Lutron Aurora Could Be The Best Hue Accessory Ever

I’ve long been a fan of Hue lighting wall dimmers. But those days are about over given the Lutron Aurora.

Years ago, the Hue dimmer bridged the analog and digital environments, allowing all household members to easily control room lighting via a more traditional switch. While the dimmers go well beyond simplistic brightness controls with programmable buttons, multi-tap, etc we almost always use them exclusively for power and brightness. But it’s also required yet another switch plate on the wall and some sort of barrier to prevent folks from toggling the lights off (and, thus, losing remote and routine control).

The Lutron Aurora kills both those birds with a single, super clever stone. It’s both a dial (brightness) and a button (power) that sits directly over a switch, locking it in the on position. Further, the coin battery is supposedly good for three years of Zigbee wireless control. An industry buddy who’s had some time with Aurora, describes it as amazing with an impressive feel. Sadly, those of you with Decora rockers are out of luck and Aurora doesn’t come cheap at $40 a pop. Having said that, count me in for at least two (and maybe four) once they launch in June.

7 thoughts on “Lutron Aurora Could Be The Best Hue Accessory Ever”

  1. Smart light bulbs have never made much sense to me – putting the smarts in the switch itself has always been more elegant solution.

    This is a nice solution that at least gives you a similar option if a smart bulb is required. Still think I’ll stick with the Lutron Casetta Wirless switches and remotes.

  2. In many scenarios, it could be more economical and streamlined to drop a smart switch in. For example, a room with four recessed lights.

    However, there are a number of other scenarios that solution won’t scale to. For example, my wall switch in my bedroom currently controls a single nightstand lamp. Yet, I’ve grouped two night stand lamps, a Hue Go on the dresser, and a bathroom lamp that can be controlled together from Hue app, Alexa, Google, and the Hue Dimmer. Also rooms where you want lighting of different colors, a smart switch doesn’t help – my daughter likes picking a different color each night for her Hue Go that we lower to about 10% and sometimes when we watch movies, we change our BR30s for mood.

  3. Wow, this is kind of a game changer. I have (failing) Wink Hub a (annoying) Smart Things Hub. This may get me to make the switch over to Hue.

  4. Hue has been real good. The app can be occasionally maddening for power users, but you can get finer control through SmartThings (if you keep it around) and Alexa is getting sunrise/sunset triggers soon which will also help – plus Guard for evening light randomization while away.

  5. Bryan,

    A few good use cases for bulbs rather than switches. 1) Desire to use tunable or color lighting. 2) A house without neutral wires. 3) My local Walmart stocks Geeni branded WiFi bulbs which works with Alexa, and by way of IFTTT with SmartThings. At two for $14 it’s usually cheaper than a switch except maybe a bathroom with a ton of lights.

  6. @Bryan — also, existing circuits that control multiple bulbs that you’d like to control separately.

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