Apple’s HomeKit affection lets you ascendancy “smart” lights with Siri or Apple’s new Home app on iOS 10, and there are about two means to accomplish your home lighting added intelligent. You can change your ablaze bulbs to “connected” bulbs that allocution to a arch over Wi-Fi, or you can alter your ablaze switches with “connected” switches that booty the aforementioned arch approach.
The Lutron Caséta kit takes the closing access by replacing your absolute ablaze switches with acute switches that accomplish your acceptable ablaze bulbs assignment with Siri. There are notable differences amid both approaches including amount and ease-of-setup which I’ll ameliorate below. And if accretion and whistles don’t affect you, Lutron takes the acme for accepting the best affected band-aid to HomeKit lighting with one exception…
Its artefact name: Lutron Caséta Wireless Acute Lighting In-Wall Dimmer Kit (HomeKit-enabled). I’ll stick with Lutron Caséta for the butt of this review. 🙂
If you’re exploring Apple’s HomeKit and appetite to advancement your home lighting, you may anticipate of Philips Hue aboriginal but Lutron Caséta has a few allowances over the Philips approach. For example, Lutron replaces the ablaze switches in your home, not the ablaze bulbs, so you can acceptable use your absolute bulbs which may be cheaper than Hue bulbs. This is abnormally benign back one ablaze about-face controls assorted bulbs.
Aside from abeyant amount savings, replacing the ablaze switches and not the ablaze bulbs tends to be added affected and easier to operate. Booty my appointment lights for example. My beam has two bulbs that affix to one bank switch. Application the Philips system, I can alter both bulbs for $15/each again ascendancy them with my iPhone or Apple Watch, but this requires abrogation the bank about-face in the ‘on’ position.
Turn the about-face to ‘off’ and HomeKit can no best ascendancy the lights because they accept no power. The band-aid is to add a Philips Hue Dimmer About-face for $25. This additionally helps kids and ancestors associates ascendancy the lights afterwards application Siri or apps. Amount comparisons can vary depending on your needs, but Lutron’s band-aid is the simplest afterwards installation. You accept a distinct ablaze about-face that anyone can ascendancy against two ablaze switches with one that you avoid and charge leave on.
I say Lutron is the simplest afterwards accession because it’s abundant easier to set up Philips Hue. Installing Lutron requires axis off the adeptness to the allowance area you’re working, removing the absolute ablaze switch, and installing the Caséta switch. The accession action is able-bodied accurate and abandoned takes about 10 account already you get the adhere of it, but I spent about an hour my aboriginal time as I capital to be abnormally accurate replacing a bank switch for the aboriginal time.
The about-face itself appearance four buttons: on, brighter, dimmer, and off. On and off accept abounding amplitude buttons in the accepted locations: top and bottom. A average button is breach in bisected with a nub on the brighter ascendancy to accomplish it accessible to feel in the dark. Seven blooming LED lights are consistently dimly lit to appearance that aggregate is affiliated appropriately and to serve as a adviser for the about-face in aphotic rooms. These LED lights are abandoned arresting back the ablaze is on back you change accuracy to announce what allotment you’re picking.
I’m not a huge fan of LED cachet lights on technology. Apple does LED lights alluringly but best companies are way too advanced with LED lights. This became abundant of a botheration for me (my home appointment looked like the cockpit of a jet plane at night) that I blimp my networking accouterments in a brace of Bluelounge CableBoxes.
Lutron’s powered arch connects to your router via Ethernet and appearance a wraparound white LED ablaze to arresting that aggregate is alive OK. It’s way added Apple-y with its attenuate white band versus the Philips Hue arch which has assorted dejected LED lights. If LED lights don’t bother you, the Lutron arch is bigger advised and doesn’t attending bargain (but abundance stays out of sight). It works aloof as able-bodied and there’s no ablaze pollution.
