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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, I am almost done framing my theater and I am about to start running wire. You can see my layout here.
View attachment Layout 1-10.pdf

I plan on wiring the zones as follows:
1- 2 6" cans behind AT screen
1- 3 6" cans for screen wash
1- 9 6" cans over seating
1- Lights under cabinets and over bar area
1- 3" puck lights in soffit
1- Dimmable RGB LED tape/rope lights in crown on soffit
1- Step lights in riser

Questions:
1. Is this too much light?
2. Do you see any zones I could condense/remove? I would like to have a ton of control over the lighting.
3. I would like to have all of this controlled via iRule. I recently bought some Global Cache units to control everything via IP to IR. Do you see any issues with that?
4. How can I terminate all of these zones in one location and also have a dimmer switch/wallstation to give guests a button to hit while I still control it with ipad/android tablets when I'm in the theater?
5. If I use a GrafikEye to control the zones/scenes, what what I need to also have a switch or two to say control the bar lights or change the light level in the room? A wallstation?
6. What system would work best for this? I have read about Lutron GE, Lutron Spacer, Insteon, etc.

Thanks all,
Chris
 

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wraunch, I am by no means an expert in lighting, but looking at your plan I had some thoughts come back from when I was considering lighting for our eventual basement. I thought that it would be cool to have the pots directly above the seating locations, and on different switches. That way if you wanted to have some direct light to read something while watching a movie, the overheads would only affect your row, and not have much spill elsewhere. Maybe this is a terrible idea, I don't know, but it's what popped into my head. I know you have a nice, even grid pattern, which might look weird if some were offset.
 

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I have the screen wash lights and the pucks lights in the soffit (15 of them around the room), but I do not have any can lights. I do notice that it is a tad darker in the middle of the room and wish I could have done a couple can lights in the middle.

So, I am in the middle. I think there are too many can lights, but I can see where you want them over the seating areas. If it were me, I would go with 4 can lights total. I would locate 2 right behind the first row and then the second 2 right between the second row and the bar row.

As far as control, the GE can only do 6 zones - I think you said you would do the under cabinet lights on a separate dimmer, correct? Also, check your gear. Some of them might just have an IR input that you can do a 3.5 jack straight to instead of using the IR emitters. Other than that, I think you are set. You do have a line in from the modem already, right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So, I am in the middle. I think there are too many can lights, but I can see where you want them over the seating areas. If it were me, I would go with 4 can lights total. I would locate 2 right behind the first row and then the second 2 right between the second row and the bar row.

As far as control, the GE can only do 6 zones - I think you said you would do the under cabinet lights on a separate dimmer, correct? Also, check your gear. Some of them might just have an IR input that you can do a 3.5 jack straight to instead of using the IR emitters. Other than that, I think you are set. You do have a line in from the modem already, right?
I don't mind if I swiss cheese the ceiling as the only thing above the room is attic space. I might be able to cut out a row or two of the 6" cans. I am ok not having the under cabinet lights on the GE. I think I want to have those on a switch near the bar. I would want to be able to control the can light at the bar and the cans near the bar seating with the GE though. I have an RG6 line upstairs that I am going to move for my modem. I assume that is what you mean by line in?

My thought was put the GE on the top right wall near the rack where it's visible inside the theater. Then I can run IR to the GC-100 in the rack during my low voltage wiring I will do.
 

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Sorry, yes, that is what I meant by a line in.

As long as you went with the GE unit that can control 6 zones, I think you would be set provided you wanted all the 6" cans on the same zone.

Sorry I cannot give you more info on the wall stations. You may want to check raZorTT's build - he is the one I asked about the unit. I cannot recall if he added a wall station or not......
 

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Thats one sweet floor plan for a HT Room! Looking forward to seeing pictures of the build as you go along.
A full wet bar in the back....:bigsmile:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks. I am very excited about the room and the bar! ALM I will check out Razzor's. I plan on having all of the lights over the seats on the same zone and then separate the others as I mentioned.
 

