Best Choice for Lighting Control


I am in the process of building a new home and am trying to sort between the various options for lighting control. Initially, I'm just going to install it in the "family" areas and see how it goes. This will involve about 30 or so loads spread on one floor over about 2500 sq ft. It would be great if the system I installed could be added on to later as needed. My budget will allow me to spend thousands, but not tens of thousands.

With open walls and electrical rough-in not yet started, what would be your vote for the best, most reliable system. I had been leaning toward Insteon, but it seems like every system has its issues and proponents and critics.

Any insights would be greatly appreciated!


Active Member
Welcome to Coconntech.

I hope that you have a lot of time to read because there are so many threads in this topic here in Cocoontech that you might spend several hours reading. Just use the Search button and a few key search terms, starting with Lightning Control.

Good luck.


Active Member
We just set up a brand new home with Leviton's Vizia RF switches. I believe we put in about 50 of them, including dimmers, relays, four-button in-wall controllers, and virtual 3-way slaves.



Active Member
I'm with elcano - read through a few past threads. This question has been asked several times in different ways... lots of great information to review.

Basic summary in generally preferred order:
1) go hardwired if you can afford it and walls are accessable.
2) UPB, ZWave, Insteon - all great, personal preference. Personally I have UPB and have been very happy
3) X10 - works great for some, switches are cheap, works horrible for some


Senior Member

Hardwired would not be a good option because he said:

will involve about 30 or so loads spread on one floor over about 2500 sq ft. It would be great if the system I installed could be added on to later as needed.


Senior Member
AutomatedOutlet said:

Hardwired would not be a good option because he said:

will involve about 30 or so loads spread on one floor over about 2500 sq ft. It would be great if the system I installed could be added on to later as needed.
Well, add later as needed is subjective. Yes, to do hardwire, you really need to identify them up front, but there are always options so I would not rule it out so fast...

If using a system like i-line, just run a pair of cat5 to each switch, or do a hybrid - put all the known critical loads on hardwire now and supplement with something like UPB as needed later. Doesn't one of them support UPB additions - Centralite?


Thanks for all the comments thus far. After reading the forums for several days now, I think I've got it all figured out and don't need any more help. Yea, right!
More confused than ever.

I do see the benefit of installing a hardwired system. Reliability and manufacturer longevity being the two (for me) than seem to rise to the top. That said, they require me to wire my new house in a "non-standard" manner, effectively locking me into cat5e based switches. I could, I assume, run line voltage and 14g control wire to each switch location if I wanted full futureproofing and flexibility? Just seems a little over the top and raises issues of all of it coexisting (or not) within the same proximity. Then, of course, there is the cost of these systems versus a PLC / retrofit system. The question above of integration of hardwired systems with PLC systems down the line might be an operative one for me.

Wow, I've got more research to do and only two weeks until I have to have my electrican pull wires! Obviously, I should have started my research several years ago. Like most technology decisions, it seems the choices are only outwieghted by the pros and cons.

Many on here seem to like the LiteJet system. The cost, at least based on a few of the postings, seems acceptable. Pros seem to be reliability, ease of installation, ability to control scenes and loads at each switch as desired and cost-effectiveness. Cons seem to be cost relative to PLC systems, the fact that some don't like the look and/or feel of the switches, "non-standard" (relative to a typical home) wiring plan and lack of clear ability to expand system unless prewiring is done ahead of time. I am sure I am missing something.

Thanks again for all the comments thus far. Thoughts?


Senior Member
You might consider ALC hardwire control like the i_wire system or OnQ. I don't think it would require wiring the house any different, simply run a cat5e wire to each load/switch in addition to the regular HV wiring. You'll need to read the i-Wire site to consider the code issues with having LV and HV wire in the same box. Generally it is acceptable as long as the LV wiring has sufficient sheathing for the HV current. They sell the specialized cat5 wiring required.

Then you can run the system as normal and slowly add ALC switches as you desire or as the budget allows.


If you end up using a system with switches in each room, vs. all loads controlled from a central location, try and use deep electrical switch boxes. You might also specify that the house is wired with the neutral in the switch location (no switch loops).

Hope this helps,


Active Member
I just went through this so I can give you my perspective. I was 100% behind I-Line right up until I got ready to order the parts. I started looking at how many switches I was going to need on each wall and the clutter made me think again. Just the box by the front door needed to be a four gang with a three gang above it for the Russound stuff. So I started over again looking for inexpensive hardwire. I had previously written Centralite off as I thought it would be too expensive. More research revealed that the cost for a 48 load system was the same or even a little cheaper than the I-Line stuff I was going to go with.
I didn't like the idea of running all my HV stuff back to a central spot. Then I did some more research and actually talked to my Dad's good friend that has lived in a house that has some type of really old school lighting system that uses LV to the switches just like centralite. He had his setup in the 70's and he loves it. He doesn't have near the flexibility that we have since his system is not computerized, but he has lived with it for going on 40 years and wouldn't go back.

Long story but the bottom line is I just bought my 48 load Centralite system from Worthington Distribution and I think I am going to be really happy. Cost was right around $4500 with everything you need.



Thanks for your insights. Sounds like your apprehensions are the same as mine. Meeting with my electrician on Monday, so it's put up or shut up time.

The $4500 was an installed price? I've seen $2500 for 24 uninstalled, so just trying to vector in on what's reasonable.

Like you, I'm reluctant to homerun HV, but there really doesn't seem to be any perfect option. Are you happy with the Litejet switches? Have you looked at swapping any any others?

Thanks again,



Active Member
dealsinva said:
Like you, I'm reluctant to homerun HV, but there really doesn't seem to be any perfect option.
Just out of curiosity, why are you reluctant?

Is it because once you do it, you are stuck with using a "system"?


Active Member
I installed a 96 load Centralite system. Other than the additional cost for the electricians, I can't see a reason homerunning the HV would be bad.

Interestingly enough, I read an article that stated the number one reason people install these types of systems is to reduce the number of gang boxes / switches on the wall.



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