"Best" Lighting Solution


#1

Right now my system is fairly simple, especially with regards to lighting. I have most of my exterior lights automated through a combination of GE/Jasco in wall switches and GE outdoor outlets. My wife is starting to enjoy the automation capabilities and has, from time to time, asked me "Can I ask Google to turn this light on (or off) ?". So, with WAF apparently high, I am considering adding some more switches and dimmers on circuits inside the house.

We re-wired most of the house when we renovated so most switches have a neutral. Many of our switches are set up with two locations that can control the light. Many of the switches have a dimmer slider next to the toggle. Almost all our bulbs are LED, most dimmable. The few that are not (generally the recessed cans) are halogens. I don't do Decora.

Since I am almost starting fresh, what's the "best" solution that is Hubitat compatible (and Google Home/Assistant compatible) for lighting?

I would like all opinions and pros and cons. Ultimately it will be a fair expense and a good bit of work but I think it's approaching the time (for us) when it might really make sense. I'd like to do it "right" this time . . .

Thanks in advance!


#2

Inovelli makes some good products and includes support for multiple presses/taps @ericm is on this forum often and has published a nice set of drivers. There's really only one downside and that, they are out of stock. Eric has mentioned they are changing manufacturing. Amazon still has some switches, but they are the Decora ones. For 3-way, you don't need to buy a special Add-On.. what you have should work.

If you're not in a rush, I'd wait for them to get back in stock... it's what I'm doing.


#3

Look at Lutron Caseta. Must be the pro version bridge to work with Hubitat. All local, very fast. Can work with neutral but the dimmers do not require it. Best part is the pico remotes, a 5 button remote that can execute as a 10 buttons. Push or push and hold on each button. The pico buttons can be used in Hubitat to do anything and are not just limited to lights.

I have one dimmer module and 12 pico remotes. On one location of your three way light controls install the dimmer in the other location the pico. This make the system very cost effective as the number of locations climb. A pico is only about $16.

I use hue lights throughout the house, I have 22 of them. So I only need picos, I've hardwired all the switch locations always on and covered them with Picos.

With your install you'll need dimmers to control the none smart bulbs and you can have alexa control of everything through HE. Add picos you also get remotes that can control everything. Great for when you don't want to talk or have alexa respond. When I need get up in the middle of night I hit a button on my bedside pico to turn on just enough dim light to make my night time travels safe and not enough to bother the other half. I also have picos on the coffee tables. So if we have company or are watching TV I don't have to be intrusive with an Alexa exchange I just hit a button.

I've been doing HA since 2016, just add Lutron Caseta few weeks ago. It's the best HA purchase I've made.


#4

+10 to this

Also...do yourself a favor and just start with 1. No need to rush. Get it installed, learn it. Let the wife learn it. Make sure it's exactly what you want before you order 10. These switches do work differently than traditional switches with sliders, all of them do.


#5

on the minus side (for OP), Lutron Caseta wall switches/dimmers are Decora.


#6

I've been having similar thoughts about how to do things consistently throughout with the lowest learning curve and highest WAF ... just more with a view to our next house since we're planning to move in the next year or two.

Something I've been meaning to look into more thoroughly are the Aon (Aeotec) Nano switches and dimmers ... from what I understand at a glance is that they are hard wired inside the switch box and then your existing switches hang of them, so you get the best of both worlds, keep your existing switches (WAF) but add z-wave control (Automation).


#7

Include Qubino in your thoughts. They are smaller by a tiny bit. They also come in 5 "styles" vs Nano's 3 (dimmer, switch and shutter) Qubino has a dimmer and a dry contact switch (relay), plus a dual switch (relay), an RGBW (controller) and a shutter (controller.)

The switches and dimmers work with the same drivers as Aeon.


#8

Much as I love the idea of this, the thought of having to pull micro modules out of the wall because they needed to re-join a Z-Wave network makes me shudder. Despite it not being an officially supported system, I would only trust Insteon Micro Modules for this because once setup, they never need to be re-connected due to drops off the Insteon network. It just doesn't happen.

I have a mix of Insteon wall switches and Hue with Pico (and Lutron Connected Bulb Remotes, but that's no longer an option). If I were to do it again, I would personally go Hue/Pico only or where not feasible to use Hue, I would use Caséta dimmers. Or if budget wasn't as much of a concern, a complete RA2 system.


