Lighting is an essential part of any house, and when you can control the light, you can control the mood and ambiance of your home. And Lutron Caseta offers you the perfect way to control lighting in your home wirelessly and efficiently. The Caseta range of wireless products offers smart light switches and dimmers turning your already-installed lights into intelligent devices.
Lutron is one of the leaders when it comes to smart lighting systems, and it offers products in the Do It Yourself (DIY) category so you can easily automate and remotely control the lighting in your home.
What is a Smart Light Switch?
A smart light switch is your key for turning your hardwired lights and fans into intelligent devices. Smart light switches are network-enabled devices that allow control of your lighting wirelessly through an application or by voice command. These switches also combine with sensors, which adjust the brightness of the lights in any room. The smart switches also allow scheduling the time your lights go on or off.
Lutron Caseta – the Wireless Smart Device Kit
Lutron offers Caseta wireless to users for managing their lighting needs. Including switches, remote controls, and dimmers, the kit comprises all the essentials needed for control of your home lighting. Experts have rated the Lutron as one of the best.
The basic Caseta wireless kit consists of the following components:
Lutron Caseta wireless switch and dimmer
The Lutron Caseta wireless switch and the dimmer is the easiest way to control the lighting in your home remotely. Switch installation is easy and costs just $60. Getting the switch up and running requires following two simple steps. First, you turn off the power supply to the room. Secondly, connect the switch to the electrical wiring, just like a standard switch. One switch per room can control all the lights in that room. These smart switches work with LEDs, halogens, CFLs, and incandescent light bulbs.
The switch comes with four buttons; the top and bottom ones are used to turn the lights on and off. Use the two middle buttons to brighten or dim the lights. Once the smart switch is set up, the app controls the lighting in the room. Additionally, the switch also works seamlessly with AI-powered speakers such as Alexa, Google Home, NEST, and IFFFT when connected using a smart hub.
Here are the outstanding features that the smart switch offers to its customers:
Schedule lighting and security
With the Lutron Caseta wireless switch, you can schedule the time lights come on and off, so potential intruders won’t know when you’re home. Also, the brightness of your lights will change automatically, depending on the natural light coming into the room.
One of the coolest features is the switch’s geofencing ability. You can program the switch to turn the lights on and off as you leave and approach your house.
Wondering how light switches could help secure your house? It does that in the most natural way possible — by turning lights on and off in random places in the house. This feature gives an outsider the impression someone’s home. This innovative feature makes all the difference when taking an extended vacation.
Pico remotes are just another handy way to control the smart switches from anywhere in the house. The pico remote is just 1.25×2.5 inches in size and includes five buttons. There are on, off, brighter, darker, and favorite. The favorite button defaults to lowering the intensity of the lights by 50 percent. However, you can customize the settings to bring the brightness down to your preferred level. The pico remotes directly pair to the Caseta smart light switches and dimmers. You can use a single pico remote with all the light switches. However, this makes it impossible to control lighting switches individually.
Lutron lamp plugins
The company also offers wall plugins that to use with an outlet. Just plug the wall module into a socket and connect lamps to it. And each wall module supports up to two light fixtures. You can also pair the modules with pico remotes to control the brightness of the connected devices. The remote and the wall module communicate using RF technology. This RF-based communication gives the user the liberty of controlling their lamps from anywhere in the house.
Lutron smart bridge
The Caseta smart bridge is a hub that can control every Lutron wireless light switch from a central location. The smart hub lets the user connect to the Lutron app and manage the lighting throughout the house. Best of all, its sleek and stylish looks make it a thing of beauty and the grace of your living room.
The smart bridge is a square box with dimensions of 2.7×1.2 inches. The midsection of the bridge sports a white LED light that indicates that the bridge is operational. The back of the Lutron smart bridge sports an ethernet port, a power port, and a button for pairing devices with the Caseta smart bridge.
The installation of the device is as easy as it gets; the user connects the bridge to their home using an ethernet cord. The bridge also pairs with Serena remote control shades, which are another Lutron offering. The smart bridge is also compatible with the Honeywell thermostat. You can couple the two devices and intelligently control the temperature of your home.
