Lighting on a hand held remote IMO should be limited to the zone you are in. I would even go a step further and limit it to a few scenes like High Medium Off and maybe intermission in a theater or surround zone. Maybe dim up and down to go with that. on/off toggle for nearby zones in a basement rec room might also fit. Just dont go beyond 7 buttons (like a lutron keypad). Anything more than that warrants a tablet.
I think the iPad/other tablets have changed the game a little. So instead of trying to cram everything into a 2way T3V for example you can have an iPad and a T1-B or T2-B in video zones.
This solves two problems. 1.You have a back up controller in your zone so no more crazy angry customers when a battery dies or a remote fails. 2. It gives you the ability to keep the hand held focused and straight to the point in terms of what it controls. Single zone control of everything.
The moment the customer wants to start navigating the other rooms of the house they grab the iPad. The rest of the time they have a light weight ergonomic easy to navigate hand held remote. Trying to make a handheld remote be a multizone controller is a pita and trying to get people to accept the iPad as a handheld remote is a pita. So give them the both.
Back on topic :)
Lights, climate, security are subsystems that are global. Because of this i like to make unified menus for them . What i mean by that is the menu is the same no matter what room you are in. The only difference would be "quick functions" that are room specific like a vitual representation of your lighting keypad (high medium low off etc)
You can handle lights with a floor plan. On the sides of the floor plan page you can have quick keys that operate lights for the zone you are in. Your virtual keypad. If a zone is lit it means at least 1 load is on in that area. Pressing a zone on the floor plan can be a on off scene toggle. Press and hold can make a popup appear with full control/settings of every load in that zone. This is where you would go in an adjust every load in a room and save scenes etc.
Or you can handle lights with buttons that have room names on them. It would function the same way as the floor plan idea but it would be much easier to do because you don't have to create floor plan graphics for every project. I personally think the floor plans are cool and im sure they sell systems because clients think "wow thats so cool". But i also feel they are not necessary because you can get the same functionality with buttons. The biggest problem i face is that the damn blueprints i get are never accurate. The shape of rooms change the room names change etc. Makes it a total pita. Much easier to just add or delete another button and change the room name.
So 1 press gets you to the lights menu where you can..
Quickly control the zone you are in with the virtual keypad.
Quickly enable or disable a whole house scene.
Quickly toggle other zones in the home on or off with the touch of a button.
Press and hold a zone for level control of every load in the home. IMO most clients dont need this. If you implement it make sure you sell it as a feature. it can consume a lot of time. The nice thing about the press and hold to get to this menu is that you can easily disable it and its like it was never there.
These screenshots who the lights main page in the first screen shot. You can see that lights is selected in the top main nav bar. You can see that Floor 1 is selected and you are in the kitchen. You can see that the kitchen scene is medium and its the only room with lights on for the first floor.
Second screenshot shows the press/hold popup. Here you have individual control of every load. I left the scene buttons (left side right side) on there because i thought it was nice to have them. Obviously you can remove them.
This is a GUI i started working on last year so dont pay attention to the fact that its unfinished. This is why its super blank. I only used it because i had the blank screenshots of both versions so i just copy/pasted buttons on each.