TP-Link smart switch vs Lutrons RadioRA2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 20 Old 09-18-2019, 05:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Lightbulb TP-Link smart switch vs Lutrons RadioRA2

Was considering Lutrons RadioRA2 for smart lighting in a new build. Came across TP-Link switches, which are $35. Yet to get pricing for Lutrons RadioRA2 switches, based on other Lutron products would be close to 3 times TP-Link price.

What is similar, what are the differences in terms of functionality...
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post #2 of 20 Old 09-18-2019, 07:43 PM
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Wifi vs clear connect. Much more extensive product line. Easy automation integration. TP-Link isn't even in the same league.
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post #3 of 20 Old 09-18-2019, 09:02 PM
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How many weeks/months/years do you want support of this product?

My experience with most lighting has been pretty poor. The entirely proprietary nature is typical, but the lack of support is tremendous. Lutron is Lutron, but they have a very open level of documentation.

Just search for Lutron Serial Protocol to see how much open documentation there is.

Maybe if you are looking for phone control, and basic Alexa/Google integration they will work perfectly. But, for how long? What about when things change to something new? Will they have an interface for that new solution? Are you out buying switches again?

I used Insteon, which isn't cheap, but has poor documentation, and non-existent support. I am finally at the point where all the switches will go away in favor of Radio RA as I can put it into place.

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post #4 of 20 Old 09-18-2019, 10:36 PM
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Lutron also has smaller scale products, like Caseta and RA2 Select. TP-Link is below the scale of Caseta.


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post #5 of 20 Old 09-19-2019, 08:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you all for the details.

I had a quick question, why do we need a 3-way smart switch, could we not use the interface ….
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post #6 of 20 Old 09-19-2019, 09:25 PM
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TP-Link smart switch vs Lutrons RadioRA2

3-way smart switch circuits require ‘companion’ switch, like Z-wave at one of the circuit. The companion switch is a controller for the switch. Exception is Lutron Caseta that does not have companion, but uses a Pico in a wall plate adapter paired with the switch or bridge (hub). Lutron RA2 has a remote switch for 3-way.




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post #7 of 20 Old 09-23-2019, 03:25 PM
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Thank you all for the details.

I had a quick question, why do we need a 3-way smart switch, could we not use the interface ….
3-way switches are a 1 for 1 electrical replacement of your original switches. The wiring is typically already in place in a structure before 'smart' switches are installed.

Following existing electrical code for all wiring is good form. This way if you decide to abandon smart switches and put in standard switches, you may do so.

As well, existing electrical setups which use 3-way switches can easily be upgraded to all types of smart switches without worry of compatibility with the wiring.

So, in a room which has two existing switches that control the same light, often found on stairs at the top and bottom, you would use a 3-way switch and a companion switch to offer local light control to people on the stairs.

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post #8 of 20 Old 09-23-2019, 03:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post
3-way switches are a 1 for 1 electrical replacement of your original switches. The wiring is typically already in place in a structure before 'smart' switches are installed.

Following existing electrical code for all wiring is good form. This way if you decide to abandon smart switches and put in standard switches, you may do so.

As well, existing electrical setups which use 3-way switches can easily be upgraded to all types of smart switches without worry of compatibility with the wiring.

So, in a room which has two existing switches that control the same light, often found on stairs at the top and bottom, you would use a 3-way switch and a companion switch to offer local light control to people on the stairs.
This is a new build, so we can setup as needed. Having said that, I never though that one would have to go from smart switches to undo (non)smart switches. But never say never.... Have anyone of you experienced this or know anything about this, please share your experience, that would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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post #9 of 20 Old 09-24-2019, 10:25 AM
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This is a new build, so we can setup as needed. Having said that, I never though that one would have to go from smart switches to undo (non)smart switches. But never say never.... Have anyone of you experienced this or know anything about this, please share your experience, that would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
I've gotta say that smart switches are designed, to my knowledge, as one-for-one replacements of existing light switches except for the ridiculous stuff from Philips.

While it is up to you, there is no way that I wouldn't wire a home using traditional electrical code standards for switches and install smart switches in place of standard switches in all locations. This is not to go back to 'dumb' switches, but to upgrade to newer switches. As well, since budget is often part of the process, if I can't do all my switches in one go, then I can do some to start with and add more switches later on if I want to and as budget permits.

