March 3, 2024

Lutron Changed The Smart Home Forever

It’s been 50 years since founder Joel Spira created the very first light dimmer switch, leading to advancements that would change how people control their lifestyle forever.

The original Lutron creation - The Capri Light Switch

50 years ago, Lutron founder Joel Spira had an idea: To create a light switch that didn’t simply function as all switches that had come before. He wanted a switch that didn’t just go from on to off, but could do everything in between. Thus, he worked to create a switch known commonly today as the dimmer.

The Capri

The first creation by Spira was his Capri dimmer switch. This creation allowed not only one level of light, but any number of settings the user desired. A full spectrum of light was now under the control of the user. Moods could be set, lights could be adjusted to different times of day. This new creation allowed for endless possibilities for homeowners.

Nova Slide Dimmer — 1971

The Nova was the first linear slide dimmer created by Lutron. The original Capri worked as a knob style switch, with a twisting motion allowing the adjustment of light in a room from darker to lighter. A final click would allow the light to be entirely turned off. The Nova took a different approach, with a slider moving from bottom to top, adjusting available light in a new and more visual fashion. This new design was a bit more user friendly and intuitive, leading the way for most modern day dimmers, which still use the same design.

Rana X Remote Control Dimmer — 1989

Ushering in yet another new era in home comfort and control, the Rana X worked with a remote control, allowing people to adjust their lights without even getting out of bed. Becoming the first of many wireless advancements to come, this innovative new design pushed the company’s objectives towards more integrated options that followed. Because of this advancement, modern home systems have been drastically reinvented and we’re allowed the ability to create the networked homes that we enjoy today.

NeTwork — 1990

The problem with Lutron’s original switches is that none of them worked with any others. For larger homes, this could be frustrating. Travelling a circuit around ones home to get all the switches and dimmers on and off was a chore. This new switch acted as a hub for all the home’s switches, allowing different ones to be turned on and off from a single place. This later became what is known today as the RadioRA and HomeWorks systems.

RadioRA — 1997

From the NeTwork system, Lutron was able to build components that became what we know about our modern homes today. The new RadioRA system became the first wireless RF system offering 2-way feedback. This makes it possible to install in places where running tons of wire is impractical, as the module simply connects wirelessly to the rest of the network. RadioRA’s technology made almost every smart home integration that exists today possible. Because of it, we now can enjoy Lutron’s more modern HomeWorks products which simplify many aspects of our homes.

Modern Lutron switches are elegant and practical

Lutron has had a very rich history, involving many advancements that have changed and shaped the look and connection we have with our homes. If you’d like to have some Lutron products installed in your home, they have a diverse selection. Check out your local AV providers, such as Regent5 for the San Francisco Bay Area on your options for Lutron products.