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Well, cost is the only con I can come up with on Lutron.

You’ll spend 3X-4X more for Lutron. But the RF network is more reliable as is programming flexibility and choices of switches. .

If you don’t like the keypads, then Lutron is likely not for you. We find this the best feature as one button can do anything . For example, ‘Watch TV’ dims lights in the TV room, closes shades, turns down lights in adjacent areas (if done after sunset). Otherwise, just turns off beam lights near TV screen. One button and many different things done.

Lutron is upper end of cost. You won’t $12 thermostats, etc. You're going to spend $100 a switch and over $200 for the keypads. It does everything right... but you pay for it.
I like those keypads. The ’entertain’ and ‘Morning’ buttons each control the almost 40 switches at once on the main floor. the nice thing about Lutron keypads is you have to hardly touch anything to set lighting on a per room, per floor, or time of day setting. Lutron occupancy sensors negate the need to touch lights.

But really, they do far better at dimming LEDs. Lutron has recommended bulbs so you can get the most range out of your dimmers. They do the research. We used their recommended cans when building All good.

That said, given your needs Zwave may be your best bet.I like posting this for other readers who are looking at Lutron. It’s just an awesome bulletproof system.

One last cool thing... the integrated thermostat. No more ugly TStat on the wall.
1CB42478-45D4-4C55-A03E-71EDDD8F8174.jpeg
 
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If you are using a capable control system then there isn't any difference between the capability of RadioRa2 and Z-Wave lighting devices. They can be used as a "modified Home Run" system (ie: less keypads on the wall) and they can invoke scenes. You can also put an on wall touchscreen and not have any thermostat wall acne on the visible walls.

What we find the largest difference (20 years of daily integrating / developing drivers / testing hardware / installing / using), is plain ole reliability. The contacts are more rigorous and the RF just works in more applications than Z-Wave. The RadioRa2 product line covers more different lighting load types than any Z-Wave vendor has assembled. That is another element of why a pro would run with the brand that covers the bases.

If Z-Wave works for you (as it does many) than that's awesome. But there is a definite cost difference and you definitely get something for that money.
Yesterday, a Zoos dimmer likely failed after about 6 months of service. Four LED BR60 light loads....I haven't spent more than 5 minutes debugging so far. But it will probably take an hour to figure out what's wrong and to replace the switch (if needed). Right there, a Lutron is paid for that location.
 

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Speaking of Lutron... Looks like Lutron has partnered with Josh.ai now (along with Crestron Home..).

Josh.ai is something very cool that I am watching closely for voice commands..

 

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Do any of you guys have experience with Leviton Zwave switches?

I've had good luck with Leviton, and pricewise they are in between zooz and Lutron, little less than 2x zooz.

Randy
 

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Well, cost is the only con I can come up with on Lutron.

You’ll spend 3X-4X more for Lutron. But the RF network is more reliable as is programming flexibility and choices of switches. .

If you don’t like the keypads, then Lutron is likely not for you. We find this the best feature as one button can do anything . For example, ‘Watch TV’ dims lights in the TV room, closes shades, turns down lights in adjacent areas (if done after sunset). Otherwise, just turns off beam lights near TV screen. One button and many different things done.

Lutron is upper end of cost. You won’t $12 thermostats, etc. You're going to spend $100 a switch and over $200 for the keypads. It does everything right... but you pay for it.
I like those keypads. The ’entertain’ and ‘Morning’ buttons each control the almost 40 switches at once on the main floor. the nice thing about Lutron keypads is you have to hardly touch anything to set lighting on a per room, per floor, or time of day setting. Lutron occupancy sensors negate the need to touch lights.

But really, they do far better at dimming LEDs. Lutron has recommended bulbs so you can get the most range out of your dimmers. They do the research. We used their recommended cans when building All good.

That said, given your needs Zwave may be your best bet.I like posting this for other readers who are looking at Lutron. It’s just an awesome bulletproof system.

One last cool thing... the integrated thermostat. No more ugly TStat on the wall. View attachment 3052731
Cost isn't the only con. Being proprietary has it's disadvantages like if they go under and shut down their servers for some reason. Then what? All of those expensive devices are no better than a $0.99 switch. If any of my Z-Wave manufacturers (including the Vera controller I chose) go out of business all of my devices will still function 100% as they do today. No change. Everything is managed locally and will keep on keeping on even if Vera goes under. We've seen this happen quite a bit over the years in this segment so it should be a consideration that everyone makes. I'm not predicting Lutron will fail anytime soon but these are crazy times we live in and we've seen crazier.

