INSTEON Stories - SwitchLincs, Controlincs, RemoteLinc, Keypadlinc, lamplinc

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Jonathan HamiltonSeptember Contest Winner:
Jonathan Hamilton

Jonathan Hamilton is a senior integration engineer from Nashville, Tennessee. Already well-versed in home automation with X10 technology, Jonathan has been planning to upgrade to INSTEON for increased reliability, features and ease of use. With the contest winnings, he can do it sooner rather than later!

How did you get into home automation?
I started a few years ago with an IBM X10 kit that included a couple of lamp modules, an appliance module and a computer interface. I set up the lamp modules in the family room to create different lighting scenes for watching movies and other entertainment activities. I used the appliance module to control the fish tank light. The computer interface provided the ability to issue simple commands to the modules.

Describe the setup in your home.

My main focus is to have complete automation control with my PC. Currently, all my multimedia files -- movies, music, pictures -- are stored on a home server and are accessible via the home theater PCs running in our home. I'm using Sony's S-Link protocol to talk to all my audio-video equipment, but it's not the most friendly method to go about things. My current home automation setup has little in the way of lighting and appliance control. I just moved and haven't had the time to set the old IBM X10 kit back up yet. Since I'm looking for something that will allow me to easily integrate a home automation system with computer control, I've decided to upgrade my home cotnrol system to INSTEON.

What attracted you to the INSTEON technology?

I’ve been eying the INSTEON stuff for a while now but haven't yet pulled the trigger. From everything I've read, there are many advantages to upgrading to INSTEON.

Virtual 3-Ways
INSTEON can configure 3-way switches that aren't physically on the same line. Since I am not locked into just what is hardwired to the light, I have the flexibility to control any light in the house from anywhere in the house I want.

Computer Interface
Since my ultimate goal is to have computer control of my entire home, INSTEON offers an easy interface with my PC through the PowerLinc Controller and the HouseLinc Desktop Software.

Phase Bridging
Like most homes, my home's electrical wiring is such that it is split into two 110V legs within the house, which causes all sorts of reliability issues with my X10 devices. INSTEON's ability to send signals over powerline and radio frequency should help bridge the phases and increase reliability.

X10 Compatibility
I love the fact that INSTEON is compatible with X10 devices, which allows me to use the X10 devices I already own.

What will be your first INSTEON project?

The first thing would be to upgrade my living room/family room to INSTEON. I will have a SwitchLinc to control the main lights in the room, two Lamplincs to control the floor lamps, an ApplianceLinc for the fish tank light and a KeypadLinc in the hallway to control everything in the living room.

What products would you love to see join the INSTEON family?
According to the rumor mill, an INSTEON thermostat supposedly is on the horizon. I know that there are currently X10 thermostats, but since I'm looking to upgrade to INSTEON, I think I will wait for an INSTEON version.

Enter the Smarthome Home Control Giveaway now to win $500 of INSTEON-compatible products. The next winner could be you!


Last Updated: October 29, 2007

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