How did you get into home automation?
I am a bit enthusiastic about energy conservation, and I wanted a way to not have the porch light on all night. I bought an X10 Mini-Timer and a few modules so I could turn the light off from the comfort of my bed, and I’ve been hooked ever since.
Describe the setup in your home.
Since I’ve spent the past decade automating my home, I still have a lot of old X10 stuff. While not as reliable as INSTEON, they still work – most of the time. Like many early adopters of home automation, I run a typical mixed X10/INSTEON environment in my home. I have X10 motion sensors in the backyard that activate my sprinklers after 10 p.m. to drive away stray cats and potential male visitors for my daughters. On the other hand, all the lights in my home are completely controlled by INSTEON-compatible SwitchLincs, KeypadLincs and ControLincs. As my old X10 products break down, I’m slowly upgrading to convert my entire home into a complete INSTEON home.
How has your experience been with the upgrade from X10 to INSTEON?
When INSTEON first came out, I went ahead exchanged all the X10 controllers in my house with INSTEON ones. Honestly, the difference in reliability is like night and day. I had an X10 keypad in the entryway that was supposed to control the lights in the living room and in 8 years never once did turn the darn light on. Ever since changing it out for an INSTEON-compatible KeypadLinc, it’s worked every time.
What’s your coolest setup using INSTEON technology?
I have a dedicated home theater room that I use INSTEON-compatible controllers to set up different lighting scenes that I can activate with a touch of a button. The “Movie Time” scene slowly fades the lights off so I can enjoy my movies, and the “All On” scene turns all the lights on when I need to clean the room.
What’s your next INSTEON upgrade project?
I’ve been eyeing the EZRain INSTEON Sprinkler Controller to get the reliability I need for my sprinkler system. What I really want though is an INSTEON-compatible motion-sensing floodlight. There isn’t one yet, but that would be tops on my wish list.