I’m remodeling my house and was planning to go all Lutron Caseta for the light switches to finally be able to turn on/off all lights in the house from Google Voice, and it seemed less costly than making every bulb smart.
I’m adding LED strip lights in several areas, including under the cabinets, inside cabinets, toe kick lighting and closet lighting. It doesn’t seem there’s a Caseta solution for LED strip lights, but maybe I’m mistaken.
I’m a noob with strip lights and low voltage stuff period, and I was thinking that with the amount of RGBW lights I want to add, it would be nice to order lights that aren’t wildly overpriced like the Hue stuff, even though I already have a Huge hub…and I’m not even sure Hue has line voltage switches anyway.
Any direction here would be very helpful in terms of the entire setup needed for each location. Ideally, everything would be controllable by switch for people who are not interested in dealing with the smart stuff, but everything is still controllable from SmartThings/Google Home as well. Sort of like how the rest of the lights in the house will be from the Caseta switches.
I put a LED light strip under my cabinets in the kitchen. I have them plugged into a smart outlet and I use Smartthings to turn the outlet on and off based on the over head light. I can also tell my Echo to turn them on and off. The only issue with this is it only does the one color of led which in my case is fine since I am using the LED strip for extra lighting on the counter. There are other options such as the Hue color LED strips but they seemed over priced to me at the time. You may find them on a deal around Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
How do you turn them on/off based on overhead light? Do you use a light sensor?
I’d like to find a more integrated solution so if I move the new resident doesn’t need a SmartThings hub to work them. Of course, smart switch connection gives me both options, but I’m looking for a template from others. I’m installing strip lighting as toe kick lighting in a couple of other areas as well.
I have LED strip lights in my theater room, controlled by a Fibaro RGBW controller (basically the same as the Zooz Zen31 that was just released, which I believe is cheaper). I control them using a Zooz switch with scene control.
I think it’d be easy to accomplish what you want to do, just not with the Lutron switches. Is there a reason you’re using them over a different brand like Zooz or Innovelli (or even GE)?
Another thought: Assuming you want to control each thing independently, this isn’t going to be cheap no matter how you do it.
Each strip you want to control independently will require it’s own controller. You might be able to integrate some of the really cheap wifi controllers with ST in a hacky way, but if you want good reliability, you’re going to want something like the Fibaro or Zooz controllers I mentioned (Zooz is about $30). Additionally, you’ll either need a switch for each strip or set up scenes and control them with scene control.
Scene control could get really confusing really fast. As an example of how you might set it up - 1 tap up/down for kitchen light on/off, 2 taps for under-cabinet, 3 taps for toe kick, 4 taps for inside cabinet a, 5 taps for inside cabinet b. Pretty soon you’re overwhelmed with which tap sequence controls which device.
Basically, cost and switch complexity will go up depending on how granular you want your setup to be. If you simplify and put Under Cabinet and toe kick lights on the same controller, and in cabinet lighting all on the same controller, it’ll be cheaper and a lot easier to control. However, you won’t be able to operate the UC lighting separately from the toe kick lighting, and all of your in-cabinet lights will come on together.
I’d recommend putting exactly what functionality you want in writing and then decide how doable it is. Consider what sacrifices you’d make for less complexity (like grouping all in-cabinet lighting together, rather than having 5-6-20 separate controllers AND switch/scenes to control them).
I’d also step back and evaluate why you want the Caseta switches. I’m not saying you shouldn’t do them, but I’m curious why. They’re more expensive than other smart switches, less compatible with ST (requires the Lutron hub), and have less features than other switches. I just finished removing the 3 caseta switches I had installed and changing them out for zooz switches. I installed them for a specific use case (adding 3 way functionality where it didn’t exist), but now with scene control, I can replicate that functionality with a zooz switch in 2 of the 3 locations I previously used Lutron.
