[Alpha] Lutron Connected Bulb Remote

Ahhh ok, thanks for the info.

Actually, I found that installing the device handler was absolutely crucial to getting the Lutron Remote working with ST. Before I installed the device handler in the first post (by workmonk), even if I paired the remote to ST and it showed up as a ‘Thing’, the remote would continue to steal bulbs, which meant ST could no longer access them (even though I paired the bulb to ST first).

But resetting the remote, installing the device handler, then pairing to ST allowed ST to automatically find the remote and add it as a ‘Lutron Button Controller’. Now when I would pair the remote directly to a bulb, it would no longer steal it.

I don’t know why that order of operations matters (you can’t first add the remote, then install the device handler, or not install the device handler at all), but I’ve found that it does.

By the way, there are still some bugs/restrictions. After doing all this, if you ever unpair a single bulb from the remote (by holding down the ‘off’ switch on the remote for 7 seconds or whatever it is near the bulb), everything breaks and the remote no longer works. Even if you re-pair it to the bulb, it’ll think it grabbed it (the bulb will flash), but it won’t control it. You have to then factory reset the remote and re-add it, etc. That’s what I’ve found anyway, so be cautious. Not a big deal, as I don’t want to dynamically change which lights any remote controls, so I just set it and forget it.

I’m very happy this is working now, because the Lutron remote is by far the nicest looking, and nicest ergonomically. The Hue Dimmer switch is a behemoth in comparison, and doesn’t have a ‘full on’ button (on the Lutron remote, pressing the ‘on’ button turns the bulb to full power, while pressing the ‘brighten’ button brings the lamps up to a preset state from off).

Cheers,
Rishi

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The only problem I’ve had is the lights turning on fully dim overhead of at full brightness.

“I believe Lutron makes several mounting options, but I don’t know how well they work in multi-switch gangboxes.”

The Lutron remote can wall mount in traditional gang boxes with a Lutron wall mount. Look for ‘Pico Remote wall mount’ on amazon and they come up. Big Box stores have them too. The Decora Claro gang plates accomodate the lutron wall mount underneath without cutting a hole in your wall. They are more expensive but YMMV with regular plates, fitting the pico mount underneath. Bear in mind, the pico mount has a hinge-like backing that you can remove to make it sit flush.

Check out what I did with my install albeit with a 2-3 gang box: I keep the physical switch as a safety matter, and simply bought the Claro gang plate that is the appropriate amount larger than the original plate. So, a single switch box now contains a traditional switch, with a pico mount, both under a 2 gang claro plate. You dont even need to stick any gummy stuff to the wall. It’s great.

Or you can just remove your physical switch, wire nut your existing line/load together and cover the box slot. But I don’t recommend that at all. This leaves a ‘secret’ hot line in your empty light bulb sockets that could make trouble for someone not in the know.

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Scott - thanks again, you’re so very helpful!

That makes sense. I do prefer the Lutron remote to the Hue Dimmer - which I did try and, yes, it worked wonderfully. But it’s huge, doesn’t fit into standard gangboxes, etc.

Have you paired a Lutron remote to the Hue bridge? I wonder if it’ll work properly - I don’t know of any device handlers and such for the Hue bridge of course.

If I do get it successfully paired to the Hue bridge, everything should still work with ST, right? Since the state of the bulbs should be updated via the Hue bridge to ST?

Also, I guess there’s no way to have any of these remotes control a set of GE Link and Hue lights, correct? Wouldn’t mind having one remote turn on a set of GE Links and one Lightstrip, for example.

Thanks,
Rishi

I just tried pairing the Lutron remote to the Hue bridge - no luck. I can’t find any resources on this either, but I’ll keep digging. I think this’d be ideal, because then I could have my Hue bulbs controlled by the Lutron remote and home automation (Hue & ST via Hue).

I did, however, get everything to work with a Hue Dimmer switch. Essentially, I wanted one room with a few GE Link bulbs and one Hue Light Strip to turn on/off/dim together - and I always want a physical switch. So I removed the GE Links from ST, reset them, and paired them to Hue instead, which then easily allowed me to assign the Links & Light Strip to the dimmer.

