The Great Outlet Comparison: Lutron, Leviton, or LeGrand?

Lutron, Leviton, LeGrand Review
Lutron, Leviton, & Legrand: Duplex Outlet Side-by-Side

When undertaking a new project, the choice of which outlets to use is likely not the first question that comes to mind.  Usually, larger (and more fun) topics like space planning or material composition are our first considerations.  And rightly so: big moves are the most prominent features of a project and make the biggest impact on our finished spaces.  However, it's always important to remember that there's much more to a project.  As Charles Eames famously said: "The details are not the details.  They make the design." This sentiment is baked into FLUSHTEK, the idea that good detailing brings a project to its highest level.
 
So what does this have to do with outlets?  Well, just like a beautifully designed piece of furniture, an outlet is a designed product with nuance all its own.  In this post, we're turning a critical eye to the three most common screwless-wallplate duplex outlets: Lutron, Leviton, and LeGrand.  We'll break down the pros and cons of each and explain why the Lutron Claro is the best system to build your next project around.
 
Charles Eames Detail Quote
 
Charles & Ray Eames Poster from the Vitra Design Store

 

Lutron v Leviton v LeGrand

We'll start with a quick rating of each brand's Design, Finish, and Build Quality for those just here for the quick-and-dirty.

Brand Cost Design Finish Build Quality
Lutron Claro $15 ★★★ ★★★ ★★★
Leviton Decora $12 ★★☆ ★★☆ ★★☆
Legrand Radiant $10 ★☆☆ ★★☆ ★☆☆

As shown above, the Lutron Claro is the clear winner. It's got the best finish options, the best match between receptacle and faceplate, and it's built well.  The price is what most-often makes users question going with Lutron, but as you'll see below, you really get what you pay for.

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Lutron Claro: The FLUSHTEK favorite. Not only will using the Claro line with FLUSHTEK get you modern flush outlets throughout your project, your other outlets will be good-looking, solidly built, and consistent.

Lutron Claro Review

 

  • Design: The design is simple and elegant, without added complications that make some of its competitors appear cheap. The size feels right as well: not too large, and not too small. Its subtly rounded corners add a touch of modern sophistication.
  • Finish: The finishes options with the Claro line are expansive. They offer glossy, matte, textured, and metallic finishes, with perfect matches between the receptacle and faceplate. This is huge for us.  The outlet should read as a single object and not an assembly of two poorly matched parts. Lutron does this very well.
  • Build-Quality: The build-quality of the Claro line is everything you'd expect from a well-designed product. The faceplate and outlet are both flat and without imperfection.  The attachment method is via four plastic hooks near the corners: we've found that it secures the faceplate well and removes nicely when required. The assembly is streamlined without feeling cheap or weak.

Lutorn Claro Faceplate Construction   Lutron Claro Receptacle Detail

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Leviton Decora: This is a fair outlet, but it has some issues that are worth highlighting. It's a less expensive option than the Lutron Claro, but feels slighly inferior in the design and quality departments. See below.

Leviton Decora Outlet Review

  • Design: The design of the Leviton outlet is satisfactory, with the side of the faceplate being slightly chamfered in profile and formed of a single piece. When viewed from the side (in a non-flush install) it is nice that the faceplate reads as a single piece. The size is nice—a bit smaller than the other outlets we reviewed. However we don't love the embossed logo on the face of the receptacle, which is an issue with the LeGrand as well.  Good design means not having to look at a company logo when you walk through your own home!
  • Finish: The Leviton's finishing is probably its biggest weakness. The faceplate is very glossy, which highlights the uneven build quality (more on that later), and the receptacle isn't a great match. It's somewhat glossy as well, but noticeably different from the faceplate. There are less options for color and finish as well.
  • Build-Quality: The build-quality of the Leviton is mediocre. It attaches via four ratcheting clips at each corner, and you detach it from a single pry-point at the bottom. We don't love the single-point mechanism as it often feels like you must exert a lot of force to get it off and runs the risk of local damage to your walls around that area. Otherwise the outlet feels pretty sturdy, although there is an issue with the flatness of the faceplate and receptacle. Both have visible rippling on their face, which is apparent when viewing the outlet from an angle. This is its biggest issue, and makes the outlet look a bit cheap up close.

Leviton Decora Outlet Issues   Leviton Decora Outlet Faceplate Detail   Leviton Decora Outlet Receptacle Detail

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LeGrand Radiant: Although the price is lower, the Radiant can't really compete with the clean look and high quality of the Lutron Claro. Its design is a bit overdone and the build-quality feels quite poor.

