In this post, we compare the Lutron Caseta vs Maestro, as two of the best options for home automation and lighting...
Ever wondered how you can take control of your lights even when you’re not at home? With a remote-controlled lighting system, you can. Remote-controlled lighting systems allow you to control your lights, from turning them on or off to adjusting their brightness. Even if you’re a few feet away, you can turn the lights off.
Lutron is one of the most popular lighting systems that allow for home automation. It’s known among smart household items, plus the leading brand for wireless remote controls. It has two models you can pick from - the Caseta and the Maestro. Don’t know which one you should get? Read on to know more.
The Lutron Maestro
The Lutron Maestro, or simply, Maestro, is the first model that Lutron produced. It works by using the Pico Wireless Remote Control that lets you control all the lights in your home. As long as you are within 100 feet from the switch, you can control them without having to worry if the remote is working or not.
Can you have more than one Pico remote control? If your house is big and you don’t want to have a hard time bringing the remote control wherever you go, you’ll love the fact that you have more than 9 remote controls. This means that you can place each of these remotes around your home so you can conveniently pick one up and take command.
The Maestro is an early model which is why it’s not compatible with Amazon Alexa or Google Home Assistant. Sure, that’s kind of bothersome if you want to convert your lighting system to a smart one. However, the Maestro still works in an efficient way if you just want a remote control that can control all your lights.
To add to that, the Maestro is affordable. It’s way cheaper than the Lutron Caseta making it an ideal option for those starting out with the whole wireless lighting system.
The Lutron Caseta
Of course, Lutron didn’t stop creating wireless lighting systems. Their next invention was the Lutron Caseta, or simply, Caseta. The Caseta is a much more efficient and attractive mainly because its newer.
The Caseta is a more sophisticated version of the Maestro except that it has the features to match. Your lights will also be controlled by a Pico Wireless Remote Control and can connect up to 9 remotes. However, what the Caseta can do is to allow you to use your smartphone as an additional remote.
Want to know how you can use your smartphone as a remote? It’s simple. All you have to do is use the Smart Bridge Pro or Lutron Smart Bridge which is included in the Caseta’s kit. This acts as a bridge of your phone and your home’s internet connection so that you can control everything with your trusted device. And yes, it works on both Android and iOS.
There’s a lot to love with the Caseta. If you think that controlling it on your phone was enough, that’s only half of what it can offer. It can also be controlled by other smart systems as long as it is supported. In other words, the Caseta can be integrated with smart systems such as the Ecobee thermostat. Now, you can use other third-party devices to control your lights, too.
What else does Caseta do? In terms of control, it allows you to do customized actions with your lights using the IFTTT (If This Then That) system. For example, you want your lights to turn on when the sensor goes on. You can also automate this so you don’t have to manually turn your lights.
Main Differences Between the Maestro and the Caseta
What are the main differences between the Maestro and the Caseta? If you’ve read through the previous paragraphs, you know that there are several striking differences between the two lighting systems. Here they are:
- Control Devices
The first thing you’ll notice with the Maestro and Caseta is that the latter has more devices you can use to control your lights. Aside from the Pico Wireless Remote Control, you can use your phone, third-party controls, and even your very own Apple Watch. Yes, you’ve read that right. Now, controlling your lights can be as easy as pressing icons on your smartwatch.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about the Maestro. Much to many customers’ dismay, the Maestro is only controlled using the Pico Wireless Remote Control. Although it can also be used with the Lutron Smart Bridge or Smart Bridge Pro, it’s not as seamless to do so. You might even encounter a few bugs in controlling your lights.
- Smart Home Integration
To add to the roster of the devices you can use to control your lights, the Caseta also allows for smart home integration. How? It’s compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. If you want to turn your lights on or off, just call out to Alexa and it will do whatever it is you command it to. Not only that, but you can also make use of the IFTTT integration to create custom rules that you can activate with Google Assistant or Alexa.
This is another feature that the Maestro doesn’t have. You might not even consider it as part of your “smart” devices due to the lack of integration and command features. The most you can do is to connect your remote control to your lights so you can manage them from afar.
