The Lutron people said “end of January or February” when I asked them. Also, it seems that they are not very interested in those ZigBee Picos anymore. Bummer!
Is this worth waiting for if I’m in the market to purchase switches? I’ve already bought a few Leviton Vizia RF+ switches and dimmers, and the instant update and ability to do direct association for virtual 3-ways is important to me. I have used Picos as part of an older line of Lutron RF products and like them a lot, but I’m not familiar with the Casetas and the features they offer.
I guess I’m just wondering if Lutron offers something that’s far better than any of the current Z-wave switches out there and if the ST integration will be less than stellar when it comes to speed and lag.
Different things work for different people. It’s a personal decision. Lutron devices are very well engineered (they’re an engineering company devoted to lighting and hold a lot of patents). When compared to Z wave switches, their 3 biggest advantages are:
very fast processing. Lutron sets a max target of 300 ms from command to the light coming on. Of course that’s based on local operation. Most of the zwave switch companies that are running locally say they aim for 500 ms, but it may be closer to one second. And once you add the cloud into the picture for either you could easily add another second or so.
easy retrofit. The Lutron Caseta line was designed so that most models do not require a neutral at the switchbox. There are some other interesting wiring features that most people won’t even notice, but just as an example, they hold a patent on a feature which means that even if you reverse the line and the load, The switch still works. And of course virtual three ways, so that traveler wires are not used. All of which was intended to make wiring simple. Most Zwave switches require a neutral at the switchbox if the load will control LEDs or CFL’s.
(The exception is the fibaro dimmer module, but the wiring is more complex, three and four ways can get really complex, unless you also replace the switch it doesn’t work quite the way people expect, and there isn’t always room in the switchbox for it. So the fibaro is a good solution for many people, but just not quite as mass-market as the Lutron design.)
The dimming feature is also super obvious on a Caseta switch, even for visitors. Most zwave switches look like either a toggle or a rocker, and you have to know that you can either tap multiple times or hold and press to get the dimming. It’s easy once you’re used to it, but not always intuitive for guests.
- wide availability. With the exception of the GE Zwave budget line, it can be challenging to find zwave switches at local stores. The Lutron Caseta line is carried at big box stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s and Best Buy. That’s usually just the white, though, you might have to order online if you want the other colors.
Which leads to one more minor advantage: the Caseta line is also available in black. Most of the zwave brands are not, although Cooper and GE are. Most people don’t care, but it’s important to some.
And one more minor advantage: the Caseta switches also work with HomeKit. None of the Z wave switches do. Again, won’t matter to most people, but to some it’s a definite plus, particularly those with Apple Watches.
So put all of that together, and I would say that if you don’t have a neutral wire at the switchbox, it’s definitely worth waiting if you like the other features of the Lutron. But if you’re not facing a challenging retrofit situation, and there’s a Z wave switch you like now, and you don’t need HomeKit compatibility, then there’s probably no reason to wait.
@JDRoberts I was initially super excited for this, however I have a thought/question that maybe you would know.
I have a mix of Z-Wave switches and Hue bulbs for my lighting. Where I use Hue bulbs, I wire the switches to always on and use the Hue Dimmer switch for control. In the end, it looks good but it is another layer of complexity when configuring lights.
Now, I’m guessing if I use a Lutron switch to control a Hue bulb, I’m faced with the age old problem where the bulbs will not respond to commands unless the light switch is on, and on top of that, when turning on the switch, the bubl defaults to soft white.
However…leveraging HomeKit, since both Hue and Caseta are HomeKit capable, do you think it’s possible to program the Caseta switches to control a scene, when wired to control Hue lights? This way the switch completes the circuit, turns the hue bulb to soft white, but then HomeKit kicks in, seeing the switch turning on, and activating a scene which includes setting the color of the hue bulb.
Or is that farfetched?
I’m trying to figure out, when this comes to fruition, do I leave things the way they are, or do I migrate ALL switches to Caseta and re-wire the lights the proper way. The biggest issue is I hate soft white and use a custom white light on all my Hue Bulbs. Decisions, decisions.
It’s a complex question. But the first thing is you shouldn’t be cutting power completely to a smart bulb on a frequent basis – – you can significantly shorten the radio life in the bulb because of the impact of inrush current. These bulbs are intended to always be on power and control their own power draw. So the Lutron switches are not going to help the situation in that regard.
That said, as long as the bulbs always have power, you can definitely have a Lutron switch coming on trigger a HomeKit scene which includes the bulbs.
Another option which might fit you use case depending on the exact details is that with iOS 10.2 you can now use the pico remote to trigger HomeKit scenes. That makes a very nice non load control wall switch as well, and doesn’t require any wiring.
I don’t know if the SmartThings/Lutron implementation Will send pico button presses to SmartThings (the IFTTT Lutron channel does not, but several other integrations do). But it should definitely work through HomeKit.
