Does anyone know what delay is expected to be from the Lutron Caseta invocation via Smart Things?
I have three weeks before I’ll have to return my Caseta Devices within the return policy if I can’t try the integration before then… Anyone (@Tyler ?) know if the integration will likely be available in the next 3 weeks?
I actually recently bought $2,500 worth of Caseta dimmers/remotes for my house, but I’m not going to install them until I can see if the SmartThings works well with them. (My main concern is delay time from SmartThings -> Light Reaction. I care less about swtich -> SmartThings.)
For reference, it’s about 1-2 seconds from the end of “alexa, bedroom 30%” to lighting response through the Lutron Caseta hub on my test dimmer. (Fast internet here, if that matters.)
The IFTTT delay varies from house to house, you just have to try it at your house and see. At my house it’s a pretty consistent eight seconds which is fine for some things, but would be too long for others. For example, “turn the lights on at sunset” doesn’t matter if it’s off by eight seconds one way or the other. But using a motion sensor to trigger a light to come on to someone walks in the room would find eight seconds unacceptably long.
Good wifi will help, but mostly it’s the round-trip to the cloud.
If you have harmony or hue bridge already set up, you can test the lag using their channels, it should be pretty similar to Lutron’ Smartbridge.
I personally have Lutron Caseta switches and like them a lot, but I’m not using them with smart things. I am using them with echo.
One more thing, which you probably already know, but just to be sure given the size of your investment: the official Lutron/smartthings integration is cloud to cloud and does not include the pico remote. So smartthings will not be aware of any button presses on a pico even with the official integration.
Community member @njschwartz has built his own connector which is working great for a growing number of uses. I’m sure I read latency was not an issue for his solution (local connection via RasPI) so there’s a solid plan b if the native ST solution isn’t for you.
I have a growing number of Caseta switches, dimmers and Picos - love them!. They’re so nice and polished compared to other smart switches (and I’ve tried a bunch).
Thanks everyone for the data. With Alexa/Echo’s delay at at about a second (including doing voice processing!) I do hope smartthings can integrated with a similar latency as opposed to the 3-5 seconds with IFTTT.
Forgive all the ignorant questions, but ignoring latency, will smartthings have programmatic access to the on/off or dimming level of a Caseta dimmer? If so, it seems to me that you can infer pico remote button presses by polling the associated dimmer for changes, no?
I was thinking that also, but you likely wouldn’t be able to differentiate the Pico button presses from the same presses made on the dimmer. Which, for many cases would be fine, but if you wanted a particular button press on the Pico to trigger a scene or state change, you likely wouldn’t be able to do that.
@JohnMcD I feel your pain with the entire Caseta and SmartThings issue. I was in your shoes a few months ago. I love the Caseta stuff but wanted it to work with ST. I tried IFTT as well but had similar issues to you. Honestly even 3-5s might have been tolerable but occasionally I’d get one 20+s later. Not useful to me. That’s why I created the middle man solution. In mine and others experience it’s very fast (about a second or so) and reliable. The major downside is it’s a bit of a pain to set up.
I am hopeful that ST integration will be good but am not super optimistic. It’s going to be cloud to cloud not LAN which potentially will add lag. Additionally, it seems it will be pretty basic, on, of, dim, but like you I wanted pico support.
In the next couple of days I’ll be updating my solution which will allow for using Pico remotes to control anything you want in ST but ONLY if you have a pro hub. It will also add scenes to ST which you can then trigger however you like. Not trying to sell you on my creation, just letting you know there’s another decent option should you want to keep your Caseta’s and not wait for the official integration. Good luck!!
Hey, just curious why pico remotes will only work with the pro hub? Do they expose more via an API there? sadly, I’ve just got the cheap one that comes with the starter kit. (PS, I’ve mentioned it before, but your solution is great as far as control. Very responsive. Since setting it up a few weeks ago I’ve had to restart the python script once, otherwise it has been bulletproof.)
I wouldn’t get too hung up on the Caseta stuff. It’s nice, but I have both Lutron Caseta and Leviton DZC switches/dimmers in my setup, and quite frankly the standard paddle style Leviton are more user friendly. I have several Pico and BulbConnected remotes and they fill a need, but the standard paddle style are much easier to use in the dark. The Lutron devices have no “feel” to them. The buttons are small and uniform in texture. Not a good solution when you’re trying to turn a light on in the dark, especially for guests who are unfamiliar with them.
