Continuing our next part of the article series for smart home controllers, smart home hubs reviews, we will move on to another product by another big player in the industry: the Lutron Caseta Wireless Smart Bridge.
Lutron, especially for high-end lighting enthusiasts, should be a well-known brand, having been the leading manufacturer of lighting controllers since 1950s. They entered the modern era of the smart home and smart lighting with their ClearConnect protocol and Caseta wireless system, which have been really popular during the past few years. In this review, we will discuss the Smart Bridge of the Caseta line, which is technically a smart home hub.
Being an experienced lighting controller manufacturer, you will expect the Caseta Smart Bridge to have an exceptional performance regarding lighting control, and you are not wrong. In fact, the Caseta Smart Bridge was first designed to supplement the Caseta lamp dimmers with automation and scheduling and was one of the first smart dimmers available back then in 2014, when it was first released.
Being a relatively old product, as mentioned, released back in Mid-2014, you might expect the Caseta Smart Bridge to be obsolete. However, this product has been continuously updated by Lutron, and thus has stayed relevant even for today’s market.
The price tag, as well as the updated features, might as well increase its overall value over other competing products, such as the Samsung SmartThings or Wink Hub 1 and 2. If you are looking for any Lutron L-BDG2-WH Smart Bridge review, make sure to take another look whether it’s written before 2016, as there are differences in features and price.
Obviously, Lutron Smart Bridge will support all of Lutron’s products (which is quite a lot), and all products with Lutron ClearConnect protocol. Now, it also supports Apple HomeKit and HomeKit devices, such as Honeywell Thermostat and Nest products. The Lutron bridge will also support geofencing, detecting whether you are in or out of the house via your phone’s Wi-Fi connection to trigger events and scenes.
So far so good, but how well will it fare against newer products out there? Let us begin our Lutron L-BDG2-WH Caseta Wireless Smart Bridge review by discussing its key features.
Lutron ClearConnect and Calista Wireless
Lutron is one of the biggest players in the smart lighting industry, and the native integration with its products and the infamous Calista Wireless technology is surely a huge plus point over the competing products.
The Apple HomeKit is increasingly popular nowadays, and the integration of HomeKit and HomeKit-supported products further increase the Lutron Smart Bridge value. Considering low price, it might as well be the cheapest HomeKit-enabled hub available today.
Reliable Smart Lighting Control
Being an experienced and well-renowned manufacturer of lighting controllers since 1950s, the Lutron SmartBridge performed really well in terms of smart lighting control, automation, and scheduling. Not to mention, Lutron has some of the best dimmers and lighting controllers available in the market, which are natively supported.
The smartphone app is very intuitive, and in our opinion, on of the best among similar products from different manufacturers. Very easy to add more devices, modules, and to schedule your automation.
Our package for the Lutron smart bridge comes with a 5-button PICO remote, which is very thin and well-made. First things first, the package won’t include a Lutron dimmer, so if you are planning to get one, you will have to make a separate purchase.
The in-box instruction manual is very comprehensive, showing you how to connect the Lutron Smart Bridge to your power outlet and your network router. As usual, you will then need to download the smartphone or tablet app, available for both iOS and Android. Yes, you can even use an Android device to control Apple HomeKit with this product, if that is your preference, so it is nice to know.
Now, we have mentioned that adding the device to the app is very easy, but how easy will it be? Here, you simply select it from a list, and the Lutron app will show an animated illustration to guide you through the process. It is extremely intuitive, and in our opinion, a lot better compared to the clunky processed you can find on the Samsung SmartThings or Wink Hub.
The Lutron Smart Bridge only support native devices and some HomeKit-enabled device, which seems limited, but there are actually hundred of products available. With that native integration approach, adding devices and customizing the automation is very easy and well-integrated.
If you have a fairly complex setup for your smart home, the scenes adjustment feature on the Lutron app will be especially helpful. Again, the app is very intuitive, and even if you are just starting with smart home products, scheduling, and automation, we believe you won’t find any hiccups during the process.
Overall, even though the Lutron Smart Bridge has a fairly limited third-party integration, it is very easy to use. Sometimes fewer options are better, and Lutron, HomeKit, Nest, and Honeywell products are definitely some of the better options out there.
- Native integration with Lutron devices and controllers, as well as HomeKit-enabled products
- Very well made both in software and hardware department
- One of the best regarding smart lighting control and automation
- Great SmartPhone app and PICO remote
- Limited third-party integration, as of now, no integration with security camera products
- Each time you open the app, there is a slight delay in reconnecting to the Smart Bridge
You Should Get This If
If you are a complete beginner of smart home products, the Lutron Smart Bridge is a very easy to use the hub to cater your learning process. Doesn’t mean it’s not good for veterans, though, especially if you used a lot of Lutron products like dimmers and controllers.
The native integration of Lutron devices allows better smart lighting control and automation, among the best out there.
Let’s end our Lutron Smart Bridge review with a verdict:
Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge is a fairly old product, released back in mid-2014. However, it is constantly updated and is still one of the best products especially regarding lighting control and automation. It provides a great value, especially if you already owned or planning to use Lutron dimmers and other devices.