Another company, another big release…
Lutron just announced the launch of their new “inside to out” re-designed RadioRa system. But is it just “another release”, or is Lutron RadioRA 3 truly a game changer? How does it stand against RA2? Is it going to be worth making the upgrade?
If you have interest or are considering installing the new RA3 system, this 100% unbiased article is for you! The decisions when upgrading can be hard from a price, practicality and compatibilite standpoint.
So let’s dive into it so you can know the answer when asking yourself “Is the RA3 system for me?”
First Glance: What will the wife think?
Ok, let’s just cut to the point on this one… the new RA3 looks FREAKING AWESOME!
When the wife, spouse, or anyone for that matter sees the new RA3 on your wall, well it does not take a tech wizard to realize its high end, sleek design to add a more modern and new look to your switches and Lutron system in your home.
An array of colors you can choose from is incredible…
You can match it to almost any wall color to make your house flow together that much better. Lutron even has a stainless steel option that in our opinion makes the right house look very modern.. a look that not many have.
When it comes to RA3… this is what caught our attention first. The new slider dimmer is just “simply beautiful”. The dimmer sliding bar can be even scheduled to turn off at times for people who like a pitch black sleep. Even though Lutron owns the patent to the dimmer switch, they ditched the old idea to create a perfect design where the dimmer is less of a button and now an actual slider touchpad. If this works as smoothly as it looks, we give it a 10/10.
The Keypads have made a very different appearance compared to the RA2 system. The design is much more minimalistic and in our opinion looks much less out of place. The new Sannata
keypads are much simpler to use, especially for kids and people who get overwhelmed with too many buttons and controls. You can now even design the keypads to control more than just lights… integrate music, blinds, and fans all in the push of ONE button. Sannata is simply made easy!
The outdoor plug is built to withstand the exposed outdoor environment. For things like patio lights, string lights, christmas lights, security lighting are all easy to be made fully automated using your RA3 system. It can even power things like pumps and jets for ponds and decorative fountains. Don’t worry about rain, snow, sun or insects wrecking your automated plugs.
Compared to the RA2 system it seems like there is also quite a change in the actual quality of the switches. Just by the noise you can tell the RA3 has a much more professional and expensive feel. The switch and keypads just feel overall more solid bringing the home together.
For the price of the RA2 switch we were surprised this feel was not brought into the game sooner. But we are sure glad they finally did. The switch actually feels like it should for the premium you are paying.
Here you can actually hear the quality difference:
Overall we are very impressed with the quality as it was a huge upgrade from the RA2 product line. Well done Lutron! 9.7/10.
But enough on physical features… What can RA3 really do for you, and why is it an upgrade from RA3?
Radio Ra3 can now connect and become compatible with other big brands in the industry. It can now connect to almost any system you may already have in place. Including things like Control4, Sonos, Google Home, Alexa and Crestron.
This uses a system called LEAP API, which integrates faster and smarter saving you and your installer hours if not days of setup time. And the LEAP API ensures your clients will enjoy faster and more responsive setup time.
And most importantly it works with RA2! This means not only can you connect with new home automation systems, but you do not have to upgrade your entire house if you already have RA2. The step up to RA3 from an RA2 system is not that big of a deal! Another 10/10 compared to the RA2 system.
A whole new processor… but what’s the benefit?
It can have up to 200 devices all on ONE processor (soon will have dual processor systems available). This includes the RA2 you can also connect to it. Easily mount the nice looking clean processor to your wall, roof or shelf. Not only is the RA3 processor much faster but it is also easier to use in the cloud. This allows things like updates all from your mobile device. The processor is powered by PoE via CAT5e (or better) ethernet cable.
Installing the processor is also much easier and faster. Which makes the installation cheaper as there are many less hours involved in it.
The new processor also allows for a much more customizable home, leaving only you to imagine what home automation you can implement.
Honestly, when writing this article we planned to include a cons section… but we could hardly find anything bad! The only things are we hope to see Lutron RA3 move to more of a cloud based server and not software focused and we assume this will be priced around other competitive products since the overall rating is well….EPIC. But like anything… There are not enough RA3 systems installed to call the system “Perfect” or “Bulletproof” and it is up to Lutron to prove itself as more RA3 systems get installed!
Overall we score RA3 a 10/10, but is it a game changer? That’s for you to decide… although the RA3 system is definitely updated and had a rather pleasant makeover! Especially when comparing it to RA2. It’s so cool how both the systems are compatible. The RA3 system looks better, is higher quality and it is much easier to use and set-up. Since you do not need to upgrade all your RA2 systems to use RA3 we definitely would recommend moving to it.
And if you are looking to install a whole new system to your home with little or no home automation already, the RA3 system should definitely be in high consideration.
We are excited for homes to begin using RA3 in early Feb of 2022!
Start your no obligation quote. Book a time or call now!