DIY “Smart Home” – Review of hub Lutron Smart Bridge

DIY “Smart Home” – Review of hub Lutron Smart Bridge

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    Not so long ago a famous market automation company Lutron also decided to enter the market of low-cost devices such as “smart home Do it yourself” with its hub, where it plans to compete with rivals like Wink, SmartThings, Insteon, Archos, Logitech Harmony etc.

    And indeed, as Lutron is one of the leaders in the field of control systems and light curtains, both of these areas can greatly benefit from the addition of communication and Internet access. Let’s take a closer look to this device.


    Compatibility

    If you are already present in the home products Lutron, you will undoubtedly be useful, such a device, given its support communication technology Lutron Clear Connect and reasonable (as said by the manufacturer) cost.

    The company currently sells two versions of the hub – Smart Bridge and Smart Bridge Pro, which differ in the number of supported devices and price: the Pro version will cost $ 200, while the standard cost $ 120.

    Smart Bridge simultaneously supports up to 50 devices and is compatible with products such Lutron, as wireless dimmers Caseta (recessed and outlet), remote controls Pico, as well as remotely controlled curtains and Serena Sivola QS Triathlon (version Smart Bridge Pro).

    In addition, the new hub can work with LED “intelligent” lights GE Telligent (hit the market in early 2015), wireless thermostats Honeywell, iPort products and Savant.

    The system can interact with professional building automation solutions from companies such as Remote Technologies Incorporated (RTI), Universal Remote Control (URC) and Control4, and integrates with a range of security systems, in particular the application Alarm.com and ELK (version Pro, the full list on can be found at Caseta).

    The list is pretty limited, so if you are not a follower systems Lutron, which are already implemented in your home, it is likely this will be a hub for you not a very good choice.

    Instead of protocols such as Z-Wave or Zigbee, or even WiFi, Smart Bridge uses the Caseta, a variation of its own wireless system Clear Connect. The system has significant limitations – all managed devices should be within 9 meters from the hub.

    Design and installation

    Hub Smart Bridge is a small square box of size 70 x 70 and 30 mm high. It’s made of shiny white plastic with a thin neck round bottom part, which is installed lights to indicate the status of the device.

    It is assumed that the hub is placed near the home network router for connection to which the rear portion of the hub has a port Ethernet. There is also a power connector and a single button, which allows you to connect various devices to the Smart Bridge.

    Installation of a hub to a primitive simple. However, it is described in the attached instructions to the device a one where you just asked to download the app on your smartphone Lutron running iOS (6.0 or higher) or Android (4.0 and above), which actually will guide you through the installation process.

    Once you download the application and create an account, you must connect the hub to the router via a cable attached Ethernet. Then you connect the Smart Bridge to the mains and the app will start searching for a hub that is connected to the network. However, the developers forgot to mention an important point that your smartphone must be connected to the same wireless network as the hub to this search a success.

    Installation takes about 10 minutes.

    Application

    The interface is simple and straightforward. The main screen is divided into two main categories: Devices and Scenes. You can add extra options here, there is a special icon on the screen. This icon provides you with several options in a menu: Add Device – Help – Output – Settings.

    Add your devices is easy. Select “Add new device” and the application will guide you through a few steps, allowing you to do it. Each device after connecting automatically receives the appropriate icon, and you are invited to name it, to better distinguish between similar devices in different rooms.

    When the device is added to the system, manage it quite easily – in the menu every registered gadget appear appropriate functions.

    But the most useful is the ability to create scenes of these devices. For example, you can think of a scene that allows you to automatically open the curtains in the bedroom at the time when you usually wake up. Or create a scene that closes the curtains and turn off the light in the house, after you go away from it. All of these scenes can be controlled manually or automatically according to a specific schedule that you had created.

    In addition to these basic functions, the app does not offer anything more. For those looking for simplicity, without frills, this is obviously and correctly. But definitely, you can not get as many options as proposed application hub SmartThings, which, for example, can switch the action based on a variety of different events.

    Unfortunately, there is no support and internet service IFTTT, which allows the use of various web applications and devices to create automatic triggers for home automation systems.

    Specifications

    Lutron Smart Bridge

    Parameters

    Power

    5 -300 mA

    Power supply: 5 V – 1000 mA, cable length 1.8 m

    Power consumption

    1.3 W

    Connection

    All devices must be within 9 meters from the hub

    Frequency range: 431.0 MHz -437 MHz

    Internet connection required for initial setup and get updates as well as the date / time

    Compounds

    Cable Ethernet (0,98 m)

    USB (power only)

    Memory in the event of a power failure

    After the power is turned off and when it is restoring the system returns to its previous state

    Conclusions

    If you live in a house that is stuffed compatible dimmers and curtains, the Lutron Smart Bridge is right for you, although it is slightly overpriced for its functionality. It is easy to install and use it very easy to manage connected devices.

    But the weak point of the hub is an insufficient number of devices that support it, so it is probably better to prefer competitive system that is able to work with a large number of communication standards for “smart home”.

    For example, SmartThings supports the WiFi, Z-Wave, ZigBee, can work with IFTTT, and formed around the community of developers are constantly creating new applications. Or the same Staples Connect, which supports its own standard Lutron – Clear Connect, and Z-Wave.

    Buy Lutron Smart Bridge: Amazon.com

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