Everything you mention about one button can be fully automated virtually to not require buttons or even supplement w/ voice commands. This negates the need for several buttons. You can create any scene you mention virtually to automate them so you don't need buttons is the point. The more scenes you create virtually the more you can do with fewer buttons. Voice assistants also enhance this functionality. Adding scenes to use devices and device states to trigger other devices based on various events is pretty powerful and can be used to replicate most things you're talking about physical buttons activating.

The $12 thermostat was a rarity but it does happen. The stat was originally nearly $200 but sales happen with Z-Wave devices due to competition and the consumer benefits. For me, when I built this house, I put a 7-day programmable automatic switching touchscreen Honeywell in and it was the latest whiz-bang device at the time. I literally set the temp to 71 degrees and never touched it again. A thermostat was the last thing I made "smart" because 1) I can't stand the ones that try to predict my habits and adjust stuff w/o me knowing or having a say and 2) I really don't need the benefits that come from a fancy thermostat when our needs are "71 degrees year 'round" which is pretty easy to do with a $5 dial thermostat from the 70's so long as it automatically switched heat/cool.

That light switch thermostat does look pretty cool. If it's successful I would imagine that someone will make one that uses Z-Wave protocol sooner than later. Is that an all-in-one unit that genuinely replaces a traditional thermostat fully with temp sensing and controls built in or just a slave unit that is communicating with a stand-alone unit? I'm guessing the former in which case that's pretty cool and soon as someone makes a Z-Wave version that's stable and affordable I may get one. I envision issues with running the low volt of the stat into the same 120-volt box that the switch is in though in terms of code. They tend to frown upon mixing these from what I've seen.

I'm not trying to be argumentative but conversational. Over the years I've seen people prop up this or that w/o much supportive details which ends up being largely due to it's the one they use. I'd like to hear the details as to why A is better than B from those who know first-hand.
 

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If you are using a capable control system then there isn't any difference between the capability of RadioRa2 and Z-Wave lighting devices. They can be used as a "modified Home Run" system (ie: less keypads on the wall) and they can invoke scenes. You can also put an on wall touchscreen and not have any thermostat wall acne on the visible walls.

What we find the largest difference (20 years of daily integrating / developing drivers / testing hardware / installing / using), is plain ole reliability. The contacts are more rigorous and the RF just works in more applications than Z-Wave. The RadioRa2 product line covers more different lighting load types than any Z-Wave vendor has assembled. That is another element of why a pro would run with the brand that covers the bases.

If Z-Wave works for you (as it does many) than that's awesome. But there is a definite cost difference and you definitely get something for that money.
Yesterday, a Zoos dimmer likely failed after about 6 months of service. Four LED BR60 light loads....I haven't spent more than 5 minutes debugging so far. But it will probably take an hour to figure out what's wrong and to replace the switch (if needed). Right there, a Lutron is paid for that location.
One failure could just be an outlier but I can see where that would be off-putting. I gave my GE switches the benefit of the doubt when the first one failed two mounts outside of the warranty until it happened again right about the same timeframe which then turned into a pattern. I'm not saying that Zooz and Z-Wave is the end-all be-all but I think that the gap between any of these popular technologies has shrunk significantly over the years as they mature. It's important that the end-user understand what their needs are and what the various ecosystems are and are not capable of to make the proper decision for them.

For me, I wanted no cloud requirements for functionality (many require "calling home" just to function... company goes under... you're hosed), local control and scene activation, non-proprietary devices and low price point w/o any monthly service fees to access ALL functions. For me, I've got the best system for my needs. It offers way more now than it did when I made that decision so I'm happier and happier as time goes by and the ecosystem matures. When I consider all of the money I saved with now-defunct systems that were more expensive at the time I'm quite content.
 

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I'm not trying to be argumentative either. I have the Lutron system and am thrilled with it. Lutron isn't going anywhere. They have a niche for high level installs. All automation systems support them specifically (Crestron, Savant, C4, etc). Look around the internet, the consensus is Lutron's technology is far more reliable than Zwave or Zigbee. You won't find one review that touts Zwave over Lutron's CLear-Connect.