I appreciate the thorough reply. The reason I am leaning toward Caseta is because I hear Caseta is basically iron clad and doesn’t have glitches, and I want the switches to operate without a wifi connection and as normal, dumb lights for anyone who would live in the home in the future. I do not want them dependent on SmartThings or the internet, but only to be extended through SmartThings connectivity. Does that make sense? If one of those smart switches you mentioned fits that bill, great, I can look into. I’m not trying to make it more complicated and expensive than it needs to be, but do not mind spending a little more money so I don’t have issues and then my better half complains. Forgive me for being a bit noob with all of this.
LED strip lights on a dimmer switch for toe kick lighting in bathroom
LED strip lights on a dimmer switch for toe kick lighting in kitchen (breaks up at range, dishwasher, and refrigerator, so it’s technically 4 shorter runs separated somehow)
LED strip lights on a dimmer switch for under cabinet task lighting in kitchen (breaks up at range and dishwasher, so it’s 3 runs)
Lights remember their color and dimming state when turned on/off
Lights are connected into SmartThings so I can voice control them through Google Home.
My electrician is currently planning on putting all of the transformers on top of the kitchen cabinets, and running to the respective lights from there. I can change that if it’s a dumb idea, but he thinks it doesn’t matter where the transformers are located.
I really appreciate all of the help if anyone chimes in here. It will not fall on deaf ears. Below in red and blue I put the strip lights. As you can see the two closets also have it drawn in, but I will eliminate in those areas if I need to and just put a normal light if I can’t figure out how to pull it off in those areas.
Thanks. I looked through there but haven’t found one that had my desired setup with a smart wall switch. If you are aware of one, feel free to post the link. I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel, and I’m sure many people been successful at this.
That makes perfect sense. And Lutron does make good quality switches. However, to use them with Smartthings, you have to also buy the Lutron Hub and connect it via the cloud to ST. Since you’ll be connecting to the Lutron cloud services and then to the ST cloud services, you’ve got 2 failure points there. Either one of them could go down and cause issues for you. Add in Google/Alexa and you have a cloud to cloud to cloud integration with 3 failure points for voice control.
By contrast, many/most other switches (GE, Zooz, Innovelli, etc) connect directly to ST via Z-wave, and are/can be controlled locally. That means they’ll respond faster and more reliable. They’ll use the smartthings cloud to connect to the app on your phone, and Google/Alexa and the ST cloud to be controlled via voice, but if you set automations (like turn on the toe kick lights every night for nighttime lighting), they’ll run locally, without need for any other connectivity.
Pretty much any switch you buy will also function as a dumb switch, because that’s ultimately what they are: a light switch with a smart home radio installed. None of the major players are actually reliant on your smarthome hub to function as a physical switch.
Given what you’ve described here as your needs and reasoning, I’d advise NOT installing Lutron switches. They’re going to cost you more and give you less, and it sounds like you don’t have any of the circumstances that would justify them (namely no neutrals in the switch box or a strong use/need for the pico remotes).
Everyone here is going to have personal preferences as to what switches to buy, and you might want to make a post asking about that specifically, but my personal recommendation would be Zooz or Innovelli. I’d lean toward Zooz simply because they’re cheaper (on sale for about $25 /switch right now compared to $40 for Innovelli).
This is the zooz switch I’d recommend - Dimmer or On/Off. For a controller, I’d recommend this.
Switching out to a different brand of switch will allow you to use scene control, or control multiple smart devices with one switch. The devices don’t even necessarily have to be lights. For example, you could use a smart switch to turn on your TV, start up your computer, unlock the front door, or even tell your coffee maker to start your brew.
From a more practical standpoint, they allow you to make a room smarter. For example, in my family room, if I single tap the switch up/down, it turns the overhead lights on/off. If I double tap it, it turns the lamps on/off. Same goes for the master bedroom. On both of these switches, a triple tap down will turn off all of my interior lights for bedtime or leaving the house, so I don’t have to worry that something got left on.
In your case, I’d use scene control to run your LED strips with the double/triple tap features, so in your bathroom, as an example, a single tap would control the bathroom light, and a double tap would turn on the LED toe kick.
