Lutron Smart Bridge review: This Wi-Fi hub narrows the smart lighting gap

The $ 150 Lutron Smart Bridge turns Lutron’s non-smart dimmers into Wi-Fi enabled home automation products. While the Smart Bridge and the respective app work incredibly well, $ 150 for light blurring is too much. Earn an extra $ 55 for a single two-socket dimmer plug and you’ve spent over $ 200 controlling up to two lights.

Yes, $ 205 is a ridiculous amount to pay for a smart plug dimmer, but Lutron is one of the only companies offering this functionality. Currently, the hub is only compatible with Caseta wireless dimmer and The battery-powered window color of Serena, but Lutron has more plans Smart thermostat Honeywell Wi-Fi , and a new line of GE LEDs for caching of integrated products. As this list expands, it will be much easier to propose a Lutron Smart Bridge.

Lutron Smart Bridge is a small square gizmo that you connect directly to your router using the included Ethernet cable. There’s also a power adapter that you plug into a regular two-pin socket and into the micro-USB port on the Smart Bridge hub. An LED ring around the perimeter of the hub will let you know when it’s powered on. Press the button on the center to add the new device to the app.

The app won’t be available until June 30, so I used the beta above Iphone 5 and the first generation Asus Nexus 7 tablet. Even in beta, the application has been very thoughtfully designed. Download the app on your Android or iOS device and follow the instructions to connect your Lutron enabled devices. Lutron sent me two Caseta wireless plug-in dimmers, a Pico remote and Smart Bridge for testing.

Plug-in dimmer has four buttons. The top button turns on the lights, the bottom button turns off the lights, and the two middle arrow buttons let you set the brightness level for dimming. The Pico remote has an identical design, except for a “favorite” button in the middle that lets you program frequently used lighting levels.

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The app is available on Android and iOS devices.

Screenshot by Megan Wollerton / CNET

First, I have to install a dimmer for the light. This plug-in module has two sockets, one on either side and works with LEDS, CFL, incandescent and halogen; I focused on LEDs and tested six different dimmable brands during the evaluation. To install, simply switch the light you want to control to the “on” position and unplug. Then plug the lights or lamps into the dimmer and into the wall outlet.

I have connected two desk lamps to one of the modules and one floor lamp to the other. Then, since I also have the Pico remote, I paired the dimmer with the remote by holding the off button for 6 seconds until the LED light started flashing. Then I pressed and held the same button on the remote for 6 seconds until it flashed three times, which meant it was successfully paired. To adjust favorite setting (its default is 50 percent light level) you set the desired light level on the dimmer and then hold down the favorite button for 6 seconds until it flashes. twice.

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Control your window brightness and color adjuster from the app.

Screenshot by Megan Wollerton / CNET

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