Yes, you seem fixated on cost and that's where Lutron is not even comparable to ZWave. But their offerings are vast in number and they've been doing it longer than ZWave.

It's not for everyone but if installed, there won't be reliability problems like you may have with an open system like Zwave where many manufacturer have offerings. Lutron is a closed system so there are no compatibility issues.

App is awesome as well.

There may not be any convincing you but Lutron is better in every way. Check the internet, not just AVS people here. Look at their product line. It is long and vast an as company, they are going no where. Zwave will be gone before Lutron

The TStat is a 3 peice system:
1. Sensor that is countersunk into drywall, mudded, sanded over and painted. Invisible.
2. Wireless transmitter hardwired to the furnace inputs that talks to T-Stat
3. Single gang controller. There is a sensor built into the single gang controller in case of a transmitter failure so heating and cooling will resume normally - the controller is wired to furnace

I think the Tstat is over $300. I did cheaper Lutron TStats in the other areas of the house (under $200).

Here's a link I found asking the same questions of Lutron vs all others.

All good!
 

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Double post
 

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I'm not trying to be argumentative either. I have the Lutron system and am thrilled with it. Lutron isn't going anywhere. They have a niche for high level installs. All automation systems support them specifically (Crestron, Savant, C4, etc). Look around the internet, the consensus is Lutron's technology is far more reliable than Zwave or Zigbee. You won't find one review that touts Zwave over Lutron's CLear-Connect.

Yes, you seem fixated on cost and that's where Lutron is not even comparable to ZWave. But their offerings are vast in number and they've been doing it longer than ZWave.

It's not for everyone but if installed, there won't be reliability problems like you may have with an open system like Zwave where many manufacturer have offerings. Lutron is a closed system so there are no compatibility issues.

App is awesome as well.

There may not be any convincing you but Lutron is better in every way. Check the internet, not just AVS people here. Look at their product line. It is long and vast an as company, they are going no where. Zwave will be gone before Lutron

The TStat is a 3 peice system:
1. Sensor that is countersunk into drywall, mudded, sanded over and painted. Invisible.
2. Wireless transmitter hardwired to the furnace inputs that talks to T-Stat
3. Single gang controller. There is a sensor built into the single gang controller in case of a transmitter failure so heating and cooling will resume normally - the controller is wired to furnace

I think the Tstat is over $300. I did cheaper Lutron TStats in the other areas of the house (under $200).

Here's a link I found asking the same questions of Lutron vs all others:
https://www.reddit.com/r/Lutron/comments/f7i9cx
All good!
 

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I'm not trying to be argumentative either. I have the Lutron system and am thrilled with it. Lutron isn't going anywhere. They have a niche for high level installs. All automation systems support them specifically (Crestron, Savant, C4, etc). Look around the internet, the consensus is Lutron's technology is far more reliable than Zwave or Zigbee. You won't find one review that touts Zwave over Lutron's CLear-Connect.

Yes, you seem fixated on cost and that's where Lutron is not even comparable to ZWave. But their offerings are vast in number and they've been doing it longer than ZWave.

It's not for everyone but if installed, there won't be reliability problems like you may have with an open system like Zwave where many manufacturer have offerings. Lutron is a closed system so there are no compatibility issues.

App is awesome as well.

There may not be any convincing you but Lutron is better in every way. Check the internet, not just AVS people here. Look at their product line. It is long and vast an as company, they are going no where. Zwave will be gone before Lutron

The TStat is a 3 peice system:
1. Sensor that is countersunk into drywall, mudded, sanded over and painted. Invisible.
2. Wireless transmitter hardwired to the furnace inputs that talks to T-Stat
3. Single gang controller. There is a sensor built into the single gang controller in case of a transmitter failure so heating and cooling will resume normally - the controller is wired to furnace

I think the Tstat is over $300. I did cheaper Lutron TStats in the other areas of the house (under $200).

Here's a link I found asking the same questions of Lutron vs all others.

All good!
You say "Lutron isn't going anywhere" but you don't know that. Larger & smaller entities alike have exited the Home Automation segment and left LOTS of people out in the cold with their investments. You also can't tell me that if they fold that your investment will continue working because it won't. Without Lutron servers your $60 smart switch becomes at $0.99 dumb switch.

