SmartThings Hub V3 vs Wink and a Lutron Question

Can someone please confirm that I don’t need a Wink Hub nor the monthly subscription to control Lutron Caseta switches using a SmartThings Hub v3?

I am trying to migrate away from Wink that used to control both my Lutron Caseta switches and Leviton modules, but then they held me hostage by moving toward a monthly subscription in order to automate things.

Wink has a Lutron radio built into it while smartthings uses the Lutron SmrtBridge for its integration. So In order to use the lutron caseta devices with ST, you will need a lutron caseta smartbridge (also required if you wish to use it with homekit, Alexa, google home assistant and otHers). I would recommend the pro version at a minimum (in case you want to use it with other systems in the future).

As for the Leviton devices, there are Leviton devices that are supported. You may want to post the model of your devices to get more accurate info for them.

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The lack of lutron radio in Smartthings was why I waited so long to get rid of wink, but I’m glad I did. It was definitely worth coming over in the end. I only have one caseta switch but I ended up just buying a cheap lutron bridge on Ebay. It works well with the Smartthings integration, but you need that bridge.

As @jkp mentioned, the pro bridge is more expensive, but I kind of wish I spent the extra and bought it. Lutron makes cheap pico buttons and for those to work in Smartthings you need the pro bridge.

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Thank you for the quick response - much appreciated!!

A disappointment that I will also need a SmartBridge Pro - that represents another $300 (I have 2 locations in need of a Wink alternative). Add to that the 30’ distance requirement… that seems notably short.

I’m guessing that I could also use the Wink hub instead, but it would require the monthly subscription as well, which is the part that I now find unacceptable about the Wink platform. Pls confirm or add details.

My Leviton devices are DZPA1-15A modules.

Am I missing any alternatives to control both Leviton devices and Lutron Caseta switches without extra hardware?

Those will connect.

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Wink was probably the only hub that was able to license the lutron caseta technology and have their antenna built into their hub. Other hubs on the market will require the use of the lutron caseta smartbridge.

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Yes as @jkp mentioned above That leviton device is a zwave plug, and Smartthings has a zwave radio so you should have no problem connecting them direct to Smartthings. If that’s all you have that’s leviton, no caseta smartbridge is necessary.

Caseta is what uses its own radio. The pro is definitely a lot more, especially now that you need two.

If you just want to control the caseta lights, without needing the pico remotes in Smartthings, the basic caseta (non pro) is usually under $50. The picos still work with the basic bridge to control other caseta devices, the button presses just can’t be exposed to Smartthings to control anything else.

If cost is too high, and you have caseta devices, I would recommend at least the basic caseta smartbridge before paying wink a dime. That setup has worked fine for me since May.

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Thank you @jkp and @mwav3.

I will need to decide if replacing 4 Caseta switches (2 at one location and 2 at another) is a better option that buying 2 Lutron Smart Bridges, Pro or not.

Is there a recommended switch with dimming that is comparable to the Caseta line but would work with the SmartThings hub without additional hardware? I see some z-wave switches on the market but have seen comments that state z-wave may not be the most reliable.

Any thoughts on either other switch options or z-wave’s reliability?

Unfortunately I do like the Pico remotes.

I agree 100% that Wink will not be getting any additional money from me.

Zwave will be as reliable as you’re willing to make it. Spend time udnerstanding the protocol, how and where to apply repeaters and you won’t have any trouble. In my home Zigbee is the actual problem becuase of RF interference and WiFi saturation.

You’ll need to know WHY you picked Caseta for those particular devices. If it was because of ‘no neutral wire’ support at those particular junction boxes, you’ll need a switch that also supports no neutral. Until about 18 months ago that was Caseta or nothing. But now there’s at least 4 manufacturers that also do no neutral installations. (Including my personal choice, Inovelli)

As to the range - that’s very typical real world range. But you need to be aware that the Wink hub has an ABNORMALLY strong antenna. Some say out of spec… but I’m sure Wink did it just to eliminate a bunch of support calls. That means moving to ANY other hub, you WILL need to re-evaluate your first hop ZWave routers and see if you need additional repeaters.

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The neutral issue is not a concern. Both locations have neutrals.

I went Caseta because it was Wink compatible and I liked the Pico remotes. A seemingly good decision at the time but I had no idea things were going to turn so ugly in such a short period of time. I feel like I held onto X-10 for a better product and when I finally made the plunge, it simply replaced a set of problems with another set of problems, and cost $$ to do so. I’m really not wanting to do that yet again, so I appreciate everyone’s willingness to share their expertise.

