Not a Hubitat question exactly, but a Lutron system question...
I am coming from an Insteon system where I am accustomed to remotes supporting dim/brighten if you hold the appropriate button. I use this feature constantly.
Presumably the same sort of control is offered in the Lutron world of Pico remotes. I often see them used in place of a second dimmer switch, so it seems like this must be possible. Can anyone confirm that I can go from lights off to low lights by just holding a Pico button for a moment? I just don't want to make any poor assumptions before I buy in to a new system.
(If I go Lutron I am leaning towards RA2 Select, if it matters, but nothing is set in stone yet.)
Yes you can do this direct with the Pico configured within the Lutron system or you can expose the Pico to Hubitat and use it as a button controller.
For best results IF the Pico is only going to be used for the lighting control perform the configuration from the Lutron side and leave it out of Hubitat. This way it "just works" regardless of the state of the hub.
Makes sense. I think my plan is to configure lighting which should always "just work" with good speed in that way, but I may also use some Picos for stuff like mood lighting which can tolerate less speed or reliability.
If you are building anything more than a very small system my recommendation is to skip RA2 Select and go for the the full RadioRA 2 system. The full RadioRA 2 system offers a few items that are worth the added expense IMO. 1) Access to seeTouch keypads. Better looking and more capable than Picos, only available in the full system 2) occupancy sensors usable in Hubitat. RA2 Select does not publish occupancy sensor activities to the Telnet interface, and 3) the physical dimmer controls are more configurable in the full system. RA2 Select locks the physical device control 'on' state to 100%. The full system 'on' state is configurable to a set level or previous level.
I'm pretty sure everything besides the Caséta/Lutron Smart Bridge system is only supposed to be available to installers, and that includes the Caséta Smart Bridge Pro (the kind of Bridge you'll need for Hubitat). You can sometimes find these new online in "regular" markets, but all are also easy to find on eBay or other secondary markets. I got a RA2 Main Repeater for something like USD $150, though I had to be patient and win an auction for that, and I think it was used or at least open-box. I just wanted to use their occupancy (motion) sensors on Hubitat, and this is the minimum you'll need for that; it's otherwise way overkill for what I'm doing.
If you're within the device limit, don't need RA2 features like keypads or occupancy sensors on Hubitat, then RA2 Select or Caséta would both work. Neither is exactly cheap (except the Picos that work on all of these systems), but Caséta hardware is less expensive. The downside is that (again, besides Picos), it's not compatible with RA2, whereas RA2 Select uses hardware that is all compatible with "full" RA2 should you choose to upgrade later. Just something to consider as you choose! (Oh, and "full" RA2 requires free online Lutron training for access to the Windows-only software you use to configure and add devices to the system; the rest of them allow all this from a mobile app.)
You can buy all the RadioRA 2 stuff from about any electronic supply house local or online. In fact, if you're buying a lot of stuff you should get quotes from more than 1 supplier. I've had great success from Hanks Electric (http://hankselectric.supply/). Contact Paul Williemsen (firstname.lastname@example.org) to get a quote.
Very true, but don't let this slow you down too much. The online training and "test" is a joke. I recommend following the curriculum (your browser must at-least play the complete video you might as well watch it!) and learning what they tell you. However in the end it's an open book test you can take as many times as you want (or write down the correct answers and take it again).
I went with RA full because I really wanted the hybrid keypads, but as mentioned above, it's a semi expensive "upgrade". You should certainly do your homework and decide if you want keypads or occupancy sensors and go from there.
Here's a comparison guide that will tell you exactly what does and does not work with each system. I found it helpful when I was deciding, I hope it helps you as well.
If you're interested in in depth learning of the system, Level 2 training is now available online (it used to be in person only). It's 2.5 days and the cost is $650 but you get a lot of equipment including a main repeater and connect bridge. The list of included equipment is:
MSRP is a rip off, and you should be able to do much better. Below is a sales sheet from one of my Lutron orders (one has Select one is RA2 main repeater). Myself and a few other here have "dealer" accounts. If you go RA2 and need better pricing, I'm happy to pass on the pricing below if you cannot beat it else where. PM me if needed.
EDIT: images removed out of respect for other dealers pricing models. If anyone from the HE community wants parts I will pass on my cost (credit card fees, and hr cost applied additionally). I am not high volume and even my prices can be beat if you try hard enough. PM for details if needed.
RA Main Repeater - $475
Select MR - $175
Keypads - $300
Dimmer - $125