Z-wave vs Lutron Light Switches?

I’m building a new house. My current house uses Z-wave switches and Somfy shades. I’m looking at doing Lutron shades (for real integration into ADC), and possibly Lutron light switches (that have the Sonos remote control, etc.).

What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?


  • I heard that the Lutron is RF and the response is much faster.
  • When replacing the panel, you don’t have to reenroll a ton of z-wave devices again - you just relink your Lutron account.
  • More robust remote lighting options


  • Lose strong Z-wave mesh in your house for z-wave locks and other z-wave devices you may use
  • Switches will not show on the IQ2 Panel?

Is there any other advantages or disadvantages to each that I may have missed?
What way would you guys recommend if you had the choice?


You’ve pretty much got it here, except note that RF just refers to radio frequency and all of the bands are RF.

Lutron is a good fit especially if you plan on having a large lighting automation system, and yes it is managed through Lutron and changing out your panel will not affect the lighting devices.

The major downside is the need for more thoughtful planning of the remaining z-wave network if you plan to use z-wave locks and thermostats. Repeaters are generally needed still. Whether or not this is a real downside for you is dependent on what all devices you plan to use.

One additional caveat would be that since it does not go through the panel for communication, it depends solely on IP for communication. No cellular control.

1 Like

Lutron was very smart making their own system that does not use Wifi or Z-wave or any other form of communication to its devices other than its own communication protocol. I have 42 Lutron devices, about 12 shades and the rest lights switches (dimmers, on/off, ELVs, etc) throughout my home, integrated with ADC and my IQ2 panel (and other platforms).

Over the years, I’ve experienced 99% reliability with my Lutron system. It really is amazing and that is why its expensive. In that same time frame, I can tell you that Z-wave is not this reliable, and have many z-wave hiccups overtime. ( have about 12 z-wave devices from locks, plugs, meters, valves, thermostats etc). Even now, sometimes there is a few seconds lag in z-wave, and even sometimes signals don’t sent. You can add repeaters, sure that will help.

As for the “Switches will not show on the IQ2 Panel”, this is not huge deal, as I rarely use the panel to turn on lights, but rather I use google home voice command or the Nest Hubs screen, which are located in all my rooms unlike the panel which is only in 3 locations. I also use apps on my phone sometimes. Edit: and not to mention that you’ll have Lutron wall switches all over your house where your normal switch would be for both the shades and the lights.

Overall, z-wave is great, but Lutron is better.

My 2 cents.

1 Like

For video analytics, you can setup lights to come on if it detects a person at a certain time. You can still select all the Lutron lights to do that as well?

This is a good question, and something that I have been wanting for a few years now, but they keep telling me that its still in development. So the answer is no and you can count that as a disadvantage to the Lutron system (for this specific integration into ADC). Its amazing that it doesn’t support it, because it seems to support everything else in the ADC automations, but not video analytics automation rules.

Another thing I should mention about Lutron (Caseta) is that they are very picky with the what type of light/light bulb/LED you use. For example, they have a whole list recommended compatible lights and LED bulbs. Thankfully, most of my house lights/pot lights and fixtures were compatible, except for a few lights. If you don’t use what they recommend, what could happen is either it won’t work at all (much rare), or what happen to me was I got some dimmable Globe LED bulbs for a few Lutron dimmers (not listed as being compatible). They work fine, except when you go to dim the lights to less than 15%, they have a flicker. I changed it to the Philips LED bulbs (the recommended one), and wow what a difference is such much nicer on the eyes, no flicker, nothing. We also have two LED light fixtures (not bulb-based) in our home that were not liking the Lutron switches, even the ELV Lutron switch In this case, the lights would turn and on off and dim as normal, but “off” wasn’t really “off” it was more like a very very low dimmed light that you can only see at night time. In these case, I either had change the light fixture (which my wife would not allow) or use a regular switch, manual switch, which is what I did. Perhaps in this case, I could swap it out for a Z-wave switch…now that I think about it.

This is a good question, and something that I have been wanting for a few years now, but they keep telling me that its still in development.

Yep, ADC documentation still lists only Z-wave lights as compatible with this rule. I am not 100% sure why it hasn’t been implemented other than just lower demand since you need Analytics and Lutron and maybe that combo is just rare enough to get pushed down in priority. Seems strange though given Lutron lights have the same rule capabilities otherwise I believe.

Great info. I use the z-wave lights with the ADC cameras now and really like that feature.
I’m planning on using ADC cameras at this new house as well.

Do they plan to integrate that functionality at some point (actively working on it or in their road map)? Or is it just a “maybe we will, but maybe not” response?

I’m planning on mostly all can lighting throughout the house. I met with a Lutron Dealer/Installer yesterday and they had a couple different ones they recommend and think will fit the bill. Definitely don’t want to have to swap out all the lights if I purchased the wrong kind. I really liked their Homeworks system… shades will be wired instead of wireless, control panels with illuminated names for each switch are so much nicer than the row of 8 switches on the wall and trying to remember what does what.

Also, I know how to fix your last problem so you can keep your original switch you had…

Purchase a PCS 10K Load Resistor for LED Lighting (ILR-10K)
Amazon.com: PCS 10K Load Resistor for LED Lighting (ILR-10K) : Tools & Home Improvement

Can install behind dimmer switch or at load.

My electrician didnt know about this and after a bit of research I found this as the common solution. It was an easy fix me.

Thanks for bringing that up actually, about the load resisters.

At the time when I had the switches installed, my electrician knew about this and said its hit or miss, and sometimes they find that they need to add 2 or even 3 of those resisters to get it to work, so I decided just to forget about it. The problem is, there is just so many light fixtures out there, and everyone of them is different.

But, I may revisit this now, and see how things have changed since then.

Sounds like you’re on your way to getting sweet in pretty soon.

With the Lutron integration, when you connect the alarm.com skill with Alexa, will all your Lutron lights still show in Alexa and can be controlled with Voice?

Yes, you can control Lutron lights via Alexa voice commands.

Thanks, just to confirm… Using the Alarm.com skill for Alexa, not Lutron Alexa skill as a separate voice command.

ADC states that all attached lights would be controllable through Alarm.com skill.

1 Like

Do they have an ETA on when it would compatible with their video analytics rules?

No, there is no info on if or when that might be added. It is a feature request that has been pushed before. I’ll forward this as another request for it.