I then added the GE Links to ST (via Hue Connect). And they work fine - meaning those particular GE Link bulbs are now controllable via Hue Dimmer Switch, Hue app, and ST. Since I want to use the ST end of it for automation, I was concerned that the state of the Hue bulbs (including now the Link) does not appear to be updated in ST when I operate them using the Hue Dimmer switch. I have to hit ‘Refresh’ for any given light bulb in the ST app twice to get it to update the state properly. I was worried then that Smart Apps wouldn’t be able to operate the bulbs properly - for example if ST thinks the light is off, but it’s actually ‘on’ b/c I turned it ‘on’ using the Hue Dimmer switch, would ST actually turn it off?

I think actually it still does. I set up a quick automation that should turn the Hue-controlled bulbs off, and I first turned them off using ST so it’s last-known-state for those bulbs was off. I then turned the lights on using the Hue Dimmer switch. Sure enough, ST still thought they were off. But then when I activated the automation (it was something like ‘turn Hue off when X switch is turned on’), ST did still turn the Hue bulbs off, even though it already thought they were off (do you expect this?)

So, seems like I have a solution that works. It’s just that, if possible, I would’ve vastly preferred the Lutron remote over the Hue - Lutron just gets ergonomics right. But, seriously a #firstworldproblem at this point. :slightly_smiling:

Thanks again,
Rishi

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Smartthings is supposed to poll the hue bridge about every five minutes to get the current status of all bridge-connected bulbs. So it should catch up with the status eventually even for parallel means of control.

I found a way to get the Lutron Connected Bulb Remote to work in my scenario, to control Hue lights while still having those very Hue lights available to Hue/ST… thanks to this entry on the Wink Wiki here.

Turns out I guess the reason the Lutron wasn’t pairing with the Hue bridge was because the Hue bridge has to be ‘looking for’ a remote. And you can get it do so by telling it to search for a Hue Dimmer switch, but then just pairing the Lutron remote instead by holding down the ‘on’ button.

This is fantastic, as now I can use the Lutron or Hue Dimmer switch as I please, with each having its own advantages/disadvantages. Previously, I was opting for _non-_Hue bulbs just so I could use the Lutron switch, but now I’ll be using Hue bulbs with the Lutron switch.

I just really hope that one day Philips doesn’t kick off the ability to pair with the Lutron remote - since I’m setting up much of my house now this way, if that were to happen tens of tens of lights would just break. Arguably, in my case, it wouldn’t be in Philips’ favor anyway: it’s because I can now use the Lutron remote that I am returning my GE Links to get Hue bulbs instead (they dim far dimmer than GE Links). And anyway, hopefully if Philips did that there’d be a public outcry like there was when Hue bridge dropped support for non-Hue bulbs.

This is also why I hope that one day ST will natively support Hue bulbs.

Things are finally coming together, but what an arduous process. In my opinion, smart lighting should’ve been initially conceived and sold with physical switches as an alternative control. It only seems to be added as an afterthought now, and yet it’s the easiest most important way to ease the transition to smart lighting (and, arguably, still a better way to control lights sometimes).

Cheers,
Rishi

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YMMV with the lutron on hue. My remote works every time, but the polling with ST…mine used to update very quickly, but now it NEVER changes the hue states, and it stopped controlling the hue bulbs too. I have to delete/re-add the hue connect smart app on a regular basis. But the Lutron never stops working - it’s great.

@Sticks18 I got my Lightifys working as per your instruction - thank you for that. Both the tuneable white and rgb, br30’s all. You are the man.

It’s not seamless though. Every once in a while the remote fails to turn on or off one of the bulbs in its group. then sometimes, only the original GE Link bulb. It never forgets that one, joined with its intended ‘button 1’ pairing.

I also had a remote freeze - green light on, unresponsive. had to crack it open and remove the battery. Any of these issues sound familiar, especially sometimes omitting bulbs?