Yes, I'm fixated on cost because most consumers are. They want value for their investment. You can't claim something is "better in every way" thinking it will be a blanket answer to the question. If I have ZERO issues with my network.... what is Lutron fixing that makes it better? If I had issues I could see where Lutron may excel but, like I said already, this system works flawlessly and responds instantaneously so how can Lutron improve on that specifically?

I honestly feel like a lot of your comparison data is from dated experience. This is a rapidly evolving segment and non-proprietary protocols have LOTS of competition which has been driving advancement at a faster pace. Z-Wave+ is a significant step up from Z-Wave and the individual manufacturers within that spectrum have been improving leaps and bounds which they have to to keep up with competition. Vera's controllers/firmware have to get better to keep up with Hubitat, Smart things, et al. Zooz switches have to get better to compete with GE/Jasco, et al. This competition is what drives these things to get better which has SIGNIFICANTLY narrowed that gap between Lutron and other ecosystems. Within that competition though they all must use the same protocol which is what governs compatibility and stability. So even as those hardware devices and firmware sets improve the protocol they all are based on is evolving and improving as well to compete with other open-source protocols. All of these benefit the consumer since we're always benefited from competition.

If we had this conversation even 5-years ago I may have agreed that Lutron is simply better because I was having issues here and there and saw ways that my setup could improve. Now, I don't see those issues. The browser based dashboard and app work great and are incredibly intuitive. I add a new device to the system of any type and it just works. Exactly as intended. I create new scenes based on many devices and trigger events and complex rules and they work instantly and as intended. My voice assistant integration is incredible and it's nice to have one single interface for all of our smart home controls and various other tasks we ask Alexa for. Saying things like lights, fans, TVs, game consoles, door locks and fireplaces and having them happen is not only a fun party trick but adds value to countless interactions everyday. I especially like though that things we do frequently can be easily set up to just automatically do what we would do so we don't even have to think about it. That's the REAL value added proposition of a smart home automation system.

I see zero places that Lutron can improve my system so yeah... it comes down to cost. What am I paying for? Lack of competition and a proprietary protocol that will simply go away if Lutron ever goes under? Doesn't seem like a wise investment to me. When I ask someone why they do something and they can't give me a solid reasons as to why it's a better method than just "It's how we've always done it" I have a hard time accepting that as a real answer. When you tell me "It's just better in every way" and my system isn't deficient in any area... I kind of lump this into the same categorical answer. I don't seem to be getting tangible benefits in your "comparison" so let me take this conversation another way to try to explain your stance....

Do you make an income installing and servicing these devices? Based on what you and others have said in response to my quest for data it seems as though this may be the case which may explain why Lutron is "just better" much in the same way HVAC experts dismiss self-installed minisplits.
 

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So your vote is for Lutron who offers a switch that for only $70 does the same thing as the $30 Zooz dimmer switch I suggested. Makes sense. Especially when you scale that up over ten or twenty units. Not to seem snarky but I never understand posts like this. What specific benefits will the end user experience for paying over 2x more on the front end to justify the cost premium?
Lutron just works. Had Insteon years ago and had failed device after failed device. Have not had one bad Lutron switch, in years. Not one. I have one zwave door lock, have a repeater, and it’s slow to activate, state doesn’t always update, etc. I like tinkering but as things get more complex, if devices aren’t bulletproof you will constantly be chasing something. If you have others in your house who aren’t fascinated with the tech whether it works or not, the acceptance will be very low.
 

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Lutron just works. Had Insteon years ago and had failed device after failed device. Have not had one bad Lutron switch, in years. Not one. I have one zwave door lock, have a repeater, and it’s slow to activate, state doesn’t always update, etc. I like tinkering but as things get more complex, if devices aren’t bulletproof you will constantly be chasing something. If you have others in your house who aren’t fascinated with the tech whether it works or not, the acceptance will be very low.
Z-Wave just works too though. I've heard lots of negative user reviews of Insteon (specifically failed devices) which is why I chose to avoid it when considering options. I'm not surprised by your experience but I wouldn't lump it in the same category as Z-Wave just because it's not Lutron. I've got three of the Z-Wave (Schlage to be specific as brand is also important) touchpad door locks and all three of them report state accurately and as near instant as one could expect. I think the problem in your specific install is the bridge/repeater you're using to relay the lock state to your controller for integration. There's some translation that needs to occur there and something is getting lost or slowed greatly in that transaction from what you're saying. Schlage Z-Wave deadbolt to Z-Wave controller is near instant though and has been 100% accurate to lock state in my install.

