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I just moved into a new place and I'm having an interesting lighting problem in one of my rooms. I've looked at a few things on the internet, but my lack of experience in this matter makes me feel intimidated by potential solutions.

There are multiple ceiling lights throughout the room and there's a single switch at the entrance, another at a wall, and yet another at a different wall. If I want to turn all of the lights on or off in this particular room, I need to walk around the whole room and flick each switch. I am anticipating getting very annoyed with this.

What I would like to do is have ONE panel at the entrance that will allow me to turn ALL of the lights on or off at once; no walking around the room.

I'm about to buy new light fixtures/bulbs to replace the old ones in the ceiling. Any solution to my issue could potentially involve some sort of smart fixture as well. However, I'm looking for a solution that is relatively inexpensive but still elegant.

Please see my diagrams below to help you understand what the current situation is versus what I would like it to be.

This is the current setup:

test

This is what I would like it to be:

test2

Ideally, I'd like a solution that allows me to control each light or light "section/circuit" individually. I think being able to dim the different portions of the room would be great. Additionally, being able to remotely control the different sections would be useful. However, I could live with control from one panel and nothing fancy.

Your suggestions and expertise are greatly appreciated.

  • I think GE makes bulbs that can be controlled by a smart phone, those might be worth looking in to. – Tester101 May 29 '15 at 15:25
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In my experience, Lutron Pico/Maestro line of remote switches work very well and aesthetically very pleasing. I would not use nor recommend any other.

In my area Home Depot sells them in white. For more colors choices you'd need to go through an authorized dealer i.e. a lighting design center or search the internet for availability.

  • I did look into Maestro as a potential solution. However, I was unsure about precisely what I would need. Could you give me any more information as to what I should be looking at getting from them? – Lethal Left Eye May 29 '15 at 15:51
  • Yes, so basically you would replace all three switches with Maestro. And use the Pico wireless remote at the entrance. Then you would program the remote to control all three switches at once. Here's a link from Amazon showing a picture of the maestro next to the Pico wireless controller. amazon.com/… but what is not shown is the Pico wall plate adapter. that is sold separately and functions to hold the wireless device to an existing switch plate. but in your case you may not need it if there is no switch at the e – Kris May 29 '15 at 16:07
  • ... At the entrance – Kris May 29 '15 at 16:42
  • Thanks for the advice. I'm going to look into that further. – Lethal Left Eye May 29 '15 at 16:43
  • BTW, programming the maestro switches with a pico is a breeze. – Kris May 29 '15 at 16:58
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How difficult or expensive it might be would vary with details not provided, but simply rewiring all the lights on to one switch (or all onto one switch panel, multiple switches) is possible with normal switches and wire.

On the other hand, I've become a lot less worried about minmizing number of lights on since the vast majority of mine are drawing 10 watts or less each, and therefore cost me 0.15 cents per hour each to operate; I'm fine with operating larger groups at once, at that sort of operational cost. For a penny an hour (7 x 10W or less LEDs) I'd put them all on one switch or dimmer; but you may want different lighting options with more switches/dimmers - so long as you don't mind paying for them and use dimmers that don't require more fixtures than you want each to control (I think the ones I have currently need 4 fixtures in LED for a minimum load) that's entirely up to you. Simple switches do have the advantage of not having any "minimum load" as the dimmers (and some electronic switches) often do.

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    I would really like to avoid rewiring the room. – Lethal Left Eye May 29 '15 at 18:48
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IF you can get to the wiring (accessible ceiling or floor wiring) then it would be trivially easy to change to the desired arrangement.

An option is to put light operated switches in ONE EACH of the blue and red units and arrange for them to be operated by light from one of the green fixtures.

Various remote operated systems are possible but these will be well enough covered by other answers.

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