Lutron’s Apple Watch App, Smart Bridge Pro, and Slider-less Dimmers

Lutron’s President, Michael Pessina, began the company’s CEDIA EXPO 2014 press conference by noting that this was Lutron’s 21st CEDIA attendance. Twenty years ago, lighting control mostly consisted of “lot of products hand-wired together.” Today, of course, the overwhelming trend in lighting control and home automation is to use digital, wireless products. To maintain the company’s prominence in the lighting control industry, Pessina said that Lutron spends approximately ten-percent of its sales on research and development. Almost all of that R&D, Pessina added, was in the areas of digital control and wireless connectivity. It’s one reason why there will be a Lutron Caseta Wireless lighting control app available for the Apple Watch when it becomes available in early 2015. (Lutron was even part of the Apple Watch announcement during the Keynote.)

Moving on to the Lutron Caseta Wireless control system, Pessina explained that only one out of three homes since 1980 have a neutral wire in their electrical wiring. Caseta Wireless requires only two wires, so it can be installed by the average consumer in existing homes just as easily as it can be built into new homes. As a result, Pessina concluded expansively, “everyone throughout the world can enjoy this product.”

Lutron’s Director of Residential Systems, Rich Black, then discussed the company’s Caseta Wireless new introductions, including the Smart Bridge Pro. At $200, the new lighting hub is a step up from the $150 Smart Bridge; and, unlike the DIY orientation of the Smart Bridge, the Smart Bridge Pro is designed for custom integrators. In addition to having all the same features as the Smart Bridge, the Smart Bridge Pro also includes compatibility with Lutron Triathlon battery-powered shades and select Sivoia QS Wireless shades, as well as integration capabilities with third-party A/V remote controls and security systems. Later this year, Lutron will begin offering a new $39 four-button Pico wireless remote that will provide scene control and can be custom engraved ($99).

Lutron’s new GRAFIK T lighting dimmer is knob-less, slider-less, and button-less. Touching the LED light bar sets the lights to that particular level, and the lights can be toggled off and the on (at the last light level). The GRAFIK T dimmers are available in over 40 colors and finishes, including metal and glass. Prices start at $67 (standalone), $110 (wireless control enabled), and $249 (system-based).