I’m concerned with your comment (@nathancu) about Wink’s antenna. My concern being that all of my devices (Leviton modules and Lutron Caseta switches) are very reliable now using Wink (smartphone app being the only thing that still works).

Should I be prepared for lower performance if I go with a SmartThings controller and its ability to control the z-wave (Leviton) modules?

How about lower performance in controlling Caseta if I have a Smart Bridge Pro integrated into the system?

Lutron switches are extremely well engineered and responsive. There really isn’t anything else comparable in the DIY residential market. (Just as one example, most switches, including most of the Zwave switches, are engineered with the target of under two second response time. Lutron are engineered for under 1/2 second max.) Lutron is an engineering company specializing in lighting. They hold a bunch of patents and the entire system is responsive, reliable, and works with many different platforms.

One of the ways it gets that responsiveness is by NOT being a mesh system, which is why you see the shorter range for the Caseta line. You can add one (and only one) Signal repeater to a Lutron Caseta system which effectively doubles the range in one area. Whether that’s enough just depends on the layout of your house. Technically it means you can cover up to 5000 ft.² in a perfect sphere, but not many houses are built as a sphere. :wink:

They do have other model lines which can cover many more devices and footage, but that’s a different conversation.

MULTIPLE SMARTBRIDGES?

The official smartthings integration will only allow you to have one smartbridge per account. If by chance you are using an alternative platform, such as Homekit, you can use multiple smartbridges, which takes care of the range issue, although not the expense. But that’s not an option with the official smartthings integration.

DIFFERENT PLATFORMS HAVE DIFFERENT APPROACHES TO INTEGRATION

To be honest, this gets into very personal decisions about cost versus reliability, and that’s something only you can answer for yourself. Wink had a very reliable Lutron Integration, but they overengineered their system and ended up with an unreliable business model, which led to their near collapse as you know. :disappointed_relieved:

Smartthings has historically always aimed more for the sizzle than the steak and always looks great on paper. (Or in 15 foot keynote slides.) And at a great price. In practice, reliability has been an issue with every protocol they support, including the way they support Z wave. Literally dozens of conversations on this in the forums, so I won’t go into more details now, but it is what it is.

If you have a strong technical background and you’re OK with using a third-party app, Hubitat is a tiny company with a system which looks a lot like what smartthings looked like in 2018, but better engineered, no cloud dependencies except for third-party integrations like voice assistants, and a really good Lutron Integration. It does require the smartbridge, but so just pretty much anything except Wink and the long discontinued staples platform. And if you need a good phone app you’ll have to go to SharpTools or another third party. But it’s a good candidate for some people. (And since everything is local, it has the advantage that even if the company goes out of business your main system will still work.)

Let’s look at it the other way around for a minute. If you’re not willing to get the smartbridge, that would mean replacing all the switches you have. Isn’t that going to be more expensive? Or do you only have three or four Caseta Switches in each of your locations?

We should also mention that smartthings changed its integration Model last year. It used to be that companies could send their device to Smartthings an Smartthings would create the integration for it. That’s how the original Lutron and Integration was done. But now, smartthings has published their API, and they expect the device manufacturers to create and support their own integrations. Quite a few companies have done that, but some of the larger ones have not.

In practice, that means that some integrations are stuck with their original version and no one is working on updating it. Lutron appears to be one of these. The Caseta fan control switch was released in 2019, and it doesn’t work with the smartthings integration. :scream: Smartthings says it’s up to Lutron, Lutron says it’s up to smartthings, and it doesn’t appear that anyone is working on it. (In contrast, both HomeKit and hubitat have added support for the fan control.)

Maybe that will change sometime in the future (the Arlo integration was finally updated about a month ago, although not everyone is happy with it.) But for now, it doesn’t look like smartthings will keep up with future Lutron changes.

MORE CHANGES

You should also be aware that smartthings just announced last month that they are getting out of the business of designing and supporting home automation hardware. They will continue to provide a cloud and an app, but they are turning over the device side of the business to partner companies. Right now that’s Aeotec. Aeotec just released a UK and EU model of the hub that will start shipping in a couple of weeks, but nothing has yet been announced for North America, so right now it’s really hard to find a smartthings hub of any model for the US.

Nobody knows exactly what that’s going to mean for the future. So I wouldn’t recommend going all in on a new installation based on smartthings for at least a couple of months until we can see how things are going to work in this new world. :thinking: FWIW

Official announcement thread:

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@JDRoberts That was an extremely informative reply. It ties together some things that I suspected following a chat with Samsung. I was growing concerned about the lack of availability of the Samsung product - something seemed odd. Unfortunately, they did not share that announcement with me.