This looks like a MUCH easier project than I initially thought.
Here’s what I see/think you need.
Bathroom away from the kitchen (not marked on your pic but I’m assuming you want it there) - You’ll need a fairly small power supply (1-2 amps), a controller, and the lighting. This is a super easy install, and you can set it up to control the lighting through the main bathroom light using scene control (1 tap up/down turns the main bathroom light on/off, 2 taps up/down turns the toe kick lights on/off. Lutron switches won’t give you this functionality, but the other brands I mentioned will, as will some other brands like GE. You could also add a 2nd switch for the toe kick lighting if you wanted, rather than using scene control.
Dining room - Pretty much the same as the bathroom.
Closet by bed 2 - Pretty much the same as the first two items.
Kitchen toe kick, under cabinet lighting, bathroom by kitchen, closet by kitchen - Personally, I’d put all of these on one bigger power supply (something like 10A. You’ll want to do the math to size it appropriately). I’d install it just above the stove near the closet and the end of the UC/Toe Kick lights for the kitchen, and drop power down to the 2 kitchen runs, the closet, and the bathroom. Add a controller for each of those 4 runs, and run your lights. For working around breaks in lighting like the stove, you’ll just need a run of wire to connect the segments of LED strip to one another. For switches, again, you could combine them with another switch or simply add an extra switch for them.
Bear in mind, the wall switches for these lights WILL be dependent on your ST hub, because they’ll have to communicate wirelessly with the controller. The smart switches will control the kitchen/bathroom lights just like a normal switch, but the LED strip lights will require a hub integration to work from a switch, unless you decided to install some sort of low voltage switch on the power lines for them (which is a pretty inelegant solution, because it will defeat/override the smartthings integration. I don’t think anyone makes a controller with a physical on/off switch of any sort.)
I think you can do all of this without adding any extra switches, just changing the switches you were planning on using. The bathrooms, dining room, and closet would just add one scene (double tap up/down) onto the main switch, which isn’t a hard thing to learn or remember. The kitchen would either add one scene to each of two switches or two scenes to one switch (double and triple tap), which again isn’t too hard to remember.
I know I’m giving you a ton of info. If you’d like, feel free to send me a private message and I’ll give you my facebook messenger info or my phone number so we can talk a little more conversationally.
I’m not sure why it’s annoying, as the OP says in the original post there are at present no Caseta switches designed for the control of LED drivers. That’s not a smartthings issue, it’s a Caseta issue. You can verify that with Lutron support or see their selection tool:
I never thanked you for this reply, but I do appreciate all of the thought that went into it. Believe it or not, I’m only just now getting to pulling the trigger on this project. My electrician had wired everything around the time I had first posted, but the project was on pause for a bit. I’m not at a crossroads where I need to commit and either pull the trigger on the Lutron hub and Caseta switches, or go the route you recommended with Zooz switches and SmartThings, and the Hue light strips and dimmers. I’m just a little leery of having SmartThings, Hue, and Google Home (for voice) with 3 points of failure and headache.
The Hue aspect for lightstrips are fairly committed at this point because I already own a few Hue Light Strips and was going to order the toekick and under counter lighting from Sowilo DS, which makes Hue compatible strips and amplified Hue controllers. It’s not that important, but it helps that Hue has calibrated colors and can dim to a very low accuracy. I really wish Hue had a Decora size controller so it could be worked into my multigang boxes that the electrician pre-wired for every light and 3-way. Some of these gangs will not be needed because the light strips will controlled wirelessly, but the boxes are already drywalled and painted. The only Hue switch custom multi-gang covers I’ve seen are stupidly expensive and kind of clunky looking.
Now to finalize on the Zooz (or some other option) vs Lutron decision. Your comments threw me and gave me 2nd thoughts about Lutron as a more expensive option for less functionality. I do not need the multi-tap scene option because I’m already overkill on my gang spots.