I went with caseta because they can handle LED Dimming without a neutral wire. Really isn’t much in the way of zwave that can do that (except possibly some of the new micro switches that go behind, but those would not fit in my boxes.)
I was previously using smartbulbs but that caused confusion when people would come over and they’d always end up getting turned off at the switch.
In the next couple of days I’ll be updating my solution which will allow for using Pico remotes to control anything you want in ST but ONLY if you have a pro hub. It will also add scenes to ST which you can then trigger however you like. Not trying to sell you on my creation, just letting you know there’s another decent option should you want to keep your Casetas and not wait for the official integration. Good luck!!
This is awesome, and I’m very thankful that you’re building this. My use cases I’m waiting to confirm are possible with the official integration are:
(1) turn off lights controlled by a pico+dimmer after X hours of being on (or more complex rules-- I actually want them to dim first for 1 minute, then go off)
(2) turn on lights within 2 seconds in response to door opening, etc.
I hope I’m not optimistic to say that I feel like these are pretty table-stakes items to be able to build in smartthings for the official integration… I guess we’ll see soon enough!
The Lutron devices have no “feel” to them. The buttons are small and uniform in texture. Not a good solution when you’re trying to turn a light on in the dark, especially for guests who are unfamiliar with them.
While I do agree a tactile surface would be a slight improvement in the dark/when you’re not able to look, I personally use the Echo/Alexa a lot in these situations.
I have to say, I find the Caseta stuff to have an overall excellent UI, even for a visitor in the home. Maybe I tried the wrong ones, but many of the Leviton switches are way too complex… unclear if the thing is a rocker vs a button, and you have to figure out that holding vs pushing/tapping does a different function. With Casetas dimmers-- in my experience-- people just “get it” very quickly.
I also have many people coming through the house, as we are three housemates, we all have friends who come over, and I also have medical aides. No one’s ever found the Caseta switches confusing. ( i’m not saying no one ever could, just that we’ve had 50 or 60 people using them without any issues.)
You press near the top to turn on, you press near the bottom to turn off. That part seems pretty intuitive for everyone.
The dimming part is a little more confusing, but I haven’t ever had anyone have to ask for help to figure it out.
While we’re on the topic-- I’ve spent many hours now researching and comparing and testing dimmers I’ll share some of my learnings in case they may help others:
Lutron has “PRO” Caseta stuff that does use a neutral wire (PD-5NE, PD-10NXD, PD-6ANS). I have neutrals in my home, and I can’t quite prove it, but I’m convinced that the stuff with neutrals ends up being more/better compatible with more dimmable LEDs.
The best Caseta dimmer for me (and probably many others) is the PD-5NE:
One great thing about the PD-5NE is that it has the identical interface to the PICO remote. This was important to me to present the same switch interface in 3-way applications with the PICO.
Another great thing (again for me) is that the PD-5NE uses a neutral and is super compatible. BUT you MUST know that for LED dimming with the PD-5NE, you MUST flip the phasing from ELV/Reverse to LED/Forward or you’ll get buzzing at first with many LEDs that are actually compatible. (To do this, you hold the top and bottom buttons down for 10 seconds, then tap to change the blinking from the top side to the bottom, then hold the bottom side ~5 seconds to save).
The PD-5NEs are a bit more costly, but if you are buying in any quantity you can get the cost down to about $85/dimmer if you talk to electrical supply houses that stock Lutron. (I’ve liked Mr. Supply, but there are many others.)
In summary, I’ve pretty much concluded that the Casetas are optimal for me if my final hesitations around the SmartThings integration being slow or handicapped are addressed. I agree there are some other good options out there if the Caseta/Smarthings integrations isn’t done well.
Here’s a pic of the PD-5NE interface I prefer to match the PICO remotes. (The middle button is another “on” button with memory of a particular dimming level. Pretty quick to figure out, and I haven’t seen it confuse people.)
Lucky having the neutral wire. I don’t understand why the non pro doesn’t have the pico design (other than to differentiate and drive people to pro if they can use it.) The center button having the preset dimming level is so nice.
Thankfully you can get pico remotes for $10-15 on ebay, so I’ve just bought those and mounted then for different rooms to control all the lights to the level I want.