My desire to "tinker" with tech as I age becomes less and less and I've been quite happy with them maturity of my Vera ecosystem as it's more intuitive and less finicky year after year. It really is in the area of "just working" for me now and has been for years. Even a recent upgrade from an ancient VeraLite to a newer VeraPlus was nearly as simply as it gets. Backup the current system and then restore on the new controller. I had my doubts this migration would go smoothly and was prepared to invest lots of time to make it work but this ended up being necessary. It just worked.

Hard to improve on this which is why I keep struggling to understand the specifics of how you "greatly improve" on something that works flawlessly.
 

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Surf the net. It is just better. I'm sure your ZWave works great in your situation, but if you were building a new home, Lutron would be the choice. Lutron will be around far longer than Z-Wave. Far more options in decor and design of switches, more load types supported (MLV, ELV, etc). 60 years in business so far and integrated with so many automation companies. Annual revenue of $600M world wide. It will outlast you and me! They have lower cost Caseta switches at Home Depot, Lowes, etc. They're everywhere.

But really, we're having 2 arguments here. There is no doubt ZWave is fine in your home. Since that is the case, leave it be. The OP is building a new home, and myself coming from a ZWave home, I am aware of the shortfalls, the limitations, esthetics, and programming of Z-Wave. It is a great entry level, low cost automation system. I am still using it in our vacation home. Moreover, in building a new home you have the opportunity to hide paddles and have one keypad, motion, Alexa command power up a room without looking at the dated, ugly 3-5 paddles on a wall. You also want tried and true reliability.

When (if) you become limited by Zwave products, esthetics or programming, you'll find your way to Lutron.

Good luck!

Below - New deeper integration of Lutron into Crestron Home. Very, very cool! Crestron makes their own proprietary lights switches, dimmers, etc, but as Lutron is the leader in automation lighting, they have to make Lutron integration apart of their own automation systems so as to widen their acceptance base. Mayn Lutron QS, RA2 installs...

I am integrating in Crestron Home. Very cool. they do special upgrades for Lutron

3053098
 

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Surf the net. It is just better. I'm sure your ZWave works great in your situation, but if you were building a new home, Lutron would be the choice. Lutron will be around far longer than Z-Wave. Far more options in decor and design of switches, more load types supported (MLV, ELV, etc). 60 years in business so far and integrated with so many automation companies. Annual revenue of $600M world wide. It will outlast you and me! They have lower cost Caseta switches at Home Depot, Lowes, etc. They're everywhere.

But really, we're having 2 arguments here. There is no doubt ZWave is fine in your home. Since that is the case, leave it be. The OP is building a new home, and myself coming from a ZWave home, I am aware of the shortfalls, the limitations, esthetics, and programming of Z-Wave. It is a great entry level, low cost automation system. I am still using it in our vacation home. Moreover, in building a new home you have the opportunity to hide paddles and have one keypad, motion, Alexa command power up a room without looking at the dated, ugly 3-5 paddles on a wall. You also want tried and true reliability.

When (if) you become limited by Zwave products, esthetics or programming, you'll find your way to Lutron.

Good luck!

Below - New deeper integration of Lutron into Crestron Home. Very, very cool! Crestron makes their own proprietary lights switches, dimmers, etc, but as Lutron is the leader in automation lighting, they have to make Lutron integration apart of their own automation systems so as to widen their acceptance base. Mayn Lutron QS, RA2 installs...

I am integrating in Crestron Home. Very cool. they do special upgrades for Lutron

View attachment 3053098
Again, "It's just better" is not a quantifiable explanation to the question "Why is it better" as I've already stated. No, I won't do the leg work on proving YOUR stance on a product. If you're going to make such claims you should be fully prepared to give reasons instead of "it just is" which is something you tell an inquisitive 6-year-old.

