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Battle of the HomeKit hubs: Lutron Caseta versus Insteon

Michael Brown | July 14, 2015
If you thought Apple would swoop in with its HomeKit platform and solve all the ills that bedevil the fledgling smart-home market, that it would show the rest of the industry just how simple it can be to enable consumers to build out a smart home, your faith has yet to be rewarded.

Which is the better HomeKit hub?

Beyond what I've said about Siri, I won't render a judgment on HomeKit itself here; that wouldn't be fair based on the performance of just two devices that are iterations of existing products with HomeKit support tacked on (the addition is more than just a simple firmware change. You can't upgrade either company's older controller to render it HomeKit compatible). But I do think it's lame that the only way to control HomeKit devices from outside your home is to have an Apple TV on your home network. (This requirement is supposed to go away with the release of iOS 9).

But if you want a HomeKit controller today, Lutron has the slightly better product. Both its hardware and software are more polished than Insteon's offering, and support for programmable thermostats and geofencing is more valuable than being able to control dimmer outlets, on/off modules, and dimmable smart bulbs (that is, bulbs that don't require smart plug-in or in-wall switches). Plus, Lutron's bridge can be controlled by both iOS and Android devices (although voice commands are not supported on the latter platform). For all the details of how I reached my conclusion, please read the individual reviews that follow.


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