Sunday, October 1, 2023

The new Lutron Caséta Diva smart dimmer switch does not require a neutral wire

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Lutron Caséta has added two new smart switches to its range. The switches are modeled after the existing non-smart “Diva” paddle switch style, giving the signature line of smart switches a more traditional look. Lutron Caséta is probably one of the most reliable DIY smart lighting systems available today; it uses a proprietary protocol powered by Lutron’s smart hub instead of Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

The new $69.95 Diva Smart Dimmer is a wired paddle switch with a slider for dimming, and the $59.95 Claro Smart Switch is a standard wired on-off switch. Both products look like traditional paddle switches, and other than a tiny LED light, there’s nothing to label them as “smart.” like with the existing Caseta smart dimmer, the new Diva smart dimmer does not require a neutral wire. (Although the Claro switch does.)

The switches will be available at The Home Depot starting today, September 12. Lutron also sells a Diva Smart Starter Kit for $119.95, which includes the dimmer, a Lutron Smart Hub, a wireless Pico remote, and a matching faceplate.

The Lutron Caséta Diva smart dimmer is modeled after the traditional paddle dimmer that Lutron has been selling for many years.
Image: Lutron

A new old look

The look of the new devices is more in line with what most of Lutron’s competitors are doing in this area; Eve and Leviton all recently launched new switches that stick to the more traditional paddle switch style.

Lutron says the reason for the new design is that it fits better in most homes, where paddle switches are common. “Some people find the existing Caséta aesthetic too contrasting with their existing switches,” said Adam Mack, Caséta product manager. The edge. “We wanted to give homeowners another option.” However, Mack says that Lutron is not discontinuing its existing Caséta style and will continue to develop it.

The current Caséta design has distinctive icons on the switches and multiple buttons, plus a hold function that may confuse those unfamiliar with it. The Diva dimmer uses the more traditional paddle design for on-off, plus you can hold down the paddle to slowly dim out or use the slider for precise dimming. An LED light bar shows the dimming level and there is a preset function to return the light to where it was before.

The new Lutron Caséta switches (left) alongside the current design.
Image: Lutron

Most notably, however, both new switches will work with wired three-way and multi-location switches, something existing Caséta switches don’t do unless you add a wireless Pico remote. This means you can replace one wired switch with a Diva smart dimmer or Claro smart switch, and the existing mechanical switch (or switches) will continue to work as expected. (Some additional wiring is required.)

Lutron will also be launching an accessory switch for new installations later this year, which will work like a mechanical switch but will come with special wiring. It also does not count as a device on the Lutron system (which has a maximum of 74 devices). Up to 10 accessory switches can be linked to one Caséta smart switch.

The Diva and Claro work with all existing Caséta products — including the Lutron Pico Remote Control to add a second wireless switch or remote – and the Claro works for ceiling fan on-off control, too. The switches are available in six colors, including white, ivory and black.

The new switches require the $80 Lutron Smart Hub to add connected features such as scenes and schedules using the Lutron app and to connect to other smart home platforms such as Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, Amazon Alexa and Google Home.

Lutron is involved with Matter, the new smart home standard, but has not announced how or when it will support it. “Today we support all the major systems that Matter will integrate with, and we remain committed to supporting those platforms,” said Mack. his property Clear Connect protocol is a low-power, long-range protocol similar to Thread – one of Matter’s main protocols. It seems unlikely that Lutron would abandon that in favor of another technology at this stage, especially since its products already work with most smart home platforms.

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