Lutron adds fan control to its smart lighting system during CES 2019

Lutron Caséta switches
Lutron Caséta switches

Is there anything in a home that won’t be smart eventually? This week, we’ve seen smart toilets, robot kitchens and about a decade’s worth of video doorbells in advance of CES 2019, so the news that Lutron Electronics is adding ceiling fan control to its smart lighting system seems kind of quaint by comparison.

The lighting control manufacturer is adding a fan speed control component to its Caseta smart lighting system this year. A new fan speed control provides wireless access to ceiling fans from anywhere inside or outside the home, enabling smart home enthusiasts to integrate a ceiling fan into the company’s scenes and schedules.

The Caseta by Lutron line of products is over four years old by now and was originally intended to make every light bulb in the home smart. Now, the brand has expanded nearly as quickly as every other company trying to corner the smart home market, working with products like automated shades, smart speakers, smart thermostats, and digital assistants. The cornerstone of the system is the free Lutron app, powered by the company’s Clear Connect Wireless Technology.

Lutron says the new component is easy to install and is a quick 15-minute project, although their release doesn’t clearly explain how the app and the ceiling fan hardware will connect with each other. The new control has four speeds, plus the ability to set a favorite speed setting. As an example of scene integration, Lutron suggests that a single command could include lights turning off, shades lowering and fans set to medium speed to end the evening. Voice control is available via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

“Caséta by Lutron has been a popular choice with some of the nation’s largest home builders,” Matt Swatsky, Lutron vice president of residential mid-market business, said in a release. “The new ceiling fan control paired alongside Caséta dimmers, switches, and Pico remotes provides a clean, coordinated look throughout the home.”

Oh, yeah, the remote control. Lutron is adding a battery-powered fan remote control called Pico to its smart lighting system for wireless control. The remote control has a 30-foot range, a reported 10-year battery life, and mounting options. It’s available in white, ivory, light almond and black, for those of you who are choosy about the color of your ceiling fan remote control.

The Caseta by Lutron fan speed control and Pico remote control will be available in March at home improvement centers, online retailers, electrical distributors and via your local electrician. The fan control is expected to retail around $80 and the Pico remote at $42.

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