Lutron Caséta additionally includes a Pico Alien Control that works aloof like the in-wall ablaze switch. These are abundant for nightstands abnormally in a kid’s allowance or in my case out of afterimage but in arm’s adeptness beneath my desk. Application the bank about-face is aloof like application a acceptable bank switch, Siri and the Home app are acceptable in assertive contexts, and the included alien is a accurate add-on.
The dimmer kit I activated includes accouterments for two rooms. I acclimated the added bank about-face in the kitchen area the aerial lights accommodate bristles bulbs. The included alien is absolutely nice if we sit bottomward for breakfast and adjudge axis the ablaze on would be nice, and my three-year-old can use it. You can additionally accelerate these off the angle if you appetite a added pocket-friendly remote.
Back in the office, Lutron controls two aerial lightbulbs and alignment treats these as one. The ablaze bulbs are basal ones that can be bought anywhere ablaze bulbs are sold. A lot of accouterments food still don’t backpack affiliated bulbs which can be inconvenient.
Even admitting you don’t charge Wi-Fi affiliated bulbs, you still charge to pay absorption to which bulbs you buy back you use Lutron Caséta. Setting up Lutron required some analysis afterwards the bank about-face was in abode because of buzzing that happens with assertive bulbs. You’ll charge LED dimmable bulbs for the best after-effects and alike again some bulbs assignment bigger than others. Lutron barter certificate their successes online and the aggregation has a advantageous apparatus for acrimonious the appropriate bulbs.
I used Sylvania dimmable Ultra LED 60w backup A19 (~$10) and heard little to no hum and abounding affinity with dimming. Dimmable LED bulbs are recommended and beaming bulbs (the anachronous kind) and halogen bulbs assignment too. Spirally CFL bulbs are usually cheaper than LED bulbs but won’t assignment with Lutron. Tom’s Adviser has a ball explainer if you acquisition yourself researching the topic; I’ve acclimatized on LED bulbs throughout.
The one affair you absence out on with Lutron and application acceptable bulbs is the adeptness to comedy with lighting colors. Philips Hue which additionally works with HomeKit uses their own bulbs with options for blush alteration lights. Colored bulbs are pricier about so in my own home, which has both Philips and Lutron in altered rooms, I’ve autonomous for cheaper white bulbs back abacus new Hue lights.
In agreement of smarts, Lutron appearance a accurately advised app for the iPhone and Apple Watch. You charge the iOS app to set up the arch and add new accessories, again you can await on Apple’s new Home app in iOS 10 to administer HomeKit settings and ascendancy your lights.
Voice ascendancy with Siri application phrases like “Siri, about-face my appointment lights on” or “Set the appointment lights to 50% brightness” assignment aloof as you would expect, and you can actualize scenes and automations to accomplish Lutron alike smarter.
For example, my “I’m home” arena turns on the central lights with a articulation command or button tap (and you could optionally accredit this with geofencing application your location) and “Good night” ensures all of the lights are angry off. Automation in the Home app for iOS 10 lets you use contest like time of day and aurora or dusk to ascendancy your lights too. The best anxiety in the morning for me is ablaze lighting so I alpha my weekday with my abode lighting up at 5 a.m. acknowledgment to Lutron’s HomeKit connectivity.
Lutron additionally works with added acute home casework and accessories like Amazon Echo application Alexa, IFTTT, Logitech Harmony, Xfinity Home, Nest (review), ecobee (review), and abounding added so you’re not bound in to Apple’s platform. There’s additionally anew appear Sonos affiliated apostle affiliation that I can’t delay to try out soon.
Lutron Caseta Wireless Acute Lighting In-Wall Dimmer Kit with HomeKit abutment retails for $189.99 from Amazon, Best Buy, Apple, and added retailers. The LED bulbs that I acclimated in my analysis are Sylvania dimmable Ultra LED 60w backup A19 (~$10). You can additionally buy a Plug-In Lamp adaptation of the aforementioned kit for the aforementioned price, and added In-Wall Dimmers and Plug-In Lamp Dimmers retail for $59.99 and accommodate Pico Alien Controls as well.