SmartThings Community

No Neutral -- How does the functionality for Lutron Caseta integrate with Smart Things

My house doesn’t have neutral wires, and thus Zwave is not really workable for me.
I know that Lutron Caseta switches don’t need neutral and am looking to go that route.

My house has switches scattered all over the place with poor usability and thought to their design. One of the things I’d hoped to accomplish with the switch upgrade is to have a switch fire off an event when it is turned on/off that can be connected to a scene of other lights and turn them on/off at the same time.

So I can have some switches be “Master switches.”
I know I can accomplish this with Zwave remote/button type switches, but can lutron switches communicate a state change event to Zwave to control other lutron switched lights?

You can accomplish that with the Lutron switches, but you are required to also have the Lutron hub for the ST integration. Once integrated into ST, you can then use any rule manager (Smart Lighting, webCoRE, SharpTools, etc) to manage events to and from the Lutron switches.

@JDRoberts is pretty much the resident expert on all things Lutron (I think he has them installed all over his home).

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Thanks @Core_Phx! I knew about the hub requirement, but I had been unable to determine if the switches actually have two way communication rather than just one way (control of the switch).

@JDRoberts Do you have anything to add? One of my other concerns about Lutron is the lack of a mesh, and I have a 5000 sq ft home including the garage. Lutron mentions using lamp receivers to do range extensions, but I was hoping to avoid lutron for the majority of my other smart home needs.

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Zwave won’t come into the picture at all, but that doesn’t matter. SmartThings is a multiprotocol platform: as long as smart things recognizes the device as a switch, it doesn’t matter whether that particular device’s communication protocol is Z wave, zigbee, Lutron via the cloud to cloud integration, Wi-Fi via an LAN integration, or anything else that is cloud to cloud: a switch is a switch. :sunglasses::level_slider::bulb:

So when smartthings recognizes that that device has come on, that can be the trigger for any other smartthings – controlled events that you want to have happen. Exactly the same as a Z wave switch or a zigbee Switch.

So as @Core_Phx said, it’s all about the events. And as he also mentioned, you do need the Lutron SmartBridge to manage the integration. One smartbridge can handle up to 40 lutron devices.

The only part that’s tricky is that the official SmartThings integration does not recognize the Lutron Picos, which are very handy little remote that can also be wall-mounted and used as auxiliary switches to a Lutron master switch. They are also inexpensive, around $18.

You can use the pico’s with SmartThings, but in order to do so, you have to have the smartbridge pro model instead of the regular model and you also have to set up an additional “server” device as a “man in the middle” integration. It can be done, and there are quite a few community members who are doing it, but it’s much more complex than it would be a smartthings just recognized the pico’s. But it doesn’t. :disappointed_relieved:

Anyway, I do indeed like the Lutron’s and have them all over my house. Very well engineered devices. (They also work with HomeKit, which is a plus for me.) I can certainly recommend them as a solution to the no neutral problem, which is also an issue at my house, which was built in the 1950s.

If you do want to stick with Z wave, another alternative is to get the newest generation of the Fibaro micros or some of the Aeotec nano micros. These do not require a neutral in some configurations, but they may require an additional “bypass” device depending on the load on the circuit and the whole thing can get pretty expensive and a bit complicated. But I did just want to mention it because it is an option for those who want to stay with Z wave.

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We Crossposted: I just saw your note about the size of your home. In that case, The inexpensive Lutron lines won’t work for you and the expensive ones don’t have a SmartThings integration. ( The smartthings integration is limited to only one smartbridge, unfortunately. )

You could make it all work with the less expensive lines if you used hubitat as your “man in the middle” as it can work with multiple Lutron smartbridges, and that’s something that a professional installer might do if you wanted to keep the cost down, but I think it would be way more work than the average customer would want to do on their own. Again, I just mention it as an option. (Hubitat is also a little tiny company, just started last year by some former smartthings customers who wanted local processing, but since everything runs locally it would continue to work even if the company went out of business, which reduces the risk considerably. Just something to be aware of.)

So given the size of your home, I would definitely consider the zwave micro option.

@RobinWinbourne lives in the UK where there are fewer switch options and has done two entire houses all with Fibaro devices and has worked out some very clever approaches to whole house wiring. He may have more to add. And here’s a thread on his most recent project:

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Also, you’ve probably already seen the large house FAQ, but just in case not, here it is:

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(And this is why I invoked the awesome knowledge of @JDRoberts) lol

Thanks @JDRoberts!

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