If you want more dealers to sell your lighting.  1. Make it better then everyone else’s, or 2. Make it easier to Program then everyone else’s. or 3. Make it less expensive then everyone else’s (incentivize them to buy it). If you already believe 1 and 2 are true, then prove(educate) it to them. We are using other Manufactures lighting for some reason, find out why?????  Strong arming your dealers is not the way to win more Lighting sales……  or as they would like us to believe, “A better customer experience”

Posted by kipoca on March 3, 2017

I just read the letter Crestron sent out.

They’re forcing AV integrators to take on the whole lighting control job or pay the Lutron tax. Most of our installations have lighting installed by the electrician. We have good relationships with these electricians and insisting we sell Crestron lighting isn’t a great way to maintain those relationships.

Posted by Adroit1 on March 3, 2017

I re reread the letter to the customer and didn’t know that Crestron was in the air conditioning business. I thought they only made the thermostats. An air conditioning company should have been called rather than Crestron. This letter makes me wonder if the tech support is wasting Crestron’s money here. Where Crestron’s responsibility lies is to make sure their products are working properly, which should have been done with a phone call from their dealer. At that point the dealer should have contacted a local A/C company and worked with them, because he knows more about the workings of the thermostat than the A/C guys, but the A/C guys probably installed the heat pump unit, so they know more about its workings and wiring than even Crestron’s vaunted tech support team. If the dealer couldn’t accomplish this without having Crestron tech support show up, then maybe it is time for a new dealer, and not a $500 tax on integrating Lutron into Crestron’s controllers.

Posted by JFrank on March 3, 2017

The math doesn’t add up….. The $500 is not enough money for anyone using another lighting system to switch, they are already using it because they either think its better, or easy to program, or the client wants it.  So great more money for Crestron, but that doesn’t stop the service calls, or lead to more people choosing Crestron lighting (which really is the goal , i’m betting).  What they aren’t really thinking about is how this Attitude affects there current dealers.  Lets say they get 10 dealers to pay the $500, that’s and extra 5k for the service side, but what happens when just one dealer with a 50k system decides they don’t like Crestrons attitude and uses Control4 or Savant….... That’s a 15-20K loss for the sales side. Doesn’t add up…... this plan (Tax) isn’t going to make them any more money, it’s not going to make it any better on there service department, and its not going to lead to any more lighting sales.  Incentives make way more cents.

Posted by Adroit1 on March 3, 2017

As I noted in your Lutron Tax article, the fee is just that, a tax for using a competitor’s products. As I also noted, Lutron works without an outside controller. As a matter of fact, all my Lutron installs are finished and ready BEFORE a 3rd party controller is added. Lutron has its own apps to control all their systems, so I use their iPad app and set up the systems before adding them to a controller. So the tech support claim with Lutron is pure bull excrement. I have even had a customer who was leary about automated lighting, but was willing to try a Caseta system in his home. It worked perfectly, so he wanted to upgrade to a Radio Ra2 system, but didn’t want to waste what he had spent on his Caseta. This is where the 3rd party controller became necessary, as Lutron has no way to operate the 2 systems in conjunction with each other. But, with both systems controlled by thier own hubs, it is easy to isolate any problems to either system by operating each independently on the iPad. No, Crestron is just trying to force its dealers to no longer use Lutron, rather than give them incentives to use Crestron lighting. While $500 may not be a lot in the overall price of an installation, it would pay for 2 Lutron dimmers and a switch.It is the Crestron greed that bothers many, and the really bad excuse for treating their dealers so poorly.

Posted by avnowtw on March 3, 2017

Good point kipoca. Offering incentives for not using competitive product and charging as needed service fees makes more business sense. That would seem less like a knee-jerk reaction to a situation that required there involvement as opposed to something that’s less likely to be needed by 90% plus of the market. That is of course if that was the goal and not an alternative or extrinsic reason like it appears to be .

Posted by mbaty on March 3, 2017

This reminds me of the $5.00 “Administration fee” AT&T and Comcast charge me. Hopefully they use that extra income to hire some good GUI designers to bring the interface into the 21st century.

Posted by kipoca on March 3, 2017

avnowtw is right. If a dealer is having problems integrating, make them attend classes or drop the dealer.

This is a “stick” solution to sell Crestron lighting. Why not use a “carrot” solution and offer a $500 discount when lighting is sold on the same job? Crestron ran an offer when they started selling speakers that if you used Crestron speakers on a project you got all of the Crestron on the project’s PO 10% off. Why not expand the program that way? Sell a Crestron amp, speakers, lighting and shades on one project PO and get a discount worth your while.

Another issue is you build long term relationships and learn to do things and build operating systems, so you’ve got to change all of that to switch brands. You expect everyone to give up all of that investment to save a few hundred?

Posted by avnowtw on March 3, 2017

Its all in the name of customer experience? Nominal $500 fee?  what a spin!
If I pay that $500 I can also walk away from the responsibility as the installing dealer and Crestron will take over?
Anyone really believe this is not just about pushing out a better product?
what happened between the time of that large growth number published here about Crestron and now this?
I thought as “integrators” our industry was about us selecting best of breed products for the customer?
how many projects have ever gone to a point so bad that the manufacture has had to get involved on the customers behalf?
it sounds like Crestron needs to focus on improving its dealer base not coming up with ways of “illuminating” competition. pun intended.

Posted by kipoca on March 3, 2017

How are HDMI switches, HVAC controllers, and other products Crestron competes with different than lighting?

We’re now seeing a lot more Mitsubishi HVAC systems without the traditional t-stats. Will Crestron make a license for third-party HVAC control? What about Atlona switches? AudioControl or Biamp music systems?

Posted by jrainey411 on March 3, 2017

Some of the comments that I see indicated that the “tax” will be very unevenly enforced only on IP integrations and not on RS-232 connections as those are harder to police….looks pretty stop gap at this point .

Posted by Julie Jacobson on March 3, 2017

They don’t make those products, MitchK, so they can’t offer solutions that are easier to support. In the case of lighting, clearly it’s much easier for Crestron to support Crestron lighting. (You silly man)

Posted by MitchK on March 3, 2017

How much to integrate with door locks? Security systems? That also requires support, yes?