Once you are done installing your Lutron Caseta smart bridge, the next step is downloading the Lutron app. This control application is available for both Android and iOS. The user must register and create an account in the app, connecting it to the smart hub. After installing the app on any smartphone, you connect it to the smart hub via your Wi-Fi network. The application’s interface is very simple and user-friendly. The home screen of the Lutron app then offers two options: Devices and Scenes.
Setting up devices
To add any Lutron device, tap on the icon in the top left corner and choose the “Add a Device” option. The application walks the user through the whole process of pairing the devices. Also, the connection will require you press a button on the Caseta devices, enabling pairing mode. Once that’s done, the instrument instantly connects to the application after being detected. Controlling the newly added devices requires assigning them a unique custom name for identification. The app lets the user turn the lights on and off by choosing the respective switch in the room using the app. You can control the brightness of the lights by merely selecting a level on a percentage scale on the app interface.
The other brilliant feature that the app has to offer is “scenes” created by varying the brightness of lights in the room. Users of this handy application feature set the brightness of the lights a touch of a button. The user creates scenes by scheduling the brightness levels of lights for a particular time. It also schedules the drawing and folding of Serena shades via the application creating variances in lighting. The additional control allows you for creating different scenes for different times of the day. For example, scheduling the brightness level of lights to increase to 50 percent in the evening, as opposed to 10 percent in the afternoon.
The Lutron Caseta smart lighting kit comprises all these components and will cost around $160 to $190 in the current market. You can buy each Caseta kit component individually, however, they cost you more compared to the assembled kit. So, if you’re planning on venturing into the smart home field and want simplicity, the Lutron Caseta wireless switch and dimmer kit is the best place you can start.
Pros and cons of the Lutron Smart Lighting
No device ever made is entirely perfect. Each has its pros and cons, which you should compare before buying any product. We’ve compiled the pros and cons of this product to make your decision easier.
The biggest pro of Lutron or any smart lighting system is its ability to turn conventional LEDs and CFL’s into intelligent devices. This feature alone gives it an edge over other intelligent lighting systems. In the case of Lutron Caseta, the switches are compatible with almost all brands of lights rather than just a specific brand, as is the case with Philips Hue.
The kit works seamlessly with personal assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Google. The switches and dimmers are also compatible with the best-selling Z-wave hubs in the market. Furthermore, controlling the lighting is not the only purpose Lutron Caseta serves; the kit allows control of thermostats and window shades as well.
The Caseta products have their set of disadvantages as well. The individual dimmers and switches will cost you more than the equivalent Z-wave devices offered by other brands. The kit also lacks the “timed dimming” feature. The feature allows lowering the brightness of the lights over a period of 20 seconds to five minutes.
Additionally, the smart bridge does not use the mesh protocol, which limits its range. Mesh protocol enables retransmitting signals to each device, which helps boost the overall scale of the network after the addition of new devices. Although the application to control lights has a user-friendly interface, it lacks the basic identification icons. So, if you are not controlling the lights via voice, differentiating between lights or switches by using the customized names you’ve assigned to them is necessary.
Final Verdict on Lutron Caseta Smart Products
There are many smart lighting switches and kits available on the market: Insteon, Phillips Hue, Leviton Decora, and many more. However, Lutron Caseta emerges as the champion in the category. The whole kit, including the bridge, switches, and wall outlets, is affordable and packed with powerful features.
The Insteon home kit comes close to Lutron Caseta. However, the product has multiple shortcomings when compared to Caseta. Some models of the Insteon hubs operate with an application that is specific to the iOS platform. The platform-specific application is a big drawback that hampers the product’s versatility. Also, users of the product have reported numerous issues related to its performance. The most common disadvantage of Insteon devices is the slow communication network in place. The products use Wi-Fi-based communication which is the root cause of their sluggish operation.
Another feature that sets Lutron apart is its patented Clear Connect communication protocol. The technology uses low interference-free frequency bands to carry signals between different devices. On the other hand, devices from other brands rely majorly on Wi-Fi and other communication protocols, which hinders their wireless performance.
So if you are planning to get into smart home automation, then Lutron Caseta is a great way to start.
Featured Image: Via Amazon