As trusted tech specialists, we’ve been designing and installing some of the most advanced automation technology for years — from multi-room audio and visual solutions at home to offices powered by flexible integrated systems. When it comes to light-management controls, two names continue to appear at the top of the list, Rako and Lutron.
But what are the differences? And which brand should you install into your home?
Both Rako and Lutron products are best-in-class when it comes to controlling powered lighting, transforming any environment and altering the atmosphere with the tap of a button.
Each system will allow you to control an entire home or office of lights, they both come with a simple and easy to use application, and they offer a wide range of wallplates and accessories to match any home decor.
Their once main difference, retrofitting and installation ease, is now a much closer race. Rako initially held the title when it came to upgrading your existing circuits. But, with the introduction of Lutron’s RA2, turning your necessary switches into a complete smart-controlled lighting system is just as simple.
Blinds and curtains
Like lighting, both brands offer control of your external light sources, enabling you to raise, lower, open or close your blinds and curtains remotely. But, here’s where we come into our first significant difference.
Rako provides a range of control modules to control window blind and curtain motors with ease. Still, you’ll want to consult your installer to ensure there are no conflicts between your motors and Rako’s system before installing them. However, Lutron doesn’t aim to control your existing window coverings but instead offers you a range of their own blinds and motors for your home and business.
So, while both systems offer comprehensive curtain and blind controls from a remote app or integrated wall plate, your decision in this category could heavily rely on your home or office aesthetics.
Screwless front-plates, a wide selection of finishes, and a range of button options are standard for both Rako and Lutron control panels. But, there are some key options in each brand that sets them apart.
Lutron has a number of wall plate shapes and styles to choose from, like the traditional with its smooth round edges, or the new architectural styles, with clean sharp lines. And, with both framed and frameless options, you have a lot of control over your switch design. Lutron also offers unique styles like the Palladiom and Alisse sets, and custom engraved switches with the Pico collection.
Rako offers less variety in design ranges, with two style options coming in a variety of finishes. Their new EOS plate is a modern and uncluttered push button plate, while the classic is a sleek flush or surface-mounted panel with up to ten tactile buttons. Custom etched buttons are also available through Rako’s plate designer software. Rako recently announced their modular plate, too, offering you more ways to customise your wall plate controls to fit your home or business.
Like everything in tech, smart control systems are continually evolving, offering more innovative products every year.
Rako recently introduced their Hub, a central control unit for all your devices. This includes complete control over your lights, wireless blinds and curtains, and audio systems. It allows you to create time events like holiday mode or dawn and dusk settings and even incorporates voice controls for Alexa, Siri, and Google Home.
Vue is Lutron’s new software for commercial spaces that provides you with more control and information than ever before. Vue monitors your energy usage and compiles data to increase space and building efficiencies. It also allows businesses to control lighting systems over multiple buildings from a single interface — a must-have for office automation.
Selecting your system
Both systems, Rako and Lutron, have their pros and cons, with Lutron offering more choice for wall plate design and Rako offering arguably more flexibility (vs Lutron RA2) when it comes to blind and curtain control (the Lutron Homeworks QS is comparable in flexibility to Rako). But with both companies innovating and updating regularly, the choice is expanding fast.