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Thread: Spread out in Colorado

  1. #1
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    Spread out in Colorado

    Hi folks.

    I am familiar with the Caseta, as I have an older home with no neutral. So I have several PD-5S-DV-WH controlling outside lights (single pole and three way).

    On this property I have 3 freestanding buildings. I have all of them connected via hard-wired direct-burial ethernet.

    Building 1 - This has my Main Router (managing DHCP) and Caseta Bridge. All items in building 1 connect to the bridge and app well.

    Building 2 - 120 feet away from Building 1, another 25 more to the bridge location. The router here is acting as a network bridge. IP Addresses are assigned from the Main Router in Building 1, so my IP Range is still in the same 192.168.15.x address range. The SSID on that router is the same as well. I can travel from one building to another with smooth wireless handoff.

    Building 3 - Another 150 feet, and other router, configured in the same manner.

    [BLDG 1]---[BLDG 2]---[BLDG 3]

    I have Amazon Alexa working at all three of those buildings, as they connect to the same SSID/WiFi/IP range.

    As I said, Building 1, no problems. Alexa integration ok.

    Building 3 has a Wemo single pole switch that controls an outdoor light. As it connects via wiFi, it connects over the network. No problem. Alexa integration OK.

    NOW THE CHALLANGE BEGINS - Building 2, I installed a few PD-5S-DV-WH switches, expecting the same smooth setup. That's when I realized that the switch talks directly to the bridge, and I am way beyond the range.

    WHAT I DON'T WANT - I don't want to treat this as a separate / 2nd home, as my network and Alexa treat it as one location.

    So, what are my options?

    Would a Lutron Caseta PD-3PCL-WH (acting as a repeater) installed in Building 1 on the second floor closest to Building 2 - PLUS - a Lutron Caseta Lutron Repeater PD-REP-WH in Building 2 work to have the switches recognized?

    [Bridge]-[Dimmer Repeater]-[Repeater]

    Is there anyway that I can leverage that ethernet network connection in Building 2 to talk to the existing bridge in Building 1?

    I look forward to suggestions!

  2. #2
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    All of Lutrons repeaters (HomeWorks, RadioRA, and Caseta) have a stated range of 60 feet from another repeater or processor. That's probably a little conservative but I don't think it would ever stretch 145 feet. I would look at relocating the bridge to reduce the 25 feet and maybe putting the repeater in a landscape box between the two buildings.

    FWIW, RadioRA 2 is ideal for this as the repeaters can communicate via a wired (4-conductor) connection.
    LED, Incorporated
    Raleigh, NC 27614

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reply.

    I can't really move the bridge closer, as it has to have a direct ethernet connection to the router, and the house is nearly all wifi due to age (running ethernet in the walls won't work).

    So from what I saw, I can only use one plug-repeater and one stand-alone repeater. I can't jump one more. (Plus teh price jumps up a lot, even if I could).

    Dead end.

    It looks like I will have to purchase another Lutron Connect Bridge.

    Since I have already worked around the Alexa-in-multiple-locations issue, and since the Caseta App can support multiple bridges on the same email account... I should be able to get voice control working.

    It would be the same as having tow bridges in the same home.

    Any reason that won't work?

    One thing that I hope to do is blast all the exterior lights on at once on all buildings with one voice command. Alexa supports that well.

  4. #4
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    You can have multiple systems in the same home. As part of the initial start up the system will check for interference and select the clearest channel.
    LED, Incorporated
    Raleigh, NC 27614

