Thursday, December 21, 2023

Lutron Caseta New Timer Feature and My Towel Warmer

 Two unrelated events today. I noticed that the Lutron app was advertising a new feature of the Caseta line of smart switches: the ability to configure a switch to toggle off after a time specified in the app. And, I finally investigated why my expensive looking towel warmer did a mediocre job of drying my towels. 

My towel warmer came with the house and I learned it was a Mr. Steam model, quite pricey, and according to its helpful customer support line, required 45 minutes to properly get up to temperature, and 2 hours to dry a towel. Well, it had had a 1 hour mechanical timer as a switch when I took possession, and I'd replaced it with a button timer of a maximum duration of 1 hour. It had never been used properly. 

A Mr. Steam Towel Warmer

I had a spare plain Lutron Caseta Switch on hand, and it occurred to me that instead of replacing the timer with one with a longer duration, I could just control it with a smart switch. [The switch is rated at 5Amps, and the towel warmer is rated at 3.3Amps]. This would bring several advantages: 

  • The button is simpler, just On and Off with a larger target area
  • I could specify a more precise heating time. Maybe, I'll find that 1 hr 45 minutes is sufficient and save energy.
  • The towel warmer could be pre-heated either on schedule or remotely, maybe even have Siri turn it on. 
  • It would be easier to program than one of those dedicated digital timer switches that the manufacturer sells as an accessory. 
One hint is to go into the Home app and categorize the switch as a switch and not a light. I, occasionally will tell Siri to turn on all the lights in the house, and I mean lights and not fans or towel warmers. 

The old 1 hr timer

Simple Caseta Switch

And now my towels are dry as a bone after their proper cooking time.