It seems like 2015 may be the year that home automation truly takes off in the mainstream. Inexpensive solutions from newcomers like SmartThings abound, while industry veterans also offer robust solutions for anyone looking to implement HA at their residence. For those looking for a reputable company for their digital smart home, an Insteon home automation system is worthy of further exploration.
The company offers a wide range of devices and hubs to build HA systems that range from a small setup suitable for an apartment or small condo, all the way to a robust system worthy of a large family home. Since Insteon has been in the HA business since the turn of the century, you can expect their product line to provide the quality typical of a well-established organization. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at Insteon’s home automation offerings.
A Home Automation System Starts with the Hub
The Insteon Hub provides a central point for their wireless home automation system. It allows you to control the array of HA devices in your home, including lights, thermostats, cameras, and more. Insteon’s system also provides advanced features like automating device control based on a schedule or running scenes that let you control multiple devices in one fell swoop.
For example, you can create a scene that turns off all the lights in your house and lowers your thermostat, and then run that scene when you go to bed. You can also automate the scene to run on a nightly basis to make it appear like you are home when on vacation or traveling for work. This kind of functionality makes a home automation system a smart choice for any household.
If you add security related devices — motion sensors, open-close sensors, etc. — to your home automation setup, the Insteon Hub allows you to create alerts that notify you when a trigger happens. These notifications can be sent to your smartphone, tablet using email or a text message.
Control Your Insteon Home Automation System Using your Smartphone or Tablet
The company provides a mobile app used to control and manage your Insteon HA system. In addition to controlling specific devices, the app allows you to create and edit scenes and setup automation schedules with an easy to use, straightforward user interface. You are also able to monitor any security cameras or other sensors that are a part of your home automation setup.
The app is available for the iOS, Android, and Windows Phone mobile platforms. You are also able to download a desktop version compatible with Microsoft Windows 8, plus Mac OSX and Linux are supported using a web browser interface. In addition to the free app, there are no monthly fees related to monitoring your Insteon HA system. You can check in on your house when away from home free of charge.
Compatible with Insteon Devices and Third-Party Manufacturers
Not surprisingly, the Insteon Hub is compatible with the company’s own robust line of home automation devices. This includes a wide range of dimmers, switches, outlets, cameras, and more. Insteon also supports the popular Nest Thermostat and the Venstar Thermostat adapter, but it stands to reason the company needs to support additional third-party devices, considering the open architecture of the competing SmartThings HA system.
The Insteon Hub Pro is slated for a release which offers support for additional third-party devices, but surprisingly this higher-end hub is only compatible with iOS, which potentially puts Android and desktop owners out in the cold. Since the Hub Pro is still in a pre-release state, hopefully Insteon adds Android and desktop support before it hits the market hopefully later in 2015.
For those of you looking for a home automation system that’s still easy to set up and use, but adds higher-end features like scenes and scheduling, the Insteon Hub looks to be a winner. Sure, its third-party device support can be improved, but hopefully competition in this growing HA sector forces Insteon to support other devices, with the upcoming Hub Pro appearing to be a step in the right direction.
The MSRP for the basic Insteon Hub is $99, but it is currently available at a discounted price from many HA equipment vendors. Turn-key Insteon starter kits, including the Hub and some basic devices are also available.
Photo Credit: Hnnbz