Need help with HT lighting controls


New Member
Hello everyone. I'm new here and was hoping someone could help me.

I have just finished putting together a dedicated HT room. I would like to automate the lighting controls. I have 4 separate light circuits. I would like to be able to turn them on and off as well as dim them individually. I would like to do this using my HTM mx-850 remote. Is this possible? Can anyone recommend a way to pull this off?

There's Z-Wave, UPB, and Insteon but all of these will require a bit more than the previously mentioned controller. There's a Z-Wave kit that comes with a hand held remote.
jlp16au said:
Would I need x10 dimmers as well?
Most x10 products, centered around lighting, can be dimmed. What you really want to look at is switches that can remember their last status (ie. when you turn it on... 50%). The "el-cheapo" switches (modules) do NOT remember their status, thus you have to turn them on full blast... then dim them a bit.

jlp16au said:
Is there any other options that do not use x10?

As you can see.. Yes!
((and just so know, you are about to open a whole can worms :eek: ;) ))

Do you want an expandable system? You only mentioned controlling 4 lights via the mx-850 remote.

There are so many ways to skin this cat...

What do you want to do? If its only as you described in the first post... I'd go with the plug-n-play solution, but thats just me being lazy ;)
For now I would like to stick with the four lights. However, later I might want to monitor the status of several items in the house. (garage doors, AC units to name a few)

In my day job I am a control system engineer. In other words I automate industrial processes. The problem is I don't know what options I have avaiable to me in the residential world.

For the lights, I was looking at some lutron products such as the spacer system or the Grafik Eye. Either of those products will do what I want but they are fairly expensive. So again I just want to know what my options are.


You have indeed opened a wide doorway.

My suggestion is to go to There you can find 3 types of lighting control: Zwave, Freewire( X-10 base) and Power Line Controll (PCC - also x-10 base but on steriods).

Zwave is the next generation of lighting control with over 150 diffrent manufactures on board dedicated to home auptmation from lights , theromostat, sprikler, garage door etc to mention a few.

hope this helps ;)
When you say monitor, I assume you will be using a PC 24x7 and home automation software like Homeseer or HAL or CQC or other? If so, then even more options open up like UPB, Insteon (soon), and others. I am not familiar with your remote, but if it sends IR, you can put a IR receiver like a Slinke or other to capture IR and then Homeseer can listen for a particular IR and send out a device command message via the type of your choice (X10, upb, Insteon, etc.).