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 Keep insteon platform or replace?
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3 Posts

Posted - 09/04/2019 :  03:06:21 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I setup an insteon system in my place several years back (2012-ish) and have upgraded the hub once and now have a ton of wall switches and lamp modules. Probably have $500-1000 invested all together. It still works semi-reliably, but seems that insteon is being left behind with the newer technology and doesn't even work with most new home automation stuff. Not sure whether I should upgrade the hub to get google assistant integration or just ditch the system entirely and go with something more modern? The insteon UI is pretty bad but not unusable.

Edited by - Gabar on 09/05/2019 03:42:42 AM


4111 Posts

Posted - 09/04/2019 :  03:54:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
One of the questions you should ask yourself is how comfortable are you with reliance on the cloud. It seems to me that much of the latest stuff, and much of the interoperability, is based upon cloud operation. If you are comfortable with needing the internet to turn on the lights, go for it.

Another question you need to ask yourself is what level of automation do you seek. Are you looking for little more than a few timers and a fancy remote control (phone) or do you seek conditional logic with devices triggered by other devices, sensors, and events? The answer to that question will drive you to different solutions.

Personally, the UI is a very minor consideration. Other than for setup and configuration, I use it very little. If I need to control a light manually, I find little more convenient that the light switch. For the few items I desire to control while away, I use home screen widgets, mostly.

Personally, I still like insteon. I use, however, a mix of insteon (still majority), z-wave, hue, and IR-controlled devices. I can control via alexa and nest hub, but don't find that to be especially useful or beneficial. I have tried homekit devices and like the homekit app, but suspect that this approach stresses the wifi network a bit and would not trust it for large installations.
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Senior Member

332 Posts

Posted - 09/04/2019 :  12:53:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
To add to what Oberkc said, I'd ask what makes you feel insteon is being left behind? What are you looking to get out of your system?

Which hub are you using? The current 2245 hub does work with Google and Amazon so if that is all that you want, you already have that control.

I have both insteon and zwave. I've used many different controllers as well. They fall into 2 classes. Home control which is what the hub is and home automation which is a controller Suh as the isy allows you to have. The hub interface is subjective as would any other controller such as smart things (if you went with zwave).

The switches themselves are irrelevant as they simply turn on, off, and/or dim. At this point, no DYI system does it better than Insteon.

A controller such as the isy does both insteon and zwave allowing you to maximize what your devices can do. I have my Sonos, TVs, ecobees, hue, and alarm all talking to each other and still haven't maxed out it's potential. Since you're using the hub, I doubt you're getting all that you can from your devices. The problem here isn't insteon but how you are using it.

Edited by - lilyoyo1 on 09/04/2019 1:03:17 PM
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1 Posts

Posted - 09/04/2019 :  5:38:59 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My thoughts hinge on what you want to do.

I have seen no other system able to create a three way switch (without a runner). Insteon is true smart home control, not just phone enabled control of devices.

Recently, my son moved to a new condo and the fan/light over his bed was only controlled by a switch for power to the unit and then a remote for the fan and light. Turn the switch and the fan and light go on/off but there was no way to control the light with the switch and if they used the remote then the switch became irrelevant (and often annoying). PLUS, the switch was not near where you enter the room.

The only solution I found to control the light separately from the fan and from two locations (near the door and near a hallway to the bathroom) was to use two linked Insteon switches for the light
and run a new power line for the fan from the original switchbox and continue to use the remote for the fan (bypassed the light control in the fan from the remote - a little involved but very satisfying). The Insteon fan/light control was not an option because the fan already had the integrated control and there was no "pull-chain" control for the fan - the only control for the fan was through the remote.

There is no other system which allows you to control one device from two switches. I looked high and low and all the "smart" switches allow you to use your phone but I wanted to control the light when I walked in the room from the switch on the wall (both on and off) as well as the switch by the hall. I gave up a switched outlet to use the doorway located switch but I ended up with a three way switch for the light which I could not do otherwise.

If you want a true smart home with linked devices and triggered events the "smart" devices just won't cut it. Do you really want to spend $20 for a smart bulb and then have it break in 2 years?, Can you switch on that light from the lamp (sensing outlet) as well as from the switch on the wall and the switch near your door and turn them all of with a switch on the way out without having to get out your phone?

I am a convert, I have tried others and I cannot find the same overall features.

Now, I just wish they would support HouseLinc again. That was a truly magnificent system (a little archaic but extremely powerful).
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Senior Member

217 Posts

Posted - 09/04/2019 :  7:31:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by sagitter

Now, I just wish they would support HouseLinc again. That was a truly magnificent system (a little archaic but extremely powerful).

I agree. Heck, I'm still using Houselinc but when it dies I'm going for the isy.
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