Today in our series on IFTTT (IF This Then That) we’re going to take a closer look at how the service integrates into one of our favorite home automation platforms — Lutron’s Caséta Wireless lighting system. While Caséta is primarily focused on lighting, there are actually some interesting things you can do with Lutron’s system that might not be obvious at first glance.
Firstly, it’s worth noting that Caséta can not only control lights, but window shades as well, which are also compatible with IFTTT. Even more interesting, however, is that Lutron recently added the ability for Caséta to control Sonos speakers.
Lutron’s IFTTT service is fairly simple, providing three actions — one for lights, one for shades, and one to activate any one of your preset scenes.
Note that Lutron doesn’t offer any IFTTT triggers, so you won’t be able to use Lutron’s switches — or even Pico remotes — to initiate any IFTTT actions of your own.
Although Lutron’s Caséta system ties into other home automation platforms, IFTTT still lets you do some pretty unique things that aren’t necessarily possible with Apple HomeKit or Google Home.
Turn on a light when I unlock the front door
To start with a simple one, IFTTT can be used with the August and Lutron IFTTT services to automatically turn on a light when you — and only you — come home. This can be any Caséta lighting device, including wall switches and dimmers, and even plug-in lamp dimmers. In this case, we’re setting a Lutron plug-in lamp dimmer to 50 percent intensity.
As we discussed in our article on the August Smart Lock, this will only work if the lock knows that it’s you coming in the door, meaning you have to either unlock it manually with the app, or have automatic unlock enabled.
Turn on the kitchen light when your dishwasher finishes
If you have a GE Dishwasher, you can also tie it into IFTTT to automatically turn on the light in your kitchen whenever the dishwasher finishes its cleaning cycle. This both lets you know that your dishwasher is finished and turns on the lights.
Close the shades when it gets too bright
If you have a system that incorporates IFTTT-compatible light sensors, such as Stack Lighting, you can measure the light level in a room and automatically close your Lutron shades — either partially, or entirely — when it gets too bright in a room.
Note that Lutron’s IFTTT shades action is very granular — you can adjust the shades to either fully closed, fully opened, or any percentage in between.
Put on your favorite Sonos playlist when you come home
While Sonos doesn’t have an IFTTT service, Lutron does, and hidden within Lutron’s Scenes is the ability to control your Sonos system. In addition to setting your lighting and shades, any Lutron scene can be configured to start a Sonos playlist on one or more Sonos speakers.
So, using Netatmo’s Welcome camera, you can have IFTTT kick off a Lutron scene when it sees your specific face coming home — not only adjusting your lighting and blinds to your preferences, but also starting up your favorite playlist.
You can even create multiple IFTTT applets, allowing every member of your household to have their own playlist come on when they walk in the door (although of course it can get confusing if you all come home at the same time).
Lutron’s IFTTT service includes some nice tricks, but the real benefit is the ability to tie your lighting and shades into the wealth of other services that are IFTTT compatible, and in fact we’ve only covered home automation triggers in this article. But since IFTTT offers triggers for everything from text messages and social media to weather and news reports, there are a lot of other cool things you can do here as well that go beyond what most of the core home automation ecosystems can provide. Even if you’re an Apple HomeKit or Google Home user, there’s definitely an advantage to using IFTTT in your home automation routines as well.