Never could get it going on the Sylvania Ultra IQ’s, but they are a ‘zigbee dimmer’ in ST. Tried changing it to GE Link V2, ST could control, but still would not add to lutron remote. It seems like the device type doesn’t allow.

Glad you got it mostly working!

The Ultra IQs may not support the group cluster at all. Not familiar enough with them to know one way or the other.

I didn’t expect the issue of bulbs being missed. Are they far away from where the remote is? Maybe the broadcast message isn’t being repeated like typical unicast messages. That’s unfortunate.

Since this came up in our discussion here:

I’ve found that you can actually directly pair some Hue bulbs to ST: namely, Hue Bloom and at least the newer Hue BR30 color bulbs. I’ll try the Light Strip next. Is it just Hue white bulbs that don’t pair directly with ST?

That means that I can actually use both the Lutron connected bulb and ST with those Hue lights without going through the Hue hub, meaning I don’t have to pair the Lutron remote to Hue, nor do I have to run the risk of what others have experienced with Hue bulbs dropping out of ST and requiring a re-install of the Hue (Connect) SmartApp. Which, btw, has happened to me in the past as well. However, a ST rep told me they’re working on this so that it shouldn’t be an issue in the future, and that perhaps an update a week or two ago may have fixed things.

I haven’t had any issues with my Hue bulbs on ST (via Hue Connect) lately, so maybe they’ve fixed this? Agree though that it’s a real pain to uninstall and reinstall all Hue bulbs in ST!

All Hue bulbs (to my knowledge) will pair directly to ST. They’re all zigbee and ZLL (Hue uses) will fall back to ZHA (ST uses) to be interoperable. It is not recommended to do so because Hue bulbs require a zigbee controller to reset and it was possible to have a channel conflict such that the usual controller would be unable to reset a Hue connected to ST. The bulb would be stuck. You can find old threads of people offering to send their Hues to someone with a special raspberry pi xbee combo to reset their bulbs. Coincidentally, the Lutron remote solves that issue because it can factory rear Hue bulbs on any channel.

Hue bulbs are still not officially supported when directly connected, but many people do connect then that way. Since they are unofficial they may only register as a Thing or Unknown device until you manually assign the right devicetype.

Personally I connected Hue directly because I didn’t ant another hub, but the zigbee integration in the Hue hub is much better than ST’s. That’s pretty much true for any zigbee only system like Lightify. Groups and scenes are way too powerful to be missing from ST, but I understand why they didn’t initially implement it. It’s a difficult thing to have protocol specific group/scene functionality on a protocol agnostic system.

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I am very new here - my 1st post - but this thread applies directly to what I am trying to accomplish in my kitchen and to get my toe in the water for home automation. I am a techie by background and vocation, but I’ve not yet gotten into home automation.

I currently have 6 BR30 recessed lights in my kitchen that are controlled by 2 3-way switches. No dimmers. One of those 6 lights is above the sink and I want to be able to control it individually but sill allow it to be part of the “group” of the other 6. There are also 4 other lights in the kitchen on a separate single switch that are not required but would be fun to add to the mix.

I think the only way to accomplish this is via home automation and specifically with individually controllable bulbs. Based on some research, I could go with all Hue bulbs, Hue bridge, and Hue dimmer switch but

  1. The cost of the Hue bulbs is cost prohibitive when I don’t need color and there are not yet Lux BR30s
  2. I don’t like the size of the Hue dimmer which prevents it from fitting into a standard faceplate.

I next found the GE Link BR30s, the Lutron connected remote, and ST. The problem seems to be how to set them up. I’ve only scratched the surface of the ST hub, but the mention that it doesn’t handle groups concerns me since I think I would need that for my kitchen application. The Hue bridge does scenes and groups, but maybe the Lutron dimmer doesn’t integrate (currently) with it properly.