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Thanks. I am very excited about the room and the bar! ALM I will check out Razzor's. I plan on having all of the lights over the seats on the same zone and then separate the others as I mentioned.
No worries. If you want, post a question to Simon's build thread. He normally responds in a day or so.
 

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Hi Chris,

I don't necessarily think you can put too much light in there. The best thing about the GE is you can set scenes where some of the zones are completely off if you like! If you can put your cabinet lights on their own switch then I think your 6 zones would work perfectly with the GE.

I didn't add a wall station along with my GE. My GE is right near my door, so if I don't have my iphone/ipad with me I can flick on a scene as I walk in the room.

From what I read though the wall stations seem fairly straight forward though.

Cheers,
Simon
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
As a follow-up would it be a better option to go with a Lutron Spacer system? I will be controlling my "scenes" with iRule anyway so I don't know that I need the scene controls the GE offers.
 

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This is my first post here - I have usually hung out over at AVS Forum, but started browsing some threads here so I signed up.

I planned a lot of lights, and even though I don't have the walls up, I just got a Grafik Eye QS and a wall station, wired them up, and threw any spare bulbs I could find in the cans. Love it.

I have quite a few cans - 12 6" and 4 3" in a space about 25' x 12' - and I don't think it's too much. The GE does so well with dimming that it can still be pretty much completely dark at the lowest few percent of the dimming - and this is with concrete walls still.

I have been researching iRule, and I think things will work. But I haven't been able to find a lot of info out there.

The Grafik Eye is a great standalone controller, and you can wire keypads to it or shades, and all sorts of accessories. It is probably about the same price than using Radio RA 2 if you are going with at least 6-8 zones. I am really liking it.

I would suggest also checking out RadioRA2. The prices aren't too bad if you can find a supply house that will sell for a little less than MSRP, and expansion is open ended. You'd probably drop about $300 - $350 for the controller, then $80-$100 per dimmer, and $170 - $200 for an entry keypad. And they come in lots of colors. The Grafik Eye QS Wireless is $750 to $1000.

The Grafik Eye QS wireless can be part of a Radio RA2 system later or can be a great standalone device. I started with it because I wanted to try its features and it is an easily configured single unit, so setting up scenes is a snap, and it supports shade controls - something I'll be using.

I'm thinking of adding a Radio RA2 controller and a few more zones using RA2 dimmers down the line if I get the itch to have more zones. I wired all my lighting to a big 16"x20" junction box so I can switch my zoning around after the room is done - for now I have one zone on a switch and the rest consolidated to 6 zones for the grafik eye. Then I have conduit to the switch locations so I can pull wire to the switches from there.

In looking at the IRule builder, it seemed like the best support for Lutron they have is the Radio RA2 series. They also have IR codes for the Grafik Eye - but I have to admit I haven't actually tried any of it yet.
 

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Not sure. Is that a new system from lutron? Haven't heard of it
My friend at work used Spacer. It has been around for a while. Only challenge with it is getting your IR emitter to the Spacer system - the emitter has to be in the box, and in many places I think it may be against code.

But that's just what I read. There may be other ways to control Spacer.

The RadioRA2 I think can be controlled IR (not sure if you have to buy an IR eye that connects to the system) or RS232 to the main repeater, possibly IP control. Grafik Eye QS has IR input on the back so nothing unsightly, just wrap the cable in electrical tape up to the terminals when in the junction box so the sheathing is rated for high voltage.
 

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Hi, couple of thoughts...you really want your downlighters (narrow beam) to be just slightly behind the head of each seat. Allows for reading when up and looks more classy, i.e. like theatre lighting.

Also, don't forget the all-important work light(s). There are times when you want clear lighting for maintenance and install situations. My 0.2c worth...
 

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Beautiful. I have about 6 feet or so between my cans, kind of like you show. When I hooked up my lights a couple weeks ago it seemed like plenty of light for cleaning or task work, but when dimmed could get to any darkness I desired (particularly with the Grafik Eye)

I also like all the task lighting, like over the bar and the cabinetry in the back, along the sides. I bet it will look really impressive. I'm jealous. You have a lot of space.