Going on to state that "Z-Wave is a low cost solution" as if that's a negative without saying what it can't do also seems counterintuitive. Usually the same capability for less money is a positive. To me, it seems like it does everything for the end user that Lutron does (and then some) for a lot less money. New construction or old construction is irrelevant in this case.

Stating how long the parent company has been in business and it's revenue is also irrelevant when you consider that much larger companies have attempted to dip a toe in Home Automation and failed. The consumers of those products were left in the cold for choosing wrong when they went with a big name thinking it was the safest bet. These server-dependent options (like Lutron) are worthless once this happens and it's been proven time and again that the size of the parent company & name on the box means nothing. It's an incredibly volatile space and stating that it's impossible for them to fail based on no supporting data seems a bold statement. This is especially true when you continually admit it's far more expensive w/o being able to tell me what TANGIBLE benefits one gets from that premium cost other than the privilege of paying more money.
 

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Sort of like saying a Nissan GT-R and a Porsche 911 Turbo S get to 60 MPH in 2.7 seconds each (which they do) -so, why would you ever buy the Porsche when the Porsche is 2X the price?!

Dude... you just don't get it. Get the software, download it and see all the advantages and options not included in Z-Wave. Glad Z-Wave is working for you - it is a good cost-effective solution..
 

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Sort of like saying a Nissan GT-R and a Porsche 911 Turbo S get to 60 MPH in 2.7 seconds each (which they do) -so, why would you ever buy the Porsche when the Porsche is 2X the price?!

Dude... you just don't get it. Get the software, download it and see all the advantages and options not included in Z-Wave. Glad Z-Wave is working for you - it is a good cost-effective solution..
Now imagine someone just asked what specifically makes the Porsche better for they money than the Nissan. You're response is saying things like "the company is worth a lot of money and makes lots of revenue" and "I sell Porsche so therefore it has to be better" and when people want more solid reasoning to spend 2x the money you hit them with "it just is because it is" and drop your mic to walk away even though you've given zero answer to their specific questions. This is what you're doing.

Basically, in doing all of this you're making the case for Z-Wave stronger since it can do everything Lutron can do for a fraction of the price and even offers some important aspects that Lutron doesn't.

You're right though, I just don't get it. I guess we can agree on something.
 

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All good! For your needs, clearly Z-Wave is doing the job. For others, the advantages of Lutron outweigh such. Good to have choice.
 

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I use lutron QS, and it is pretty nice and very stable. That said, there is one glaring fault associated with any Lutron system, and that is forced obsolescence. Lutron has a history of introducing new product lines which are not backwards compatible with older installations. So you will end up with a choice to either go without the new features and continue nursing your system (potentially limiting upgrades of other components as well out of fear that some interface will break), or plan to rip out your installation and start fresh. For example, QS just got shelved in favor of a new "locked-down" QSX, which has no open integration capabilities for developers, and I'd expect that Radio Ra is probably due for a replacement, which may have an alternate feature set than the one you are currently previewing.

For someone who has been with a specific Lutron system for a long while, the obsolescence is less painful, because the system is perhaps already more than 10 years old. However, anyone who purchased a system 6 months ago is probably cursing Lutron, as well as themselves, for getting duped into spending thousands- in some cases tens of thousands- for an unsupported system.

Such behavior is not unique to Lutron - I have an iPad with a critical legacy piece of 32-bit software that won't run on anything after iOS10, so now that iPad is frozen in time. Over time, fewer and fewer Apps are able to run on iOS10, and yet I can't easily move the App to another iPad, due to iOS constraints. It's just the new side effect of making ordinary things "smart" using proprietary firmware. When planning for your HA system, one of your objectives should be to limit the impact that abandonware will have on your setup. Even if you set a ten-year horizon, It's inevitable that one or more components will cease to be updated no matter what systems you select. IMHO, putting some thought into this reality should also be part of your design.

I'd end by saying I'd probably still select Lutron over Z Wave, and live with the knowledge of any pending obsolescence.
 

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I have a QS system too. It's very reliable, and integration works pretty well. I am glad we built the house 2 years ago, because at the time I would not have realized that QSX didn't enjoy the same integration. I think QSX was released too early, and will eventually catch up in capability. It would be tough to make a decision now.

But it's still better than anything else you would use. Maybe that will change, but lighting has to be super reliable, or you will end up cursing it.
 
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