I see the following options:

  1. All Hue
    Pro
  • Will work as I want it to
  • Possibly better light for the kitchen with the frosted BR30s
  • Shallower learning curve
    Con
  • Expensive
  • Hue dimmers won’t fit into standard face plate
  1. ST/GE/Lutron, no Hue
    Pro
  • Least expensive
  • Lutron dimmers fit into standard face plate
    Con
  • May not work as I want due to lack of ST groups (true?)
  1. ST/GE/Lutron/Hue - pair the Lutron to Hue bridge
    Pro
  • Ability to use Hue groups/scenes
  • Lutron dimmers fit into standard face plate
    Con
  • Most complex / steepest learning curve

Any suggestions for the newbie?

I have the same problem with my hue bulbs. Button status does not change in the ST app when using the remote. Kind of annoying but not a deal break. The remote is more of a back up for when we have guest over.

You can pair any Hue bulbs. You just have to reset them using the lutron remote before doing so. I have 3 standard white bulbs paired currently. They did require a special device handler in IDE to work.

To solve this particular goal, any of the 3 will work; and it looks like you did your homework well. Couple of quick comments:
For 2, ST doesn’t support native zigbee groups/scenes; but there are SmartApps for controlling groups and triggering scenes (Rule Machine is good for everything/anything you can think of! Trend Setter is a good SmartApp for dedicated group-like control). The difference is that you may notice the bulbs triggering sequentially with ST; whereas native zigbee groups/scenes are pretty much simultaneous (note: if you uses a slower transition effect, the sequential triggering is less noticeable).
For 3, you don’t even need ST in that scenario. You can pair the GE Links and Lutron to the Hue Hub (see Rishi’s posts a couple above). And I actually think 2 will have a steeper learning curve because ST will require a bit more tinkering than Hue.

Personally, for just this use case I think the user experience will be 1>3>2 with 1 being by far the best user experience for simple lighting controls like this and the most stability. If you like to tinker and see this as more of a hobby, then 2 might be the best. I think the real question you need to think about here is what’s next?

If you stop at lighting, I’d go with Hue. If this is a going to be a gateway into HA, you might be better off with ST because you can easily start expanding into other areas of home automation. To get the best ST experience, you will want to be comfortable reading these forums and cutting/pasting code. If you also want to get your hands dirty in some code, more power to you, but it’s not necessary.

Either way, I don’t think you would need or want to have both ST and Hue to solve this one. Pick one with an eye to the future and run with it!

Thanks for the detailed and prompt response. I think I’ll take this route:

  • Start with GE Links and Hue Hub for just the 1st 6 kitchen bulbs
  • Order an Lutron Connected Dimmer and a Hue Dimmer and see what I think before I get more dimmers or bulbs
  • Expand to the rest of the kitchen with the bulbs/dimmers I have decided on

For next steps, I have 2 parallel things to try:

  1. Deck lighting via non-Hue outdoor ratedLED strips
  2. Get a ST hub and experiment connecting to Hue Bridge, a few outlet adapters, and my z-wave door lock

Has anyone tried to use this remote with Commercial Electric recessed smart light?

I couldn’t find a definitive answer, but I’m pretty sure these lights are Zigbee HA, not Zigbee Light Link which means they won’t work natively with the Lutron remote. They won’t be able to complete the pairing process via Touchlink (at least one review said they failed this process with the Hue Hub).

You could use the hack that adds them to the zigbee group.

I got my phase 1 installed tonight using GE bulbs and 2 Hue dimmers: one for the over the sink bulb and 1 for all of the lights on that circuit including the sink bulb.

Everything works pretty well except for 1 of the GE bulbs seems to miss getting the signal from the Hub once in a while and I need to hit the dimmer or the scene in the Hue app again for it to respond with the rest. It might be wifi interference; I plan to check the channels my home network is running on tomorrow.

I thought I would prefer the Lutron dimmer but I like the Hue versions enough to not try the Lutron yet. I actually like the slightly larger size.

I’m having my home network wiring expanded later in the month after which I’ll likely expand the kitchen and add the ST hub.