I think this space is definitely worthy of a top notch control system like Grafik Eye or Radio RA2. That is - if it's in the budget. I think satisfactory methods of light control can be accomplished for 1/2 to 2/3rds the cost of those. But costs can get out of control, so definitely look at all the factors. Once you spend $1500 on a lighting control system, next thing you know is you want nice quality dimmable LED lights with fancy trims to match the level of quality, so you drop $1000 on those, etc. So be sure you can afford the things that matter to you! I got in a little deep with the Grafik Eye QS with respect to my budget because now I am having a hard time justifying anything less than that level of quality for my shades and lights themselves. "I could get the Cree CR6 at Home Depot... but the Nora Lighting has such nicer trims and the Crees look so clunky in comparison....."

Do you have a separate build thread going?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for the kind words. I do have a build thread here:
http://www.hometheatershack.com/for...on/57287-living-dream-theater.html#post516864

I will be using 6" Cree LR6 Dimmable LEDs for the 6" can lights. I need to figure out how to paint the built in trims black however as they do not easily separate from the drivers. My wife thinks the room will look like a landing strip but I told her we can dim the lights in zones and she will love it. I bought a Grafik Eye 6 zone controller on Ebay a few months ago and I am really excited about using iRule to control it.
 

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Thanks for the kind words. I do have a build thread here:
http://www.hometheatershack.com/for...on/57287-living-dream-theater.html#post516864

I will be using 6" Cree LR6 Dimmable LEDs for the 6" can lights. I need to figure out how to paint the built in trims black however as they do not easily separate from the drivers. My wife thinks the room will look like a landing strip but I told her we can dim the lights in zones and she will love it. I bought a Grafik Eye 6 zone controller on Ebay a few months ago and I am really excited about using iRule to control it.
One thing to note is that the LR6 only dim to 15%. When you factor in perception:

http://www.lutron.com/TechnicalDocumentLibrary/Measured_vs_Perceived.pdf

it might seem like not even 15%. So definitely try it and see if you like the minimum dimming level okay. One nice thing about a Grafik Eye is you can set the "trim" so it won't dim below what the LED light supports. You can even set an upper trim if you think true 100% is too bright or want to always be saving some power. And the new Grafik Eye QS units (since about a year ago) even have a special mode for the Cree LR6 lighting zones (which also works well with the CR6 I hear - but call Lutron they are great about it)

The Cree CR6 don't cost as much but they don't have the same heat sink on them so I wonder if they're as heavy duty - but are also rated for the same lifetime of 50000 hours :dontknow:. They dim down to 5% instead of 15% and have very similar color accuracy. I'm not sure what the difference is between them, but I know the LR6 look more commercial grade and sturdy. But the LR6 you can get in 3000K and maybe other colors, the CR6 come in 2700K which is on the yellow side for some people I have read.

I'm worried about painting my trims too. Even the Nora Lighting ones I have been looking at don't come in all black so I'd have to paint them. I suppose just a complicated masking job is what I'll have to pull off!

Did you get the 3106 series or the 3506, or a newer QS unit for your Grafik Eye? I didn't realize you'd already got it... So ignore my stuff about the QS if that's not the one you bought! Either way I think you'll enjoy. I am going to experiment with iRule soon myself. I have a trial going now and am just tinkering with it to see what's there. It does have the standard IR codes for the grafik eye, and RadioRA2 codes which I think might work with the Grafik Eye compatible RS232 controller. Fun stuff!
 

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I like these lighting threads, because its another area where I have no practical experience (one of many!) and I get to learn a great deal by watching what people do. My neighbor just switched his main floor pot lights from halogen (I think) to LED and I love the new look. Plus, he went from 50w per light to 2w. I'm experimenting with LED bulbs in a few ceiling fixtures throughout the house, and have had mostly good results so far. The Grafik Eye takes things to a whole new level.
 
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