Video Accessories Misc

Control4 Dimmers UPDATE


Best of 2013 Awards

Introduction to the Control4 Dimmers Review Update

When I finished my initial review of Control4 I had it controlling my AV system but nothing else. As complete home integration is one of the reasons to use Control4 I needed to test something out. Control4 was nice enough to send over a few light dimmers to install so that I can see how they integrate.

Looking around our rental house, I picked where to install these dimmers to integrate with the TV and main floor. I want the outdoor light to be automatically turned on and off based on the sun. I also want the lights in the living room to turn off when I start a movie. Finally I also wanted the stairway to be able to dim at night after the kids are asleep. I determined the components I needed, a few dimmers and a keypad, and put in my order.

Upon their arrival my father-in-law, who unlike me knows what he is doing here, came over to help with the install. At this point everything fell apart. Our house was built in 1942 with a lot of old, ungrounded wiring. It's been spliced multiple times and nothing works like you expect it to. After wiring up a switched outlet we were stuck. Every configuration we tried didn't work correctly as the wiring is such a mess. Defeated, and not waiting to hire an electrician for a rental house, we started over.

The basement for the house was renovated in the past few years and all the wiring is new. It also contains the larger home theater and my wife's office. This gave us a new approach: Installing dimmers for the lights downstairs and a keypad at the top of the stairwell. Now before going downstairs you can turn on the light that you want. No more going down into the dark, virtually windowless basement at night.

Installing these is quick and easy when the wiring is current. It took under 2 hours for everything, including a 3-way switch that had to be bypassed. Identifying the dimmers in the Control4 software is fast and easy. Configuring the keypad to control the dimmers took just a couple of minutes as well. Now that the lights worked the fun part was here: programming.