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Insteon Home Automation


Lou Knudson
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I am looking into installing some Insteon home automation products in my home. I would initially use some of their modules to replace several timers that I currently use to control the static portions of my display. It sounds like from reading some older posts that other LOR users are using some of the Insteon products. From what I read they cannot be controlled from LOR as X10 can which is not really a concern. It is my understanding that Insteon uses a dual band system that communicates over the power line and an RF signal. Is there any  need to be concerned with these causing a problem with the signal for the LOR light linkers that I am using on my display?

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I use a lot of Insteon but not for my Christmas lights.  They are not very reliable in my opinion.  I have replaced lots of them due to failures or lockup.  Most lockups will clear with a power down cycle of about 1 min.  Might be fine for static display but there are really better ways.  For the price of a couple of Appliancelincs or Outletlincs you can have a 16 ch LOR controller.

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I heard the same about Insteon, and have stayed with X-10, that are still readily available. I have no reliability issues. The only add-on I ever needed with a phase coupler/repeater that plugged into a 220 outlet for our dryer (which the dryer then plugs into), which takes the X-10 signal across both sides of the panel. I have had no reliability issues, and have been running X-10 since the 1980s.

Given I switch 9 or sockets on for the display, as my display is spread out over 1 acre, I couldn't imagine doing it any other way!

Edited by Greg Young
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I heard the same about Insteon, and have stayed with X-10, that are still readily available. I have no reliability issues. The only add-on I ever needed with a phase coupler/repeater that plugged into a 220 outlet for our dryer (which the dryer then plugs into), which takes the X-10 signal across both sides of the panel. I have had no reliability issues, and have been running X-10 since the 1980s.

Given I switch 9 or sockets on for the display, as my display is spread out over 1 acre, I couldn't imagine doing it any other way!

 

I too use this config for x-10.  It controls my blow-ups for Halloween and motorized deer for Christmas.

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I switched to Insteon a few years back.  I always had reliability issues with X-10.  I did not have the phase bridge.  The final straw for me was when my timer went out and I couldn't get a replacement.  At one time, you could pick up X-10 modules, timers etc at Radio Shack -- It was sold as Plug-N-Power.  Radio Shack no longer carries any X-10 that I can see.  

 

I mainly use Insteon to turn on/off lights around the house.  I do like it during holidays to turn on/off the static porttions of my display.  Becasue of the RF backup, I find Insteon be much more reliable than X-10, however, it is not perfect.   I am using the isy99 style controller.  It is much more flexible with what you can do with the programming.  It will also control X-10 modules, so anyone wanting to switch to Insteon can still use the old X-10 modules.

 

Jerry

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I switched to Insteon a few years back.  I always had reliability issues with X-10.  I did not have the phase bridge.  The final straw for me was when my timer went out and I couldn't get a replacement.  At one time, you could pick up X-10 modules, timers etc at Radio Shack -- It was sold as Plug-N-Power.  Radio Shack no longer carries any X-10 that I can see.  

 

I mainly use Insteon to turn on/off lights around the house.  I do like it during holidays to turn on/off the static porttions of my display.  Becasue of the RF backup, I find Insteon be much more reliable than X-10, however, it is not perfect.   I am using the isy99 style controller.  It is much more flexible with what you can do with the programming.  It will also control X-10 modules, so anyone wanting to switch to Insteon can still use the old X-10 modules.

 

Jerry

It is far more reliable for me then X10 ever was for sure.. and it may work fine for the OP holiday displays..

 

Long term though, I have had to replace many Keypadlinc, Outletlinc, Switchlinc dimmers and light modules.  I would say I have had to replace more than 15% of my Insteon network over the last 6 years.  But using it for just holiday stuff he should be fine. 

 

I also use the isy99.  Far better then the Smarthome software.. (that was crap) 

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It is far more reliable for me then X10 ever was for sure.. and it may work fine for the OP holiday displays..

 

Long term though, I have had to replace many Keypadlinc, Outletlinc, Switchlinc dimmers and light modules.  I would say I have had to replace more than 15% of my Insteon network over the last 6 years.  But using it for just holiday stuff he should be fine. 

 

I also use the isy99.  Far better then the Smarthome software.. (that was crap) 

I've been using Insteon for about three years now.  I've not had any failures with any of it yet....

 

I'm wondering if there may be an issue with the electical service in your home.  Is it possible you are having power spikes or some other power related issue that is killing your modules?

 

Jerry 

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Jerry,

 

Been down this road many times.  There was twice when power outages concurred with the failures. The rest of the time, not so much.  I have even put a power quality meter on the system to make sure that was not the problem.  Recorded no anomolies when failures occured.  I even have surge protectors on my main power system. 

 

The rub it that something should not fail (not this badly) if used for its intended purpose.  Every residential system in the country has power failures at one time or another.  Not talking spikes here, just failures or outages.  Once in awhile maybe a product failure, but 15% failure is just way too high. 

 

They have gotten a bit better with time, but I still would not specify them for custom homes.  Warranty work would be expensive me thinks.

 

I still like how they work when they do, but sometimes it is hit and miss.  I have about 50% as many in backup stock as I have installed in my house.. Problem with that is that the warranty on those is almost useless if the original lasts long enough for them both to be out of warranty.  But, ya takes ya chances..

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