New house....Zwave or Caseta switches and what blinds?


#1

Hi, I’m in the final stages of building a new house and soon after moving in I’d like to start implementing as much ST control as makes sense.

I’m reading that Caseta is a good choice for switches, although I really don’t care for them ergonomically. I think the button layout is a bit strange and would probably prefer a rocker. Any thoughts along those lines? Neutral wire really isn’t an issue. Will I just learn to like the Casetas?

Also, any suggestions for the shades? Anyone with comments on the Serenas?


(Mark) #2

Nothing inherently better about the caseta switches, although they’re well-made and the ST integration works quite well. I installed a few after the ST integration went live because I have no neutral wires in my switch boxes and I’m happy enough with them. But if I had neutrals, I almost certainly would have used z-wave or zigbee switches.

Edit: also there’s a line of z-wave shades made by graber that have become popular on the forum. I recently installed two blackout shades in my bedroom. Go to www.zebrablinds.com or check out the following thread.


(Stephen) #3

In my experiences with many switches, the Clear Connect protocol is superior to z-wave or Zigbee. Keep in mind that ClearConnect is NOT a mesh but I still find it to be more reliable. I suppose if you have a good amount of z-wave sensors, it may be advantageous to have z-wave. I will not use them again, personally. Lutron saved me from having to remove it all. My fiancé loves them.


#4

Lutron is an engineering company that specializes in lighting and holds a number of patents. They aim for 300 ms response time and typically get it, although the cloud to cloud integration with SmartThings may add a bit of additional lag. Most Z wave switches aim for 500 ms response time, but maybe closer to a second. With a cloud round-trip it can even be a second and a half. Is that difference noticeable? Not for most people, but some will.

That said, a lot of people prefer the rocker switches, so it just comes down to your own preferences.

Both Z wave and Lutron switches will work fine as physical switches if the SmartThings cloud is not available.

If the SmartThings cloud is not available, but the Internet is working, then the Lutron switches will still work with Amazon Alexa or Google home, which Z wave switches will not. That makes a difference to me because I’m quadriparetic so voice is my primary way of using the switch, but it may not matter much to other people.

The Lutron switches will also work with HomeKit which the Z wave switches will not. Again, ordinarily that wouldn’t matter as long as SmartThings is working. For me again, it’s kind of a “plan C” since if the Internet is down I can still use voice with HomeKit on my smart watch and my Lutron switches would respond.

The Lutron switches do not require a neutral wire at switch box, which is a big advantage if you are in an older home but likely won’t make any difference at all if your home is less than 20 years old.

And the Lutron switches can generally dim lower than some models of zwave switches, but again that won’t matter at all to many people.

So there are a few advantages from an engineering standpoint to the lutron switches, but they might be advantages you’d never even notice. And you could probably find Z wave switches which are a bit less expensive if you wait for sales and shop around.

I would say both are good options, so it’s just what works Best for you.

As far as the Serena shades versus the Z wave shades did advantages are pretty much the same. The Lutron are very slightly peppier, work with HomeKit, and provide voice options even if the Internet is not available. But many people wouldn’t even notice the difference, so again I think you just choose the one you like better. :sunglasses:


(Stephen) #5

That is my only complaint about Caseta. The difference in the flush switch vs a rocker is greater than I thought.


(Mark) #6

Yeah, me too. Overall I’m not a fan of the form factor, but I’m willing to put up with it since without neutrals I don’t have much choice among smart switches.


#7

Thanks for the replies. Not sure I’m any closer to deciding though :slight_smile:

I’m an engineer too (as many here probably are) but I don’t really appreciate “over engineering” and the Caseta switch seems just that. A light switch shouldn’t need that many buttons and shouldn’t require any imagery/legend on it. It looks like it belongs in the passenger armrest of an old 727.

With that said. I do appreciate the reported reliability. I just with they’d fix the ergonomics.


#8

The whole idea of the lutron switches is that you’re not going to use the switch very often. Lights may come on because of a timed schedule, Sunset, a motion sensor, Voice control, someone arriving home after sunset, etc. So as far as ergonomics go, most of the time you don’t touch the switch at all. :sunglasses:

Lutron wanted their switches to look different, I suspect so they would get brand credit when all the touchless magic was happening. But if you prefer another style, there are many options available from other brands. Different things work for different people. But I wouldn’t expect Lutron to change their form factor.


(Mark) #9

I agree with JD.

And I think it’s probably unlikely you’ll be so amazed with the functionality of the Lutron switches vs. z-wave plus switches that it’ll overcome your negative feelings about the Lutron switches’ appearance. Feelings that I share, but as I mentioned, I’m stuck with them because of my apartment’s older wiring.