CE Pro reports that Lutron is poised to take the production homebuilder market by storm with products like its Caseta® Wireless lighting control system, Smart Bridge home automation hub, and Sivoia® QS Triathlon® motorized shades based on Lutron's solid presence at the inaugural TecHomeX Expo held recently in Orlando, Fla. At the event Lutron sponsored a luncheon panel session entitled “Go Smart Fast or Get Left Behind” and by participating in several home tech panel discussions with industry experts.
The Expo, designed to provide high-volume and luxury homebuilders, as well as systems integrators, real estate developers, residential specifiers, electrical contractors, and other trades with insight and advice on how to capitalize on smart home technologies, gave Lutron a chance to not only extol the virtues of its extensive product solutions to production and luxury homebuilders, but confirmed the company’s belief that builders are the linchpin to industry-wide success and widespread adoption of smart, connected home technologies.
“It’s was clear from the response to the panel discussions and booth presence at the Expo that builders, and more specifically production builders, see Lutron’s lighting and shading control solutions as a way to provide a better lifestyle experience for their home buyers and to enhance their reputations with minimal risk,” says Lutron vice president of residential sales David Weinstein, speaking exclusively to CE Pro. During the opening presentation, Weinstein stressed the need for the home construction industry to accelerate its rate of innovation to sync with fast-paced technology changes, real estate professionals to start playing a role in the home tech revolution in the resale market, and home systems installers, contractors, and dealers to implement smart solutions for new construction and/or remodeling applications. It’s a topic of discussion that is striking a chord, particularly among homebuilders, Weinstein remarks.
Through extensive marketing efforts, business partnerships, and product development, Lutron is giving homebuilders the tools they need to expand their portfolio of profitable new technology standards that include simple, affordable, and reliable, home tech packages to mainstream consumers.
Leveraging the Utility of Lutron Solutions
Through its Builder program and active involvement in the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), and local NAHB chapters, Lutron has been able to identify the types of home technologies that resonate strongly with builders: Those that enhance the convenience and enjoyment of amenities that homeowners use every day—products and systems that provide a common utility, like the convenient, easy control of lights, thermostats, and window coverings. “Whether it’s for a luxury home or a production home, if you can provide builders with these three elements of home environmental control, you’ve likely grabbed their attention with solutions that make good business sense,” Weinstein says.
By positioning itself as a leader in lighting, shading, and temperature control with affordable options like Caseta and Triathlon, Lutron is now providing mid-market control solutions with a growing number of national builders, and commitments to provide home tech packages to thousands of new homes across the nation, says Weinstein.
Reducing the Risk
Despite a growing interest in technology from builders, there’s still a perceived notion among many that smart, connected devices and systems are simply too complicated to install and expensive to implement. Basically, homebuilders see home tech as a risky endeavor that could potentially eat away at their profits. The minimization of risk, says Weinstein, is precisely what Lutron had aimed to do when developing Caseta, for example.
“System components are easily installed by the builders electrical installers for a relatively small incremental cost per square foot. Caseta Wireless is also reliable, and scalable, which is making builders more motivated than ever to commit to solutions like this,” Weinstein tells CE Pro.
The reduction of risk is attractive not only to production builders, Weinstein adds, but also to professionals in home security, IT, and A/V businesses who may be looking for ways to scale their businesses in new directions, or to broaden their scope of potential customers.
Paving the Way for Custom through Production
Lutron might be targeting production builders as a way to gain mass market appeal, but it hasn’t forgotten its roots as a provider of custom home tech systems for the luxury home market and home systems integrators who cater to a high-end clientele, nor does Lutron feel that this push into production will jeopardize the growth and profit potential for custom integrators.
In fact, says Weinstein, Lutron’s push into the mainstream will help custom integrators grow their businesses—and in a big way. “Luxury integrators who promote, design, and install Lutron systems will benefit from move-up homebuyers already expecting to have technology in their homes.
These homeowners will eventually move up to newer, bigger, custom homes, and will naturally gravitate to larger, more custom oriented home technology solutions, which Lutron already provides.
With our growing relationships with production builders, Lutron is working hard to deliver new value to mid-market homebuyers, while building the market for our luxury dealers and their high value clients.”