01.28.2009 — Lutron's new RadioRa-SR
is much more than a single-room version of the popular RadioRa wireless lighting control system.
It is Lutron's only ultra-affordable wireless lighting solution that integrates beautifully with Lutron shades and third-party control systems.
The solution borrows from several Lutron families including RadioRa, AuroRa and Maestro Wireless. But the SR is the only one that blends low cost with two-way integration. AuroRa
and Maestro Wireless are both affordable, but they lack two-way communications.
RadioRa is robust and almost infinitely expandable but its cost of entry is high due to the need for a separate repeater and CPU.
"It becomes cost prohibitive to scale down to one room," says Lutron product manager Jeremy Kleinberg.
On the other hand, an SR system with three SR-compatible devices (dimmer, keypad, sensor, motorized shades, etc.) can be had for about $850.
"That would cost about $2,000 for RadioRa," Kleinberg says.
The key to the SR's relative affordability is the integrated hub that combines a repeater, scene controller and Ethernet/RS-232 ports for integration – all sold separately with RadioRa.
The system accommodates 10 wireless SR devices, including dimmers, keypads, sensors, motorized shades or other compatible products.
The SR's wireless protocol is different than other Lutron solutions, so you can't mix-and-match with the other product families.
But the company has developed a suite of compatible products around the SR system. Most notably, the SR integrates natively with Lutron's Sequoia QS wireless shades
. RadioRa, on the other hands, requires keypads for each shade.
Lutron has created dimmers and keypads for the SR, as well as some devices that are exclusive to the line. The in-line lamp socket that Lutron showed at CEDIA 2008 will become part of the SR family. It screws in between the fixture and the light bulb for an unobtrusive installation.
In addition, Lutron's new occupancy sensor also will be exclusive to the SR line … for now.
At CES 2009, Lutron demonstrated RadioRa-SR in a home theater vignette. Kleinberg controlled the lights and shades via an SR keypad and two-way Philips Pronto remote.
Lutron has not written drivers for all of the third-party control systems, "but we'll have them for all the usual suspects," says spokeswoman Melissa Andresko. "We'll be showing that at EHX." EHX (Electronic House Expo)
is March 11-14 in Orlando, Fla. Lutron's Jeremy Kleinberg controls the lights and shades via an SR keypad and two-way Philips Pronto remote.