Smart home technology has never been more advanced, and it’s actually becoming surprisingly affordable as well. An interconnected home with lighting that adjusts automatically to suit your needs may have been reserved for the wealthy 10 or 15 years ago. Today, however, there are systems like the Leviton Decora Smart and Lutron Caseta Wireless that make it easy and affordable to light up your home just the way you’ve always wanted.
The Leviton Decora Smart offers three types of smart home lighting solutions:
- DW-Series (Decora Smart™ with Wi-Fi Technology)
- DH-Series (Decora Smart with HomeKit™ Technology)
- DZ-Series (Decora Smart™ with Z-Wave Plus Technology)
In this article we’ll compare all three Leviton Decora Smart series with the Lutron Caseta Wireless to figure out which option is your best bet for a new smart lighting solution.
Navigate this Article:
- Decora Smart Leviton vs. Lutron Caseta Wireless — TL;DR Comparison Chart
- Decora Smart Leviton vs. Lutron Caseta Wireless — Let’s Get Into Details!
- What do Decora Smart and Caseta Wireless Have in Common?
- Leviton and Lutron in a Smart Home Environment
- How to Make Decora Smart and Caseta Wireless Even Better?
- Which Would We Choose for Our Home?
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Decora Smart Leviton vs. Lutron Caseta Wireless — Easy Comparison Chart
|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|
Last update on 2020-11-28 at 20:04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Decora Smart Leviton vs. Lutron Caseta Wireless — What’s Different?
Technology – While both the Smart Leviton and Lutron Caseta systems will provide you with a customizable smart lighting solution, they do differ in the type of technology they use for dimmers, outlets, and switches.
As mentioned above, there are three models of lighting equipment that fall under the Smart Leviton umbrella. The DW-Series and DH-Series use WiFi for their control. While WiFi might be great for streaming your favorite shows or music, even a fast connection can sometimes lead to slow or unstable responses from your dimmers and switches. The DZ-Series, on the other hand, uses Z-wave technology to communicate with a Z-Wave compatible hub, which is generally a better and more stable connection for smart lighting systems.Samsung GP-U999SJVLGDA 3rd Generation SmartThings Hub, White
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Out of the three product families mentioned above, the DZ-Series is the best bet when it comes to technology, but our overall top pick is the Lutron Caseta Wireless. Taking advantage of the company’s signature Clear Connect technology, the Caseta Wireless system has become known for its reliable wireless performance. This is largely due to the quiet frequency band that is free of interference. With no worries about competing connections, you can rest assured that your Lutron Caseta Wireless system will control your lighting flawlessly.
Connectivity – If you’re looking for a new smart lighting solution, chances are that your primary concern is being able to adjust your lights with greater convenience, perhaps even automating their control. While the dimmers and switches on both systems are responsible for the physical adjustment of the lighting, certain smart systems rely on a central “hub” in order to control the various peripherals.
These two lighting systems do differ in the way that they are connected and controlled. With the Leviton DW-Series and DH-Series, you can actually control everything as is — no hub required.
However, the DZ-Series requires a hub to function, such as Wink or SmartThings. This may seem like a disadvantage, but it’s actually a great way to integrate smart lighting into a bigger smart home setup. This makes the DZ-Series one of our top picks for existing smart homes, or perhaps even to jumpstart your journey to a connected home. Since you need the hub installed in order to control the dimmers, you’ll be able to connect a large number of other Wink or SmartThings compatible products.
Just like the DZ-Series, the Lutron Caseta Wireless system requires a hub. However, rather than a standard smart home controller like the systems discussed above, you’ll need a dedicated Lutron Smart Bridge or Smart Bridge Pro to get everything to work correctly. The smart bridge forms connections with Lutron products, as well as setting it up for interactions with compatible smart products like Nest Protect or Sonos Audio systems.
One thing to keep in mind when considering the Lutron Caseta system is that the Smart Bridge is actually a little limiting when compared to systems like Wink or SmartThings. With that said, you can actually use a Wink hub to control your Lutron Caseta Wireless setup instead, as the hub already supports the Clear Connect technology discussed above.
Voice Control – While all of the Leviton Decora Smart products and the Lutron Caseta Wireless offer support for voice control, they do differ in the type of voice controllers that they work with. The biggest variation you’re going to find is in the Smart Leviton product family, and it’s important to keep in mind your controller needs before you purchase a new smart lighting system.
The Leviton DW-Series works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and actually doesn’t require a hub in order to communicate with the controllers.
If you’re more attached to the Apple ecosystem, you may be interested in the DH-Series that works with Siri HomeKit voice control exclusively. Just like the DW-Series, you won’t need a hub either.
The Leviton DW-Series works only with Amazon Alexa, but it only offers this feature when controlled through a third-party hub.
At the end of the day, your best bet for flexibility when it comes to voice assistants within the Leviton Decora Smart family is the DW-Series due to its support for Alexa and Google Assistant and no reliance on a hub.
With that said, Lutron has the superior product in this situation, with the Caseta Wireless working seamlessly with all three of these major voice controllers.
Finish – While the color and material of your lighting system may not be your primary concern when deciding between the Decora Smart Leviton vs. Lutron Caseta Wireless, the two systems do differ in the types of finishes that are available.
The colors are the same for the Decora collection regardless of the model you choose, and each dimmer and switch comes in white by default. However, you do have the option to change things up with the Smart Switch Color Change Kit. When you purchase the kit, you’ll have access to Black, Brown, Grey, Ivory, Light Almond, and White. While having to buy a separate package to customize the dimmers can be an additional expense, it does allow you to change things up when you’d like to make the aesthetic a little bit different.
