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Thread: RadioRA2 versus Caseta / Smart Bridge

  1. #1
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    RadioRA2 versus Caseta / Smart Bridge

    I'm in the midst of building a new house (about 3700 sq ft) and am looking at the RadioRA2 and the Smart Bridge Pro / Caseta systems. When we initially looked at Lutron, a lot of the "verbal" price ranges I heard for RadioRA2 made me almost immediately dismiss it. I started looking at the Smart Bridge system once it was announced last summer.

    Now, the time to make a final decision has come. Our requirements are almost exclusively around lighting control, ranging from security (having different schemes on when we are away from home) to convenience / entertaining (we might have a few preset scenes for when we get in late at night with sleeping kids to entertaining). I don't want to have a lot of in-wall keypads in the house - my wife doesn't like the look of them. Rather, I just want to have general dimmers and operate scenes from my phone, and maybe with 1 Pico Remote in the house and one in the car.

    I've counted out the number of switches the system would impact, and it is roughly 25. We do not have any shades, and do not plan to have any - so that benefit of RadioRA2 is not pertinent. Also, we have a Nest home thermostat.

    When the electrician priced out both options in coordination with a Lutron rep, he indicated that the Smart Bridge Pro and the RadioRA2 system were roughly comparable price wise, and the rep recommended the RadioRA as it has "more future potential" in terms of unlimited switches and other things.

    However, I'm still a bit skeptical. As a technology guy, I'm sensitive to what systems are getting more investment - and it seems like right now Lutron is innovating more around the Smart Bridge than the RadioRA system. For example, see the article below talking about Lutron support for Nest for Caseta / Smart Bridge but not RadioRA2: http://techcrunch.com/2015/01/05/nes...-nest-program/

    Plus I'd rather have something that is a bit more "lightweight" in terms of infrastructure investment and can adapt into the future, as opposed to going "all in" on a system that might become increasingly dated.

    Any advice?

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  3. #2
    In a larger home, some switches may be out of the 30' range requirement.
    To overcome that obstacle, either an aux repeater or a separate SmartBridge controller would be necessary.

    Since the Caseta system cannot be expanded like the RadioRA2 (- main repeater + aux repeater), there will be separate SmartBridge controllers working independently of each other unless tied in via another HA controller over IP which will incur extra latency when commands have to be sent between the controllers.

    There will be multiple HA controllers along with multiple protocols in an automated home environment. For example, Control4 and RadioRA2 devices.

    In addition, legacy protocols such as X10 are still supported and will continue to be for quite a while.

  4. #3
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    I am running into this same dilemma.

    I only have about 15-25 devices that I want to have automated and they are all withing 30 feet of where I would locate the SmartBridge. I have Honeywell WiFi thermostats and the SmartBridge supports those. I also like that the SmartBridge app has remote access built in and the app is free. The SmartBridge also has support for Harmony remotes as well as Roomie Remote. Like the post above mentioned; it seems like the SmartBridge is getting most of the new software features.

    The problem is that the Caseta switches are very limited. There is no companion dimmer or switch for a 3-way configuration. There is also no fan control.

    It would be amazing if they allowed RA2 devices (at least dimmer, switches and fan control) to be used with the SmartBridge.

  5. #4
    The pico could be used as a remote switch.

    The traditional multi-way switch is less useful in an automated home environment since smart devices (or a floating control like a pico ) can accomplish the same effect of turning on/off or dimming from almost unconstrained locations.

    As for RA2 devices and Caseta controls, Lutron has to figure out an appropriate story (way/ means) for these devices to co-exist and mingle instead of segregating them by market segments (low vs high end).

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  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bktay View Post
    The pico could be used as a remote switch.

    The traditional multi-way switch is less useful in an automated home environment since smart devices (or a floating control like a pico ) can accomplish the same effect of turning on/off or dimming from almost unconstrained locations.

    As for RA2 devices and Caseta controls, Lutron has to figure out an appropriate story (way/ means) for these devices to co-exist and mingle instead of segregating them by market segments (low vs high end).
    I am not really a fan of having to use the Pico as a companion dimmer. I'm sure that it works ok but I would just rather have a hardwired switch.

    I totally agree with your last statement.

    Just my opinion but I feel like the Radio RA2 line could (with some tweaking to the device limits and capabilities) be diverged into Homeworks for the large installs and SmartBridge for the medium and small jobs. The Clear Connect devices could then be used for either Homeworks or SmartBridge. Homeworks would be configured with special software whereas SmartBridge would be totally app based configuration. This would also allow for someone to start out with a small SmartBridge and maybe expand to a small Homeworks system if needed using the same devices.

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  9. #6
    Agreed. Unfortunately, the official party line is no

    Upgrade path to Radio RA2

  10. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bktay View Post
    Agreed. Unfortunately, the official party line is no

    Upgrade path to Radio RA2
    Hopefully they will change their thoughts on that. The SmartBridge meets all my software needs (Honeywell Wifi thermostat integration, free app with remote access, 3rd party integration, DIY installation) but not the hardware needs (limited device choices).

  11. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgjohnson View Post
    However, I'm still a bit skeptical. As a technology guy, I'm sensitive to what systems are getting more investment - and it seems like right now Lutron is innovating more around the Smart Bridge than the RadioRA system.
    I've made the same observation.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bktay View Post
    As for RA2 devices and Caseta controls, Lutron has to figure out an appropriate story (way/ means) for these devices to co-exist and mingle instead of segregating them by market segments (low vs high end).
    Quote Originally Posted by therockhr View Post
    Hopefully they will change their thoughts on that. The SmartBridge meets all my software needs (Honeywell Wifi thermostat integration, free app with remote access, 3rd party integration, DIY installation) but not the hardware needs (limited device choices).
    Agreed. I just hope they choose to do so.


    Quote Originally Posted by therockhr View Post
    I am not really a fan of having to use the Pico as a companion dimmer. I'm sure that it works ok but I would just rather have a hardwired switch.
    A Caseta wired multi-way switch is coming this quarter.


    Quote Originally Posted by therockhr View Post
    Just my opinion but I feel like the Radio RA2 line could (with some tweaking to the device limits and capabilities) be diverged into Homeworks for the large installs and SmartBridge for the medium and small jobs. The Clear Connect devices could then be used for either Homeworks or SmartBridge. Homeworks would be configured with special software whereas SmartBridge would be totally app based configuration. This would also allow for someone to start out with a small SmartBridge and maybe expand to a small Homeworks system if needed using the same devices.
    Agreed. I think this is how Lutron could move forward...if they choose to. I said something along these lines in this post:

    https://forums.lutron.com/showthread...ull=1#post4954

  12. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by asherrick View Post
    A Caseta wired multi-way switch is coming this quarter
    Awesome! Do you have a link or any more information on this?

  13. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by therockhr View Post
    Awesome! Do you have a link or any more information on this?
    No, sorry. Here's a thread discussing it on the Caseta forum:

    https://forums.lutron.com/showthread...h-release-date

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