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Need Help Understanding Lutron Wireless

upstatemike

Senior Member
I'm thinking of migrating some existing Insteon switches to Lutron Caseta but I'm a little confused about Lutron topology. It looks like Lutron assumes a single load switch plus some number of wireless control points without a load to create x-way switches, scenes etc. In my Insteon setup I rely heavily on linking multiple switches with loads together and I don't see how to translate that to Caseta.
 
Example: On the 3rd floor I have about 6 little attic storage side rooms that each have an Insteon switch controlling the lights. For simplicity these are all grouped together so any switch controls them all and this group is linked to a single button on a keypad at the bottom of the stairs so it is easy to make sure all storage lights are turned off as you go downstairs. The other Keypad buttons shut off the third floor hallway and each third floor finished room so everything can be turned off from the bottom off the stairs.
 
How would I replicate this scenario with Caseta switches?
 

picta

Active Member
You can program a Caseta switch to control multiple lights by assigning them to a scene. You will need Pico programmable remotes to replicate "buttons". Make a scene that includes all your attic lights and assign a Pico button to control that scene.
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
I would be fine replacing the keypad at the bottom of the stairs with a Pico switch that turns off a scene that includes all of the third floor lights providing the switch does NOT turn all of the lights on. Can the Pico be programmed so turning it off turns off the scene including all of the lights but turning it on controls a different scene that only turns on the third floor hall?
 
My goal is to make it easy to make sure all lights are off as you exit the third floor but difficult to turn on more lights than you actually need as you go up.
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
Thanks for the link. Where I get confused is that they show all controls as symmetrical, i.e. if there is a button to turn or toggle a scene off then there is also a button or second press to turn it back on. I want to be sure that I can program a button to do an "all off" scene without there being any way to trigger an "all on" . Folks should be able to turn off all lights as they leave but only turn lights on by going to the actual room and turning individual lights on locally as needed.
 

picta

Active Member
The pictures are for engraving that you can get off-the-shelf. You can also get a custom engraving and put whatever you want on each button. Each button of the 4-button remote is programmable.
 
 
 
 

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upstatemike

Senior Member
Thanks, That was the piece of the puzzle I was having trouble gleaning from the literature
One final question:
In the Dining Room I have a switch that controls the wall lights, a three-way switch at the second entrance, and a lamp on a lamp module. These are set up in a scene so that operating either the load switch or the three-way will also control the lamp. In other words operating either switch turns on/off both the wall lights and the lamp.
If I replace the load switch with a Caseta switch, the three-way with a Pico remote, and the lamp module with a Caseta lamp module, will it work the same way? I know the Pico can control a scene that includes the wall lights plus the lamp but will the Caseta switch be able to control the same scene?
 

dontheo

Member
If you really want to make closet or storage space easy to turn on and off, I like to use and alarm contact to trigger the light or a relay to turn on the light in that particular storage area.  Open the door, light comes on. Close the door, light goes off.  May not be possible with your set up or equipment but if it is it is quick an easy using a wireless door contact.
 
T
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
Good suggestion and easy to do with inputs to my Elk M1. Problem is if somebody does not close the door to the storage area the light would stay on. I really need to be able to ensure all lights are off from the bottom of the stairs. The Insteon keypad works OK since it provides visual feedback that stuff is still on and because it is right at the exit it is easy to shut stuff off on the way out. I'm just trying to translate that concept to Caseta.
 
I'm also trying to understand how Caseta works with combinations of lamps and built in-fixtures. In the Dining Room, Living Room, and several Bedrooms, turning on the Insteon load switch at the door also activates lamp modules in the room so the lamps come on with the  ceiling or wall lights. I assume Caseta can be programmed to do the same but all the Lutron literature talks about controlling scenes from Picos and does not discuss how to control them from a load switch.
 

picta

Active Member
Caseta scenes can only be controlled from Pico. This is its most annoying limitation. They don't have load-operating keypads. But what's the issue you having with Insteon as it seems to be working for your purpose?
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
No serious issue but some nagging stuff makes me want to see if there is something better. Main things are:
 
My ISY never seems to have an accurate view of switch states which screws up some of my logic. I suppose I can have it query for status more often to get in sync but with 200 switches I have to decide at what point the extra traffic will cause more problems than it solves.
 
I have some scenes not connected to motion sensors that sometimes get activated by motion sensors elsewhere in the house (like basement all on getting activated by motion sensor in the guest toilet) No amount of factory resetting switches or rebuilding groups has ever been able to solve this.
 
Still have too high a failure rate on switches.
 
Insteon rocker switches do not feel as solid as I would like. I can sometimes press a paddle off center and it fails to operate the light. I really like the look and feel of Caseta switches and the way the on/off switches match the 2 button Pico remotes. (I hate it when secondary switches in 3+ way situations do not look exactly the same as the master load switch.) Radio RA2 would probably be a closer match to Insteon functionality but I don't like those switch styles either.
 

picta

Active Member
I have most of the lights controlled by motion and occupancy sensors, so no need to press buttons even though I do have scene buttons programmed if ever needed. I also like Caseta style, but its functionality is limited. You can only have 50 devices on one hub, and that include remotes. Beyond that you'll need some kind of software bridge, and that can be dicey.
 
In my parent's condo we installed Jetstream switches, they have 3 button keypads is 6 colors, can control a dimmer or a relay and are not as expensive as RadioRA. The system supports up to 256 devices, so in theory you could have 3*256 controllable buttons. Each button can be programmed for load or scene, single or double tap and can send an ASCII string (we use these to operate somfy shades). The switch design is minimalist but blends well with contemporary style. The easiest wireless system to configure by far, very reliable and has been in operation for over 6 years.
 

cobra

Active Member
I agree with you on the Radio RA2.  I keep looking for switches I like as well.  Not a fan of the pico and limitations either.  Still using some UPB and some ZWave at the moment.  I have a couple Cooper ZWave that are the closest to something I like and do ok status reporting.  But I had to add some polling to get full status, which makes installing a lot of them problematic.
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
Reason I am reluctant to look at ZWave is that I worry it will not scale to 200 devices on a single network without inviting serious issues. Also the frequency it uses is problematic for me because I have lathe and plaster walls, metal electrical boxes, and 3 large chimneys at various locations in the center of the house. Also the basement is divided into several rooms with thick stone walls dividing it up.
 
UPB is super solid and I have used it to provide remote control of outbuildings and other situations where no other technology can reach. Just not sure I can find a switch style I can get approved for inside my house.
 
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