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Thread: How to Create Single Group of 3 Switched Circuits?

  1. #1
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    How to Create Single Group of 3 Switched Circuits?

    I had an X10 installation with 3 different light circuits (exterior floodlights) controlled by 3 separate on/off switches, where the 3 switches worked together as a group. In other words, when any of the switches was turned on or off, the other 2 switches would also turn on/off simultaneously. It worked well for >15 years until a lightning strike disabled my home controller and a couple of the switches, etc., so I've been on a journey to replace the entire system.

    I've experimented with a Z-wave based solution, but the synchronization has proven quite unreliable (90% of the time the Z-wave switches sync, but 10% of the time they don't ... ugh).

    My key question: can Caseta switches be paired / grouped to work in sync? And how is this done? (BTW, dimming is NOT needed.) I've been looking on the Lutron forum and through other Lutron documentation, but haven't found the solution that matches my use case (again, this is NOT a 3 way / 4 way use case - each floodlight is on a separate circuit controlled by a separate switch).

    Assistance is greatly appreciated, would like to have some degree of certainty that I can group the switches together before plunking down $$$.

    James

  2. #2
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    Caseta by itself will not do that. You would need a 3rd party program like IFTTT. IFTTT is free but I find it very clumsy to program unless you can use one of their prewritten recipes. Even then it is a challenge.
    LED, Incorporated
    Raleigh, NC 27614

  3. #3
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    There's more options than IFTTT.

    1) If you have an Apple TV you can set up an automation that will control switches based on another switch event.
    2) Any z-wave hub that has Caseta integration and conditional logic (like IFTTT) can probably do the same. Example: SmartThings hub.
    3) There is a different consumer z-wave hub called Hubitat (there are others too like Homeseer) that will integrate more completely with a Caseta Smart Bridge Pro. The Smart Bridge Pro has Lutron's telnet integration functionality. With a Smart Bridge Pro and Hubitat you can control other things in addition to Lutron lights. For example, you could control a light group that has Philips Hue bulbs in addition to Lutron bulbs. Another good reason for a telnet connection is that all processing is local and fast, with no internet connection needed to complete the command.

  4. #4
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    RandyC, BillD, thanks for your replies. Obviously not what I was hoping to learn. I do have a Z-wave hub already (VeraPlus) but integration with Caseta is modest ... and I'm not confident that will provide me the 100% reliability I'm seeking. More relevant to the thread, I really don't want to go outside of Caseta to accomplish the task - whether by Apple TV, IFTTT, Z-wave hub, or any other solution.

    I did ping Lutron technical support, their reply is as follows:

    "You could achieve this in Caseta Wireless, however, the switches themselves would not communicate together. You would need to use Pico remote(s) to communicate with all 3 devices or create a scene/schedule in the Caseta app to turn them all on. The switch model would be PD-6ANS and the Pico would be PJ2-2B-GWH-L01. This Pico could be mounted to a wall with the PICO-WBX-ADAPT."

    So I'm thinking the Caseta solution is:

    1. Wire the 3 circuits together to work off of 1 switch (and obviously disconnecting the feed wires at the other 2 switches)
    2. Replace the other 2 switches with Pico remotes that both trigger the wired switch

    Gotcha is that I will have to tear into my house to access the wiring to hook up 2 of the circuits ... which is why I didn't go this route in the first place.

    Last question - is there a different Lutron solution to this problem (e.g., RadioRA)?

    Again, thanks for the information, and for saving me the $$$.

  5. #5
    I have a few groups that I like to sync control. House front has 3 separate switches . I use a 5 button pico for sync. Can stick it the pick on any wall.
    have 4 banks and 4 switches in family room. Use a scene pico for combos. Unless I misread your use case a pico is a simple solution. And you can even have independent levels if dimming. The wall mount makes it look like a normal switch.

  6. #6
    I do this by creating a scene within the Lutron app. I have several lights and switches under one scene. I hit the on button and all of them come on, hit the off and all of them go off. I also have several setup on timers where it will turn all on or off in a group.

  7. #7
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    I may be missing something but...
    Three switches, three Picos. Each Pico is paired with all three switches.
    No new wiring necessary.
    Or is there a range problem?

  8. #8
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    Rhett - thanks, your response is reassuring. It wasn't clear to me from my search of Lutron documentation and the forum that a Pico on/off remote could trigger a scene, and the response time of the scene. I'm going to go ahead and take the plunge, my Z-wave system and Cooper switches just aren't reliable.

    Walt - the obvious solution is indeed 3 switches and 3 Pico remotes - except for usability, aesthetics, and the capability to control the switches with my Z-wave system (range is not a problem). First, the logical location to turn on/off each of the lights is the existing physical light switch. In other words, the Pico remotes would go where the existing switches are located. But that raises the issue of where to put the Caseta switches, there isn't a blank space in the corresponding junction boxes, and I'm not interested in tearing into the walls. And second, I do want to be able to control the 3 circuits as a group via my Z-wave system. (I've already bridged the 2 systems together successfully.) Or what am I missing?

  9. #9
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    JTcheng - I have several of the Pico switches surface mounted on the wall using the Lutron mounting plates supplied in the starter kit. They look fine, you would never guess there is no box behind them. I was thinking the Caseta wired switches would physically replace the existing switches. You end up with two "switches" (next to each other?) with one controlling a single light and the other (the Pico) controlling all three. A little clumsy looking, I will admit.
    When Rhett says "I have several lights and switches under one scene. I hit the on button and all of them come on, hit the off and all of them go off" does he mean a Pico as the switch? Or that one wired switch can control other wired switches remotely through the Lutron Bridge. That would definitely be useful.
    Either way, the Lutron units have been totally reliable for me for several years.

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