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Thread: Caseta Shortcomings [opinion]

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Caseta Shortcomings [opinion]

    New to the Caseta system, but not to home control/automation. Here is what I've found lacking for Caseta:
    - Motion and Door/Contact Sensors - Need either a first party Caseta solution or integration with other systems (e.g., SmartThings) that support activating and deactivating lights with motion or contact triggers.
    - Fan Controller - The ON/OFF Neutral Switch Caseta is OK, but really need a variable fan controller.
    - Adjustable fade time - The default fade time on the dimmers is too slow and makes the system feel sluggish. Fade time through Amazon Alexa and Homekit is much better. Or allow toggling fading off altogether.

    Otherwise I've been very pleased with the system, having migrated from Leviton Z-Wave switches using SmartThings. I had much more control with the Leviton/SmartThings system, but the Lutron's don't require neutrals, 3 & 4 way installations are a breeze, and homekit is shaping up nicely.

  2. #2
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    Also, I think having a pro and non-pro hub and switches is confusing. These should all be the same equipment, but provide "pro" tools for advanced programming.

  3. #3
    Nosnhojm,

    While I think the items you call out are important additions to the Caseta system, I think a more important addition is fully supporting the promise of the Caseta system as something that brings Lutron into a multi-vendor environment. No single manufacturer can make quality, price competitive devices that span the entire gamut of what home automation can and should be about. To do this, we need standard application programming interfaces (APIs) that allow hardware manufacturers to connect their devices to a software layer upon which software developers can build a variety of solutions.

    As a big user of Apple products, I'm a fan of HomeKit - just such an API. There are already dozens of manufacturers that support this architecture and it's known for bringing a level of security and interconnectedness not previously seen in such architectures. Just as importantly, this architecture is embedded within the operation of a device I have with me virtually every minute of the day - my phone. As such, it can support geofences and very likely in the near future (if Apple patents and other software initiatives are to be considered) in-home location services that will be able to detect a users presence without the need for motion sensors.

    As I've noted in other conversation threads on this forum, Lutron is doing a great job allowing HomeKit to drive it's hardware through the Lutron Smart Bridge. Where Lutron is falling short is having it's hardware and software be able to drive HomeKit. Better integration here would allow the various switches (including on/off/brighten/dim/favorite/etc.) to drive HomeKit events including the activation of scenes and the triggering of other events. There are currently a variety of excellent home automation apps that support HomeKit, Apple now supports device control via Siri, and--with the upcoming release of iOS 10--there will be an Apple-branded home control app and increased iOS integration. Despite all these great software capabilities, many people (myself included) still want to have good "button-based" control over their home automation. This is where Lutron, with their superior design and manufacturing quality, can play a vital role.

    By fully embracing HomeKit and other APIs that offer the same level of extensibility and security, Lutron can stake out the high ground of switch and lighting control hardware in what is going to be an increasingly multi-vendor, open home automation landscape.

  4. #4
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    I agree about needing an open API for developers, but the restrictions imposed by including homekit support (legal agreements) may limit some of this capability. As for homekit, that too still needs some work. I've used homebridge to integrate various motion and contact sensors into homekit, but the currently available triggers for homekit are very limited. For example, I can create a trigger that turns on a light when motion is detected on a sensor, but there is no way to turn that light back off (after a delay or when motion stops).

    I can see where Lutron and HomeKit are going...I just want them to get there faster :-)

  5. #5
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    As an example of restrictions due to including homekit support, Philips Hue allows you to pair with non-Philips bulbs...however, those bulbs are excluded from discovery by homekit.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Nosnhojm View Post
    As an example of restrictions due to including homekit support, Philips Hue allows you to pair with non-Philips bulbs...however, those bulbs are excluded from discovery by homekit.
    Here's a link provided by another forum user to why Phillips doesn't provide HomeKit support for non-Phillips bulb...

    http://www.developers.meethue.com/do...es-and-homekit

    As I stated in my conversation with that user... Makes perfect sense and would be a major drag were Phillips not making their bulbs available at a price point that is only a bit higher than the cheapest of the clones ($15 vs. $13 on Amazon). Apple is pretty strict about their certifications and I'm just fine with that. Part of what I value in HomeKit is the security layer Apple has put in there to make home automation something that can be trusted.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Nosnhojm View Post
    I agree about needing an open API for developers, but the restrictions imposed by including homekit support (legal agreements) may limit some of this capability. As for homekit, that too still needs some work. I've used homebridge to integrate various motion and contact sensors into homekit, but the currently available triggers for homekit are very limited. For example, I can create a trigger that turns on a light when motion is detected on a sensor, but there is no way to turn that light back off (after a delay or when motion stops).

    I can see where Lutron and HomeKit are going...I just want them to get there faster :-)
    Again, we're in agreement. HomeKit too needs some work. Some of that, for example, automation that can be triggered by events (e.g., motion sensors) and geofences will be appearing in short order via iOS 10. As Apple continues to grow the API, it will provide a better and better platform upon which software vendors can build more complex solutions. This can easily include things like timers to turn lights back off. I think a big growth area will definitely be the addition of additional sensor capabilities that can be used to trigger home automation. Motion sensing is an obvious one, but I'm really looking forward to indoor geolocating capabilities.

    Apple currently supports something known as iBeacons. These are low-energy bluetooth devices that can be had for under $15. By placing a few of these around your house (three or four, more for a really big house) iPhones or Apple Watches can locate where you are to within a couple of feet. With this kind of localization, you won't even need motion sensors for some types of automation. Imagine lights turning on and off as you enter and leave rooms with near zero latency. I'm confident that we'll see this capability in the near future, either as an extension of the HomeKit architecture of via a creative third party that writes an app that utilizes both the HomeKit and iBeacon APIs.

    Home automation has been around for a long time but has, up until now, only been available to people willing to spend thousands of dollars buying into proprietary systems. I think there's a very good chance that this is about to change and become MUCH more mainstream. Should be fun!

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