Which device is like a caseta?

(Glenn) #1

Hey all, I’m going to make the switch from staples connect to smartthings but I need to replace a caseta switch. Can someone recommend me one that is similar? I like lutron for its “Instant On”, also since it has On & Off buttons, it’s impossible for a guest to turn off the switch and break auto activities. Thanks all.


In terms of user experience after it’s installed, really any of the Z wave switches will work. Turning something off at the light switch works, but it doesn’t break any of your automated routines.

The biggest challenge most people find when migrating from Caseta is that the Caseta switches use a patented design from Lutron that does not require a neutral. Almost all other network switches do require a neutral in order to feed the switch with enough power to hear the next “on” command.

Many American homes built between 1940 and 2000 do not have neutral wires connected to their non-networked switches. There will be a neutral in the wall somewhere, but you may need to have an electrician “fish it up” in order to be able to connect the switch.

How difficult or expensive that is just depends on your exact wiring set up.

My own house was built in the 1950s, but as it happened, the builder left a bundle of neutral wires at the back of most switch boxes, essentially using the light switch box as a junction box, and so it turned out to be very easy to add network switches that required neutrals. The wires were already there, they just weren’t being used by the previous switch.

But there are others which is where it’s much more difficult to get a neutral. So that’s really the big issue.

(Glenn) #3

Hi, I have neutral wiring :slight_smile: so if I turn a light off at the new switch, my activity to turn it on at 5 am would still work??


Yes, you will be able to control it both manually by physically flipping the switch and with scheduled routines like having it turn on at five every morning.


BTW there is another whole conversation to be had about “instant status” updates and different switch models, but I’m too tired to have it right now.

Maybe if @bravenel is around he can chime in. He has a lot of Lutron experience.

(Glenn) #6

Thanks for the info, I’m familiar with Lutron Instant On, just not familiar with how smartthings polls. Do I need an app to poll or will like a GE switch poll automatically?

(Bruce) #7

Polling is one way to improve responsiveness, but heavy handed and not really a desirable approach. “Instant reporting” z-wave switches, such as the Leviton VRMX1, use a z-wave “hail” command to tell the hub it should query the switch. ST does just that, so the responsiveness of these switches as networked devices is quite quick. Note that the switch itself turns its load on or off instantly. It’s that event that is reported quickly, which then allows a subscribed SmartApp to run based on that event.

In my master bathroom, there is an instant reporting switch just outside the bathroom. I use it to turn off all of the lights in the room when I leave the room (motion-off will get around to it 3 minutes later), while my wife just leaves the room. The bulbs on that load go off instantly as you’d expect from any switch; the rest of the room follows suit about 1 second later. Without an instant reporting switch, it could be several seconds later, even 10 or 20 seconds later.

Lutron, and their licensees for instant reporting, implement this functionality into all of the “switches” (which are really just button controllers, many without a load connected at all). Unfortunately, there are not good choices right now for similar button controller functionality, and no one – yet – has developed a SmartThings to Lutron bridge. Such a bridge, if done properly, could import an entire Lutron system, complete with instant reporting, into ST.

We’re just waiting for @tgauchat to implement it!

(Glenn) #8

Do the GE switched work as paddles? If I turn the physical switch off, activities still run, so I assume the switch doesn’t stay in a off position?

I guess the only thing I was worried about was if a guest flips a switch OFF, if that would than break any activities set to run in the future for that switch but JDRoberts says it will work :smile:


Correct, most of the switches are either momentaries, where you press a button kind of like a doorbell button and then it pops back out, or they look and feel like conventional paddles, but they always return to the central position each time after you push the upper or lower half.

Since the person using them will also see the light go on or off immediately, they don’t usually get confused by the return to the central position.

The Leviton that @bravenel mentioned and the Cooper switches are the 2 zwave manufacturers that pay the LUtron license fee for instant status update. GE does not pay the license fee and consequently their switches do not have “instant status update” capability.

(Glenn) #10

Thank you very much, that is exactly the info I was looking for.