Lutron Caseta vs. RadioRA 2 — What’s the Difference?

Lutron Caseta vs. RadioRA 2

Comparing the Lutron Caseta vs. RadioRA 2 smart lighting systems can be a difficult task, as they are designed on completely different scales.

For smart functionality in a small home that works right out of the box, the Lutron Caseta is difficult to beat. The RadioRA 2, on the other hand, is the ultimate in smart lighting configuration. It’s seriously expensive but, if you’re willing to shell out a bit, it’s one of the best options for bigger homes and businesses.

Lutron Caseta vs. RadioRA 2 — Things in Common

  • Technology – Both the Lutron Caseta and RadioRA 2 use Lutron Clear Connect radio frequency technology in order to communicate, which provides a reliable connection throughout all components of the system. However, despite the facts that these systems have similar communication protocols, they will not work together. Each has their own ecosystem of products, so you’ll have to choose between the two.

  • Pico Remote Control – The primary way that you’ll interact with both the Caseta and RadioRA 2 is through Pico Remote Control. These switches offer the ability to adjust settings from across the room, or even from outside in the car. Both systems support multiple remotes, so you can set up a few different areas where you can control the lights, and keep one on your person to dim or turn off lights without moving an inch.

  • App Remote Control – While Pico remote control is the main technology by which the RadioRA 2 and Caseta communicate, you can also control the lights through a smartphone app as well. Since we all usually have our phone on hand, you should never really find yourself in a situation where you don’t have light adjustments at your fingertips.

  • Apple HomeKit & Voice Control – The Lutron Caseta and RadioRA 2 both integrate with Apple HomeKit for greater smart home control, and also support voice control through popular utilities like Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant.


Lutron Caseta vs. RadioRA 2 — Differences

Lutron Caseta

  • Difference #1: System Size – Perhaps one of the biggest differences between the Caseta and RadioRA 2 is the scale at which the two systems operate. The Caseta is designed to work with up to 50 lighting devices, while the RadioRA 2 works with up to 200. For commercial and large residential situations, you may need the scale of the RadioRA 2, but the Lutron Caseta capacity will probably work for the majority of smaller to medium size homes.

    For a middle-of-the-road solution, consider the RA2 Select for 100 connections.

  • Difference #2: Coverage – The RadioRA 2 also has a wider coverage range, supporting lighting in a 7500 sq ft area, while the Caseta only reaches 2500 sq ft. While you can extend the Caseta’s range by an additional 1500 feet by using a plug-in combination dimmer / range extender, you can only use one per lighting system. This means that in every situation, the RadioRA 2 has a wider reach than the Caseta Wireless, which may be important for larger homes.

    Again, for an in-between, the RA2 Select’s range of 5000 sq feet maybe just the ticket.

  • Difference #3: Designer Style Controls – As mentioned above, both the Caseta and RadioRA 2 support Pico controls, but the latter also supports a number of other control systems. In addition to the Pico systems, you can use RF Maestro dimmers and switches, RF seeTouch keypads, RF seeTouch hybrid keypad, GRAFIK T dimmers and switches, and the GRAFIK T Hybrid keypad. Long story short, you have far more options for control when it comes to the RadioRA 2 — giving you much more flexibility when building a lighting system when compared to the Caseta line of products.

  • Difference #4: Shades – Both the Caseta Wireless line and RadioRA 2 are compatible with Lutron shades, although they do differ in the extent of their support for products.

    The Caseta system is compatible with the Sivoia QS Wireless and Sivoia QS Triathlon shades, but they require that you have the Smart Bridge Pro rather than the regular version. The Triathlon, unfortunately, is missing the tilt functionality when used with Caseta. If you’re looking for a shade to use with Lutron Caseta that is free of restrictions, consider opting for the Serena.

    The RadioRA 2 is compatible with both Sivoia shades with full functionality available.

  • Difference #5: Temperature Control & Sensors – The Lutron Caseta Wireless offers support for the Lutron Wireless Thermostat, which allows you to combine lighting functions with temperature control in your home. The Caseta also works with a number of third-party products, such as the Nest, ecobee, and Honeywell lines.

    If you opt for the RadioRA 2, on the other hand, you’ll have the same sort of support as well as access to integration with the Lutron HVAC controller and TouchPRO Wireless thermostat.

    Overall, while both lighting controllers offer integration with temperature control and sensors, you’re going to find a much more robust product lineup if you opt for the RadioRA 2.

