Rako Vs Lutron
Updated: Sep 17, 2019
We have been installing both Rako and Lutron for over 10 years now.
First off they are actually very similar and both have their own pros and cons when it comes to a lighting control system.
Lutron Have now released the RA2 Select Product Line which is has made me update this article.
Let’s break this down into different sections and we will discuss the Pro’s and Con’s
Price: Rako USED TO win this area hands down, Lutron will cost you possibly 30% – 40% more and sometimes higher for the same system. Lutron Ra2 Select is now cheaper that Rako’s wireless by around 15%.
This is now a Lutron WIN
Style and Plate Finishes: Lutron in our opinion takes this area, they offer the american style plate system which we think is fabulous and different to the standard UK Square fittings, and they have a really nice architectural style – note the american style fittings need different back boxes to install them. But both Lutron and Rako offer all styles to fit your home including screwless and mirror finishes etc. This is still a Lutron Win Area and they have designer plates like the Palladiom and Engraving the Pico.
Retrofitting (wireless Systems): This WAS a massive Rako win here, Rako built there brand on their wireless technology… retrofitting Rako in homes where redecoration or rewiring is not possible is something we believe that Rako is the best at!
The installation and ease of the Lutron Ra2 Select app makes installation a breeze using just a smart phone, you do not need to bring a laptop anymore and the way that Lutron Ra2 App finds the lights and flashes them for you before you name them is genius!
Rako Wireless Switch Batteries last for around 4 years, with a well installed Rako retrofitted lighting system you can have the same functions as a wired system. without the damage caused wiring the house again!
Rako Wireless has more features in programming than Lutron Ra2 Select.
Rako has a bigger wireless range of products, 0-10v, Rako pills for pendants.
Lutron Ra2 Select PICO Keypads last 10 years, and they guarantee this.
Right now this is so tight its very difficult to pick, Rako always had the edge and still have the features, but the incredibly easy installation of Ra2 is a game changer.
Home Automation: Lutron win, because Lutron is a huge brand all around the world all the leading brand makers will have Lutron in mind for automation and development in their drivers, in the UK this is not so much of an issue because our leading home automation brands are well aware of Rako and will continue to develop platforms that will allow you to integrate both brands.
The problems happens when you choose brands that are not so well known in the UK – Savant as an example, Savant in our opinion is one of the best home automation products on the market but their Lutron HomeWorks integration is on another level – and I mean in a good way, the Rako integration works and works well but it would not be my choice to pair them over Lutron HomeWorks.
This has not changed Lutron integrate into absolutely everything.
Wired Systems: A very slim Lutron win here, and this is only because of the software to program Lutron HomeWorks (it’s very good) however the client wont see this benefit as this is the black magic of the installers domain. Rako software is fine once you get the hang of it
They both have excellent wired products and they both work extremely well and offer identical features.
One thing to note is that the Rako Wireless system works flawlessly with the wired system once you have a bridge installed which gives you the option to add in circuits that you have not planned for (those changes that our wonderful clients like to add just at the last minute when all the ceilings and walls are finished). Lutron also have a hybrid repeater and you can add in HomeWorks QS Stick dimmers.
Rako wired is cheaper than Lutron HomeWorks QS if cost is key.
Lutron phase adaptive modules have RTISS (real time illumination stability system) which cleans up our mains 230v supply.
Nothing Changed, still both good products.
Mobile App: A lutron victory here, the lutron app is very well designed. The Rako app is also great and very easy to use (and now the Rako app actually lets you adjust scenes directly). But the Look and feel of the lutron app is a very nice user experience!
Lutron have now released the Radio Ra2 Select which allow the home user to program stuff directly via the app.
Dimming Loads and Types: It’s a Draw, the reason for a draw here is because ultimately it is the electrical contractors duty (us) to make sure that they thoroughly check on the lighting types (trailing edge/leading edge/phase adaptive), lighting loads on the equipment, etc and order the correct equipment for the lighting that is to be installed.
However one really nice Lutron feature is their Phase Adaptive Modules. Would love to see Rako produce a similar module in the future (as an electrical point of view).
Lutron take this area, they now have trim settings for the loads, and they have really moved forward with development of the lighting dimming. and with shade integration you can dim the sun.
Racking and Space needed for wired installations: Lutron Win, The Lutron modules are all DIN RAIL mounted which means you can build installations in tight spaces.
Rako RAk4 Modules are allot bigger (loads are higher though), I have always had a slight bug bear about the RAK4’s sizes against the Lutron Homework’s QS Modules.
Rako have a new Rak8 which is around the same form factor as the RA4 with double the space (great), we still think that the DIN Rail nature of Lutron Modules means we can make or buy any racking housing and fit anywhere.
Customer Support: Rako Slight Win, Rako manufacture nearly all of their equipment here in the UK (around 99%), and their staff are fantastic and go out of their way to help you.
I have had them send out engineers completely free of charge to get my clients out of trouble. for us this is a massive plus for Rako.
Lutron support have increased support drastically, we have been installing many Lutron systems and they have been outstanding.
Lutron in my opinion are the winners since the release of Ra2 Select, However Rako are a fantastic brand and a good choice all round. you won't be disappointed with either system.
Thank you for reading.