In this weekly column, hosts Brandon Doyle and Colton Pratt walk through smart-home products and showcase their capabilities while reviewing pros and cons. This week, they’ll talk about smart dimmers versus lighting systems.

In this weekly column, hosts Brandon Doyle, Doyle Real Estate Team with RE/MAX Results, and Colton Pratt, project manager, walk through smart-home products and showcase their capabilities while reviewing pros and cons. 

When looking at smart lighting choices, the two most popular options are Lutron Caseta switches and Philips Hue bulbs. In this episode, we will compare the benefits of each and situations where you may want to use one over the other. Both systems integrate with Amazon, Google and most smart-home hubs and will require a bridge. While there are hubless switches and bulbs that work on Wi-Fi, if you’re doing a large number of lights, we recommend using one of these systems.

Lutron

Pros:

  • Retain control of lights at switch, do not need to rely on app to turn lights on and off
  • For rooms with two or more bulbs it is a cheaper option
  • Pico remotes can control other devices, and there are options for fans, shades and audio

Cons:

  • No color, doesn’t sync with music or entertainment systems
  • Requires some electrical knowledge to hardwire the switches

Philips Hue

Pros:

  • Colored bulbs, light strips, lamps and various controllable scenes
  • Can be synced with music or entertainment systems to add a fun effect
  • Does not require any electrical knowledge and can be easily removed which is great for renters

Cons:

  • For larger rooms with lots of lights this option will be more expensive than controlling via switch
  • If a guest turns the power off at the wall switch, you can’t turn them back on remotely
  • You lose the ability to control the lights at the wall without purchasing an add-on switch, the standard version can be mounted anywhere but doesn’t blend in with other switches. Lutron now makes a dimmer for Philips Hue that goes over toggle style switches but won’t work for rockers
  • With a Hubitat hub and Lutron Bridge Pro you can actually use Pico remotes to control both Lutron lights and Philips Hue lights simultaneously. This is a great option if you want to add colored lights in a certain area of your home and are already using Lutron switches elsewhere

If you’re just starting out, we recommend starting out with a kit and then going from there.

Brandon Doyle is a Realtor at Doyle Real Estate Team — Re/Max Results in Minneapolis and co-author of  Mindset, Methods & Metrics – Winning as a Modern Real Estate Agent. You can follow him on Twitter.

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