Over a year ago I said this in my Lutron video… If I were moving houses right now, I would
replace all my light switches with Lutron Ohhh, yeah, Definitely didn’t expect to
move so soon, I guess it’s time to put my money where my mouth is! If you’ve followed the channel for a while,
you’ll know I’ve used a wide range of smart devices.
Including smart switches. From inexpensive to high end, and everything
in between. If I can save some money and get a less expensive
device, I usually will. Things have slightly changed for me over time
though. Reliability is becoming much more important. If you’ve ever had a smart home device go
offline, not work properly, or become a brick, you know the frustration. It can feel like your smart home is creating
more issues than it’s solving. That’s why Lutron really stood out to me
when I originally tested and reviewed it.
Lutron was EXTREMELY reliable. If you don’t believe me, go read the comments
on my last video, but… does that reliability REALLY justify the cost? There’s plenty of other solid smart light
switches out there. Some of them may have even more features and
cost less. Later in this video, I’ll get into why some
smart devices DO cost more. Spoiler, it’s not because of corporate greed. This was something I spent a lot of time thinking
about while I was moving into my house. We were budgeting all the new home expenses
and wondering if spending thousands of dollars on Lutron dimmers and shades would be worth
To help me figure out where I should spend
my money, I thought about what smart devices I use the most on a regular basis. For me, lights are at the top of the list. So we decided we wanted to invest in smart
lighting that will last a long time. We finally were like okay, let’s do it,
let’s spend a lot on Lutron dimmers. So far, it’s been great. My family loves them and they have had zero
issues. They are not perfect though. The buttons are difficult to press sometimes,
and I wish I could run other smart home scenes with multiple button presses.
That’s why I’m also using a few OTHER
smart light switches as well. Like Brilliant, Zooz and Inovelli. Since they can control smart light bulbs and
run scenes. Sooo technically I’m not getting Lutron
for every switch, but there will be a lot. I also get asked often my thoughts on getting
a bunch of less expensive WiFi switches like Kasa. Honestly, I haven’t had 30+ WiFi switches
installed at once, but if I had to guess it probably would be fine. Especially if you have good WiFi. I’m basically paying more money to play
it safe, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right thing for everyone. When it comes to smart shades, we had a similar
discussion between Lutron and IKEA. The Lutron Serena shades are highly rated,
but very pricey. The IKEA shades were much less expensive and
are also highly rated. What it really came down to though, was the
window size. The IKEA shades have a few widths to choose
from, but only up to 48 inches. Lutron on the other hand are custom built
for any width up to 96 inches.
The two rooms I really wanted smart shades
in, the theater room and my bedroom, have windows which are 70 inches wide. That pretty much ruled out IKEA. So, we ended up going with Lutron in those
two rooms and IKEA for a few of the other rooms with smaller windows. Lutron did give us a small discount for the
shades, but we still paid a lot of money for them. But let me tell you, these things are awesome! When I set them up I was wondering how I was
going to set the length like you do on the IKEA shades.
I connected them to the smart bridge and turns
out, you don’t have to set the length at all! Lutron does that for you, so it just works
right out of the box! That really surprised me. The shades are also WAY quieter than I expected…like
nearly silent. Especially compared to IKEA. Now that we have used them both for a while,
it’s easier to see why Lutron costs more. Besides the higher build quality, the Lutron
shades have just worked flawlessly.
They are also really easy for my wife Aly
to control with the Pico remote. Especially since you can use it to only open
them partially. The IKEA shades have also worked well, but
there have been a few hiccups, and the button can’t partially open them. The Lutron shades just feel more like a premium
product that you can customize exactly how you want. In the end we are happy we spent a little
more for these in a few rooms. The big question is, why do products like
Lutron, Philips Hue and others cost so much? Lutron Caseta came out around 7 years ago
and the prices haven’t really come down much, if at all. So why are they still so expensive? The reason is, software, not hardware. As some of you know I was a full stack developer
for years and I saw first hand how much it costs to develop and maintain quality software. I would develop an iOS app and then Apple
would make some changes and break everything.
APIs would change and require updates. The list goes on, and the same thing happens
in the smart home space. When Lutron Caseta first came out, it wasn’t
compatible with many other companies. Since then, they’ve added more and more
to where it’s compatible with nearly everything now. For example, they recently made it so you
can integrate your Ring doorbell or outdoor cameras to turn on the Lutron lights if someone’s
at the door. Yes you can do this with a hub pretty easily,
but if you don’t have one you could use their integration instead.
When you buy into solid companies like Lutron,
the chances of it being supported and improved down the road are much higher. Okay so it might feel like I’m only saying
a bunch of nice things about Lutron because I’m obsessed with them. That’s not true. Lutron and more expensive devices are not
for everyone. There’s nothing wrong with buying less expensive
devices and sometimes they can work just as good. But the reason companies like Lutron are important
is that they are raising the bar for the whole smart home space. There are too many smart home companies that
fail. We need smart home devices that are well-supported
and good long term investments. One way we have lessened the blow of buying
so many Lutron switches is by spacing out when we buy them. Pretty much every time I go to Home Depot
I buy a few more switches.
That way I don’t have a huge pile of switches
to install in one day. Then I can slowly automate them as I set them
up. I know it’s hard to pull the trigger on
getting more expensive smart home tech, but when it’s high quality it can make a huge
difference. There’s still plenty of smart home tech
that I spend less money on and it’s really up to you what’s worth it. Hey Reed, let’s take a break from buying
light switches. I’ll sell a few things around the house. Okay but what are you going to sell? All right kids, come on we’re having a picnic
for dinner! Where’s the table? Where’s the table?