Control & Automation

Inside Lutron CEDIA 2017 Booth: RA2 Select Is ‘Total Gamechanger’

'Amazing' Lutron RA2 Select expands integrators ability to offer affordable wireless control of lighting and shades with completely app-based installation and consumer-level control.

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13 Comments
Posted by bbjorkquist on September 12, 2017

I’ve had a chance to play with the Beta version of RA2 Select, and it really is that simple. With a 2-wire dimmer switch (no neutral needed) I installed three dimmer switches in about 20 minutes, followed by two lamp modules, which took two minutes to plug in, and programming couldn’t have taken more than 5-10 minutes, including a few Pico remotes. So maybe 30-40 minutes total for a two room lighting system from unpacking to first use.

This should open up the doors to lighting control for many new dealers as well as those looking to expand their business into new markets. I’ll be swapping out my Z-Wave lighting for these as soon as they come out officially.

Brett Bjorkquist
Logitech CI/Pro Channel

Posted by Julie Jacobson on September 28, 2017

Thanks so much for sharing, Brett! If you don’t mind, we’ll use this in a roundup of mini-reviews provided by others.

Posted by bbjorkquist on September 28, 2017

Of course Julie, you are welcome to use it. I was just telling someone during CEDIA that the first time I ever got my picture taken was at EHX, when you happened to put me in one of the daily show magazines with a little picture and a quote. I think that was back in 2006 or 2007. This dealer and I had just seen you walk by taking pictures in the booths this past CEDIA, and we were reminiscing about the shows back then and I was telling him that I still keep the picture on my desk at home. My first Julie sighting…  ; )

Posted by dbendell on September 30, 2017

Great product, but the fact you can’t save the program file for me is not a game changer. It is a pissed off customer when you go back to replace the hardware and try to remember all the programming they were used too. Hardware fails all hardware fails, if you can’t save a file and just re-load it in todays world that’s a problem.

Posted by Julie Jacobson on September 30, 2017

dbendell ... so you program the device from the app and it’s all stored in the hw, with no way to save the settings?

Posted by Julie Jacobson on September 30, 2017

bbjork - Loved those EH Expos. Yeah, I totally remember taking that picture of you back in 2006 or 2007. My first bbjork sighting.

Posted by dbendell on October 1, 2017

Julie, that is what I was told, twice at the show. I was alittle shocked by it. I won’t install something of this intensity to program that can’t be saved to a file. Everything we do is professional, to sell somebody 40-60 switches and program them and not have a backup file is not my style. That is about $9K in hardware and considerable amount of time in programming, be back, tweak programming, etc. To have a lighting strike, no backup file and tell the customer its $1k to reprogram and remember what they liked? No way. Failed product launch IMO!  If I am wrong and there is a backup file for RA Select, then all this is avoided. Maybe you should interview and get us an update?

Posted by Julie Jacobson on October 1, 2017

OK, dbendell, I’ll follow up.

Posted by Mark Hoffman on October 2, 2017

Technicians should post selfies of themselves the moment a customer callswith a hardware failure on a 100 device system with no means of a backup.

Posted by Julie Jacobson on October 2, 2017

Confirmed.

Posted by Adroit1 on October 2, 2017

I’m just a little confused here. If the RA2 Select system can be controlled by a true RA2 main repeater, why not switch to full RA2 control after 15 devices, but still use the RA2 Select hardware to save costs?  I will contact Lutron for my other technical questions.

Posted by Julie Jacobson on October 3, 2017

Statement from Lutron’s Neil Orchowski, RA2 Select Product Manager:

RA2 Select bridges the gap between Lutron’s 50-device, app-programmed, Caséta Wireless system and the 200-device, PC-programmed, RadioRA 2 system. RA2 Select was specifically designed as a quick start solution for busy low voltage and line voltage installers and contractors who may not have the time or resources to PC-program every job.

RA2 Select represents a paradigm shift from the custom designed, technically detailed, time intensive programming that, due to its inherently elaborate nature, requires extensive back-up. Once added to the system, RA2 Select devices automatically configure based on the room type and create typical lighting scenes used for the activity in that space. No additional programming is required and most systems will be setup in under an hour.

In the unlikely event of hardware failure, contractors will need to reassign RA2 Select devices via the app, which, thanks to the new auto-configuration feature, will be quick and easy. We understand that the installer community is made up of a wide variety of business models and that RA2 Select might not be the right product for everyone. Installers who want to retain their clients’ programming files have two great options in Lutron’s RadioRA 2 and HomeWorks QS systems.

Based on the excitement and feedback received at CEDIA, we expect RA2 Select to be embraced by the majority of our contractor community who are looking for that quick start solution and looking for new ways to expand their businesses with smart lighting and shade control. RA2 Select will help expand the market for lighting and shade control by providing homeowners and installers with this simple, yet feature-rich connected home solution.