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post #10 of 20 Old 09-24-2019, 08:57 PM - Thread Starter
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"While it is up to you, there is no way that I wouldn't wire a home using traditional electrical code standards for switches and install smart switches in place of standard switches in all locations."

Builder has it setup for standard switches. We have to now convert to smart switches, I'am moving location of switches and adding couple of keypads and adding a bunch of Alexa/Google/Siri's for easy reach. In the process also removing 3-way and 2-way switches as the same functionality would be achieved by the added keypad/Alexa.

This is a very basic approach, any tips would be appreciated in converting this plan to smart switches plan. We plan to do the whole house, just to keep it simple.
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post #11 of 20 Old 09-26-2019, 06:48 AM
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I put RA2 in my new build. Perhaps 50 switches, thermostats, Lutron blinds, motion sensors, garage door controller, etc.

I’ve had it for 4 months and it has been a great experience. The app is great too.

We wired / hid most switches in laundry room and closets.

It is really nice touching a single button and dimming an entire room, zone or entire floor (or turning of other areas). We have single gang 3-6 button switches around the house instead of 3-5 paddle dimmers marking up the walls.

Really like the RA2. The switches are nicer looking than C4. Super pleased!

Goodbye to a great audio and video genius and writer... JOHN GANNON. I enjoyed your friendship, wit and a nice long run we took around Indianapolis at CEDIA years back... and for buying my Runco 980 Ultra years back... you saved my ass! Rest in peace.
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post #12 of 20 Old 09-26-2019, 06:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Great! Did you have to go through a dealer? what was pricing like, how much for switches and how much to setup
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post #13 of 20 Old 09-26-2019, 10:18 PM
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Yeah, these are not really even comparable to be honest. One is very high-end for big projects... The other can just be used in whatever way.
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post #14 of 20 Old 09-27-2019, 05:28 AM
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TP-Link smart switch vs Lutrons RadioRA2

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Great! Did you have to go through a dealer? what was pricing like, how much for switches and how much to setup
I did not go through a dealer and bought switches on line and a through a buddy who had access to Lutron products through his work. All in was probably $8K - $10K for all Lutron equipment (thermostats, switches, 2 Grafik Eyes Garage controller, Main and Aux repeaters, etc).

The home is 4500 sq ft. I did the entire first floor, garage, master bedroom, master bath, and his, her closets, 2nd floor hallways, portion of basement and theater. Perhaps 80% of the entire home. Now I did not pay for device installation per se as I had builder install these instead of the switches he was contracted to place. Wiring was also no extra charge as we ran the same number of wires - just to different areas to hide switches.

Note sweet looking Lutron integrated thermostat in a dual gang box with button switch. Pretty sweet.


Lutron shades are very expensive (~$10K - $11K for 5 shades, power supplies and installation). For these, I went through a dealer.

Thermostat on left side. Nice way to place control in main area and avoid esthetic issues of typical large thermostat


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Goodbye to a great audio and video genius and writer... JOHN GANNON. I enjoyed your friendship, wit and a nice long run we took around Indianapolis at CEDIA years back... and for buying my Runco 980 Ultra years back... you saved my ass! Rest in peace.

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post #15 of 20 Old 09-27-2019, 10:43 PM
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I notice you didn't use the claro wall plates. Aesthetic choice?
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post #16 of 20 Old 09-29-2019, 04:34 AM
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I notice you didn't use the claro wall plates. Aesthetic choice?
Yes. I had some Claro plates to try but I fond them too thick.

Goodbye to a great audio and video genius and writer... JOHN GANNON. I enjoyed your friendship, wit and a nice long run we took around Indianapolis at CEDIA years back... and for buying my Runco 980 Ultra years back... you saved my ass! Rest in peace.
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post #17 of 20 Old 09-29-2019, 08:31 AM
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Yeah seem a little thick to me too. We will try it on wall when we get to that point months from now but good to know I'm not alone.
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post #18 of 20 Old 09-30-2019, 04:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Can you buy RadioRa switches on-line, I was under the impression that only dealers can sell these...
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post #19 of 20 Old 09-30-2019, 07:09 AM
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Yes, there are several places online. A search will turn them up. Fine for a switch or two but I'd urge to at least find a local or online dealer to get a quote if you have a lot to order, maybe they aren't any more expensive and you can support local business.
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post #20 of 20 Old 10-03-2019, 08:10 PM - Thread Starter
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You are right, supporting local business.
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