Lighting Controls - For Dog Boarding facality


Active Member
My brother is building a 5000+ square foot dog daycare and we are looking at lighting controls.   We are looking at around 20 rooms plus a central hallway. 
I was thinking about using elk plus upb switches as that is what I have at my personal residence.  I dont do too much with the system in my house ->  the front lights turn on at dusk, all the lights turn on in an alarm condition, a few scenes for adjusting lights in theater. It works good and I am familiar with it so this is my first choice.  In this new  building, if I went elk plus UBP,  we would likely add some occupancy sensors and build some rules to turn lights off when we arm alarm or when the occupancy sensors indicate a room is not  being used for a while. 
I set most of my house  6 years ago so I am wondering what new technologies are available?  
One thought was to keep it simple and use individual levitron occupancy sensors and their power packs.  I like this solution because it should be fairly simple to set up.  My biggest concerns are if dogs in crates would set off the occupancy sensors and if we might want to not have lots come on at night if we are trying to deal with a single dog when other dogs are sleeping.  It also doesn't allow the alarm to leverage the occupancy sensors or do cool things like turning all the lights on in an alarm condition.  
Is there anything else we should be looking at?  Building is new so we have lot of flexibility.  I am really mostly trying to think about what additional features can be used to justify doing some centralized solution rather then just occupancy sensors in each room.    ie..  having all the lights turn off when you arm alarm vs just letting the rooms time out. 
I would do something more robust than just UPB, especially in a new build. There's cases for each, but I'd stay away from what I'd consider a retrofit product.
I'd recommend Lutron or Vantage (though really not completely DIY) and then build the integration on the back end.
No, homeworks.
Based on the "wants" list and application, I would stay away from the retrofit marketed products. Radiora is/was designed for the retrofit market primarily.
Now would be the time to do a centralized load type system. Lutron, Leviton, Centralite, Vantage, etc.
It'd be a lot easier to go that route and then integrate with security than go with a primarily retrofit product and then work backwards. Now is the time where it's not going to add a significant factor to the rough in and it can be done "right" vs. using retro products.


Senior Member
You may have to blind or focus your MS units to avoid canine triggering. Pressure sensitive mats have been interfaced also. Mostly for staircases. Once your MSes control light switches for basic room by room lighting a central HA system comes into play to do one-switch-does-all offs, ons and occupancy detection, remote monitoring and control over some things. I was just involved in a discussion about a working dry bowl detector sending out notifications for a house pet dog used to monitor house sitters while the owner was away. Others keep track of whether their cat has come in through the cat door.
Depending on your lighting system, fluorescents, HID,  LED etc. you may want to avoid certain protocols like rf only and/or powerline only protocols.  Insteon fills this bill quite nicely and works well in large buildings with it's every device is a dual band mesh networking system component. Some have reported over 500 feet away lighting working reliably from house to barns.
Don't forget to have a neutral wired to ever switch connection box or you will wave the right to LED and fluorescent lighting in most cases.
In a new build, why would the push to be install all retrofit or closed, proprietary protocol hardware that may or may not interface with a 3rd party controller....wouldn't the more logical build be to plan the system out first, with general functionality and the requisite control portion as the first design criteria, then flesh out the automation or control portion? Why would someone choose to go with retrofit hardware than wire with centralized loads? That takes EVERY consideration out of the equation for the connected lighting hardware except for the dimmer control.
It also negates the need to pull a neutral into every box and facilitates much more granular control. From that point, something like Vantage would only need a 2 conductor bus cable to the switch locations and the outlet/lighting considerations would really not be affected; Pull a load for each of the rooms and hall, that's a 21 point enclosure and the same for the control portion. Very easy and would cost less than the closed protocol devices and honestly, work a hell of a lot better.