Lutron Caseta Adds Apple Home Automation Functionality
Using Apple HomeKit, Lutron CasÃ©ta wireless lighting and Serena shades, via Smart Bridge home automation gateway, can now be controlled using Siri voice commands.
“Hey Siri… Turn the lights off and put down the shades.”
Lutron Electronics continues to forge ahead with a tight relationship with Apple interfaces for its lighting and shade controls. The company, having already enabled the Apple Watch as an interface, has now announced that the CasÃ©ta Wireless Smart Bridge home automation gateway supports Apple’s HomeKit.
The big news from this integration is that with the HomeKit-enabled Smart Bridge, homeowners can now control their Lutron CasÃ©ta Wireless dimmers using Siri voice commands on their iPhone or iPad. Also, HomeKit enablement allows other developers to write apps to control Lutron lights and shades, as well as integrate them with other devices from other manufacturers.
Beginning today, the Smart Bridge, which is part of the CasÃ©ta Wireless Lighting Starter Kit, is available at the Apple Store for $229.95 retail. The kit includes one CasÃ©ta Wireless Smart Bridge, two CasÃ©ta Wireless dimmers (compatible with dimmable LED, halogen, and incandescent bulbs), two remotes and two pedestals. To add more lights, purchase the CasÃ©ta Wireless dimmer/remote kits, also available at Apple Stores, for $59.95. The sleek packaging also includes the Apple HomeKit logo.
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The CasÃ©ta Wireless Smart Bridge with HomeKit support allows homeowners to control lights in specific rooms or areas. For example, just before bed, a homeowner can tell Siri “turn the lights off” and the CasÃ©ta Wireless Smart Bridge will turn off lights throughout the house. If the homeowner is unsure if the basement light is still on, he or she can ask Siri to check and if so, turn it off.
Impact on Custom Market
In a demo for CE Pro, SSI‘s sister publication, Matt Swatsky, Lutron’s director of product management, showed how lights can be grouped into rooms (groups of lights) or zones (i.e. “upstairs”) inside the HomeKit app and then controlled by Siri voice commands.
“As the global leader in lighting control, Lutron is proud to be among the first to have its HomeKit-enabled product available to homeowners,” says Swatsky. “Support for HomeKit expands the convenience of CasÃ©ta Wireless, making it easier than ever for people to control their lights.”
“HomeKit is not a threat,” he notes. “We know that most people still need a professional to install their lighting and motorized shade controls. There is going to be lots of advertising on home automation in the coming years. That helps everyone in the custom channel.”
Lutron CasÃ©ta Wireless Smart Bridge and dimmers were launched in 2014 as an affordable lighting control solution controllable via a smart device. CasÃ©ta Wireless also controls Lutron Serena battery-powered remote-controlled shades and select thermostats. Among the system’s other touted features are astronomic clock and geofencing capabilities.
The free Lutron App for CasÃ©ta Wireless can be downloaded from the App Store on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. In addition to the Apple Store, CasÃ©ta Wireless products are available at online resellers, lighting showrooms, electrical distributors, and from custom installers and electrical contractors. Serena shades are available online, Home Depot and Lowes, and from local window treatment professionals.
So what should the custom installation channel think of this affordable integration via HomeKit? Swatsky believes ultimately the increased consumer exposure will help elevate custom installation even more.
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