  5. #5
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    @RandyCI really appreciate your help so far. I hope that you have additional help here.I have received and installed my second Caseta Smart Bridge.1) Did the "add home", and it recognized the Smart Bridge, called the location "Cabin"2) Added the two single pole switches in teh cabin to that bridge. Verified that they work as expected through the Lutron Caseta app on my Samsung Android device.And here's where it gets strange:If I look at the first home / bridge which I have called "Main", in settings/advanced/integration/connections it shows that Main and Alexa are connected. (as they should be)If I look at the second home / bridge (called "cabin"), in settings/advanced/integration/connections it states the following:.......... "Your Lutron system does not have any integration connections set up"Now, one would think, with that type of message, I could the add an integration (like Alexa)... But there is no add capability there. I called Lutron, and they said that that integration happens on the Alexa side.@RandyC - You did say "You can have multiple systems in the same home. As part of the initial start up the system will check for interference and select the clearest channel." So, I am not getting that. At all.If I wanted to add the second Smart Bridge in the same location "main" (assuming a seriously large house), that doesn't seem to be an option in "Add Devices" to add a second Smart Bridge to the same home. Switch, dimmer, repeater, yes. Bridge no.And If I add that second Smart Bridge to the location "Cabin" then it becomes Cabin's first smart Bridge... controlled independently in the Lutron app... but there seems to be no way in the app to me to say: here is my Amazon user name / password ... connect! Finally, if I look at the amazon Alexa page and look at skills... I can see the Lutron skill... and if I disable / enable I then have to choose the Smart Bridge to which I want to connect (Main or Cabin). Can't do both.So... How can I have multiple systems in the same home? I can't see it.---------------------------------------------Remember my intent was to be able to have my Amazon Alexa devices turn on all the exterior lights on buildings "main", "cabin" and "studio" by saying "Alexa Blast Outside On"If these are set up under two Amazon Alexa ID's, then can I still create a group in Amazon Alexa that would span two Alexa IDs / two Lutron Caseta defined homes and assorted devices?Alternatively, is there another smart hub (like SmartThings) that could be a clearinghouse for multiple Smart Bridges and have Alexa see all the devices on both?As you can tell... I'm a bit of a dog-with-a-bone here. I really want to make this happen. I hope you have some magic or software mojo that is the part that I am missing.

  6. #6
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    sorry about the spacing... don't know what happened there.

  7. #7
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    I think Randy meant that having 2 smart bridges relatively near each other would adjust their channels to avoid interfering with each other.

    The issue with two brides and Alexa or Google Assistant is caused by they way the skills work with those services. Each integration forces you to select one Lutron home. There's still a few ways to solve this.

    I think, but haven't seen, that something like SmartThings would work. I know that Apple HomeKit would work. In the Apple HomeKit case, the integration works differently and the Apple HomeKit can connect to both Lutron Bridges. Which lets you use Apple Home controls across both systems. I think I've read, but cannot confirm, that SmartThings works the same way.

    You might be able to use IFTTT to achieve this too, it would at least be easy to try. IFTTT still connects to a single account. I don't have two homes to tell if it then exposes just one home or all homes and devices.

    Assuming it exposes all homes and devices. You would create an IFTTT applet that triggers from an Alexa phrase "Alexa Blast Outside On" that then performs Lutron scenes or turns on individual lights.

    IFTTT still has other restrictions where you can only trigger one action, and this may need two (or three) so you could trigger a scene on each Lutron home. This is solvable though with free IFTTT developer account that lets you create an applet with multiple actions. It's a silly restriction, but at least solvable.

    It should be easy to connect IFTTT to Lutron and see what it exposes.

  8. #8
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    Folks,While I could add yet another band-aid with IFTTT (and dedicate additional hours to learning how IFTTT works, etc.)... this looks like a dead end. * You would think you could have two Smart Bridges in the same home implementation. You cannot. * You would think that you can use the same Alexa login to manage two homes. Because of the way Lutron build their interface, you cannot.Maybe in the future Lutron will support this, but today not.Unless someone has a simple way to do this, I think my course of action will be to go with a different provider for the cabin's needs, as it is not critical as the home is.SmartThings & Wemo switch via Wi-Fi integration to Alexa may be teh way to keep me from going nuts. I think that cabin has been rewired, has a neutral, and I have a Wemo switch... so I will test that.In the meantime, open to any easy shortcuts on making Caseta work.

  9. #9
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    ps: Edge Chromium browser appears to not work with this forum's software. [Enter] / carriage return is just flat out ignored.

  10. #10
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    OK. The two older building seem to have been rewired to code when they were remodeled likely because the wiring was so old (knob & tube, no doubt). As a result, the two outbuildings have wiring with a neutral, so the Wemo switch seems to work great. And it overcomes the multiple home issue (as I am on the same network). I will stick with Lutron Caseta in the main home, where wiring goes back to mid 1960's (no neutral). And this way, I don't have to try to overcome the distance to the outbuildings via a repeater, etc. Thanks for all who read, and thanks to all who tried to help.

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