Using Lutron Caseta Dimmer to control SmartThings bulbs

lutron

(Rob) #1

Hello,

Not sure if this was posted before, but I’m looking for a way to use my new Lutron Caseta dimmer/hub setup to control a few Cree bulbs. I currently use SmartThings to control 3 lamps in my office, using the “Dim With Me” custom app. It’s money, I’ve got the slider and can dim 3 separate devices simultaneously.

Now I’d like to add the ability to control all THAT with the Lutron dimmer, which I hear now integrates with SmartThings… Control via the hard wired wall switch would be essential here, control via Lutron’s accompanying “Pico” remote would be quite useful as well.

I did a few searches here but couldn’t find anything that sounded close, figured I’d ask. Thanks!

Rob


(Mark) #2

Pretty sure that should work fine with the dimmer switch itself. The picos not so much though, the official integration doesn’t support pico remotes at all.

There is a community developed solution that does allow picos to be integrated into ST. But it requires the pro version of the lutron bridge, and a raspberry pi running a server.


#3

Are these smart bulbs or dumb bulbs? (Cree makes both)

From your description, it sounds like they are smart bulbs. If so, same rule applies to those as to any smart bulb: don’t use a dimmer to control the current to the bulb, whether that dimmer is smart or dumb. The bulb’s ability to dim itself and the switch’s changing the current will mean the two devices just confuse each other, and you’re quite likely to burn at one or the other.

OK, that said, as long as the bulbs always have full current (for example, if they are getting their current from a plugged in table lamp which is not connected to the wall switch), then you can hardwire the Lutron dimmer switch to any circuit which is NOT feeding the bulbs, and then use any of the regular SmartThings Dim management Smart apps to have the bulbs “follow” the switch. I think “trendsetter” is the most popular right now, but there are a number of others, including “dim and dimmer,” " dim with me" and others. You can find these on the quick browse list for lighting in the community – created wiki:

http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=How_to_Quick_Browse_the_Community-Created_SmartApps_Forum_Section

(Unfortunately, because the wiring is different, you can’t use the typical trick of relooping the circuit around the switch that you can do with some of the Z wave switches.)

As far as the pico’s go, as @marktheknife mentioned, they are invisible to smartthings through the official integration. You can still use one to control a lutron master switch, so you can use them to set up a virtual three-way, but that’s it.

If you do want to use Picos to do anything else in SmartThings, you have to follow the steps that Mark mentioned:

One) you must have a Lutron smartbridge pro, not the regular SmartBridge

  1. you must have a raspberry pi or an always on PC that you can use as a “man in the middle” server

  2. and then you use the community – created code that Mark linked to in his post

That method works well, but it requires a strong technical background to set it up.

So there are some options, but it’s probably not quite what you were looking for.


(Rob) #4

Thanks Mark and JD. I was able to set up something using Dim With Me, and oddly enough the Pico remote does work to control the hard-wire dimmed (non-connected) bulb and the 4 Cree smart bulbs. As does the wall switch.

I may have to play around some more, though, as I’m ultimately trying to have the Lutron switch ONLY control those lamps and not the overhead hard-wired bulb. I tried removing this bulb, but was unable to get the wall switch to activate the lamps. The pico still worked here, but I’m guessing the hard-wired fixture needs to somehow complete its circuit for the wall switch to activate SmartThings/Dim With Me.

I may try Trend Setter and Dim and Dimmer though and see what’s possible.

Thanks again!


#5

If you are using the regular SmartThings integration, the pico is controlling the Lutron switch. Not talking to the smartthings hub. So The pico is just telling the Lutron switch what to do. That’s why pressing a button on the pico will cause the bulbs to respond – – the pico is acting as a remote to the master switch. But smartthings will not recognize the pico on its own. For example, you couldn’t use the official smartlighting feature to have a button press on the pico turn on a bulb in a different room that was not controlled by the master switch.

I’m not sure what’s going on when you remove the bulb from the overhead fixture, but trying a different smart app couldn’t hurt. :sunglasses:


(Mark) #6

Could the lutron switch be smart enough not to send an on command if there’s no load?


#7

Yes, but then I don’t know why using the associated pico instead would work.


(Rob) #8

Thanks for the clarification on the pico “working”, makes sense that it
would still control the lutron hardwired bulb (why wouldn’t it, now that I
think about it?)

And I’m thinking the lutron switch is indeed sensing no load and thus not
sending a command, sounds reasonable.

I may have to come up with a different solution altogether, I know GE makes
a compatible dimmer but I’m guessing it would likely have the same issue.
It’s an odd use case in that I don’t want the dimmer to ultimately turn on
a hard-wired bulb. I want it to only control 1 or more connected bulbs.

Rob


(Mark) #9

It’s true that this isn’t the most common setup. But you’re not the only one that has a use for a networked switch that doesn’t control a load but does control a smart bulb(s) by sending commands to the ST hub, which then controls the smart bulb.

See the linked post below, specifically item #8.


(Rob) #10

Wow, that’s a lot of options, thanks!