Lutron Knowledge Center
Tech Tips: Solid Blackout
by Erik Wickstrom with MarketShare
It’s Tuesday, so that means tech tips.
Our current offering of solid blackout roller shade fabrics is limited due to a supplier-driven production halt of Avila Solid. At this time, we still have no ETA of when a replacement for Avila Solid will become available. Instead, consider Palette Blackout or Highland RD. Both are relatively new, so they may not be in your fabric binders. You can order free samples from lutronfabrics.com or pick them up from Mountlake Terrace.
More info on blackout classifications below:
Most of our blackout fabrics are “dual sided,” meaning they are colored/patterned on one side but white on the other side. The opposite of dual sided would be a “solid” blackout, which is a solid color all the way through thickness of the fabric.
Many HOAs and buildings require window coverings to appear white from the outside, so dual sided blackouts give the homeowner the opportunity to personalize their interior space while complying. White backing is also better for air-conditioning savings in the summer. However, sometimes a dark, black, or colored outward appearance is desirable, and that’s where solid blackouts come in.
What about Standard? Yes, we offer a fabric called “Standard.” It’s a solid blackout that is soooo basic, it doesn’t even have a name. It also is quite restrictive on size. I don’t recommend it.
What about our new Avila Residential? That’s a dual sided replacement for Avila (Avila was halted alongside Avila Solid). It is not fire rated for commercial applications, but is otherwise visual indistinguishable from Avila.
Pro tip: if the homeowner wants dark outside and light inside, you could offer one of our many dual sided blackouts and then select “fabric face towards glass” on myProjects. This way, the white backing will face indoors, while the color/pattern faces the glass and outdoors.
As always, I’ll keep you updated. And don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions.
Tech Tips: PRO vs. 6ND Dimmers
by Erik Wickstrom with MarketShare
Our main dimmer model is the RRD-PRO, and that’s what should be specified whenever possible. The next most popular dimmer is the RRD-6ND.
|Phase Control||Forward or Reverse||Forward Only|
Okay, so the 6ND can’t do reverse phase. What does that really mean? Well, it’s about LED load compatibility. Traditional “TRIAC” dimmers (you know, the one Lutron invented) are forward phase. That works great with incandescent bulbs. Some higher end LED bulbs and fixtures have been specifically engineered to “emulate” incandescent, and also work well on forward phase. However, many other LEDs on the market dim better when fed reverse phase (sometimes called ELV).
Ideally, you’d know ahead of time what type of LED bulbs and fixtures are installed, and buy the specific dimmer for that. But in reality, not so much. So, your best bet is the PRO dimmer now, which can be adjusted in software to either forward or reverse later.
So I’m telling you to use the PRO, but you’re still skeptical. Or maybe it’s out of stock. Can you get away with using a 6ND? Well, it is less expensive, so at the same margin, you make less money. It requires a neutral, so make sure you have that in each wallbox ahead of time. And finally, you’ll need to use lutron.com/LED or physically test the customer’s bulbs with your 6ND, since it has limited compatibility with LEDs due to being forward phase only.
New RadioRA 2 Software Released
- Start using the latest RadioRA 2 software today to take advantage of the latest quality and reliability improvements included in this update!
- It's always best practice to start new projects using the latest software to access new features, improved setup tools, and ongoing fixes to known issues.
- A full list of the changes in this release can be found here.
- As Lutron continues to innovate with new products and solutions, some of their older technology will no longer be manufactured. The following RadioRA 2 Temperature control has been discontinued:
- LR-HWLV-HVAC TouchPRO Wireless thermostat
- Additional thermostat solutions compatible with RadioRA 2 can be found here.
Virtual Training Available
- Don't forget about virtual training! The Level 2 course allows contractors to expand on Level 1 knowledge. As a result of high demand, Lutron has added additional classes for July.
- Learn about networking, programming, and much more; all while learning how to successfully sell and commission larger homes!
- Visit LCI to register now!
Shade Essentials Training
- Are you looking to get started with Lutron shades, or do you have new techs working for you who need to get up to speed on shades?
- Lutron is offering their two-day Shade Essentials training November 16th-17th. There is a financial commitment of $1244, which includes your demo shade and fabric binders, but once you come out of the training you will be all set to sell your first Lutron shades project and be on your way to a whole new revenue stream.
- There is not an official registration yet for this class but send us an e-mail if you are interested and we will make sure you are on the list.
- Whether it’s the basic online Level 1 Training or the advanced concepts for Level 2 (now also online!), the new and improved training content will help your installers grow their knowledge and their business.
RadioRA 2 Software Update
- Users logging in with a basic myLutron account can access the design and programming options of the tool
- Add rooms and devices to create a full Bill of Materials
- Create programming and even custom engraving for keypads
- Only trained installers will still have access to completely activate and set up the system Note: Qualified installers who have already completed training can still log in with your myLutron account for full access to activate and transfer the system (just like you do today).
- LED and incandescent dimmers are now separate device types.
- LED/CFL dimmer and incandescent/halogen dimmer are now separate device types when adding a new Maestro dimmer.
- This change now allows the minimum and maximum load ratings to match the capabilities of the various Maestro dimmers.
Lutron Connection 2020
- Lutron Connection 2020 started Friday, Sept. 2020 and is a six-week virtual campaign is designed exclusively for the residential dealer community. Explore the new digital platform where we will introduce this year’s innovations via a flexible and engaging schedule of events that will deliver the tools and learnings needed to ensure your continued success with Lutron lighting, shading and fixture control solutions.
- Click here to see exciting product unveilings, podcasts, trainings and live events being offered each week.
Triathalon Wood Blinds
- New, Lutron Triathlon battery-powered wood blinds offer the opportunity to add simple control of natural light with a style that complements every aesthetic, but without the hassle of running wires. This blind is currently supported by the RA2 Select and Caséta solutions.
- Lutron wood blinds are crafted out of genuine North American basswood. Blinds are available in 12 stained and 6 painted finishes to complement any interior.
- Bring a touch of sophistication to a home office with Walnut or brighten up a kitchen with Soft White. Easy to clean and designed to look good for decades to come, wood blinds are the perfect option for any residence, whether you choose wired or battery-powered blinds.
- Experience the perfect alignment you’re accustomed to with Lutron roller shade solutions – this time with tilt!
- For small projects where RA2 Select or Caséta** are the right fit, enable Natural Light Optimization, which automatically tilts blinds to preset angles throughout the day. Natural Light Optimization lets indirect light in, but keeps harsh glare and UV rays at bay.