Smart switches

I know I can add a second Caseta hub, I'm just not sure if it would be worth it to jump to RA2 Select to open up my options for remotes and switches leaving my Caseta hub to control just the products that aren't compatible.

RA2 Select probably doesn't make sense for you. First of all, it will not control Caséta devices (except Pico). So any dimmers/switches would have to be Maestro, and cost about twice as much. Also, RA2 Select does not support Lutron RA2 keypads, only Pico.


Ok, that definitely helps to make my decision much easier. Thanks Bruce!

Response on air gap requirement already posted elsewhere:

Dumb light switches + control panel? - Devices & Integrations - SmartThings Community

I really think that until some basic foundation is formed we should try to keep this in a single community forum. Doesn't matter which one otherwise it's just going to make my head hurt even more trying to keep up and follow all of the recommendations.

That's pretty much what @mike.maxwell has been talking about with the picos. It looks nice, it works fine, as far as control of smart bulbs for on/off/dim. What you don't get is a color wheel. You can change color by voice or you can set scenes and use the buttons on the picos to select among the scenes.

If your home automation system goes down, you can use the original switch which you've hidden underneath the picos for on/off, but of course you don't have color control.

There aren't really any good inexpensive wall mount color control devices at the present time. If scenes aren't enough for you, you can just use a Wi-Fi phone with the hue bridge and whatever Hue bridge control app you like. I don't know about other devices in the hubitat context.


And personally, I still like the remotec 90 (zwave, battery-operated) as a scene selector:


p.s. I think it will be helpful to everyone if you refer to Lutron pico devices as either "picos" or "pico remotes." But not just "remotes." When you say just "remote" we have to ask you a bunch of other questions to figure out exactly what features you are trying to get, as that particular term is used in different ways by different manufacturers.

1 Like

Also, I forgot – – has anyone told you that you can have the picos custom engraved? So you aren't stuck with any particular set of icons or words. It does cost more, but if aesthetics are really important to you that is an option. @bravenel can probably say more about that.

I understand that, and definitely approve of it, but I literally can't do cross posting.

The way my brain works, information is stored contextually. If I personally write the same thing in two different places I no longer know where it was posted at all. It's one of the main reasons I write FAQs to begin with. So I just can't answer the same question with the same answer in two different places or I'll lose both.

, I know, I'm weird. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I know. At this point, it's almost like I'm obligated to not make anything easy. But, I already posted the initial question to ST, so I figured I'd XPost my major restatement of it.

Personally I prefer here than on ST, just because it's currently my intended platform.

I didn't pick up on mike.maxwell doing that, but I don't have any major issues with that. It certainly checks all my boxes, and basically opens up the entire world of switches that control smart devices.... With the Caseta/Pico allowing the most flexibility of any I've seen so far.

OMG, that is so awesome and First World silly at the same time! SmartHomePrimer mentioned a lot of customization available for the already expensive RA2, but not Pico. They have other custom color for Picos? Will definitely be checking into that!

1 Like

I mentioned custom engraving, not custom color. As far as I know the color options are white, black, or almond, but you'd have to look into that. Custom engraving definitely:


1 Like

You can get custom engraving on a lot of switches and wall plates and custom colors. You can get anything for the right amount of money :smile:


John Childress is an electrical inspector who posts on a number of forums. I've always loved his tagline:

I can build anything you want if you draw a picture of it on the back of a big enough check.



Those four button models are on the Caseta/Pico side, and not RA2? I didn't see them on their website or on Amazon, but I did see RA2 ones that looked similar....

I think the custom engraved Picos run about $65. So, not for everyone for sure! I just use a label maker and put black on clear labels on my Picos that need it.

Lutron provides free custom engraving for their SeeTouch keypads, available only for RadioRA2. Those come in 20 or 30 designer colors also. But RA2 is an expensive product line. Works great with Hubitat. Our integration particularly adds cool extra functionality to their SeeTouch keypads. Note: This is not the same as RA2 Select. The latter is a weird in-between product positioned between Caséta below and RA2 above. Lutron has made arbitrary market based divisions of their products, enforced by their software/firmware:

Caséta: 50 devices
RA2 Select: 100 devices
RA2: 200 devices (requires second main repeater, 100 devices per main repeater)

With Hubitat you can mix and match these systems together, or have higher device counts by adding additional repeaters (SmartBridges for Caséta).

The one thing to be emphasized: These Lutron products are engineered to a superior level of quality, the company stands behind them 100%, and their radio technology is head and shoulders better than Zigbee or Z-Wave. In effect, you get what you pay for -- it's just that for some systems that means a lot of money. And we haven't even touched on their high end systems!


Forgive me if I’m stating the obvious, but air gaps cut power to the load, not the circuit, don’t they? Depending on the maintenance/emergency you have in mind, you could still electrocute yourself even with the air gap pulled (if the maintenance involves work in the switch box itself, for example).

They cut the line internally in the switch. Load is switch to bulb. Other side of the bulb is neutral.

I would never work on a fixture using the air gap. I've had those pop back in by themselves when programming a switch. They're for programming and reset in my opinion. Nothing else. If you're going to work on anything electrical, you turn off the breaker.

1 Like

Thanks for clarifying. This is essentially what I was getting at.


I don't know if there's some industry definition for "air gap", but a common dumb light switch creates an air gap between wires.

How the smart switches do an air gap, I can't control. I don't have a whole lot options on that. Not to say a common light switch should be trusted... I'm just realistic enough to accept the tripping a breaker isn't always feasible or what people (me) actually do.

I look at it the same way as cutoff water valves for toilets... It's not a perfect analogy (for one, a leak won't kill you), but I don't turn off the water main to mess with a toilet float. And in the event of a malfunction, even if I would use the main cutoff, having a localized one will usually stabilize the problem until I can repair it. For instance, if a fixture starts flickering or a fan starts making crazy sounds (rather than disabling all automations tied to it).

Yes, but you're referring to the tab you pull out at the bottom of the switch, and we all knew what you meant in that regard. Lutron calls it FASS (Front Accessible Service Switch). It is used for programming typically and on some electronic switches it is used to reset the switch as well, since when you pull it out, power to the switch is disabled internally, so it is true, the light cannot be supplied with power while that tab is pull out.

However, it is never to be used when servicing the switch itself, as it does not disable the line voltage to the switch box. It can technically be used for disabling power to the light, but as I stated before, not on my watch.


So, do the new (ish) GE Z-Wave Plus dimmers provide instant update to Hubitat?

Is that the most “reasonably-priced” option for instant status update?

(I’m having terrible luck with pollling BTW, Smartthings’ bus-throwing solution seemed to work much better than the rule machine periodic trigger refresh kludge. It’s really a terrible, awful so-called solution.)

Download the Hubitat app