- Third-party Integration
As expected, the Maestro doesn’t have third-party integration either. Even if the Lutron wireless systems have limited integrated systems with third-parties, it still doesn’t make the Maestro look any better. On the other hand, you have the Caseta that can be connected to the Ecobee, Apple HomeKit, Nest, and SmartThings.
Why is third-party integration important? Third-party integration allows your lights to adjust together with other devices in your home. For example, you can ask your lights to automatically turn on when the air-conditioning unit turns on. You can explore and do many things when you have third-party integration with apps your other smart devices go with.
Naturally, the Caseta is going to be more expensive because it’s newer and has more features in terms of integration and compatibility. To add to that, the Caseta is more expensive given that you have to buy yourself a Lutron Smart Bridge or a Smart Bridge Pro to take advantage of the Caseta’s ability to connect to at most 50 different devices. If you’re looking for a model that has more value for money, it’s automatically the Caseta.
What Should You Buy?
So should you buy the Caseta? Is it so much more worth it than the Maestro? While there are a lot of reasons why you should buy the Caseta, that doesn’t mean that the Maestro isn’t any good. To help you know what to buy, here are situations when you should buy a Caseta or a Maestro.
- When You Should Buy a Maestro
In all honesty, there’s not a lot you can do with the Maestro, but even that’s a good reason to buy it. Why? It’s because it is very simple and easy to use. If you’re living with older people who prefer to have a remote control, you’ll end up wasting money if you insist on buying the Caseta.
To add to that, the Maestro is a lot cheaper. You can buy a brand-new model at a great price. If you do not want to pay for a whole wireless lighting system or you are on a tight budget, then this model is perfect for you.
However, you should take note that this price comes with a disadvantage. You don’t have any integrations and compatibility with any other device. Even Amazon Alexa is not compatible.
- When You Should Buy a Caseta
If you don’t mind the price and you need all the other features in the Caseta, then it’s definitely the latter all the way. The Caseta allows for a lot of connections with a number of devices. If you plan on connecting it to your home’s smartphone collection, then buying the Caseta is the first step in automating your lights.
Do you like convenience, too? If so, then that’s another reason why you should buy the Caseta. It’s so convenient to use and you can control your lights anytime, anywhere. Eventually, you’ll be able to track how much electricity you’ve been consuming with integrated tools to help you get that information.
Wireless lighting systems are perfect for giving you the control you need when managing your light consumption and bill. With either the Caseta or the Maestro, you can get a wireless remote control that can last for a long time. If you want simplicity and affordability, then the Maestro is the model that is perfect for you. However, if you prefer to focus on the uses, control, customization, and the like, then you would love to have the Caseta.
Wrap Up: Our Choice
Are you still on which one to pick between Caseta and Maestro?
Both Caseta and Maestro come in handy when you want to control the lights in the house. For instance, you can use the Pico remote control with either a Maestro or Caseta.
As much as the two are functional, Caseta comes out as the best as it is modern and has a more stylish look.
Apart from using the Pico remote control, with Caseta, you can also use your mobile device to control the lights in your house.
With the Smart Bridge Pro, you can connect up to fifty devices and control them on your mobile device's Lutron app. The feature also enables you to control your lights from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection.
The Smart Away feature on the app makes it look like you are at home. You can put the lights on and off randomly and dim them to look like you are at home.
There’s a misfire in the description of Maestro in that there is a simple wall-box solution called Maestro than can have up to 9 hardwired companion dimmers if the circuit is wired correctly. All locations of the multi way control can turn the load On/Off plus dim from every attached remote dimmer.
The next version is Maestro RF which draws a closer parallel to Caséta in that both can add a Pico RF Remote to extend control. Both are available for consumers through retail channels. The path widens beyond here!
Maestro aesthetics appear in a contractor-grade version called RA2 Select which shares the same smartphone App as Caséta for setup and day to day usage. Consumer access to RA2 Select is the difference maker as it is only marketed and sold through wholesale distribution or lighting showrooms.
I hope this provides some clarity.
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