#9

For the Qubino, the internal switch is not recommended. Toggling the attached switch 3 times in 3 seconds does the job. Therefore, no disassembly required.

Nano is similar: 2 times in 1 second.


#10

Just before diving into the deep end in Home Automation, I replaced all of my Kitchen Switches and Receptacles to Legrand's Adorne line.
adorne-4-gang-whisper-switch-outlet-combination

Which got me pretty quickly into the hide-the-automation-module game.

The WAF was so high, I carried on and now, all of the downstairs area are Adorne with a mix of Aeon and Qubino modules. Including 2 of these in the Kitchen for charging the iPhones and iPads.
265x265_Outlets


#11

Regarding Lutron - I do like the Picos. But aside from the Pico, what's the advantage of having another hub in the configuration? I see mentions of a 30 foot range and 50 device limit. Is there a work-around if/when you hit those limits? I wasn't sure if you could add another hub at that point. I am favorably impressed with Lutron's documentation when compared to many of the home automation products that have a half page (if you're lucky).

Regarding the Aeon Nanos. I had some Aeon Micros - they may have been the very first lighting devices I had when I first installed SmartThings. I did not like the construction of them and it was very difficult to get them in a standard box along with a regular switch. I finally replaced them with GE/Jasco switches. I have had mixed results with Aeon gear so I am not enthusiastic about them as part of the "best" solution.

Whatever the solution, I do like the idea of keeping the "UI" simple and consistent throughout the house.


#12

I have 3 lutron smart bridge pros in my house. One significant advantage is our bulk import for each lutron integration. I can set up 3 quick CSV files for all my dimmers, switches, picos and shades and import them and 120 devices are created very quickly.

Sure, its a one time setup, but setting up 120 z-wave devices and having to exclude, include, repair, etc. is a pain. Moving my lighting and shades to Caseta has been great.

The one limit is lutron doesn't allow multiple accounts in their app, so I just used the multiple users feature in Android to create 2 more users and each can log into their assigned bridge. Also set up a few tablets to be the walk around setup devices.


#13

I started from scratch and went with Lutron Caseta this time around and its been a great solution. The Lutron hub doesn't do anything but allows Hubitat to telnet into it to send and receive commands. I don't use the lutron app unless I need to get ID values for the switches.

Its super simple to setup and the Pico remotes are great. I install 1 switch and replace all other switches (to that light) with pico remotes mounted on the wall.

With Lutron you can get lots of outside help. If cost isn't high on the priority list they do have the RA2 line which is double the price increases the device count and range. I didn't need the extra range or any of the features of the sort so I went with Caseta.

If you shop right - you can pickup switches for $38-$40 each on Ebay brand new ...


#14

It just works, super easy to setup, very quick. Does not conflict with my zigbee or zwave devices. If you need more than 50 devices just add another pro bridge and you get 50 more devices. You can add dimmer plug-in modules, the first module added to the system will act as a repeater. In the farthest room from my hubs I have no problems with Lutron devices communicating and I have not needed to add the dimmer/repeater. Zigbee and z-wave devices in the same room have needed repeaters to work.


#15

"It just works" is one of the highest compliments that can be paid to most technology (certainly home automation).


#16

@Eric.C.Miller ... Just pointing out again (since it was mentioned in the original specs), Lutron wall switches and dimmers are Decora.

That said, they do work extremely well, quality gear for sure.


#17

I'm unsure what is meant by this

@Eric.C.Miller, you wrote

Are these the toggle style instead of the Decora style?


#18

Yes, the GE/Jasco switches are "old school" toggle style. All our dimmers are as well, a toggle switch with a small slider next to it. Not sure of the brand, it was installed by our electrician.

I know it's silly but I don't like the wide paddles. I like the appearance of a traditional (to me) switch. I suppose I should get over it, ehh? That would open up a lot more possibilities.

Oddly, I don't mind the appearance of the Lutron dimmers . . . clearly I'm conflicted on this point.


#19

I see a Lutron Caseta Pro and a Lutron Caseta Pro 2 . . . I haven't found any discussion of differences?

I have learned from this forum that the Pro is needed to interface with Hubitat Elevation . . .


#20

"PRO 2" is the Apple HomeKit compatible one. Either work with Hubitat. "PRO" is the critical word. I think you can find the older non-HomeKit on Ebay, but most resellers have long used up that stock.