Enamored with my recent experiences with the Lutron Caseta line of dimmer and light switches, I recently decided to give another Lutron device a shot. The Lutron Caseta Plug-In Lamp Dimmer is a device that I never thought I would own, as I always have questioned its relatively high price ($49) and just assumed that it was just another smart plug, or something that a cheaper plug or smart light bulb could take the place of. After spending the last few days with the device, I can easily say that I was wrong in my assumptions, and now see it as a device that I will use to replace the aforementioned plugs and bulbs around my home. So what makes this somewhat niche device so special? Let’s take a look.
The Lutron Caseta Lamp Dimmer features a simple design, with the company’s signature button styling located on the front of the white rectangular unit. Before purchasing the Lamp Dimmer, I was under the impression that it was something that was going to large and unsightly. Thankfully, the device is much smaller than I imagined, which is something that makes it able to easy blend into a home. On the face of the unit, there are on and off buttons, as well as up and down buttons for adjusting the brightness level of a lamp. Unlike the switches and dimmers within the Caseta line, the Lamp Dimmer has gray buttons for the down dimming function and for the off toggle. While I am not really sure why the company went with this route for just this product, it does make it a little easier to distinguish between the buttons on the face of the unit, but it some may find it a little off-putting. The last feature on the front of the device is a small LED indicator light, one that cannot be turned off like the rest of the Caseta line. Located on each side of the device is a receptacle for plugging in, as you may have guessed, a lamp. The inclusion of a receptacle on both sides of the device is a really nice feature, as you can power two lamps with just one device. Although you cannot power each receptacle independently, it still is great for those who have a pair of lamps situated near each other. One thing to note though, is since this is designed for lamps, and lamps only, the receptacles do not have a place for a ground pin, which prevents it from being used in other fashions. Again, this was an intentional design choice by Lutron, since the device dims lamps that are attached to it through voltage adjustments, something that could wreak havoc on a device not meant for it. Also included in the box is one of the company’s Pico Remotes. This tiny little device features the same button layout as the Lamp Dimmer, minus the gray colored buttons, but also includes a round button the middle, which is used to quickly set your lights to a favorite light level. The Pico Remote is paired to the Lamp Dimmer from the factory, which is a really nice touch. The back of the Dimmer module features the power prongs that you insert in to a power outlet, and the usual warnings and device specifications.
Setting up the Lamp Dimmer is extremely simple. After plugging in the Dimmer module to a power outlet, and then connecting a lamp to one of the receptacles on the unit, you are pretty much done. Since the remote is already paired, you instantly have ability to control the light levels and on/off status of the lamp plugged in. Of course you can also connect the Lamp Dimmer to HomeKit, which is done through the Lutron Caseta App. Adding the device within the App follows the same exact process as the company’s other devices, simply click on the settings icon at the top of the screen, and then select add a device. The App will ask which device that you would like to add, and then require you to press and hold the down arrow on the Dimmer module for 10 seconds. After a few moments, the device will be added, and the App will prompt you to select which room the device is in and what type of light it controls, such as a desk lamp. After completing this process, the Lamp Dimmer will appear in the iOS Home App, and is ready to join in on the automation fun. Once in the Home App, the device shows up like a light bulb or light, and it offers the ability to perform fine dimming adjustments, as well as on and off commands. Performance of the Lamp Dimmer, like the other devices that I have tested from the Caseta line, is fantastic. The device responds to commands sent via the included Pico Remote, Siri, and from an App instantly. Since the device communicates to a Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge (not included), and not your Wi-Fi network, it is extremely reliable, with it never showing a no response status in the Home App for me since installing it.
As I previously mentioned, I quickly came around to this product just moments after setting it up, and I am now looking to incorporate more of them around my home, even for replacing other HomeKit devices. The ability to control two lamps with one device, easy set up, fast response time, and rock solid reliability make the Lamp Dimmer it easy to recommend. The only downside that I can see is the somewhat higher price tag when compared to other devices, and the fact that it needs Lutron’s hub to connect it to HomeKit, which adds to the price tag if you do not already own one. This makes the device a niche product, but for those who are in its target audience, it is more than worth the price of admission.