Hi all, unfortunately SmartThings does not receive any information when Pico buttons are pressed.
Official Lutron Caseta Support in SmartThings (Beginning March 2017)
Dimmer with no neutral wire
Lutron Caseta or Clearconnect RF support
The Lutron Pro bridge will pick up the Picos. However, the ST integration seems to be just Caseta (non pro)
Random note - the Lutron bridges have a 1-2 sec delay between button press and when the event displays on their bridge. Then from there it has to go to the cloud. So, button pressing on a dimmer might be a few seconds delayed. Maybe not a big deal for you, but not really instant
@JDRoberts - And this is why I ask you! Very good points you bring up. I may look into the Pico remote using HomeKit scenes though…that seems like a possible work around. Honestly, I just wish Phillips would make the hue dimmer switch small enough and a bracket so it can mount directly on a gang box. It’s annoying that there really is no standard way to retrofit it into the existing space. The best I’ve come up with is Command Strips tape for single gang boxes. If it’s a double gang, there’s very little that can be done. The best I was able to come up with what a blank plate with some velcro. It does the job but it looks far from clean lol.
I just saw the tweet today from Lutron. This is what I’ve been waiting for! This past summer I managed to get grab a bunch of Caseta sets when Lowe’s made a pricing mistake. The kit that came with a hub, 2 switches, and 2 remotes was regularly $229.99. Lowe’s was going to discount them $50 down to $179.99 but messed up in their system and discounted them $179.99 for a price of $50. Hit up 4 stores that day and managed to get 4 sets before they caught their mistake. When I tried a 5th store the next day they were priced back to $179.99. Anyway it wasn’t until I got home before I realized they didn’t work with ST, but at the price I paid I just started using them with HomeKit… I’m no big fan of HomeKit.Mainly it loses connection far to often not only with my Casetas but my iDevices outlets also.I’ve been holding off on installing the rest waiting, wishing, praying that they would get ST compatibility, or at least Google Home.
Yup~This is precisely why I will be sticking with my solution. That and the Pico and scene stuff of course. Who knows though maybe it will surprise us all and be really fast. We shall see…
We had so many problems with the ihome outlets that we ended up returning them. But all of the other HomeKit stuff has worked well for us, including the idevices. And we’ve never had a disconnect with Lutron switches, which are now all over the house. One of the new features coming to Caseta that was announced at CES is the ability to use one Lutron pocket socket as a repeater for their protocol.
Extend the wireless range of your Caseta Smart Bridge with a Plug-in Dimmer - If there is an area of your home where you would like to add Lutron devices but is out of range of your Smart Bridge, you can now add a Plug-in Dimmer to add coverage.
Only one at present, but it’s intended for the DIY market where devices may be added over time somewhat haphazardly from a backbone point of view.
As always, “all home automation is local” and what works well at one person’s house might not work well at another. But it’s always good to have more options for improving the network strength.
The repeater function sounds great. I guess I didn’t describe it correctly. The Lutrons didn’t disconnect. In HomeKit it does the thing where you open the Home app or bring up the Home widget from the control center and the icon just shows “updating”. Sometimes you just have to tap it a couple of times, sometimes it just says I’m out of luck. Happens more on my iPad than my iPhone but I can rest assured it will be 3 or 4 times a week. The iDevices happen several times a day. And it completely disconnected once after an OS update. Had to set it up completely again. Guess I’ve just had a more consistent experience with ST than HK. But I plan on switching out the iDevices with the Lutron plug in dimmers anyway.
Can you elaborate on what you mean by “your solution” - i probably missed something, but i certainly want to be able to use the pico remotes. Ive actually been debating about moving away from smartthings and caseta is high on the list as in mostly interested in lighting anyway. I had vera and switched back to smartthings 2 when they promised local processing and i kind of regret that decision.
I am referring to the script I built to allow control of Lutron Caseta within ST. It requires a middle man server of some sort which can be a Raspberry pi or other computer that is always on. It works very well and is fast and reliable. I have not released the code that adds the ability to add Pico remotes and control ST device with them just yet because I am not quite finished with it. I can confirm however that assuming you have the PRO version of the bridge the Picos do work. For just regular control either bridge will suffice. Check it out and if you have questions feel free to ask in that thread.
For anybody that is stocking up on Lutron in anticipation, the starter kit ( Hub, 2 dimmers, 2 remotes) is still an Alexa deal for $119. smile.amazon.com/Alexadeals
Deal is gone as of today. (But you can still get that damn Garth Brooks CD they’ve been pushing for at least 2+ months)
Any news or indication as to when official Luton caseta support will be enabled?
I haven’t seen any. I check the link @JDRoberts posted to Lutron’s official website every few days, but it’s still showing “Coming Soon”.
It’s fairly far along in our testing process. It’s going well!