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.