With technology evolving, homes are now migrating from conventional light switches to modern smart switches.
The choice of a smart switch is based on the user’s preference, price, and features.
And the two major smart switch brands most favored these days are Lutron and GE.
Lutron and GE smart switches both have their pros and cons in terms of price, function, and design. On average, Lutron tends to be more expensive than GE. Additionally, Lutron switch requires a hub to function but has less interference, unlike GE, which requires WiFi.
This article will look at the different reasons why both of these smart switches are among the most popular brands on the market.
We’ll take a look at both the pros and cons of each brand and consider a side-by-side comparison of features.
By considering specifications and providing a detailed breakdown of each smart switch, it’ll help you to choose the right smart switch for your home.
Lutron Smart Switches
The Lutron Brand has two significant models:
- Lutron Caseta
- Lutron Maestro
While both offer various functions, the Caseta is more widely used as it provides more features than the Maestro.
|Compatibility with all smart assistants and selected home security and automation devices||Very expensive|
|Wide range of features||Requires a hub|
|Supports three-way switches||Motion sensor not embedded within|
|High reliability||Limited warranty|
|Easy to install|
Lutron Caseta has a wide range of compatibility with various devices, making it the buyer’s choice as it’s compatible with:
- Google Assistant
- Apple HomeKit
It’s also compatible with security systems and home automation systems such as:
- Nest Cams
- Nest Smoke Detectors
The Caseta is very easy to install since it doesn’t require a neutral wire for installation.
Most homes built after the 1980s usually don’t have neutral wires for connection purposes.
In cases where the user may need to tweak the settings, such as adjusting low and high-end trims, the Lutron installation guides are very comprehensive and user-friendly for easy understanding.
Lutron Caseta is rich in features, including an app for customizing a light schedule to create a perfect profile for the user.
It can also be used to monitor lights and know if they are on or off, even when not at home.
It could also be controlled with the Pico remote control as much as within 100 feet (30 m) from the switch.
In simple terms, it also comes with the added benefit of geofencing; if desired, lights can come on upon arrival and departure of the residence.
Additionally, the Lutron Caseta has a “Smart Away” mode whereby the lights come on and off at random times.
This gives the impression that someone is home. It comes in handy when the house owner travels since it acts as a security measure for the home.
The Lutron Caseta requires a hub (smart bridge) to function, hence minimal interference as it doesn’t require WiFi.
In cases where there are plenty of hubs for other smart devices in the home, the buyer may become uninterested.
The hub for the Lutron Caseta has two types:
- Smart Bridge
- Smart Bridge PRO
The Smart Bridge comes with the Lutron Caseta Kit and has limited features compared to the Smart Bridge PRO.
Another drawback is that they only offer warranty services for only a year.
However, they have technical centers where they offer repairs after the warranty period.
Editor’s pick: Are Lutron Switches Worth It? 6 Things To Consider
|More affordable||Fewer features|
|Easy installation||No compatibility with smart assistants|
|Supports three-way switches|
The Lutron Maestro is the earlier model of the Lutron brand, hence its incompatibility with smart assistants:
- Apple HomeKit
- Google Assistant
This device is a knockdown version of the Lutron Caseta as its features are minimal.
It can only be controlled with the Pico remote or the switch itself.
Although it works with the Smart Bridge, its operation isn’t seamless as it tends to act up when controlled with it.
There’s no support for the Lutron app.
As with the Lutron Caseta, installation is effortless and straightforward as no neutral wire is required for connection.
The price for this device is very affordable.
GE Smart Switches
|Hub isn’t required as it uses a WiFi connection.||Interference as a result of WiFi connection|
|Embedded motion sensor||App isn’t user-friendly|
|Easy installation||Motion sensor is very sensitive|
|Compatibility with major smart assistants|
The C GE smart switch has a fair range of compatibility with smart assistants:
- Google Assistant
- Apple HomeKit
- Amazon Alexa
Hence, it can be controlled with voice inputs.
You can control it with motion since the smart switch has a motion sensor. The lights go on or off when someone enters or leaves the room.
It’s been reported that the motion sensor used here is overly sensitive and can pick up the slightest of movements.
Although it requires a neutral wire for installation, it’s straightforward to install. Houses built after the 1980s would most likely have a neutral wire.
For functionality, this device is connected to a WiFi connection as it doesn’t require a hub for connection; hence interference is very likely on this network.
The app for this device isn’t user-friendly; the app’s interface is confusing and not straightforward.
Lutron Caseta vs. C GE Smart Switch: Differences
|Lutron Caseta||C GE|
|Connectivity||Requires a hub (smart bridge) connected to the router with an ethernet cable.|
Comes with a smart bridge.
|Requires WiFi for functionality.|
|Motion Detector||Can be integrated with third-party motion detectors.||Embedded with a motion sensor.|
|Compatibility||Wide range of compatibility with all smart assistants and home automation systems.||Only compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit.|
|Price||Somewhat expensive. The cost of the motion detector hub (Smart Bridge PRO) plays a massive role in this.||More affordable than the Caseta.|
|Reliability||Reliability is very high.||Not as reliable.|
|Connection||Suitable for homes without neutral wires.||Requires a neutral wire on installation.|
|Control||Can be controlled using the switch, Pico remote, voice input, motion detector (if installed), and the device’s app.||Can be controlled with the same features as the Caseta, except the Pico remote.|
Both the Lutron Caseta and the C GE Smart Switch are similar in function, as you primarily use them to control light fixtures.
In my opinion, the biggest difference is the C GE comes with a built-in motion sensor. And since even the cheapest ones are about $15-20, this is a big plus.
However, having a motion sensor in a wall-mounted switch has limited applications, and it’s not ideal for everyone.
For example, the switch might not detect you until you’re well into the room already. Ideally, you’d want the lights to be on before you even get in.
Another major upside for the C GE switch is the design. The Lutron Caseta is simple, but its boxy shape reminds me a lot of a 1950s light switch.
The C GE is much more elegant with its minimalist curvy shape.
While the Lutron Caseta is usually recommended due to its high reliability, functionality, and features, its price is a significant downside.
The C GE would be preferable for homes with neutral wiring (built before the 1980s) and if hubs are present for other smart devices.
For homes without neutral wiring and if the price of the Lutron Caseta doesn’t bother you, the Lutron Caseta would be the preferable choice.
The Lutron Caseta costs more but offers value for money due to its high reliability.
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