Control & Automation

Smart Home Shines With Only Low-Voltage Lighting, No Romex

Audio Intersection nixes the Romex in this Elan smart home, running low-voltage cabling to power and control 77 LED fixtures from LumaStream.

Smart Home Shines With Only Low-Voltage Lighting, No Romex
Canton, Ga. integration company Audio Intersection used two different types of LumaStream fixtures during its first LumaStream job: 75 of the trimless adjustable 4-inch round downlights, and two aluminum wall sconces for the kitchen.

Photos & Slideshow

CE Pro Editors · October 31, 2018

Michael Buckner, owner of Audio Intersection in Canton, Ga., finally took a chance on low-voltage lighting, recently installing 77 LED fixtures, all powered and controlled over 18-gauge wire—not a Romex in sight.

He was quite pleased with his first LumaStream job, which is a good thing because it was installed in his own house.in the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains.

Prior to this job, Buckner had attended LumaStream training in Saint Petersburg, Fla., after a year of watching several low-voltage lighting vendors enter the custom-electronics channel.

The emerging category was enticing for a low-voltage integrator like himself, but it would take guts and training to wire and install lighting in a whole new way.

“It was my view that a premium low-voltage LED lighting solution with panelized remote drivers was an attractive proposition for a custom home integration specialist," he says, "and I was excited for the opportunity to experience the process for the first time while building my personal home."

Goodbye Romex, Hello 18-Gauge Wire

"It was my view that a premium low-voltage LED lighting solution with panelized remote drivers was an attractive proposition."
— Michael Buckner, Audio Intersection

For prewire, the techs ran a lightweight 18-gauge stranded wire to each fixture—a far less onerous task than hauling heavy Romex around. The wires terminated at four 12-channel power supplies connected to a single electrical circuit—a pretty efficient process.

Buckner says his lead technician, even as a LumaStream first-timer, breezed through the installation, likening the process to working with audio components.

Buckner used two different types of LumaStream fixtures: 75 of the trimless adjustable 4-inch round downlights, and two aluminum wall sconces for the kitchen. Lights are controlled with Lutron HomeWorks QS Palladiom keypads in 11 rooms of the house.

Elan Home Automation

Buckner integrated the housewide LumaStream low-voltage fixtures with an Elan home-automation system, which also controls motorized shades, whole-house entertainment, and other systems in the home.

As with other traditional light schemes, Elan can be used to control both natural light via motorized window treatments, as well as artificial light with LumaStream.

Read Next: Country Home Receives ELAN Home Automation Upgrade After Natural Disaster Strikes

"We effortlessly control both aspects of the lighting, and I think that will appeal to our customers as well," Buckner says.

Installation complete, Buckner brings clients to the home to experience the system for themselves.



7 Clever Ways to Hide Home Technology - CE Pro Download

Most technology products are not that visually appealing. Black boxes and tangled wires do not add to the character of a high-end smart home project. Luckily, our integrator readers have a number of clever solutions so these components don’t have to be visible in your next project.





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Control & Automation · Lighting · News · Projects · Media · Slideshow · Elan · LED · Lighting · lighting fixtures · LumaStream · All Topics
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Comments

Posted by SWeber on November 4, 2018

Recently completed a Crestron project with 352 recessed LumaStream fixtures.  Obviously there are many high voltage fixtures in the project as well that run through Crestron DimU8’s.  All lighting is controlled with Crestron system and Crestron Keypads.  Full control and power with only 18/2 wire to LumaStream fixutres.  Needless to say when we are bidding projects with Electricians already there we get resistance.

Posted by Mark Sipe on November 2, 2018

I have dealers who have doing this for years, they have the electrician install one or two large transformers and then run out from there.  Control4, Vantage and Lutron all can handle 0-10 control and dim the lights.  The more upscale installs can have a DMX controller in place and create some very cool scenes with color (Think rock concert).  Just had one dealer put in 162 recessed LV fixtures in one home.  This is the future, I know a production builder that offers a full LV lighting option.  We have a half dozen LED lighting manufacturers in our database currently and will be adding more.  Check out Inspired LED (big with the C4 guys in town), Lumastream, Colorbeam and Flexfire.  Our new office is designed to be all LED lighting, better lighting, lasts longer, and cheaper to operate.  How can you lose, if you do good work, right?

Posted by Julie Jacobson on November 1, 2018

jmc - this time it’s real. I do believe that. It will indeed take time before LV guys are the first ones on the job for it. Builders’ brains will have to be rewired, so to speak.

Posted by jmcdermott1678 on November 1, 2018

Very interesting.  I understand this is his own house, so he didn’t have to deal with this part, but I’m curious how this will pan out over time trying to sell the installation of low voltage lighting where an electrician and romex is still needed for standard outlets for appliances and such.  I’ve always felt I’d like to have more control over the lighting in a client’s home by doing it ourselves, but I would think getting in with a client to do this would be difficult with the electrician proclaiming to be the “expert” (which would be true to some extent).

Posted by jmcdermott1678 on November 1, 2018

Very interesting.  I understand this is his own house, so he didn’t have to deal with this part, but I’m curious how this will pan out over time trying to sell the installation of low voltage lighting where an electrician and romex is still needed for standard outlets for appliances and such.  I’ve always felt I’d like to have more control over the lighting in a client’s home by doing it ourselves, but I would think getting in with a client to do this would be difficult with the electrician proclaiming to be the “expert” (which would be true to some extent).

Posted by Julie Jacobson on November 1, 2018

jmc - this time it’s real. I do believe that. It will indeed take time before LV guys are the first ones on the job for it. Builders’ brains will have to be rewired, so to speak.

Posted by Mark Sipe on November 2, 2018

I have dealers who have doing this for years, they have the electrician install one or two large transformers and then run out from there.  Control4, Vantage and Lutron all can handle 0-10 control and dim the lights.  The more upscale installs can have a DMX controller in place and create some very cool scenes with color (Think rock concert).  Just had one dealer put in 162 recessed LV fixtures in one home.  This is the future, I know a production builder that offers a full LV lighting option.  We have a half dozen LED lighting manufacturers in our database currently and will be adding more.  Check out Inspired LED (big with the C4 guys in town), Lumastream, Colorbeam and Flexfire.  Our new office is designed to be all LED lighting, better lighting, lasts longer, and cheaper to operate.  How can you lose, if you do good work, right?

Posted by SWeber on November 4, 2018

Recently completed a Crestron project with 352 recessed LumaStream fixtures.  Obviously there are many high voltage fixtures in the project as well that run through Crestron DimU8’s.  All lighting is controlled with Crestron system and Crestron Keypads.  Full control and power with only 18/2 wire to LumaStream fixutres.  Needless to say when we are bidding projects with Electricians already there we get resistance.

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