  • Difference #6: Software – Because the Lutron RadioRA 2 is a more advanced system, it uses the Lutron Connect app for smartphone control. The Caseta, as a more basic smart lighting product, uses the regular Lutron app. The main differences between the two are that the Lutron Connect offers more features to match the expanded functionality of the RadioRA 2.

  • Difference #7: IFTTT – The comparison may have seemed a little one-sided in favor of the RadioRA 2 thus far, as it operates on a larger scale and integrates with more temperature and motion sensors. However, a big issue with the RadioRA 2 is the fact that there is no support for IFTTT, or any conditional logic for that matter. The Caseta offers support for IFTTT, which means you can program your smart home system to turn on the lights automatically when you get home, or dim your lights with Lutron when CO2 levels are no longer healthy.

    While the RadioRA 2 seems to be the more impressive system, it falls short when it comes to conditional logic.

  • Difference #8: Finishes – If you’re looking for color customization, the RadioRA 2 wins hands down. While the Lutron Caseta only has 5 available shades, the RadioRA 2 is available with an impressive 45 different finishes.

  • Difference #9: Installation – Because the RadioRA 2 is a little more comprehensive and involved, it’s much more difficult to install. In fact, you’ll need to receive training to obtain configuration software if you’d like to do it yourself. The easier way is to leave the setup to the experts. However, hiring a dealer to program your system can be expensive, and while rates will vary based on your location, it’s likely you’ll be shelling out over $100/hr to get everything installed.

    The Lutron Caseta system, on the other hand, is pretty easy to configure on your own. With no additional wiring required out of the box, you get things up and running without any additional assistance.

    If you’re looking for a smart lighting system with DIY installation and with a few more features than the Caseta, you may be interested in the RA2 Select.

  • Difference #10: Cost – The RadioRA 2 represents some of the best of the best when it comes to lighting control, but it’s extremely expensive. With how quickly the field of smart home automation is evolving, it may be hard to justify the expense only to learn later that it isn’t compatible with newer systems.

    As mentioned above, the installation of the RadioRA 2 is a very involved process. It’s not nearly as easy to replace as the Caseta, and it’s possible you may find yourself a few years down the line with a system that isn’t very easy to upgrade or expand. So keep that in mind if you decide on this system.

Sale Lutron Caseta Wireless Smart Lighting Dimmer Switch Starter Kit, P-BDG-PKG1W, Works with Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and the Google Assistant
Lutron RRD-6CL-WH RadioRA 2 is a Wireless Total Home Control System White

Lutron Caseta vs. RadioRA 2 — Comparison Chart

Caséta Wireless RadioRA 2
System size 50 devices 200 devices
Coverage Up to 2,500 sq. ft. Up to 7,500 sq. ft.
System design Local (RF) Local (RF)
Designer style controls Pico zone controls
Pico keypads
Pico zone controls
Pico keypads
RF Maestro dimmers and switches
RF seeTouch keypads
RF seeTouch hybrid keypads
GRAFIK T dimmer and switch
GRAFIK T Hybrid keypad
GRAFIK Eye GRAFIK Eye QS Wireless
Shades Sivoia QS Wireless*
Sivoia QS Triathlon*†
Serena
Sivoia QS Wireless
Sivoia QS Triathlon
Temperature control Third-party integration
Lutron Wireless thermostat
Third-party integration
Lutron Wireless thermostat
Lutron HVAC controller
TouchPRO Wireless thermostat
Sensors RF occupancy / vacancy
RF temperature
Dimming panels WPM
Software Lutron App Connect App
Fan Control Maestro RF fan control
IFTTT Yes No
Amazon Alexa Support Yes Yes
Apple HomeKit Support Yes Yes
Google Assistant Support Yes Yes
Works with Wink Yes No
Works with SmartThings Yes No
Works with Nest Yes Yes
Works with Sonos Yes Yes
Works with Logitech Yes No
Finishes 5 colors available Over 45 colors available
Requires Professional Installation DIY Professional Installation Preferable
Price $ $$$
* Compatible with Smart Bridge Pro version only
† No tilt functionality

Lutron Caseta vs. RadioRA 2 — Integration

Lutron Caseta Wireless Setup

Part of the appeal of having a smart lighting system is the ability to integrate it with the rest of your home. Both the Lutron Caseta and RadioRA 2 work with a number of other smart products that should allow you convenient control of your lights alongside other aspects like Sonos speakers and Nest thermostats or cameras.

Both the Lutron Caseta and RadioRA 2 work with all three major voice controllers – Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa. As mentioned above, both systems will also work with Nest and Sonos products.

