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Thread: multiple smart bridge pros in the same house?

  1. #1
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    multiple smart bridge pros in the same house?

    in a larger home, can and should multiple caseta smart bridge pros be used?

  2. #2
    Authorized Lutron Contributor
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCHAMMER View Post
    in a larger home, can and should multiple caseta smart bridge pros be used?
    Multiple bridges could be used in the same house, but there are some unfavorable situations if you do this:
    1. You would need to have a separate email address for each one.
    2. They won't talk to one another.
    3. The app can only connect to one bridge at a time. To switch between systems with the app, you would need to log out of one system, and then log into the other system.

    If you have a larger house, I would highly recommend using a Radio Ra2 system instead.

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  4. #3
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    Thank you for the feedback. I tried a single Caseta SBP and it reaches some of my highest priority locations - Its range is much more than the advertised 30ft. I'll monitor reliability for a while before attempting more switches with the Caseta system.

  5. #4
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    This is a timely post. I have a RR2 repeater and planned on rolling that out (controlled by Elan g!)... I just couldn't stomach $5k worth of switches and stumbled on Caseta last week. Elan g! just started supporting Caseta in their latest release.

    I've been incredibly happy with Caseta. The price point and performance have been great. I also have dimmers well beyond 30' and they work fine. Since everything integrates through Elan g! I plan to add another Smart Bridge Pro if I reach the distance or 50 device limit.

    So far, I couldn't be happier. It's very difficult to justify RR2, especially given all the flexibility you have when integrating Caseta into a home automation system. Will continue reporting back!

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian W. View Post
    3. The app can only connect to one bridge at a time. To switch between systems with the app, you would need to log out of one system, and then log into the other system.
    While the Lutron app can only connect to one Bridge at a time, any HomeKit app can connect to any amount of Bridges simultaneously. So while you will need the Lutron app to setup your devices, you do not need it to control your devices.

  7. #6
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    I strongly recommend producing a Caseta Smart Bridge Extender/repeater. For the reasons above, many of us like the Caseta system. With the move towards whole home solutions, thirty feet is an unacceptable limitation. Many other product lines use wifi to communicate, integrating the entire home seamlessly. Why would Lutron not want to move forward in this market rather than be phased out by this ridiculous limitation. A repeater, simple to produce and cheap. Please make it.

  8. #7
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    I work with and love both Ra2 and Caseta. Lutron will probably never increase the range or device limits. Caseta faces issues in larger systems. There are ways around them, such as illustrated above. However you still end up with a more complex system that needs programming too complex from an handheld device... To sum it up a little differently that previously explained elsewhere on this forum.

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  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Russmd View Post
    I strongly recommend producing a Caseta Smart Bridge Extender/repeater. For the reasons above, many of us like the Caseta system. With the move towards whole home solutions, thirty feet is an unacceptable limitation. Many other product lines use wifi to communicate, integrating the entire home seamlessly. Why would Lutron not want to move forward in this market rather than be phased out by this ridiculous limitation. A repeater, simple to produce and cheap. Please make it.
    There seems to be a 'stovepipe' effect of segmenting the markets for the different lines. It's a shame, as their technologies and products are far and away superior to many other lighting solutions. Unfortunately those silos of isolation are perhaps an impediment to progress in the emerging modern market of IoT and residential automation. Made worse by the unspoken reality that all the product lines are using the exact same RF technologies. The only thing preventing cross-product-line implementations is Lutron itself. They're clutching mightily to a sales & marketing strategy that has worked for them. It would seem their Titanic sees no reason to change course.

    As for WiFi, clearly you've never dealt with it in a larger home or one with a lot of WiFi congestion. I don't say this to be insulting, just that it's an awful transport for lighting. Most residential IP networks are just not going to handle it, certainly not to Lutron's level of expectations & excellence. Zigbee suffers from being in the same part of the 2.4gHz spectrum. Lutron's use of lower power, smaller densities and 431 mHz is more of a benefit than a hindrance in this regard.

    The Titanic analogy, well, Caseta are the folks in steerage, RA2 at least has portholes and HWQS doesn't concern itself with these petty things.

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  12. #9
    Here is my attempt, so far, on getting past the Caseta limitations, (breaking out of the "stovepipes") without having to
    1. Pay tens of thousands for RadioRA2 or HWQS, AND without having to
    2. Relinquish complete control to some dealer because the Users can't make any significant changes to the system.


    Current Configuration:
    (Lots more coming as time permits)

    - 90 of a planned 110 Caseta devices installed.
    - 3 HoneyWell WiFi Thermostats (not HomeKit compatible, but controllable with iOS through Lutron Smart Bridge Pro.)
    - 9 OneLink Smoke/CO detectors that are HomeKit compatible

    Smart Bridges
    I have a 5000 sq ft house and so it was clear that one smart Bridge was not going to cut it in terms of RF coverage or the number of devices. Thus, I have three Smart Bridge Pro 2's.

