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Shortcomings overlooked in formal online reviews (CNET, etc): LIMITED BULB COMPATIBILITY, NO DEFAULT DIM SETTING, and more
on November 6, 2017
This review focuses on the Caseta Dimmer PD-6WCL-WH (no neutral wire). I won’t spent too much time going over the issues, just highlighting a couple and making a recommendation to another, improved, Caseta Dimmer.
- Works without white neutral wire. If your older Home has no neutral wire, this is the best LED smart dimmer available.
- Quality product, and in many rooms the cons aren’t an issue
- Controls up to 17 8.5 watt led bulbs
- Has unique ability to modify/set the high and/or low end of the dimming range (i.e. set the dim range so a bulb/fixture will dim lower)
- Lutron certifies bulbs for use in the dimmer and many bulbs, including the top rated BR30 GE Reveals, will not work in this dimmer. We like to use the new ‘vintage look’ LED bulbs, and none of mine work properly in this PD-6WCL-WH Caseta dimmer.
- The problem must people have with this product is it’s inability to set a default dimming level. When turned on at the switch it goes to max brightness.
Many people, like myself, like that when using LEDs with a dimmer, you can buy bulbs brighter than you could for an incandescent, and it only adds 2-5 watts and virtually no heat. This allows you to light a room super bright if needed, but use the dimmer so you can tone it down for everyday use. Here in lies the problem with this dimmer. It starts at max ever time you use the switch. This is terrible for a bathroom in the middle of the night.
The last thing is the layout is complicated. Guests won’t know how to use it, and you have to pause and think before you choose a button (especially in the dark). It not like a GE paddle where you can walk by and quickly tap it up or down.
If you like the layout, I strongly suggest you check out the Caseta PD-5NE-WH dimmer switch. It uses a neutral wire and functions with way more bulbs (I check compatibility myself - if there’s no flicker, hum, or on/off flash they work). It also has a button for a preset default, but it is a little pricey - no more pricy than spending $54 on a dimmer and switching it out!
See my product review on Caseta’s more advanced dimmer (PD-5NE-WH), it resolves almost all of this products issues.