The Caseta’s integration is a little more robust, with additional support for IFTTT, SmartThings, and Logitech.


Lutron Caseta vs. RadioRA 2 — Accessories

RadioRA-2

Since the primary method of control for both the Lutron Caseta and RadioRA 2 are Pico Remotes, you’ll want to make sure you have enough to cover every area from which you’d like to control the lights. To make setup easier, you might also consider a remote pedestal for more flexibility at home, or a car clip to place a Pico remote conveniently on your car visor.

The RadioRA 2 is a very complex system, and there are a variety of addons you might want to consider including in the installation. Because the setup is not easily adjustable on a whim, you might want to map out the types of additional add-ons you’ll need to make the lighting system function flawlessly. From lamp dimmers and keypads, to vacancy sensors and repeaters, you should be able to customize your systems to suit your needs.

For a closer look at the accessories available for the RadioRA 2, take a look at Lutron’s RadioRA 2 Guide.


Lutron Caseta vs. RadioRA 2 — Our Thoughts

RadioRA-2

For smaller homes and easy installation, the Caseta Wireless is no-doubt the superior option. You can extend it to up to 50 devices per one Lutron Smart Bridge. It works great with major smart home players like Sonos, Nest, SmartThings, Wink, Logitech and offers seamless voice control over Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri (HomeKit). Plus, it supports IFTTT.

The RadioRA 2, however, is one of the most comprehensive smart lighting systems on the market. For large homes and for people confident enough to invest in a pretty extensive system and installation process, the RadioRA 2 offers an unprecedented amount of customizability. With support for up to 200 devices you can make your home totally automated. Plus, a more curated ecosystem might, just might, enhance privacy and network security.

[wp-review id=”6704″]


Last update on 2019-11-15 at 09:39 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

2 Replies to “Lutron Caseta vs. RadioRA 2 — What’s the Difference?”

  1. I have a question for which Lutron’s customer service can’t seem to provide a clear answer. My home has several 3-way, hard-wired switches; and one 4-way hard-wired switches. This allows me to control the same light or set of lights from multiple switch locations.
    I understand that in RadioRA I would need one master switch or dimmer, plus an accessory switch for each alternate switch location to the same lights. And I see distinct product numbers for the master versus accessory switches and dimmers.
    But I do not see separate numbers for master versus accessory switches and dimmers for Caseta. When I ask Lutron (twice), they say I can add new locations using a Pico remote mounted to a wall. But I am NOT trying to add locations. I already have those additional locations hardwired in my home. Does it mean that I can just leave those secondary switches “as is”? That kind of makes sense because a remote might only need to communicate with one Caseta switch to work with a remote or smartphone. I don’t see how replacing the secondary hardwired switches with a Pico Remote makes sense. It seems that would mean somehow disabling the hardwire switch (note – I am not an electrician) and replacing it with a Pico – which would also mean my multiple 3- and 4-ways would quickly consume the 50 switch Caseta capacity.

    Can you clarify?

    1. Hi Jeff!

      No matter which system you choose, it looks like you’ll need to replace all your dimmers & switches.

      So, in a 3-way setup, you’ll need to replace one location with a master dimmer/switch and the other location with a companion dimmer/switch.

      The multi-location setup is pretty much the same, you’ll use a main dimmer/switch for one location and companion dimmers/switches for other locations.

      Now, the difference between Caseta Wireless and the Ra Series is in wiring of companion dimmers/switches. With the Ra Series you’ll actually need to wire the companion dimmers/switches, whereas with the Lutron Caseta Wireless you’ll use wire-free Pico Remote Controls and mount them on a mounting bracket (which you’ll need to buy separately). Basically, you’ll need to remove your existing switch by tying the wires together and capping them off with electrical caps.

      So, in your case it all depends on the maximum number of dimmers/switches you want to replace. Each system has a limit: 50 devices with Lutron Caseta Wireless, 100 devices with the Ra2 Select, and up to 200 devices with the RadioRa 2.

      I’d highly recommend you going with the Lutron Caseta Wireless since it’s easy to install & setup (you won’t need to hire an electrician) and it’s also cheaper than the Ra2 Select.

      Plus, you can use the Lutron Caseta Wireless dimmers/switches with the Wink hub instead of the Lutron Smart Bridge. The benefit in this scenario is that in case you decide to buy more smart home tech in future, you’ll already have a smart hub in place to connect all your smart devices together. Check out our take on Lutron Smart Bridge vs. Wink 2 for more details.

      However, if your system is more than 50 devices, then Ra2 Select is the way to go.

      Cheers,
      Iryna

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