The Caseta Wireless dimmers are available in different colors like White, Ivory, Light Almond, or Black. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the kit usually comes with white dimmers, which forces you to purchase all parts separately if you’re looking for a different finish or place a special order.
Ultimately, the Decora Smart Leviton series seems to offer more choice when it comes to color — as long as you’re willing to shell out for an extra color change kit.
Warranty – A comprehensive warranty can go a long way toward making the purchasing decision easier. While these lighting systems may not be as much of an investment as some more involved options like the Lutron RA 2 Select, it’s still nice to know that the money you’re spending on making your lighting more convenient is backed up should something malfunction.
While the Lutron Caseta has a 1-year warranty that can be extended to two years by completing the Caseta Wireless Customer Feedback Questionnaire, it’s much less reassuring than the 5-year warranty that comes standard with Leviton Decora Smart system.
What do Decora Smart and Caseta Wireless Have in Common?
Remote Control – Both the Leviton Decora Smart and Lutron Caseta Wireless are primarily adjusted through remote control. The ability to change settings from pretty much wherever you are is super convenient and allows you to dim the lights from the couch when you want to watch a movie, or turn them off completely when it’s time to hop into bed. The ability to control lighting remotely is one of the primary benefits of these smart systems, and there are near-endless situations where this remote operation could be useful.
App Control – In addition to the primary method of remote control, you can also manage both lighting systems via smartphone apps. The apps you’ll use are different, but overall they accomplish the same goal of letting you adjust your lights from wherever you happen to be.
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Last update on 2020-11-28 at 20:04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
DIY Smart Lighting Solution – While there are a variety of smart lighting systems on the market, some of them require professional installation. That process can be a hassle and pretty expensive, so it’s great that both the Smart Leviton and Caseta Wireless systems are pretty easy to set up on your own. With no requirements for additional wiring, pretty much anyone should be able to get their own smart lighting system set up with minimal assistance.
Saves Energy – Most people opt for smart lighting systems due to the convenience they offer, but they can actually save a significant amount of energy as well — helping out the environment and your wallet at the same time. It’s likely that you’ll see a lower energy bill at the end of the month, and in many places, there are discounts and rebates you can receive that reward you for your energy efficiency. In some cases, these rebates can make the cost of getting started with smart lighting much more accessible.
Leviton and Lutron in a Smart Home Environment
If you’re buying a smart lighting system, it’s nice to know that it will integrate with other smart products to build out your connected home. The Lutron Caseta Wireless supports integration with a number of popular smart products and home controllers — most notably Apple HomeKit, Nest products, and Sonos smart speakers. Setting up your lighting to work well with your music, thermostat, or security system is a great way to get the best bang for your buck from the Caseta Wireless lighting solution.
The Leviton Decora Smart products are separated into three main series, and the types of support you’ll see for other products and controllers varies based off of the family of dimmers and switches you decide to purchase.
With the DW-Series, you’ll be able to use Nest products — just as you could with the Caseta Wireless system. You can also automate your lighting based on sensors and alarms, and set things up to work Google Assistant for hands-free control anywhere in your home.
Perhaps one of the biggest features of the DW-Series, however, is support for IFTTT which can allow you to set conditional triggers to do things like turn on the lights when you walk in the door or fire up the dimmers for the perfect movie mood lighting. Other features include the ability for auto-shutoff in closets, hallways, and bathrooms, as well as different settings for when you’re home and when you’re away — perfect for when it comes time to take a vacation.
The DH-Series has features that revolve around HomeKit. If your smart home is built around Apple products or you’re a fan of Siri voice control, the DH-Series may be the perfect fit to take your lighting to the next level.
For the DZ-Series, the integration will vary based on the type of hub you choose. As mentioned above, the DZ-Series communicates using Z-Wave rather than WiFi. This means that if you were to choose a Wink hub, for example, you’ll see integration with most any other smart product controlled through the Wink hub. This makes the DZ-Series one of the most attractive options for homeowners who already have an existing smart home setup, or who are planning on expanding out from lighting in the near future.
How to Make Decora Smart and Caseta Wireless Even Better?
Both the Leviton Decora Smart and Lutron Caseta Wireless systems are pretty fully-featured on their own, but with the Lutron systems you might want to look into purchasing Pico Remotes. While you can control the lighting through the Lutron app, it’s nice to have a number of light and audio Pico remotes spread throughout the house so you can control the lighting and music from wherever you are — whether that’s from bed, or even from in your car outside!
Which Would We Choose for Our Home?
While both the Leviton Decora Smart and Lutron Caseta Wireless offer excellent smart lighting solutions, we strongly recommend the Lutron Caseta Wireless for a number of reasons.
While the Smart Leviton product family in its entirety covers a lot of ground, the fact remains that it’s split into three different series that makes it difficult to get everything you’re looking for. For example, if you have a preferred smart home voice controller you’ll be forced to choose the Leviton system that works with it. If you were to decide to upgrade to a different smart home system in the future, you’d have to replace your entire suite of dimmers and switches to get things to work with a new assistant.
One of the biggest advantages of the Lutron Caseta Wireless system comes in the fact that it doesn’t require you to make hard choices. While the smart home integration may not be quite as wide as some other smart lighting options, it boasts an impressive lineup of compatible partners — especially if you were to connect it straight to Wink Hub 2. Rather than having to stick with a single voice control system, you can pick and choose the one that works best for you.
As the field of smart technology continues to grow and evolve, it’s important to have a product that is flexible enough to adjust to changes in your smart home environment.
At the end of the day, the choice is a personal one. Our vote, however, definitely goes to the Lutron Caseta Wireless.