Lutron Caseta Dimmer Switch Starter Kit: Pricey but worth it

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Lutron Caseta Dimmer Switch Starter Kit

One of the biggest failings of most smart plugs is that they can't dim lights connected to them. Lutron's Caseta Wireless Smart Lighting Dimmer Switch Starter Kit is one of the few smart light switches that do, and while it's much pricier than most other smart plugs, this feature makes it worth the expense.

Measuring 3.1 x 2.2 x 1.25 inches, the Caseta plug is twice the size of most other smart plugs, which means you can use only one of these per outlet. However, the Caseta plug itself has two plugs, meaning you can attach two lamps to it. (You can't control them independently, though.) Also, these plugs are meant for lamps only, and can support up to 300 watts, as opposed to 1,800 watts for most other smart plugs.

On the face of the plug are two large, square buttons to turn devices on and off, and in between are two triangular buttons that let you adjust the dimming level. The plug also comes with a small remote control, so you don't need to open an app on your smartphone to dim the lights.

Unlike most other smart plugs, which can connect directly to your Wi-Fi router, the Caseta plug must connect to Lutron's Wi-Fi bridge, which gets plugged into your router. It's an annoying but necessary extra step.

Through Lutron's app, you can group plugs together, create schedules and much more. I especially like that you can set the plugs to turn on and off at a set time before or after sunrise and sunset. That way, you don't have to worry about adjusting the schedule throughout the year. It also has a geofencing feature, which turns the plugs on when you return home, and a Smart Away feature, which turns lights on and off to make it look like you're home.

MORE: Best Smart Home Hub

Lutron's plugs also work with a wide range of smart home systems, including Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Nest, IFTTT and Google Assistant. It's on our list of the best Apple HomeKit products, too.

Bottom Line

The Lutron Caseta smart wireless kit isn't cheap. For just under $200, you get two plugs, two remotes and the bridge. Additional plugs are about $54 each. However, it's worth the investment because they let you dim your lamps, and a robust app and scheduling system mean the kit requires very limited input once you set it up.

Credit: Lutron

Mike Prospero
U.S. Editor-in-Chief, Tom's Guide

Michael A. Prospero is the U.S. Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide. He oversees all evergreen content and oversees the Homes, Smart Home, and Fitness/Wearables categories for the site. In his spare time, he also tests out the latest drones, electric scooters, and smart home gadgets, such as video doorbells. Before his tenure at Tom's Guide, he was the Reviews Editor for Laptop Magazine, a reporter at Fast Company, the Times of Trenton, and, many eons back, an intern at George magazine. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, where he worked on the campus newspaper The Heights, and then attended the Columbia University school of Journalism. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, electric scooter, or skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine, smoker, or pizza oven, to the delight — or chagrin — of his family.