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This new Pico Remote is exactly what we needed from Lutron

The new Pico Remote comes to appease many Lutron customers' requests.
Written by Maria Diaz, Staff Writer
Lutron Pico Paddle Remote

The Lutron Pico Paddle Remote is as compact as a standard paddle switch.

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

Lutron just launched a new Pico Remote to its Caseta line with a big differentiator: it looks and works like a paddle switch, a feature existing customers highly requested. 

The Pico Paddle Remote excels in its simplicity. It's a wireless paddle switch that can go almost anywhere in your home and connect to other Lutron devices to control them as an additional switch. This means you could have a smart switch for your patio lights and keep the remote inside to turn them on or off from wherever you are in the home, or you could install it with a faceplate on the wall to look like a standard paddle switch, with none of the wiring. 

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"Homeowners are loving the look of our new Diva smart controls and installers appreciate the simplicity of using Pico as a second switch without pulling wires," said Matt Swatsky, vice president at Lutron. "So, we gave you both -- a remote with the utility of Pico and the look of Diva smart." 

This is the fifth model of the Pico Smart Remote, as Lutron already sells Pico Remotes for Dimmers, Switches, Fan Control, and Audio, which can control Sonos speakers without a smartphone. 

The Pico Paddle Remote is the first to lack buttons, instead opting to offer users the increasingly popular and simple aesthetic of paddle switches. Consumers can use the new paddle remote as an on/off switch to turn up to 10 smart dimmers or switches on or off. 

Pico Paddle remote
Maria Diaz/ZDNET

Unlike previous versions, when a user presses the paddle switch to turn on a device from the Pico Paddle Remote, the dimmer will come on at the light level the dimmer was last set on before it was turned off. If a customer wants to increase the light to full brightness, pressing the switch to the 'on' position a second time will do so. 

With daily use, the Pico Paddle Remote has a 10-year battery life, thanks to the included CR2032 battery. Like Lutron Caseta's previous smart paddle switches, the new Pico is a paddle switch that springs back to a neutral position after being pressed, so it doesn't stay in the on or off position after you press it. 

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I'm not a Lutron user -- not by choice, but by mere chance. Lutron is one of the most respected smart lighting brands; I just hadn't gotten an occasion to buy one of its products. That said, I'm very familiar with Lutron products (specifically the Caseta line, having tried them a handful of times in other homes), and I know they're recommended for anyone looking to get started with quality smart lighting.

Testing out the Pico Paddle Switch has lit a Lutron light in my home and myself, as now I'm looking into what other Caseta devices I can buy and where to put them. 

Lutron Pico Paddle Remote

Pressing on the Pico Paddle Remote triggers an LED light response.

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

I set up the Pico Paddle Remote with the Lutron Caseta Diva Dimmer (the company sells these together for $80) in a hallway with only one switch. The fact that there's only one light switch means that if I'm on one end of that hallway, I can't turn the overhead lighting off and on without walking back to the other end, and at that point, I've probably already stumbled over a toy monster truck or three. 

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The Diva smart dimmer switch doesn't require a neutral wire for installation. It is also a paddle switch like the new Pico Remote, with the differentiator of having a backlit LED light bar on the right that you can slide up or down to control your lights' brightness level. 

A Lutron smart hub is required to unlock all the smart capabilities of Lutron devices, including the addition of voice control through Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Apple HomeKit; the Caseta products are also compatible with Ring and Sonos. The smart hub also manages a local network for your Caseta devices, so they don't bog down your Wi-Fi network. It also allows you to control the lights remotely from your smartphone and add schedules and geofencing to automatically turn them on when you come home or off when you leave. 

After an easy setup, the Pico Paddle Switch has worked seamlessly with the Caseta Diva Dimmer, successfully quenching the thirst for convenience that great smart home products should quell, all while saving my feet from stepping on tiny plastic toys. The response time is immediate, with zero issues encountered yet, which is all just pushing me to add more Lutron switches to my Amazon cart. 

The Pico Paddle Remote is compatible with all Lutron smart home devices, like the original Lutron Smart Dimmer, the Claro smart switch, lamp dimmer, and outdoor smart plug. It also works with RadioRA 3 and Homeworks connected lighting-control systems. 

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