Motion Sensors & Lutron Caseta

hey MPU,

I want to make sure I am not overthinking this and spending more that I need. I have Lutron Caseta throughout the house, except in the bathrooms, the last place I didn’t do them.

My children leave the lights on in the bathroom at night. I figured perhaps we could automate all of this. Lights are currently controlled by 2 ‘non-smart’ on/off switches.

Walking into the bathroom, 1 non-smart switch, 4 light bulbs over the vanity, turn the corner, there’s a door for the toilet/shower with another non-smart switch.

Proposed solution
Vanity Area

  • Change the 4 light bulbs to the Philips Hue Smart Bulbs
  • Add Philips Hue Sensor
  • Change the dummy switch for Lutron Caseta Switch

Shower Area

  • Change the dummy switch for Lutron Caseta Switch
  • Not sure which sensor would work best here?


I want to know the answer to your questions, since we are finishing our lower level currently… but why use Philips Hue bulbs/sensor AND the Caseta switch? Wouldn’t generic LED bulbs and a Lutron sensor with the Caseta switch do the job at a lower cost?

You are correct, I should go with generic LED bulbs and a Lutron sensor and Caseta Switch. I might do this setup with the closet. However, I keep reading mixed reviews about the Lutron sensor, it seems that you can’t customize it with HomeKit, all of that needs to occur within the Lutron app.

Unless voice automation is a requirement (and I can understand why it might be), the Caseta app is way more reliable than anything related to HomeKit. You can also use the app for schedule-based automations, so I would not worry about that.

Lesson learned yesterday.

You can’t have both worlds. You cannot use smart bulbs and a smart switch at the same time.

I tried using Lutron Caseta dimmer with the Philips hue LED bulbs. Epic fail.

The two options are…
Smart switch with a dumb bulb
Dumb switch with a smart bulb

Returned $300 worth of Philips Hue stuff, since I already had Lutron Caseta switches.

$12 on dumb dimmable led bulbs.

Then purchased Lutron Motion sensor coming later today for testing. If it works great, if not return back.


This makes sense to me. The Lutron stuff is really good. The Hue stuff gets good reviews, but in real world use, the electricians all told me one of their most frequent jobs is to take out Hue lights they were asked to put in and replace all that with Caseta setups. So you’re making the right call.

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Hue bulbs are a gateway into automated light systems. Changing a light bulb is easy compared to swapping out a switch. Because of that, I’d guess that electricians see more of the Lutrons going in than Hue systems.

(That said, I suspect most homeowners don’t know how trivially easy it is to swap a switch if you’ve got reasonably modern boxes in the wall. I’ve done two of mine (house was built in the 1920s) and it took all of 15 minutes each time. Wish I could do more lighting via Lutrons, but most of my lighting is not controlled by wall switches, as is typical for older homes.)

All of this is true, but the issue the electricians specifically cited was reliability and the lack of a non-smart normal light switch. The complaint they heard was people who were annoyed with having to re-connect a single bulb if the wifi shut down or had issues or whatever. And for the amount of overheads we were putting in our basement alone, a Hue bulb for all of them got astronomically expensive compared to a Lutron switch, so that played into it for us, but wasn’t a thing the electricians mentioned.

We worked with two electricians, one freelance and one larger local company. They had no overlap, and both of them said the same thing without being prompted, so I believe they’re telling the truth.

I like the concept of Hue, but I shudder at the thought of a changing standard that requires me to replace all of my bulbs at once if one dies just so they can continue talking with one another. (That home spec is very much up in the air, right?)

I do completely agree with you; it’s super easy to swap out switches. We had to do a lot of electrical work on this house that was beyond my capability, but I’m clueless about this stuff and I think even I could manage the switch if I needed to.