Motion sensors are a fundamental element of the modern smart home, with a multitude of options available for all our favorite platforms at home. In theory, smart motion sensors are there to help light in the dark and save energy when you leave for the next day. However, some sensors suffer from slow speeds or motion detection, which is simply reliable, which makes them frustrated but convincing enough to keep around.
When the Caseta de Lutron Wireless Motion Sensor was announced last month at CES 2020, I was immediately intrigued by the company’s claims of better detection 3X better than the competition. The prospect of having a motion sensor that could not only meet my fast response time requirements, potential HomeKit compatibility, and integration with my Caséta Wireless rock-solid switches and lamp dimmers certainly excited me for its launch.
I recently installed the Caséta wireless motion sensor in my home and I can say for sure that my excitement for it was justified, because I finally found a sensor that actually works as intended. I can now enjoy the house of the future, where one of my rooms instantly lights up just by entering, stays on until I leave the room and, of course, turns off, all without having to use the wall switches, voice control or an application.
Smart and fast
Caséta wireless motion sensor
Bottom line: The Caséta wireless motion sensor offers extremely fast response times, high reliability and is easy to configure. This combination with a 10-year battery life and multiple mounting options make this sensor one of the best around.
- Extremely fast response
- Very reliable
- Extended battery life
- Multiple mounting options
- Completely wireless
- Large and bulky
- Build lack of quality
- Does not support HomeKit
Movement and occupation
Caséta Wireless Motion Sensor: features
The Caséta wireless motion sensor offers a white-plastic plastic design, with the typical “window” that allows it to detect motion in its 180-degree field of view. Passive infrared (PIR) sensors housed indoors are capable of detecting heat signatures from those in its viewfinder, combined with those of Lutron XCT technology that he used for years in his non-intelligent sensors to detect fine movements.
Also, there are several physical buttons on the sensor, two located at the top, which are used to test the operation and to illuminate a small LED light behind the window. There are three additional back buttons, which are used for setting time periods, adjusting the sensitivity and changing the default sensor settings. The default Lutron settings include auto-on and off lights with a 15 minute time delay and low sensitivity, which should work for most applications. The sensor also uses occupancy as a factor when it switches on the lights, preventing it from leaving you in the dark after a set period of time.
The Lutron sensor is completely wireless, relying on a small CR123 battery for power and RF for connectivity to the Casseta switch and hub. Using RF allows the motion sensor to draw power compared to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and allows faster and more stable connections. Lutron says the motion sensor can last up to 10 years before needing a battery replacement, which is just all sorts of crazy. Although it is a bit early to say, I can certainly see this being the case, as I have not yet encountered one of the company’s Pico remote controllers that needed a battery replacement in my home.
The Casétaale Wireless Motion Sensor offers several mounting options in the box, and the sensor can be upright, allowing it to be located almost anywhere except the outside. Lutron includes a corner mounting bracket, a flat mounting bracket, screws, gypsum board anchors, 3M Command Strip and the required battery.
I light up quickly
Caséta Wireless Motion Sensor: What I like
Configuring the Caséta wireless motion sensor has been a quick and easy problem, coming to the top of about 5 minutes, since opening the box, inserting the included battery and associating it in the Caséta application. The tower-like design of the motion sensor meant I could just sit it down and start testing it right away with my lights and I liked that Lutron covered almost all the basics when it comes to options. mounting.
Of course, being a motion sensor, response times and reliability are paramount and I am happy to say that Lutron’s offer exceeded my expectations. In my house, I currently have about 40 Caséta Wireless light switches / dimmers, dimmer lamp modules and remote controls, so yes, I’m used to their solid reliability. However, I have experimented with many HomeKit motion sensors over the years and while some of them are reliable, there are those cases where for one reason or another they simply are missing when I walk into room, which brings the magic out of the connected home.
Using terms such as “going in” and “instantly” to describe how fast the process seems is almost an understatement, as the sensor works unlike any other.
This was not the case with the Caséta wireless motion sensor. Now, I have been testing the sensor for only a few days, but I can say that I have not seen a court in which the motion sensor failed. Going to my utility room, where I positioned the sensor, as it is our main entry point into the house, it instantly turns on the air lights.
Using terms such as “going in” and “instantly” to describe how fast the process seems is almost an understatement, as the sensor works unlike any other. When the sensor picks up, which happens before it is even in sight, it sends the controls to the connected light switch and turns on the lights. With other motion sensors, you can take a step or two in the room before the sensor reacts, but with this sensor, the lights turn on before entering the first leg.
The whole experience is impressive to say the least, considering all the steps involved in doing this: motion detection, sending the command to the Caséta Wireless Hub, which then sends the light switch command, and the lights turn on effectively.
Big and tall
Caséta Wireless Motion Sensor: What I do not like
It simply doesn’t deny that the Caséta wireless motion sensor is massive compared to others available on the market. Although slim, the height of the sensor is easily double as compared to the others, making it known to anyone in the room. One might think that, due to its bulky frame, it would pack in other sensors, such as temperature and humidity, but no, this whole dimension is strictly dedicated to motion detection.
Despite its large size, the sensor is also incredibly light, which, when combined with its easy-to-find plastic housing, makes it feel pretty cheap. Fortunately, a motion sensor is not the kind of accessory you often wear, but it does put some doubt in your mind about how well it will last over time.
Also missing are the features available in the Caséta Wireless application for motion sensor. Options that can be set are the occupancy and vacation states, as well as assigning which lights turn on and off depending on the sensor’s activity, however, there is no way to set the intervals without having to physically adjust the sensor switches itself, which is not very convenient.
The biggest disadvantage of the Caséta wireless motion sensor, however, is that it does not support Apple’s HomeKit smart platform, which is quite surprising. The Caséta Wireless line has always been one that is right there, with HomeKit support as soon as the products are launched, making it a head scratcher. I asked about the missing function and was told that it is simply not compatible, but I still hope it was not ready for launch and that an update will come in the future.
Smart Cassette Wireless Repeater
While I have not yet addressed issues surrounding the coverage of my existing Caséta Wireless installation, Lutron recently launched a compact solution for larger homes. The Caséta Smart Wireless Repeater is a small white plastic box that not only looks similar to the company’s smart deck, but happens to be exactly the same size.
The repeater has the same LED light that wraps around the front and only has one button used to add accessories to the back. In the box is a small 5v power adapter, which connects to the repeater using micro-USB, which allows direct connection to USB ports without having the bulky adapter if you want.
Configuring the repeater simply involves connecting it and associating it with the Caséta application. Lutron’s repeater requires the Caséta Wireless Bridge to be located 60 meters away, but adds another 2,500 square meters of coverage. Since I didn’t have coverage issues in my house a bit smaller, I can’t say for sure whether the accessories are better connected or not during my tests, but I would expect them to work as advertised as needed.
$ 75 at Amazon
Fast and reliable
Caséta Wireless Motion Sensor: Bottom line
Even though the Caséta wireless motion sensor is not the most compact and the best option around, it excels in the areas that matter most: response speed and reliability. The Caséta Wireless Motion Sensor is fast, extremely fast, turning on the lights exactly when they notice the activity, which is almost magical compared to other solutions that rely on Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
The Caséta Wireless motion sensor also offers the same solid reliability as other Caséta Wireless products, which means it only works, ready to respond at any time. This sensor is so good that I’m comfortable using it with HomeKit and automation, which unfortunately is not available right now. If that day ever came, this sensor would be pretty perfect.
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