Advice for getting started with Lutron Caseta

I am just getting started with home automation. I got my Hubitat about a week ago and wanted to start by automating a light in my TV room to go on in the evening. I have read a little here and it seems like Zigbee is the way to go over Zwave. Local home improvement stores didnt have any plug in Zigbee devices, so I found a cheap one on Amazon, $15 and 2 days later, I am up and running. So far, so good.

My next step was to work on the kitchen, hall, and living room lights. The general consensus here is that Lutron Caseta is bullet proof but pricey. I say cry once, so off to the home improvement store. The dimmer switch was about $55, so I decided to check online instead. Only a few dollars cheaper, so I went back to home improvement store. I needed two in almond and a white dimmer for the kitchen. Turns out HD and Lowes only carry the white in stores. So headed home with single dimmer to get started. I installed it today but then I found I needed a hub. I thought that was what I had Hubitat for, but obviously I did not read enough about this before I bought. So then I had to find the difference between the various hub options - Radio RA2, Smart Bridge, or Smart Bridge Pro. From what I can tell, RadioRA2 has to be installed by a professional or at least a dealer. Then I found a video comparing Smart Bridge and Smart Bridge Pro and determined that I just needed the Smart Bridge (those of you with experience in this know where this is going). The local big box doesn’t carry the bridge, but they have the starter kit which had the bridge and a dimmer with remote. Brought it home and had it installed in less than a 1/2 hour. Then I tried to configure it. Seemed to go pretty well - I assigned a static IP to the hub, as suggested, then added the dimmer. That also went pretty well, until I tried to turn it off from the app. Nothing. Tried a few times. Deleted and reconfigured it again. Then I read the Hubitat documentation a little more closely and I noticed that it says “Smart Bridge PRO or RA2 Main Repeater.”

So the kit went back into the box to be returned tomorrow.

So now, I am planning on ordering the Smart Bridge Pro, plus the 2 almond dimmers I need to get started. My question is, should I be aware of anything else before I order? (I did see that they don’t make a 2 pole switch - instead you use a regular switch/dimmer and a remote). But before I place my order I just wanted to be sure I am on the right path and not missing anything else.

Thanks.

Yes, you’re on the right path. To use Lutron Caseta devices with Hubitat, your need a Caseta SmartBridge Pro2 as that is the model that supports the Telnet interface that Hubitat uses for local LAN communications.

The SmartBridge Pro2 should be assigned a Reserved TCP/IP address by router, to make sure the Hubitat Hub does not have any problems staying connected to it.

You can use Caseta Switches, Dimmers, Fan Controllers, and Pico Remotes with Hubitat. The Caseta Occupancy Sensors (motion sensors) cannot be used with Hubitat. Most use Zigbee Motion Sensors with Hubitat, due to their low cost and fast response time.

In a three-way or four-way switch setup (I.e. 2 or 3 switches controlling the same light fixture), Pico remote(s) are used along with a corresponding Caseta Dimmer or Switch.

Pico remotes can also be used independently with Hubitat, as Button Controller devices. However, the same Pico cannot be used both as an auxiliary switch (I.e. paired to a real Caseta switch) and with Hubitat at the same time.

Hope this helps. Also, please be sure to be safe, above all else, when working on 120VAC circuits. If you’re not familiar with home wiring and safety requirements, please hire a licensed electrician.

Oh, and welcome to the Hubitat Community!

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You can use them at the same time, you just have to remember it is going to control whatever lutron devices they are assigned to as well. I have one that controls all of my kitchen lights at the same time. Two lutron dimmers and two sengled zigbee bulbs. I just set up the rules in hubitat to control just the sengled bulbs since it's already controlling the lutron dimmers.

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Thanks. I am pretty well versed in electrical work, so installing switches and outlets is no problem. After I turn off the circuit breaker, I always double check with a tester, just to be sure.

I am guessing the reserved IP is in case it loses contact with the router, you are always assured of reconnecting?

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I think you made a really good choice going with Lutron Caseta. Yes, their products are pricey, but they are very, very reliable.

Welcome to Hubitat!

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By default, most every network device on your home LAN obtains an IP address via your home router’s DHCP server. When your router is powered down, it will often assign different IP addresses to your home devices. Normally this is harmless. However, both your Hubitat Hub and Lutron SmartBridge will perform much better if they always receive a consistent IP address. This is probably one of the most important “best practices” for Hubitat that users should take care of on day one. The second one being using a UPS to power the Hubitat Hub, your Router, and Cable/DSL/Fiber modem.

These two best practices, reserved IP addresses and using a UPS, will save users quite a few headaches. :wink:

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If you're willing to wait perhaps a little longer for shipping, and don't mind buying 1-5 at a time, look on eBay. I've bought all my Caseta switches new in box, (PD-6WCL) between $35 and $45 each.

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Ditto. The Lutron stuff (and their hub) are rock solid and work really well with HE. It's especially nice that the integration between the PRO hub and the HE is all local - no cloud to worry about. The Lutron instructions are really good and their tech support is excellent.

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[quote="gorden301, post:1, topic:52867"]
difference between the various hub options - Radio RA2, Smart Bridge, or Smart Bridge Pro. From [/quote]

If you haven't looked here yet, they generally have pretty good pricing:
Energy Avenue

SCRATCH THAT...WOW...they used to have great pricing! For comparison in Feb of 2019...I paid $88 for my pro bridge from Energy Avenue.

Maybe try here

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One more thing... I see both SmartBridge Pro and SmartBridge Pro 2 advertised. In fact, one of the sellers on Amazon lists the part as L-BDGPRO2-WH but the picture shows L-BDGPRO on the bottom of the item. Is there both a L-BDGPRO and L-BDGPRO2?

:point_up: This is the one to buy. The old one does not support HomeKit, and cannot be registered with Lutron’s servers and is thus useless. Lutron stopped making the older genera years ago, but sometimes they still pop up for sale. I would avoid anything that seems questionable.

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Speaking of...besides ebay, does anyone know a less expensive source for Lutron Caseta? Energy Avenue used to have great prices but I see those days are gone. Where are you all getting them from?

I see them on Amazon for around $60 and Home Depot has them for $56. Not much of a discount, but they will ship them to the store for free and you can pick them up.