    Control
    I tried controlling them with Apple Home, (with iOS 10 and Apple TV) El Gato Eve and Home Smart Home Automation.

    The Good
    - Can link devices into scenes and triggers / timeclocks despite the devices being on different Smart Bridges.
    - The RF linkage was solid as a rock and extremely reliable, as advertised.
    - Pretty simple way to overcome the designed in shortcomings of the Caseta product line (50 devices and only one bridge).
    - NOT ONE single device failure has occured with all 90+ devices.......in sharp contrast to my Insteon experience.
    - All devices attached via the Lutron Bridge and App were immediately recognized as accessories on all three iOS / Smartphone / SmartTablet apps. No need to add devices twice.
    - Timers, scenes and automations work without access to the internet, with the exception of the Lutron App control of the WiFi Thermostat. NOTE: Only Apple HOME had the ability to execute automations set up on an iOS device, when that iOS device was not on the LAN. But this only came with iOS 10 and Apple TV.

    The Not So Good
    - The GUI...... names of devices are only partially displayed in some of the apps and makes it hard to determine exactly which device is being controlled. Other apps put "Lutron" or "Caseta Wireless XXXXX" at the front of every device name.......making for very long names.....bit of a nit, not a show-stopper, but frustrating. Especially when I have to scroll through 90+ devices.
    - None of the apps worked more than about 60% of the time when remote, ie not on the LAN. (To be fair, poor AT&T coverage in my area could be a driver here).
    - For turning a few things on/off the iOS devices are OK. But for setting up anything more than rudimentary triggers, timers, timeclocks, scenes, etc etc these devices appear to be pretty limited in capability and to some extent by the limited screen size. These apps are first gen......expect much better down the road.


    Dedicated Hardware Controller

    I now have the HomeSeer S6 Pro / HS Touch with the Caseta Plug-In, as well as the Honeywell WiFi thermostat plug-in. More plug-ins coming as I add devices.

    The Good
    - Incredibly flexible system, my initial testing (about 1 week) would indicate that this is the Maserati of the DIY Home Automation Ecosystem. I haven't even begun to explore all the options available, nor all the hundred plus plug-ins, and this includes AppleHomeKit, Amazon Echo, Z-wave, Zigbee, PLM / Insteon, RadioRA2, UPB, WiFi, etc etc. This means I can eventually control, among other things, Daiken split a/c units, Mist-Away Mosquito misting system, irrigation system, Sunsetter electric shades, and my pool / jacuzzi.

    The Not So Good
    - The S6 Pro is NOT cheap, but HomeSeer does have much cheaper variants. So if you are limited to controlling lights, HVAC, and maybe a lock or two, you can get away with a cheaper version.
    - You have to be a DIY'er and a bit of an IT geek, or have access to an IT geek. I struggled through with my limited IT skills, and patient IT geek friend.
    - As far as I can tell, all Lutron Caseta devices have to be added via the the Lutron app and the bridge, and then added again through the HomeSeer system........can be pretty time consuming. But the scary thing is if a smart bridge dies........installing a new one could take hours / days to reattach the devices, and get all the device names correct, and fix any event / scene / timer issues that pop up.

    All in all, this HomeSeer dedicated HomeTroller appears to be on a path to provide me with a very flexible system, both functionally and with respect to available interfaces......

    No significant testing of the HS Touch, smart phone/tablet app, yet................. Will keep you posted.

    Justin

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  14. #10
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    Any user can program a RA2 system up to 100 devices, on a single repeater. To go with added devices there's a training class. This is a stupid requirement and needlessly scares people away. Granted, RA2 is treated like the red-headed stepchild with regard to lots of new things coming to Caseta first. Another dumb move. HWQS is great stuff... but no on the device price-points and integration costs. Just... no.

    I've got Homeseer with both the Caseta and the RA2 plug-ins. It works reasonably well, if a bit last-generation UI-wise. There's nothing time consuming about the import process. Give it a repeater IP address and it imports straight from there. It also handles changes made on the RA2-side without redoing everything. Basically just import again and any unchanged devices will stay the same with only new ones imported. If a repeater died you'd only have to use the RA2 software to load the configuration onto the new repeater and give it the same IP address as the old one. Nothing in Homeseer would change at all. Don't know how Caseta would handle it as I only use that for some plug-in modules and haven't done much to investigate/push the limits of it.

    I've had nice results using several Amazon Echo units to command Homeseer for lighting and more.

    The Lutron app itself is largely useless unless you want only basic control. If you want anything fancy you're using something else.

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