This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.
Smart Home: This smart dimmer isn't dull
About Video Comments (0 ) Transcript

Smart Home: This smart dimmer isn't dull

2:28 /

Lutron's Smart Bridge turns regular ol' dimmers into home automation heroes.

[MUSIC] Hey, I'm Megan Wollerton for CNET appliances, here with the Lutron Smart Bridge. This $150 gizmo gives Lutron brand dimmers and other products smart functionality. So, where in the past you could buy a Lutron dimmer at the store for 55 bucks, get the Pico remote that goes with it and control everything manually. Now the smart bridge lets you do that with an app. I really loved this app. It's really intuitive, it looks nice, and it makes it so, so simple to use. This works with the plugin module, or the in-wall unit that you have to install. You can set schedules that you can initiate manually, or you can do auto schedules. Say, these lights will turn off at 9 AM, when I leave for work, and come back on at 6 PM, when I come home. Something like that. The one big problem I have with this is price. You can get a Belkin WeMo Smart Plug for $50 that has built-in WiFi capabilities and be able to turn your lights on are off from an app remotely. Since these blue tron dimmers are actually dumb, they don't have built in wi-fi capabilities, you have to spend the extra 150 bucks for this smart bridge to get that capability. So, that's a bit of a bummer. The benefit you're getting is dimming capability. It really allows for a whole new range of lighting options that you couldn't have before. If you want some of those extra features, this is great. It works great. It's just gonna cost you. One thing that would make this a better value is if you incorporate some of the other third party products that are available with the Smart Bridge. For example, there are three in a battery power shades that can be installed on your Windows. And you can use the app, the regular Lutron app that you use for these plugs to lift your shades up and down on a schedule. That's all it works with currently, but Lutron also has plans to incorporate Honeywell WI-FI smart thermostats, not the new Honeywell [UNKNOWN] thermostat but the older smart thermostats into this mix. Also GE is working on a dimmable LED bulb with built in Lutron capabilities so you don't need the switch. You could just buy this bulb, **** it into your lighting fixture and use the app to control that. So the Lutron Smart Bridge isn't coming out until September 1st. So you have a little time to think about if it makes sense for your home. You could always just spend, you know, the 55 bucks, get one of these and see how you like it, and then add on the smart bridge later on, but overall I love this product. I love the app, I think it's great, even though it's really pricey. Thanks for watching. I'm Megan Wollerton for Cnet.com. [MUSIC]

New releases

LG 55EC9300 OLED TV: the best picture...
2:58 September 16, 2014
With its bright whites and perfect black levels, the LG 55EC9300 lives up to the promise of OLED with the...
Play video
Canon SX60 HS packs all the zoom...
1:28 September 15, 2014
Want to get up close and personal? The SX60 has 65x optical zoom and one of the widest lenses on a camera...
Play video
Tomorrow Daily 051: Microsoft buys...
21:19 September 15, 2014
On today's show, Rich and Ashley discuss a jetpack that helps you run a 4-minute mile, a tiny radio the size...
Play video
On the road: 2015 Chrysler 200...
8:02 September 15, 2014
When the Chrysler 200 first came along, it was a warmed over Sebring and results were tepid. But the new 2015...
Play video
Top 5: Things we value most in...
2:52 September 15, 2014
With so many choices and features in the center head unit, what do we really value? Brian Cooley tells you...
Play video
Check out library books on any...
2:15 September 15, 2014
Many libraries now support e-books. Find out how to check out library books and get them sent directly to...
Play video
Car Tech 101: How to get TV in...
3:15 September 15, 2014
Brian Cooley tells you about emerging technologies that could make watching TV in your car a reality.
Play video
Smarter driver: How fast are the...
2:11 September 15, 2014
Some states have much faster speed limits -- and real driving speeds -- than others. Is there a correlation...
Play video