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Smart home lighting has been around for awhile now, and Lutron was one of the first to offer smart automated lighting to residential homes. Outside of its standard switches and dimmers, Lutron offers two wireless systems for home automation: Caseta and Maestro Wireless.
Both Caseta and Maestro wireless systems use the Lutron Clear Connect technology to offer an enjoyable user experience with its remote control of switches and dimmers. The two systems have a lot of commonalities and are very similar to one another; however, there are some significant differences between them.
Below we’ll examine some of the similarities and differences between the two systems. You’ll discover that the two systems do have a few features in common, but there are several benefits with the Caseta wireless system that might be too much to give up for your smart home lighting needs.
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Caseta vs. Maestro Wireless Comparison
You have the ability to control both the Caseta and Maestro wireless systems via a Pico Wireless Remote Control. The Pico Wireless remote gives you the ability to turn your lights off and on and dim them from anywhere in your house. As long as you are within 100 feet of your switch, the remote should have no problems working.
With both Caseta and Maestro systems, you can connect up to 9 Pico remote controls to one switch or dimmer if the need arises. Using the Pico provides a great way to automate the lighting in your smart home, with the added convenience of controlling them from anywhere.
For instance, if you are ready for bed and you forgot to turn off the lights somewhere in the house, grab your Pico wireless remote and turn them off.
It’s at this point that Caseta’s system takes things to the next level. With Caseta, you not only have the ability to control your lights with the Pico remote control, but you can also control them from your smartphone.
To use your smartphone, you need either a Smart Bridge Pro or a Lutron Smart Bridge. You connect these bridges to your internet connection, which allows you to use your smartphone as a remote. You will usually find the Lutron Smart Bridge included in the kit when you purchase a Caseta system.
Using the Smart Bridge Pro allows you to connect fifty devices to the system, controlling them all via the Lutron application on your smartphone. The benefit of the Smart Bridge Pro is that now you don’t even need to be in your home to control the lights. Now you can control them from anywhere, as long as you have internet.
Using the smartphone application, you have the ability to create schedules and turn your lights off and on from anywhere. Lutron also provides a feature in its app called Smart Away, that makes it look like you’re at home, randomly turning certain lights on and off throughout the day and in the evening.
The problem with the Maestro system is that its dimmer switches do not play well with Lutron’s Smart Bridge Pro. This means that you’ll have limited control over your lighting system in comparison to Caseta’s dimmers. You’ll only have the ability to control the Maestro switches and dimmers through the Pico remote controls.
If you’re the type of person who prefers to have control over your lights no matter where you are, then Caseta’s wireless system is the option for you. You can choose between your smartphone or the Pico remote to control your lights from anywhere you have an internet connection.
The Caseta wireless system provides single, three-way, and multiple location control types, where the Maestro system offers single, multiple, and wireless multi-location options. While this isn’t a significant difference between the two systems, it’s worth mentioning if you use multiple location settings with your wireless lighting.
You can use both the Caseta and Maestro system dimmers with a few third-party motion sensors if you prefer to go that route. Bear in mind that Lutron’s sensors are only going to work with Caseta dimmers and switches in standalone apps only. These sensors will not work with Lutron’s Smart Bridge Pro or Smart Bridge devices, even though they might be part of Caseta’s wireless system.
Unfortunately, even though you are able to use the Lutron sensors with the Caseta system switches and dimmers, you will not be able to access them through the Lutron smartphone app. This is because the sensors are unable to connect directly to the Smart Bridge.
There are, however, additional third-party sensors that are compatible with Caseta’s system which give you more automation capabilities throughout your home. For instance, the Ecobee thermostats can connect to Lutron’s Smart Bridge, which provides you with the ability to control the temperature in your home.
At the same time, you can have the Ecobee devices control the motion sensors to turn off/on the lights when you leave or enter a room.
Maestro, on the other hand, does not have the ability to work with third-party integrations. Its switches and dimmers will only integrate with Lutron sensors.
Smart Home Integration
As was previously mentioned, the Caseta system has the ability to communicate with both the Pico remote control and Lutron’s Smart Bridge. What’s nice about the Lutron Smart Bridge is that it can support smart home automation. It will work with voice controlled devices like Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Apple Watch, and Apple HomeKit.
Your Lutron Caseta system will also support smart home devices like EcoBee and Honeywell thermostats, Nest Cams, Nest thermostats, and Nest smoke detectors. Additionally, you’ll have support for smart hubs like Samsung’s SmartThings platform, and Wink.
Last, but not least, the Caseta system will work with If This Then That (IFTTT). IFTTT allows you to create customized recipes for your smart home products (including your lights), to behave a certain way based on a specific event or trigger. For instance, if the smoke alarm starts going off, you can set Caseta to turn on all the lights.
On the flip side, Maestro’s system does not offer smart home integration. The only device it works with is the Pico remote control. It would be a great feature to have if Maestro added smart home support and capabilities, unfortunately, at this time, it does not.
The cost difference between the Caseta wireless system and the Maestro wireless system is negligible. This type of pricing makes little sense, especially given that the Caseta offers too much more in the way of features and integration options than the Maestro system.
It’s true that the Pico remote prices are the same for both wireless lighting systems, but for Caseta you’ll also need to purchase the Lutron Smart Bridge or Smart Bridge Pro. As mentioned previously, the Smart Bridges have the ability to handle up to 50 wireless devices, not to mention the additional benefits it provides.
Lutron Caseta Wireless System vs. Maestro Wireless System
Throughout the article, we’ve looked at some of the similarities, and many of the differences between the two wireless lighting system. Sometimes it’s easier to make a determination about which system is right for you when you see them side-by-side. Below is a table that allows you to see a high-level comparison between the two wireless lighting systems.
|Caseta Wireless||Maestro Wireless|
|Lighting Control Options||Pico Wireless Remote Control/Lutron Smartphone Application||Pico Wireless Remote Control|
|Dimmer/Switch Types||One location/Two locations/Wireless Multiple Location||One Location/Muti-Location/Wireless Multiple Location|
|Lutron Smart Bridge Support||Yes||No|
|Wink Hub Support||Yes||No|
Lutron Caseta vs. Maestro – Conclusion
The choice between the Caseta wireless lighting system and the Maestro wireless lighting system isn’t a very difficult one. Unless you have an affinity for the Maestro system, you’ll be much better off with the Caseta wireless system.
The Caseta systems have much better control options with both the Pico remote control and the Lutron smartphone application and offers smart home integration features like support for Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Caseta also gives you the ability to control your lighting system from anywhere you have an internet connection through its smartphone application.
If you’re building your smart home from scratch, the Caseta wireless system is a great starting point. You can easily build your automated home around Lutron’s Smart Bridge by integrating with many different devices already available on the market. Not to mention the added ability to create and customize recipes with IFTTT.
However, if all you need is a simple local system that controls your lights, and you don’t intend to add additional smart home devices, then you might be better off going with the Maestro wireless system. It’s not quite as expensive as the Caseta wireless system and lets you control everything within 100 ft of the Pico remote control.
Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn’t have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!