Dimmers as non-lighting control points


New Member
This is my first post here.

Does anybody know of any decora-style dimmer with the following characteristics:

1. Decora-style dimmer
2. Attached to "no load" (i.e. doesn't control any lights)
3. Does not require a high-voltage line. Attached / communicates with my existing central controller (WACI) through RS232, IP, or IR (ideally is not RF based, but CANNOT be powerline based). I say this because I already have C5 runs to locations where I want these but do not have high-voltage lines.
4. [OPTIONAL]. Has "lights" that indicate the level of dimness that are "setable" from the controller (3 above).

I want to use these dimmers as simple/easy points where my wife/kids can control things like volume, tempurature, etc. with decora-style dimmer switches that simply send "keypress" events to my central controller.

Xantech seems to make the closest thing with their Smartpads, but these aren't Decora style. There seems to be Control4, UPB, and X10 dimmers that are "remote"/don't require a load, but they DO require a high-voltage cable. Crestron and AMX seem to have the right kind of thing, but no way can I afford to get a Crestron or AMX control system for just this purpose.

Any ideas?!

Thanks in advance...
You could use a "X10" momentary Slave switch (no electronics, just a momentary switch) at the location connected to your Cat5 wires. Then, on the other side of the Cat5, you could use as an interface to your WACI or to an ELK security panel looking for a "closed zone" with corresponding action. The trick will be to detect momentary vs. long hold for Dim / vs. On & Off logic.

You might be better to look at the RedRadio IO touchscreens instead which would be a whole lot slicker and multifunctional. You can even build MainLobby scenes to appear on the mini touchscreens. Complete setup and more would be way less than a Crestron / AMX setup.
Re: momentary slave switch. Would much prefer something that wasn't as "binary'.

Re: RadIO. Cool technology, uber expensive relative to the $20? dimmer I was hoping to find. Most importantly, I am trying to keep PCs out of the primary "control" loop.
Leviton makes a volume control called Chopin that has an LED lightbar type display and runs off cat-5. It is resistor based so it should be adaptable to non-audio applications. Perhaps interfacing with the analog input of a controller would give you a value based on level setting. The controller could then control the various things you list based on the analog value set by the "volume" level of the Chopin control.