lighting control


#1

Hello. I want to be able to control my lighting and want to know what works best? I am considering Lutron Caseta, and Insteon. Any others i should look at? Do I need a hub with either the Lutron or Insteon?

Thanks


#2

I had older Insteon devices which were very unreliable, had button failures, flat out switch failures, etc. Also did not have great conversations with support even though it was patently obvious that the devices had a lot of physical failures and it was a struggle in general to get them to replace any devices. A lot of money and effort was wasted. Also the pairing method is very prone to issues with devices having to be informed of all the other devices in a mesh type situation, and communicating over power lines with interference on them from fluorescent ballasts, etc, and being told to install filters in front of all such lights and so on was pretty ridiculous. The prime directive of lighting is that firstly it should be as reliable as a good old switch and on that count my Insteon was a failure. You can read positive opinions of it but I really question if they are objective. Some of my info may be old so do your own due diligence but when I opened the Caseta switch my wife groaned and I had to reassure her this was not going to be like last time.

Just purchased a couple of Caseta switches and hub and I have to say so far I’m very impressed. Very easy to set up and Lutron quality is a whole different ballgame. No neutral required in the switch box is nice if you have an older house too. You can read many comments on how superior the Lutron communications are compared to zwave, insteon, and so on. I haven’t read those extensively but enough to try the devices, and knowing that if I try to bring an Insteon device in the home I may need a divorce lawyer :wink:

I’m curious and maybe this is another topic but on the hub (running apple tv 4k) I don’t see doc on whether to enable sync homekit devices there and what it does. I had the Caseta set up very quickly on the device settings sync with homekit setting and then enabled the same setting in the hub which caused the lights to disappear from the app tray in SC. I reenabled the setting in the app and they reappeared. Is the setting in the hub required to be made first in general? Also is that what makes it possible for timers or events to turn on lights even when the ipad or other client device is absent? I hope that makes sense.


#3

Don’t discount Insteon.

Their hardware has improved immensely in the last few years. And paired with an ISY controller, the functionality and features are unmatched.

I have been using Insteon dimmers in 2 different homes now over the last 4 years and they have been rock solid. And with their recent acquisition things should only get better.


#4

I hope I follow and address your concerns. I have and love the Lutron Caseta Products. I have used them for a few years now and just recently upgraded my Hub Pro v1 to the new Pro v2 which allowed Homekit. The process I took based on my knowledge of Caseta and some input from Will from Simple Control was this.

Setup the Hub from Lutron and all the devices first. Create Rooms, Scenes, Schedules on the App (hub) to control everything via the Lutron App. In the App enable the Integration and send yourself the report via email. This provides you will all the ID’s of all your devices for use later in SC.
Once you are all setup and happy with this turn on, link Lutron to Homekit so now you have control of the Lutron Devices via Homekit.

Now you can go into Simple Control and turn on Homekit this will pull in everything you have in Homekit into Simple Control and add it to the Home Bar for quick access.

The tricky part I found was adding commands into activities for control over Lutron Devices. What you have to do here is add the Lutron Hub as a Device again to SC this will now allow you to add commands to activities to turn on a light or off a light and or set it at a brightness level. You can also then adjust delays for each command. The integration report mention before is where you get the ID’s for the light that you want to control that you enter into that command so SC knows which light to access.
Simple Control has more info in this subject on how to do this on their site. https://www.simplecontrol.com/knowledgebase/lutron-caseta-smart-bridge-pro-control/

I found after talking to Will if I create an activity and enter my lighting commands (for example when I want to power on to watch tv or any sources) into this activity I then can hide this activity from the dashboard so it doesn’t show up but I now have a quick way to add this to all my ‘Watch ?” activities as a command to execute this hidden light activity, Instead of putting in each command manually over and over for each activity.

Now that I have went thru this process it pretty straight forward and works well.


#5

In the V5 world, I would just skip everything non-HomeKit for Caséta, use HomeKit (assuming you have that version of the Caséta Hub). Don’t worry about integration reports and all that old stuff. Don’t even need to add the Caséta as its own device though that could be useful as a backup I suppose. But the integration with Simple Control when using the HomeKit path is top notch and synchronizes automatically whereas the real problem with Caséta pre-HomeKit was that they didn’t provide a manifest and so it needed all that manual stuff.


#6

Thanks guys. I don’t see a link anywhere for the integration report so that’ll be good if I don’t need it. I’ll play with the commands some more, the icon in the tray works fine, when I tried to schedule the lights to dim as a test it didn’t work but I was probably doing it wrong.


#7

After doing a full backup and reset and reset my hub yesterday to try to work out an Alexa issue, I noticed that if the Synchronize HomeKit option is on in the first client when it syncs, the hub will automatically switch this option on.


#8

I don’t disagree with this for homkit and having it part of the home bar for simple quick access to the Lutron lighting control.
SC Support clearly stated to me that I have to add Lutron as a device outside of homekit so I can create commands for activities that I can/have the option to directly edit the delay time, brightness of the Light ID I want to control. This is not an option otherwise. In my case one example is when i power off the system I have lights that come on to exit the room and in 30 seconds they go off. This is only accomplished via the second way no matter the hub version.


#9

That’s probably because HomeKit support has only existed for 2 weeks. Such a statement would apply to 4.5. In the V5 world things are completely different.


#10

IF this is a response to my statement that is not true as Rob Zurn (support tech) just a week ago worked thru this with me. I started with V5, Homekit (lutron caseta) added device doesn’t allow control over delays and the only way is via adding Lutron as a device and creating parameterized commands using EG: .Light ON command, set the integration ID, brightness and delay length. Again this being for more advanced control of lighting via commands inside activities. If something has changed for this in the last week I wasn’t aware.
Sorry for ranting if this had nothing to do with my statement.


#11

If you are specifically referring to delays between HomeKit commands, that’s true. Nobody referenced that in the OP so not referring to that. That would be a good feature request though. I would still advise using HomeKit for all users if you are using Caséta.


#12

Yea it would be a nice feature addition as having to add the lutron device a second time uses up another device count against my total and really the only reason to do this is to have control over delays allowing more control over when lights come on or off, dim ect… not being locked into 200ms. I was just trying to provide all the info about the Lutron Caseta integration for others if they run into this same issue.