Lighting is something most homeowners don’t think about a lot. For some people, it’s just not important.
But with the advent of smart homes that give you the ability to have full control over everything, lighting has become a fun part of creating a home.
From LIFX to Philips, there are tons of smart lighting options, and today we’ll talk about another contender: Lutron.
While Lutron isn’t a widely known company, it’s taking steps to improve smart lighting, and the results are impressive. In fact, they’ve been so impressive that Lennar is making Lutron standard in its Wi-Fi CERTIFIED homes.
Will Lutron be your next smart home purchase? Read on to decide for yourself.
Lutron: The Basics
Like many other smart home lighting solutions, Lutron’s products are meant to be a system that works together seamlessly. Branded under the Caseta name, Lutron offers the typical products you’d expect from a smart home company.
Like Samsung’s SmartThings, the Lutron system is based around a central hub: the Smart Bridge.
The Smart Bridge enables you to control your lights, shades, and temperature. It works with the free Lutron app, and the design makes it easy to configure everything.
The app is well designed, with a look reminiscent of some Android devices. Whether you’re using an iPhone or Android phone, you’ll learn how to use the app in minutes.
It has some useful features like geofencing, which you can use to automate lights based on your location. For example, you could program your lights to turn off when you leave.
It also has an “away” mode to turn on your lights when you’re not home to deter criminals, and you can fully schedule and personalize the automation.
As far as smart apps go, it can easily stand shoulder to shoulder with Google, Apple, Amazon, and Samsung. It’s simple, clean, and easy to use.
Next up is Lutron’s line of switches and dimmers. These work with light bulbs you already have, so you’ll have to replace any existing switches and remotes with Lutron versions.
They have a nice minimalist aesthetic and are available in a few different colors to complement your decor. You’ll need different switches for wall/ceiling lights and table/floor lights.
Finally, Lutron provides some peripheral accessories like remotes and wallplates. These obviously aren’t necessary, but they put the icing on the cake.
How flexible is Lutron Caseta?
Lutron’s Caseta products are particularly flexible. They work with the major smart home devices/programs, including Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa. (That means Lutron is friendly with both Google Home and Amazon Echo products.)
This is one of the most impressive features of the whole Caseta line. Many products only work with one or two of these three, but with Lutron products, you’re not forced to choose a certain smart home device.
Caseta devices also work with SmartThings, and if you combine the two, you can get a lot of power and create a streamlined smart home.
Other Lutron integrations include Sonos, ecobee, Honeywell, Hunter, and Nest. So if you’re using any of the major smart home brands, Lutron devices will work with your existing setup.
Lutron is actually one of the most flexible systems on the market, beating out several of its competitors. If you’re looking for a smart lighting solution, Lutron deserves your attention.
How can you use Lutron Caseta in your smart home?
We touched on some of the features Lutron devices have, but now let’s take a closer look at what they can do.
The heart of Lutron is the app, and you might recognize some of its features from other smart home systems.
Like the Routines you create with Samsung’s SmartThings, you can create scenes with the Lutron app. These scenes allow you to control as many lights and shades as you want, and you can program different scenes for different times.
You can also easily schedule lights and shades to automatically engage or disengage. If you want your lights to turn on at 7 AM, you can do exactly that.
Geofencing is one of the more unique features of the app. It controls lights and shades based on your location, and you can get really creative with this.
You can use the geofencing to turn on the lights when you enter and turn them off when you exit. You can even use it to pull up the shades in a certain room when you enter it.
The away mode is another useful feature that’s becoming standard for smart lighting devices. What’s cool about Lutron’s away mode is that you can use it with the geofencing feature to trigger the away mode as soon as you leave your home.
Lutron works with some of the best thermostats on the market, including the Nest Learning Thermostat and the ecobee3. You’ll have no problem controlling your temperature with the app, and everything integrates smoothly.
The one potential negative of the Lutron system is the lack of options for shades. Only Lutron’s own shades, branded under the Serena name, are compatible with the Smart Bridge.
All in all, the Lutron Caseta system has tons of product integrations, and the fact that it works with Apple, Google, and Amazon is a huge plus in our book. But since Lutron only controls lights, shades, and temperature, you’ll have to use other devices to control aspects like entertainment and locks.
As a lighting and temperature solution for smart homes, Lutron can hold its own against competitors like Samsung SmartThings. Its user-friendly app and simple operation are great for any smart home user.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one system, Lutron isn’t perfect. You’ll have to use it alongside another system, but if that doesn’t bother you, Lutron could be everything you’re looking for.
So if you haven’t decided on a smart lighting solution, consider Lutron’s system. It’s one of the most flexible smart lighting systems available, and it won’t disappoint.