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Apple HomeKit-Certified Products Arrive

Coopersburg, Pa. – The first “Works With Apple HomeKit” products hit stores shelves today with the launch of Lutron’s Caséta Wireless Lighting Starter Kits in Apple stores and online retailers.

The kits, which are second-generation versions of kits launched last year, are the first Lutron products to be available in Apple stores. All of Apple’s U.S. and Canadian stores are carrying the kits.

The kits are controlled from Lutron’s HomeKit-certified iOS app, but they can also be controlled from Lutron’s Android app. From Android devices, however, users can’t use Siri for voice control.

Each of Lutron’s two $229-suggested starter kits includes a HomeKit-certified Smart Bridge that plugs into a router’s Ethernet port to receive Wi-Fi commands from Apple’s mobile devices. The bridge also incorporates Apple’s encryption and authentication technology.

One kit comes with two lamp dimmers that plug into electrical outlets and communicate with the bridge via proprietary ClearConnect 434MHz RF technology.  The other kit contains two in-wall dimmers instead of plug-in dimmers. Both kits also come with two small hand-held RF remotes. Additional in-wall dimmers and lamp dimmers are available separately.

Also today, a $200 HomeKit version of Lutron’s current Smart Bridge Pro became available through distributors to electrical contractors, A/V installers, and security installers.

Like their predecessors, the new starter kits let users turn individual lights and groups of lights on and off, dim them, set lighting schedules, and create scenes that include a mix of products such as lighting and motorized shades. The kits also enable geofencing, enabling them, for example, to notify a user that he left the lights on after leaving the house.

Also like before, users control lights from Apple’s mobile devices via cellular from remote locations and via Wi-Fi when they’re at home in Wi-Fi range.

With HomeKit certification, the kits add Apple’s communications protocol, user-interface guidelines, and Apple terminology for executing specific commands. More important, they enable Siri voice control of the Lutron dimmers at home and, when Apple TV is used as a gateway, from remote locations.

Users can activate Siri by pushing an iPhone button or just by saying “Hey Siri” to their Apple mobile device.

With HomeKit, multiple household members will be able to use Siri to control the lights even if they haven’t installed the Lutron app on their Apple device. If one household member installs the Lutron app, all household members can use Siri to control the lights, the company explained.

Lutron’s bridge and iOS app also control devices that aren’t HomeKit certified, but those devices can’t be controlled by Siri. Those products include Lutron’s Serena motorized shades because Apple hasn’t created a profile for controlling shades. Lutron’s app also controls the Nest and Honeywell Wi-Fi thermostats, but they can’t be controlled by Siri because, at post time, they were not HomeKit-certified.