Insteon, ZWave, Zigbee or something else?

rawhitMarch 11, 2014

our new house is under construction and we are looking for some home automation options. The builder provided options are almost nil so this would have to happen after closing.
- Not looking to spend a huge amount or something with monthly fee.
- Control from remote location would be nice but not important (in house control would work for us).
- iOS/Android support over wi-fi would be great.
- I am tech savvy and would prefer to manage the programming on my own but would need help with hardware installation.

Things we are looking to control

1) Recessed lights (about 16 of them)
2) Two Thermostats
3) Main door lock / deadbolt
4) Garage doors

Which of the technologies above would be worth looking in to? I am guessing Creston/Control 4 would require professional setup and expensive too?

Would greatly appreciate any help as we are moving in to the house in Spring.


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I have Insteon and am extremely happy with the performance, functionality and value. Installing the light switch modules is like replacing a regular switch with a dimmer switch except you must have a neutral wire also. You can have keypads anywhere that can control scenes that you define. checkout the Smarthome website. I also highly recommend the ISY controller by universal Devices which is also sold at Smarthome but is much much better than the other controllers. You can set everything up from your computer and turn devices or scenes on/off from your phone. Can also integrate in a great security system made by Elk.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 10:21PM
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Thanks of the reply :)
I decided to go easy on automation and went with a budget Staples connect box. This is essentially a z-wave controller with limited functionality (unlike Vera or Homeseer). Also has some proprietary integration with Lutron controllers. But on a daily deal it was just $50 and it handles my Lutron caseta dimmers well (even from a remote location).
Supposedly works with Honeywell z-wave thermostats but I haven't tried that option.

For garage doors, I went with Chamberlain openers and would be checking out their MyQ internet connected service when the openers get installed this week.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 11:37PM
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how did the myq work out for you?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 9:07AM
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I installed Chamberlain two HD930ev for two garage doors.
No complaints so far.
I can control both through one network controller which attaches to my router (got two, one with each opener but one can control both).
iPhone, iPad and android apps, all work well.
I've also setup up push notifications when the door is opened or closed, which get delivered to all the devices.

When opening and closing the garage doors via apps (i.e. not via the provided remotes), the lights flash and openers emit an alert sound for 20 sec so that anybody nearby is aware that remote close has been triggered.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 12:16PM
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Answering darb427: The MyQ is very good for what it can do. I have 2 Liftmaster gate openers and a Liftmaster garage opener - all controlled my MyQ. It is convenient to be able to open any of the 3 from my phone and not need the handheld remote. However it is disappointing that so far, MyQ does not have any capability to interface with home automation systems. So the relevant light switches that I would want to go on when the garage door or a gate opens are already Insteon so i have zero interest in using the MyQ light switch and would advise anyone who ever wants to have real home automation to not buy those MyQ switches.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 12:50PM
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