LeGrand Radiant Outlet Review

  • Design: There are three prominent issues with the LeGrand Radiant.  First, its receptacle and faceplate do not sit flush, further emphasizing the two-piece construction of the design.  Next, the faceplate has a bow from the edges out towards the center of the receptacle. This is a small detail but really brings a lot of attention to the outlet (something we believe should disappear). Finally, like the Decora, the receptacle has a prominent company logo featured on it. Again, we do not want to see logos in our homes!
  • Finish: The Radiant finishes are nice, but still leave a bit to be desired.  It's fairly consistent between faceplate and receptacle, although the difference in plane and bow of the faceplate make them appear different at an angle. We'd call the finish more of a satin—it's got a light pebble to it that's nice.
  • Build-Quality: The build quality of the Radiant is probably its biggest downside. The faceplate connection is very flimsy, and although the plastic feels and looks nice, it is not very secure. This is primarily due to the screwless faceplate mounting, which clips into a super thin plastic backing. The faceplate rattles on the receptacle and seems apt to fail sooner than the outlets above due to the thin plastic backing.

LeGrand Radiant Review   LeGrand Radiant Faceplate Detail

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When the FLUSHTEK system was in early development, we briefly considered all three of the outlets listed above.  Viewing them online, and comparing costs, they each appear as if they could work well in a flush application. However, there's no substitute for holding the object in your hand and really getting a feel for each product's nuance. As you can see from our in-depth review above, the Lutron Claro suite is definitely superior in person. However, for some situations, the Leviton might be the right choice—which is why we now offer FLUSHTEK Systems for either brand.
 
Thanks to the FLUSHTEK System, you can seamlessly integrate outlets with baseboards, trim, and cabinetry throughout your projects. Have a look at our How it Work Page to see just how easy it is to bring your projects up to the next level. Thanks for reading!!!
 
August 2022 Update:
Due to the popularity of this post, we've been working on a follow up that features a few other outlet brands.  In addition, we've found the below videos from Everyday Home Repairs to be super helpful in understanding the internals of these different brands.  Check out some of his videos below:
 

7 comments

  • I just bought a lutron claro switch to test out on advice from this article and it also has brand name on it, so may want to update that part of the review. I would agree lutron does feel more solidly built in both the switch mechanics and the mounting plate. Do think its worth noting the ridge with claro plate design that is likely to collect dust and crumbs especially with kids. I really wish radiant plates just used a better mounting mechanism as they are much more attractive looking :(

    Dan
  • We are building a custom home in Texas and are looking at these various products. What I have learned is this: we had a semi-custom home before we built and it used Cooper. We had not a problem with any product. Our house didnt catch on fire, it didnt smoke and they never broke when using them. The switches and receptacles and face-plates we alittle flimsy and not well built. But, and you really cant dismiss this, we did not dismantle any face-plate, receptacle or switch during the 15 years we lived there, which means, sticking with the name brands, cost-effective, is A-ok! If I was Elon Musk, of course I would put the most expensive in my home, but I am not, so, I go with cost-effectiveness. Lutron is nice, but no visiting family member or guest ever, ever, asked us who built our electrical outlets and face-plates … doesn’t really matter as long as you buy from a name brand.

    Bill Setag
  • You use the “Adorne” name in your description of the Leviton outlet several times and also when you compare the Leviton to the LeGrand outlets. Adorne is an upscale LeGrand product and not associated with Leviton. The Leviton product line is Decora. Having used all three products in several houses I agree that the Lutron product is better than the two others however the Adorne product line from LeGrand is much – much – better than all 3 of these both in style and construction quality. In particular their steel mounting plate system levels out the drywall around the outlet and makes for a more solid installation. Of course the Adorne is much more expensive than these products so it’s not a fair comparison.

    Michael Nielsen
  • We appreciate the comment Phil! This is part of why design is so fascinating, as even a humble outlet can elicit a wonderful variety of responses. We really appreciate your points and thank you for sharing!

    Flushtek Support
  • Thanks for reviewing these products. A couple points I differ with, and in my opinion they are really just that: opinion points. Regarding the brand name showing on an outlet, that’s an issue across a very wide range of products. In the case of products like these, I appreciate a tasteful touch of branding. It’s also useful, as I am finding what brought me to this blog was a search for a LaGrand product, which began when I read the brand name on the light switch. In the case of pickup trucks, it seems it’s become fashionable to build the brand name proudly into the front grills of many brands, where IMO it is not especially tasteful. But it is actually one of those things that I don’t have much control in. :-)
    Another point that you find undesirable, that the LaGrand receptacle and face-plate do not sit flush, I rather appreciate the look of that. IMHO (in my humble opinion)
    Finally, another reader pointed out some missspellings. ;-) I found more, and there is an easy way around them. I am not trying to make a plug here, but may I suggest using Grammarly to bring your writing up to professional standards of quality. I thought that I was pretty on top of typos and misspellings, but using the Grammarly add-on, I find many and am able to easily correct them.
    Thanks again, and I do look forward to more of your posts!

    phil luttrell

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