Inovelli Red vs. Lutron Caseta switches

Smarthomeprimer wrote:

"Further to this, if you had to or want to upgrade your HE hub in the future, with Lutron you just backup your hub database, restore to the new hub and you are good to go. With Z-Wave switches all over your home, you have to exclude each one, join each one to the new hub, working your way outward from the hub, repair the mesh, then fix every single rule that the switches were part of because they will all be broken."

Wait a minute - this sounds terrifying. This in itself is enough for me to avoid Z-Wave based items. I had planned on going zwave (vs. Zigbee) to avoid bandwidth competition with my 2.4ghz wireless, but there is NO WAY I want to be going around doing what you described when the next version of a hub comes out!!

That in itself is enough to go Lutron, if it's true.

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I find that Zigbee sensors are much faster responding than their Z-Wave counterparts. So, I have Zigbee motion, leak, and contact sensors throughout the house in addition to Lutron lighting. This has been a very stable and fast performing setup. I have multiple WiFi access points, as well as multiple Zigbee mesh networks, and have not noticed any interference issues. I do make sure to choose my WiFi channels and Zigbee channels using best practices to avoid issues.

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Don’t worry about the WiFi Zigbee conflict. The protocol is made to handle that scenario. That whole thing is way overblown. Repeaters are the most important thing to have in place with either Z-wave or Zigbee. Lutron works differently and unless you have a very large property (or exceed 75 Lutron devices) you won’t need a repeater or second bridge.

Z-wave has some unique devices not available in other radio types, so for those (with my front door lock being the exception) I use Z-Wave. For everything else I use Zigbee, Lutron and Insteon. Insteon is historic, but I do like them a lot. Much of my Zigbee is actually on Hue and a Xiaomi Aqara hub. So again, when I want to change hubs, it’s quite easy. Only 4 Z-Wave devices to rejoin and a handful of rules to fix. A few Zigbee devices would have to be re-paired, but they just slot themselves right back in place. No need to do any rule repair like with Z-Wave as it currently stands on HE.

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Lutron

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It isn't terrifying. Most people here have come from other platforms and have had to go through it. I moved from another platform and while I spent a couple of days slowly moving my Zwave things, I spent months learning the differences in how things operated with the new hub. I have been through several hubs and each time I managed the transition in a few days. The biggest issue with transition is learning how to do the same automation routines on the new platform.

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This is probably the biggest benefit of Caseta. You can effectively add additional light switches or modify existing three-way switches without having to change or add any wiring or put big holes in drywall. Big side benefit is you aren't stuck controlling one particular light or fixture, and can use the pico remote for other things. E.g. my top of stairs pico (in place of what was a three way switch) controls the light, but a press and hold can arm/disarm the security system.

I have also used this benefit to deal with crowded 1960's electrical boxes. Removed switches so the outlets are always live, and installed pico remotes in their place controlling a few Zigbee bulbs.

@2005, to expand on the above, zigbee channels 15, 20, and 25 are least likely to suffer from WiFi interference. Some zigbee devices don't like channels 25 & 26, so 15 and 20 are the choices most likely to minimize wifi interference.

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This! Absolutely this. I've gotten tired of trying to explain this.

S.

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This right here. Unfortunately mesh strength is not something many people just getting started put a lot of thought into. If lights are all you plan to do, then it doesn't really matter. But if you plan on adding more items and your house is a decent size, you'll really appreciate having a solid zwave mesh.

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And switches and dimmers sitting mid wall are a ton better than plug in outlets down by the floor where the signal can easily be blocked by furniture and appliances.

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I've personally been very happy with the Inovelli's and my use cases are still limited (pretty new to HA as well).

As far as stability.... That's why I used zwave switches instead of bulbs. At the end of the day, all my HA can fall apart and the switch still turns on the light like it used to.

My use cases... I have 3 sets of lights in a long living room with two entrances. The center overhead is on a 3-way (inovelli + dumb 3way). The recessed on each end of the room are in their own single pole configured inovelli. I use double tap up/down to got the opposite recessed that don't have a switch in that doorway (i.e. 3-way via zwave). And I use triple tap for the whole room. I also use the notification bar to indicate a exterior door left open or unlocked.

I haven't had many connection issues.. But my hub is in the next room over. I stupidly put metal plates on them and while they still worked, they dragged.. Much slower. Still trying to figure out the wall plate plan now that metal is out. Not sure if Lutron's chosen frequency is any more resilient or not.