Posted by Mark - The Source on October 3, 2017

I agree with dbendell that not being able to save a configuration locally to a USB drive or computer or to the cloud is a deal breaker.  We were early adopters of Crestron PYNG and one thing we love is the ability to save a ‘Golden Backup’, which is the last backup we actively saved.  Not only do we have access to that, but since PYNG allows for extensive end-user customization, regular backups are automatically saved to the cloud so if the hardware fails, it is as simple as clicking ‘restore from cloud’.  So the “Golden Backup” is for use if the client messes something up and we need to restore to known-working configuration and the regular backups are for hardware failure. We, and the client, are covered for both scenarios.  PYNG has been a rock solid offering for us - easy to deploy for a basic setup and easy to integrate into more sophisticated projects

13 Comments
Posted by Mark - The Source on October 3, 2017

I agree with dbendell that not being able to save a configuration locally to a USB drive or computer or to the cloud is a deal breaker.  We were early adopters of Crestron PYNG and one thing we love is the ability to save a ‘Golden Backup’, which is the last backup we actively saved.  Not only do we have access to that, but since PYNG allows for extensive end-user customization, regular backups are automatically saved to the cloud so if the hardware fails, it is as simple as clicking ‘restore from cloud’.  So the “Golden Backup” is for use if the client messes something up and we need to restore to known-working configuration and the regular backups are for hardware failure. We, and the client, are covered for both scenarios.  PYNG has been a rock solid offering for us - easy to deploy for a basic setup and easy to integrate into more sophisticated projects

Posted by Julie Jacobson on October 3, 2017

Statement from Lutron’s Neil Orchowski, RA2 Select Product Manager:

RA2 Select bridges the gap between Lutron’s 50-device, app-programmed, Caséta Wireless system and the 200-device, PC-programmed, RadioRA 2 system. RA2 Select was specifically designed as a quick start solution for busy low voltage and line voltage installers and contractors who may not have the time or resources to PC-program every job.

RA2 Select represents a paradigm shift from the custom designed, technically detailed, time intensive programming that, due to its inherently elaborate nature, requires extensive back-up. Once added to the system, RA2 Select devices automatically configure based on the room type and create typical lighting scenes used for the activity in that space. No additional programming is required and most systems will be setup in under an hour.

In the unlikely event of hardware failure, contractors will need to reassign RA2 Select devices via the app, which, thanks to the new auto-configuration feature, will be quick and easy. We understand that the installer community is made up of a wide variety of business models and that RA2 Select might not be the right product for everyone. Installers who want to retain their clients’ programming files have two great options in Lutron’s RadioRA 2 and HomeWorks QS systems.

Based on the excitement and feedback received at CEDIA, we expect RA2 Select to be embraced by the majority of our contractor community who are looking for that quick start solution and looking for new ways to expand their businesses with smart lighting and shade control. RA2 Select will help expand the market for lighting and shade control by providing homeowners and installers with this simple, yet feature-rich connected home solution.

Posted by Adroit1 on October 2, 2017

I’m just a little confused here. If the RA2 Select system can be controlled by a true RA2 main repeater, why not switch to full RA2 control after 15 devices, but still use the RA2 Select hardware to save costs?  I will contact Lutron for my other technical questions.

Posted by Julie Jacobson on October 2, 2017

Confirmed.

Posted by Mark Hoffman on October 2, 2017

Technicians should post selfies of themselves the moment a customer callswith a hardware failure on a 100 device system with no means of a backup.

Posted by Julie Jacobson on October 1, 2017

OK, dbendell, I’ll follow up.

Posted by dbendell on October 1, 2017

Julie, that is what I was told, twice at the show. I was alittle shocked by it. I won’t install something of this intensity to program that can’t be saved to a file. Everything we do is professional, to sell somebody 40-60 switches and program them and not have a backup file is not my style. That is about $9K in hardware and considerable amount of time in programming, be back, tweak programming, etc. To have a lighting strike, no backup file and tell the customer its $1k to reprogram and remember what they liked? No way. Failed product launch IMO!  If I am wrong and there is a backup file for RA Select, then all this is avoided. Maybe you should interview and get us an update?

Posted by Julie Jacobson on September 30, 2017

bbjork - Loved those EH Expos. Yeah, I totally remember taking that picture of you back in 2006 or 2007. My first bbjork sighting.

Posted by Julie Jacobson on September 30, 2017

dbendell ... so you program the device from the app and it’s all stored in the hw, with no way to save the settings?

Posted by dbendell on September 30, 2017

Great product, but the fact you can’t save the program file for me is not a game changer. It is a pissed off customer when you go back to replace the hardware and try to remember all the programming they were used too. Hardware fails all hardware fails, if you can’t save a file and just re-load it in todays world that’s a problem.

Posted by bbjorkquist on September 28, 2017

Of course Julie, you are welcome to use it. I was just telling someone during CEDIA that the first time I ever got my picture taken was at EHX, when you happened to put me in one of the daily show magazines with a little picture and a quote. I think that was back in 2006 or 2007. This dealer and I had just seen you walk by taking pictures in the booths this past CEDIA, and we were reminiscing about the shows back then and I was telling him that I still keep the picture on my desk at home. My first Julie sighting…  ; )

Posted by Julie Jacobson on September 28, 2017

Thanks so much for sharing, Brett! If you don’t mind, we’ll use this in a roundup of mini-reviews provided by others.

Posted by bbjorkquist on September 12, 2017

I’ve had a chance to play with the Beta version of RA2 Select, and it really is that simple. With a 2-wire dimmer switch (no neutral needed) I installed three dimmer switches in about 20 minutes, followed by two lamp modules, which took two minutes to plug in, and programming couldn’t have taken more than 5-10 minutes, including a few Pico remotes. So maybe 30-40 minutes total for a two room lighting system from unpacking to first use.

This should open up the doors to lighting control for many new dealers as well as those looking to expand their business into new markets. I’ll be swapping out my Z-Wave lighting for these as soon as they come out officially.

Brett Bjorkquist
Logitech CI/Pro Channel