This is the final part of our 8-part Deep dive Series into the LiteTouch system. At TSB we are committed to educating people through our own independent research about automation systems. However, we are not perfect, so if something appears wrong in our research, please contact us or leave a comment below for us to address.
Chances are if you have LiteTouch keypads and especially if you’re reading this, some of the buttons have stopped working. This then requires you to open the keypad and try to do a quick fix with something like scotch tape or, if this doesn’t work, buy a refurbished one online. If you’re having these problems and other issues with your LiteTouch system, consider replacing it before the entire system fails. One of the systems we recommend to replace your old outdated LiteTouch system is the Loxone Automation System. We’ve discussed in TSB LiteTouch Series 7: How Easy is it to Replace LiteTouch with Loxone on the main difference of the hardware, but now let’s talk about the main differences as experienced by the homeowner, namely, the switches.
Regardless of the systems you choose to replace LiteTouch with, all of them have since replaced the space shuttle style button mosaic as seen by LiteTouch. Instead, all systems have a limited amount of buttons that select a scene you want like Party, Dinner, Movie, Relaxing or Off. This is the case with all the major replacement options except for Loxone, and herein, we believe, lies its strength.
While the LiteTouch keypads had up to 9 buttons on one switch, Loxone switches only need one touch button in the middle for lights. Before we dive into that functionality let’s look at the aesthetics. Loxone has 2 shapes of switches. The traditional North American decora version (Figure 1) or the European/global standard version (Figure 2). The Decora style only comes in one color and one material at the time of this research. It does have a wireless and wired version, but, for LiteTouch replacement the wireless version of this switch can currently not be used.
Figure 1. Loxone Touch Decora
The Standard version is a square switch. This switch comes in 2 materials, glass (Touch Pure) or standard plastic (Touch), and has both wireless and wired combinations. All of these options can be used in a LiteTouch replacement project. The switches are unique in the industry because of their 5 buttons control, and their built-in temperature and humidity sensors to use for climate control.
Figure 2. Touch Standard Switches
With a hardened glass finish the Touch Pure has a pleasant feel to them that won’t show fingerprints but is still very responsive and durable, which is why it’s my favorite. Plus, there is a hidden easter egg. It has a night light that you can program to turn on/off independently based on time of day or just when you turn it off. It makes for a wonderful aesthetic in your house in the evening, or makes for a safe nightlight for the kids if they are going to the hallway in the middle of the night.
Figure 3. Touch Pure in White and Anthracite
The minimalist design of all Loxone switches makes for a modern and sleek look. They only come in either white or anthracite for the standard versions, but those colors match well with most interior designs.
Installation and Wiring
You may have been wondering throughout this process, how do you replace the square switch in a standard long box that your LiteTouch is already mounted in? Well, Loxone has the answers. You can also get LiteTouch adapter plate that fits a 1-gang or 2-gang boxes (Figure 4) that your LiteTouch system is in. You would then mount your standard global/European version switch on those adapter plate and presto you have a clean install reliably mounted on your wall.
Figure 4. 1-gang and 2-gang adaptor plates in white. They also come in anthracite.
All the switches mentioned above are either wired through Loxone’s Tree topology or they can be connected via Air. Read here to find out more about Loxone’s Tree and Air technology. LiteTouch keypads are daisy chained together and can handle up to 20 keypads on a single run. Loxone’s Tree Topology can easily use this daisy chain method if you have a 4-conductor wire. All you would need to do is replace the switches and the modules and boom you have a brand new 2021 compatible automation system in your house. If you only have a 3-conductor wire run to your LiteTouch keypads, the switches also come in a wireless version but you can only use the standard global or square version. With wireless you can also add more switches in the future without needing to run any new wire for a flexible system that can evolve over time.
The biggest difference between the two switches is in design philosophy. LiteTouch keypads used buttons for every single light with labels for each one. This can be information overload. With 50+ keypads in a house (we’ve seen much more than this) with 9 buttons each, that is 450 different buttons you’ll be interacting with! Loxone prefers to go with a more intuitive approach with just one touch button needed on a switch for the lights. This is achieved with smart programming through the Loxone app. You can quickly configure preset scenes with the app and then tap the middle of the switch to go through the different scenes that you’ve set. Want to turn off all the lights? Well, a simple double tap to the center turns off all lights in a room and a triple tap will turn off all lights in your home and arm your alarm system (if you want it to). The triple tap is a convenient way to ensure all the lights in your home are turned off for when you are going out or going to bed. The switches also control music or blinds with a tap to the corners and with built-in temperature and humidity sensors they provide even more temperature control to your home’s HVAC system.
In our Deep Dive summary, we’ve found that the Loxone system behaves like LiteTouch in maximizing your liveable space in your home and reducing the number of switches you have to have on your wall. Visual and liveable space is valuable and you want a system that can add to your experience and your comfort while not adding to your expenses over time. With Loxone, and with other systems, we know the initial changes are hard, but the experience has been liberating. In one LiteTouch to Loxone conversion project, the homeowner loved the control, and within a few months had come back to add motion sensors and additional features to their Loxone system that they couldn’t have imagined done with LiteTouch.
We believe that Loxone is the most cost effective and most durable option to replace your LiteTouch automation system. In addition to build, program and pricing, Loxone gives a huge added bonus of giving the end user control of the system after installation. With the lighting scenes of other automation systems, even Litetouch, you could not adjust the dim levels or the scenes quickly. With Loxone you can do this both easily and without costs. That control and independence is a feature we find hard to compare on the market currently and is why we recommend Loxone if you’re looking to replace your LiteTouch automation system.