Lutron Caseta can turn any dollar-store lightbulb into a smart, state-of-the-art appliance. Instead of manually having to flip on light switches in a dark house, you can control your home’s lighting with the push of a button. You can even pair it to your Alexa or another smart home device. But to do that, do you need to use a hub?
Lutron Caseta uses the Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge—which works like a hub—to connect to the internet and smart home assistants, but this is not required. However, without the bridge, you will miss out on Lutron Caseta’s smart features.
Continue reading to learn more about your Lutron Caseta’s bridge and how you can use it as a hub.
Does Lutron Caseta Need a Hub?
Earlier, we talked about how having a “hub” for your Lutron Caseta isn’t exactly necessary. You can actually unbox your Lutron Caseta device and wire it straight into your home’s electrical grid. However, keep in mind that the bridge is what keeps your Lutron Caseta “smart.” Without the Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge hub, your new light switch basically operates like a standard switch.
Your Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge lets you have complete control over your lights. It allows you to connect to the internet, make changes within the Lutron app, and set schedules. Additionally, it lets your lights “talk” to your various smart home devices, like your phone, Alexa, and Google Home Assistant.
The bridge works with your Lutron Caseta products either using an ethernet cable plugged into your router or Wi-Fi; it does need internet to work. However, if you do not have a Wi-Fi router, you could use a mobile hotspot to control your devices. The feasibility of this option depends on the type of phone you have, your location, and the strength of the hotspot itself.
Installing Lutron Caseta without a Hub
Although Lutron Caseta’s Smart Bridge is essential for accessing smart features, it’s worth noting that it is not required to install your Lutron Caseta switch or dimmer. To set up your Lutron Caseta device without a bridge:
- Turn off your home’s power grid.
- Unscrew the already-existing light switch case.
- Unscrew the light switch itself from the wall.
- Take needle nose pliers and straighten out the copper wires hanging from the wall.
Now, you’ll need to connect the wires from the wall to the wires in your Lutron Caseta. Refer to the diagram on the first page of your user manual to learn more about doing this. Remember: for your own safety, you should cut off the power to the light switch.
Once you successfully wire your device, simply download the Lutron Caseta app and follow the prompts on the screen. Again, you do not need a “hub” or the Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge to do this.
Should You Use the Lutron Caseta Hub?
Sure, you could use your Lutron Caseta without the bridge, but since it comes included with your purchase, there’s really no need to go without it. Plus, without setting it up, you could miss out on these important smart features:
Suppose that you want the lights to automatically turn on when you get home after a long day at work. Using the app, you can set schedules so that your lights turn on at a specific time. You don’t even need to be home to set a schedule; you can do it wirelessly using your phone because of the bridge.
Use Your Alexa or Google Home Assistant
Your Lutron Caseta’s bridge is exactly that; it “bridges” the gap between your device, your Wi-Fi network, and third-party smart home devices.
The steps for connecting the two largely depend on what type of smart home assistant you have, as the steps for pairing an Alexa are different than pairing a Google Home Assistant.
- If you want to pair your device to a Google Home Assistant, click here for further details. You will need a stable Wi-Fi connection and the Google Home app.
- If you want to pair your device to an Alexa, click here. As noted, you will need a stable Wi-Fi connection, as well as the Alexa app.
Control Your Windows’ Shades
Aside from controlling your lights, the Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge also allows you to close your curtains and blinds wirelessly. If you get the Lutron PJ2-3BRL-GWH-S01 and Serena Smart Shades, you can control how much light your blinds filter in, when they open and close, and other related features.
In conjunction with the bridge and Lutron Caseta, you can control nearly every aspect of your home’s interior lighting. You can even have it control your Bluetooth speakers. Click here to learn more about what devices are compatible with the bridge.
While your Lutron Caseta doesn’t need a “hub” or bridge, having one gives you access to your light switch’s full suite of smart features. Getting a hub allows you to connect your device to the internet, putting the “smart” in “smart switch.”