Secret settings to convert a Lutron dimmer to a switch

You say switches, I say dimmers – no cheating!

Previously, I’ve written about the difference between dimmers and switches used to control lights.

I’ve also mentioned secret manufacturer codes that can be used to reset many smart home devices back to their original factory settings.

Now it’s time to bring these two different topics together.

Lutron’s hidden chameleons

With the appropriate use of secret “cheat code” sequences, certain plug-in dimmer modules from Lutron can be converted by the owner into on/off non-dimming switches.

This is very useful if you would like to have Lutron smart plug style on/off control of some devices that otherwise can’t be use with dimmers.

There are limitations in current and amperage supported, so tread carefully and really do read the instruction manual reference.

Don’t expect to control a window air conditioner, electric heater, or other high current / high amperage devices, but this can be useful for tabletop lamps, floor lamps, or other small appliances.

If you have decorative lights that use fluorescent bulbs, old fashioned 3-way filament lights, or other lamps that are not compatible with dimmers, you can now automate them with on/off commands.

Which Lutron systems are supported?

This only works with plug-in modules. It is not applicable to in-wall dimmers.

For Lutron Caseta, the very popular consumer lighting control solution sold just about everywhere in the US, this works with the Lutron PD-3PCL-WH plug-in lamp dimmer module.

For Lutron RA2 Select, Lutron RA2, and Lutron HomeWorks, this works with the Lutron RR-3PD-1-SW plug-in lamp dimmer module.

Cheat codes revealed

Here’s the magic instructions to switch between dimmer mode and switch mode for each of these devices.

How to convert Lutron Caseta plug-in lamp dimmer to an onoff switch/

1 – Press on/off buttons simultaneously until light flashes (about 8 seconds)

2 – Release

How to convert Lutron RA2 plug-in dimmer modules to an onoff switch/

1 – Tap the toggle button to turn off the load

2 – Press and hold the toggle and lower buttons for 3 seconds until LED 1 flashes

3 – Tap the raise button until LED 7 flashes

4 – Press and hold the raise button until LEDs 1 and 3 flash

5 – Tap the toggle button once, wait 2 seconds, then tap the toggle button again

6 – Tap the raise button once

7 – Press and hold the toggle button for 6 seconds to save this setting

Get the detailed instructions

I know the steps listed above can be hard to follow.

To actually do this, get the full instructions from Lutron listed below and with a little patience you’ll have it figured out on the 3rd or 4th try.

For Lutron Caseta

Download this large advanced installation guide pdf and refer to page 74

For Lutron Radio RA2

Download this installation sheet pdf and refer to the section on “Advanced Programming”

Robert

Automation technologist and problem solver

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