Do you think that sooner or later a company will fill the Wink void and offer a controller that supports Lutron Caseta switches and z-wave in one box, or am I not the majority with such a mixed environment?

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I wouldnt bet on that (someone including lutrons radio in thier hub) ever happening. The entire industry is moving towards a cloud consolidation with device specific hubs where necessary. Tha way i only need to specialize in my own stuff and an API to talk to ‘the other guy’

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@JDRoberts In response to a few other points, I am fine with paying for reliability. The rub is paying for a reliable product that is only supported for a short period of time. It would have been a better use of my time and money to not have any automation and simple get up off my butt and manually switching things on/off :slight_smile:

Replacing the Caseta switches is an option given I only have 4 (2 at one location and 2 at another) but its hard to justify replacing them with something that has less features (Pico remote) or reliability.

Decisions, decisions. I suspect I should hold off for a few more months, as suggested.

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Oh boy, that is definitely concerning for someone looking to rely on a Smarthings Caseta integration going forward. That’s another advantage to running my dual homeassistant/smartthings setup. The Homeassistant integration to Caseta is local, so even if my internet goes down, homeassistant is able to control the lutron devices. Its seeming more and more having a “plan b” is necessary to somewhat future proof things. Like almost everything with Home Assistant, it was a pain to setup, but could be worth looking into - https://www.home-assistant.io/integrations/lutron_caseta/

But unfortunately as pointed out above, no matter what hub you use, be it homeassistant, smartthings, or hubitat, there really is no alternative to using Caseta devices without having the caseta bridge anymore, and unless @jdroberts might have some more insight, I don’t see any other device coming out that had the multiple radios like Wink did in the near future. As for range, I have about a 2000 square foot house. My Caseta switch is on one end of the house, and the bridge is in the middle. Its probably near the edge of that 30 foot range, but I’ve never had an issue. But that was one benefit of Wink, it had a strong radio. I have had range issues with Zigbee devices, and had to move my hub to work with a Zigbee fan.

I have mostly Zwave devices, and the mesh with those going from Wink to Smartthings has worked perfect for me.

Before ripping out and replacing all your caseta devices, maybe you want to buy one bridge and test it out at one of your locations first? There definitely is a lot to think about, but you have options at least.

I thought about ripping out my one caseta switch too - I have a neutral wire, but the switch is behind a refrigerator and I really need the Pico remote on the other wall for manual control of that switch, so the pico remote is why I kept it.

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Is sounds like we have very similar environments. Its encouraging that it works for you. Thank you for the insight!!

Just to be clear, the hubitat does not have an official integration with lutron caseta but relies on the telnet port which is only available in the lutron smartbridge pro or pro 2.

Lutron almost permanently disabled the telnet port a couple years back but backed off.

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Glad to help.

I thought the same thing after Wink crashed and burned and I had to invest time and money into new things, and my wife definitely says that a lot :slight_smile:

For me, I do look at this as more of a hobby now then a real time saver, but for many it is critically important to work and goes beyond that. Needing to monitor a second location is definitely a plus for home automation too.

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I agree with @nathancu that we are very unlikely to ever see another hub that has both a lutron radio and a Z wave radio. Most hub manufacturers are using the telnet option To the Smartbridge Pro that @jkp and @Mwav3 Mentioned to create local integration with Lutron, or the cloud-based ones like smartthings use a cloud to cloud integration (which requires at least the basic smartbridge). Both of those integrations work quite well, so there just really isn’t motivation to do something that’s really hard to engineer like mixing lots of different radios in one box. :thinking:

(For background, I was a network engineer and had worked with multiple protocols including Zigbee and Z wave Before ever selecting smartthings for my own use. But I developed a progressive neuromuscular disease, again before ever getting smartthings, and I am now wheelchair dependent with limited hand function. So I look at home automation differently than a hobbyist would. I am also in a fairly unusual situation of having a lot of technical knowledge but needing easy “ plug and play“ solutions because of my physical limitations.

As I‘ve mentioned elsewhere in the forum, I had to move all of my critical use cases off of smartthings a few years ago because of the reliability issues. But it’s never bothered me to have multiple systems and I have continued to use smartthings for some convenience use cases where it makes sense to do so. :sunglasses:)

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Yep, a very similar environment :slight_smile:

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