As for aesthetic.. Honestly wasn't a big fan of the caseta layout... Was worried guests would just be confused. The ivonelli looks and works like a normal switch, which I really like, but also gives you the scenes via multi-tap for those in the know.

Good Luck!

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Oh Yeah, having one repeater - extending range to a sensor or a door lock, does NOT make a strong mesh.
Mesh = Multiple connections !

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My Wife does not like the look of the caseta switches so they are out for me except on the periphery (trying to sneak picos in at the moment). Also does Caseta have a simple switch without the dimmer function?

Another consideration is behind the switch relays like the Aeotec Nano. These ZW+ devices work well and you use your existing switches - much higher on the WAF/SOAF scale.

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That's kinda where I am. Since we have so many other paddle type switches I'm afraid aesthetically the Caseta switches will not look good.

However after thinking about my end goal and how often technology seems to change, I honestly cannot envision going around and having remove and rejoin the mesh AND redo all my rules and settings with a Z wave system as described above. I know many look at this as a hobby, and I do to a small extent, but redoing work I've already done is not something that brings me joy personally.

So right now I'm leaning towards giving a presentation to the COO for the Lutron system, seeing what she thinks of it visually and if she gives it the go-ahead probably going that way. (and trying Zigbee for my other stuff) Being able to add Picos anywhere with any function (Sonos, spa, etc!!??) is super exciting to me as well. I've seen some pics that are even custom engraved, now that is sexy.

The amount of information provided in this thread is amazing and I greatly appreciate it. I'm glad I decided to go with Hubitat solely based on this community alone - it arrived yesterday.

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They are a pain! I had to repair only 12 z wave plugs. Omg they are a pain.

Caseta is so simple. Best devices I’ve ever had!

When I first started with HE had to redo my 100+ devices several times due to a bad hub, general stupidity/learning curve on my part etc. That was most certainly a nightmare - had/have a bunch of behind the switch relays. Did eventually settle on a multi-hub config which does help mitigate those kinds of issues.

If you have the right devices the pain is in the setup not the usage (theoretically! :wink:). I still have a bunch of zwave Aeon Micros that have been quietly chugging away for years without incident (other than possibly clogging my mesh, slowing down the hub and interfering with newer ZW+ devices).

I think Lutron stuff is the easiest most robust right now if you are okay with the look.

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They do.

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This x10. Couldn't have said it better myself.

I do keep a few zwave mains driven devices selectively through the house for some of my other zwave devices. But most of my switches are caseta now and I've been through a lot of swtiches. I do use a homeseer switch (similar to the inovelli in that it has colored leds that can be set) that I use as you suggested with status for exterior open doors. Otherwise it's Caseta all the way for these reasons.

  1. Totally reliable mesh network...always. (Just read on here people with slow zwave meshes or issues. Can they sometimes be solved? Yep...with a ton of work...i've been there. No need with Caseta. It just works.
  2. Speed. Faster than ANY other switch I've used.
  3. Integration into HE is excellent and simple
  4. Pico remotes (you'll see all over this forum people raving about them. There is a reason)
  5. Moving to a new hub is SUPER simple. No need to rebuild a mesh.

Negatives/Cons

  1. They are different than most switches(not paddles). You need to be OK with how they work and family needs to be ok with understanding that. They have discrete buttons and do not have paddles/levers like others.
  2. Expensive! Maybe that should be #1
  3. No set-able LED colors
  4. Be careful with which LED bulbs you use (I've found this on most led dimmers though)
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I’ll add one more disadvantage.

If you have Caséta wall switches/dimmers, rather than RA2 (very expensive and doesn’t support Picos), you don’t get the ability to return to the previous light level when you turn them on. The obvious work around is to setup a default light level on a Pico. Not a perfect solution, but works.

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Good add! I've seen a few people comment on that. Never been an issue for me because 98% of my lights are on motion sensors and automated. So I'm rarely hitting switches to turn them on so I never think of that one.

I know I wish I had put more thought into this before I started building out my house. I don't even want to count up all the different switches I've been through. Weeks of zwave mesh problems/slow network...ughhh....I'm so happy that's all gone for me. Between lutron lights and zigbee motion sensors and bulbs/leds I'm a very happy guy.

All that being said I absolutely know people have 100% success with zwave switches/etc. I just struggled in my house with them. I've got maybe 4-5 now which is enough to provide a good mesh for my house and support the other battery powered sensors I use that are zwave. So I've got a good balance now. Took a while to get there though.

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