In 2017, many people have started to recognize that the idea of a smart, interconnected home may be more possible than ever before. With recent advancements in technology, functionality that was previously reserved for the wealthy techie is now accessible to pretty much everyone. If you’re looking into a smarthome, you probably already know some of the basic functionality — and one of the major benefits of a smarthome is on-demand control of dimmers, outlets, and switches.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at the Leviton Decora Smart Collection and compare it to the Lutron Caseta Wireless System. Leviton Decora Smart Collection offers three types of dimmers, outlets, and switches:
DW-Series (Decora Smart™ with Wi-Fi Technology)
DH-Series (Decora Smart with HomeKit™ Technology)
DZ-Series (Decora Smart™ with Z-Wave Plus Technology)
Each Decora Series has it’s own benefits, and we’ll compare them to the Lutron Caseta Wireless System.
Both Leviton and Lutron will serve as a welcome addition to any connected home, but there are some aspects that are worthy of note. We’ll go over some of the main differences below, and try to give you a sense of which device is right for you.
Leviton vs. Lutron — Differences
Difference #1: Hub – One major consideration to take into account is a “hub”. If you’re familiar with the idea of a smarthome, you may recognize this central method of controlling your home. Whether it’s Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Homekit or one of several other smarthome controllers, you generally need a way to give commands to your home.
For the Leviton DW-Series and DH-Series, no hub is required. They work on their own, right out of the box. Which is great if you’re looking for a quick and easy smart lighting solution.
The DZ-Series, on the other hand, requires a hub, like Wink or SmartThings. This makes the DZ-Series a perfect choice for those who want to expand their smart home with more than just smart lighting. Since you’d already have Wink or SmartThings hub installed with your DZ dimmers, you can connect hundreds of other smart home products to your hub.
Lutron is kind of in a similar position to the DZ-Series, except instead of a hub, Lutron Caseta Wireless needs the Lutron Smart Bridge or Smart Bridge Pro to work. The bridge is literally the bridge between Lutron Caseta dimmers and other smart products, like cameras, thermostats, or smoke detectors. Here’s an example of how you can make your lights work with other smart home products: using the IFTTT, set your lights to turn on to 100% in the event that smoke is detected by Nest Protect. For more information about Lutron Caseta Wireless system integration, please refer to the Lutron compatibility guide.
Even though the Lutron Smart Bridge only works with a limited number of smart products, it’s more than enough for the early smart home establishment.
Another option is to pair the Lutron Caseta Wireless dimmers straight with a Wink hub or Wink hub 2. In this case you can omit the Lutron Smart Bridge/Pro altogether. The Wink hubs already come with the Clear Connect Technology to support the Lutron Caseta Wireless dimmers. You can check out more detailed compatibility information on the Wink website.
Difference #2: Technology – It’s important that your device actually works well each and every time — after all, you don’t want to be left in the dark! There are some differences in the ways these dimmers, outlets, and switches function that put some models ahead of the rest.
The DW-Series and DH-Series use WiFi for their control, which can lead to some slow and unstable responses. The DZ-Series uses Z-wave technology to connect to the hubs, which is better and more stable.
The Lutron comes out ahead in this section, with patented Clear Connect technology. This tech sets the bar for reliable wireless performance, with a quiet frequency band free of interference. Rest assured that your wireless dimmers won’t be affected by any other wireless products — they just plain work!
Difference #3: Voice-activated control – We touched on this a bit in the “Hub” section, but these products vary in the way they deal with voice control.
The Leviton DW-Series only works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and doesn’t require a hub for this functionality. Likewise, the DH-Series only works with Siri HomeKit and doesn’t require a hub. Unfortunately, Leviton makes you choose between Amazon Alexa & Google Assistant vs. Siri HomeKit.
The DZ-Series only works with Amazon Alexa, and can only accept voice commands through a third party hub.
Unlike Leviton, Lutron has no problems whatsoever working with all three voice controllers. With the Lutron Smart Bridge you can control lighting at your home via Homekit, Alexa, or Google Home.
Difference #4: Collection of products – This comparison is based off of dimmers, switches, and outlets, but not every product family offers all three.
Leviton has the advantage here with support for dimmers, switches, and plug-in & in-wall outlets. Lutron does its job well, but Caseta Wireless only offers switches and in-wall and plug-in dimmers. The in-wall dimmers come with a Pico remote, which is a nice touch as an additional control option, but it doesn’t really make up for the lack of outlets.
Difference #5: Color – The color of these devices, while perhaps not the most important consideration, is still worth mentioning.
All products from the Leviton Decora Smart Collection come in white, but you can easily change the dimmer color with the Smart Switch Color Change Kit. This kit offers 5 different colors to chose from: Black, Brown, Grey, Ivory, Light Almond, and White.
The Lutron Caseta Wireless dimmers are available in white, ivory, light almond, or black. The kit usually comes with white dimmers, however, so if you’re looking for a different color you’ll need to buy all parts of the kit separately.
Difference #6: Warranty – There’s a pretty stark difference between the two brands when it comes to warranty, and this may be an important consideration based on the confidence — or lack thereof — you place in these new products.
Leviton offers a 5 year warranty, while the Caseta Wireless products are covered by a 1 year limited warranty. You can extend the 1 year warranty to 2 years by completing the Caseta Wireless Customer Feedback Questionnaire (Update: We believe the survey has actually been discontinued), but it still pales in comparison to the 5 years offered by Leviton. Read Lutron’s warranty in its entirety here.
Difference #7: Price – The price of any device is often the chief concern when buying any sort of technology, and there are some minor differences.
In general, the Lutron Caseta is slightly more expensive than the Decora Smart Leviton. The difference isn’t huge, but when you’re buying dimmers, switches, and plugs to fully outfit your home it can start to get expensive.
Leviton vs. Lutron — Comparison Table
|Leviton Decora Smart DW||Leviton Decora Smart DH||Leviton Decora Smart DZ||Lutron Caseta Wireless|
|Hub||No hub required||No hub required||Needs a hub||Needs Smart Bridge Pro|
|Amazon Alexa||Yes||No||Yes (via a 3rd party hub)||Yes|
|Smart Home Integration||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Warranty||5 years||5 years||5 years||1 year|
Leviton vs. Lutron — Our Thoughts
Overall, we feel we can highly recommend the Lutron Caseta Wireless as a great choice for smart home lighting. The fact that Lutron plays nice with other smart devices is a big plus — there’s a high likelihood that other systems you’re looking at will work well with the system.
The Leviton Decora Smart, while still a solid choice, offers a limited-technology series which doesn’t allow for a lot of flexibility as the field of smart home technology continues to advance. You have to choose between Amazon and Google vs Apple, and WiFi connection can be a bit unstable.
It’s clear which device we feel is the winner, but at the end of the day the decision is largely personal. Hopefully our take on Leviton vs. Lutron helps you make the choice that’s right for you. Do more research and go with the dimmers, switches, and plugs that are best suited for your smart home.
Last update on 2020-09-30 at 11:00 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API