Replace LiteTouch with Loxone Technology
Now is the Time to Replace LiteTouch with Loxone
A client bought a home that features an aging LiteTouch system. He asked us to replace LiteTouch with newer technology. Some of his wall keypad buttons are broken and his dimmer and switch control modules do not always work right. Sometimes lights do not turn on when he presses the buttons that do still work. LiteTouch produced a lighting control system for custom homes beginning in the early 1990’s. They were best in their class at the time, but this one needs help.
The home also features a whole house music system manufactured by AudioAccess that doesn’t work properly. AudioAccess was an early LiteTouch partner that produced Music Servers when the concept first entered the market. A music server has speakers in separate areas of the house which can have different sound sources. However, this music server has a motorized volume control that keeps turning itself up to the maximum volume at random. The neighbors are not pleased when the outdoor speakers blast away at full volume, so of course this music system is permanently unplugged.
The Replace LiteTouch Challenge
LiteTouch technology was state-of-the-art when the home was built in the early 1990s. Unfortunately, Savant, the company that bought out LiteTouch a few years back no longer provides support. Replacing a few bad switches and modules is theoretically possible but not practical. Parts are hard to find and so is information on how to reprogram the system.
A home with an automation system like LiteTouch has wiring that is very different than in a home with conventional wiring. A lighting automation system requires that each group of lighting fixtures on one switch are wired all the way back to the automation panel. In an ordinary home, the fixtures and switches can be connected in a way that does not require this individual wiring to one location.
Also, the keypad switches connect to a central controller and not directly to the light circuits. This means that keypads which don’t work cannot be replaced with normal light switches. A replacement system must work with the existing wiring and must be designed for a “smart home”.
How We Replace LiteTouch With Loxone
We start by tracing all the low voltage keypad wiring throughout the house. Then we test the wiring to make sure our system will work when we replace LiteTouch keypads with Loxone Touch Pure switches. When we are sure there are no keypad wiring issues, we remove the LiteTouch control module, power supplies, dimmer modules, and relay modules. Next, we prepare the existing LiteTouch automation wiring panels by installing Panduit wiring duct and DIN rail. The wiring duct keeps the high and low voltage wiring separated. Now we’re ready for mounting and wiring the Loxone system.
At this point all traces of the old LiteTouch system are gone. We install the Loxone Miniserver, Tree Extensions, Dimmer Extensions, Relay Extensions, and power supplies in the existing LiteTouch panels. We connect the installed Loxone Touch Pure switches to the Tree Extensions, and connect the 24-volt power and communication wires to the Loxone modules. A power-on test insures that the Loxone modules are working and talking to each other. Finally, we connect the lighting circuit wires to the Loxone Dimmer and Relay Extensions. Some quick basic programming lets us turn lights on and off with the Touch Pure switches or a cellphone. Now we’re ready to create lighting scenes that are not possible with the original LiteTouch system.
Finally, we replace the original AudioAccess music server with a multi-channel Loxone music server and amplifier system. This connects to existing speakers and creates “virtual” zones that work by WiFi. A person in any room streams their own music from their cellphone to the speakers in that room, or makes selections from hundreds stored on the music server.
The Benefits When we Replace LiteTouch with Loxone
When the LiteTouch to Loxone conversion is complete, we can add features like motion sensors and temperature control that were not possible before. We can add RGBW light strips and fixtures to add color accent mood lighting in any location. We can control sprinklers, landscape lighting, bathroom ventilation, and skylights. The Loxone system can raise and lower blinds in the home depending on outdoor light and time of day. And of course, a cellphone can control the system.