How did you get into home automation and the INSTEON technology?
I always believed that technology should make life easier. Home automation technology hit my belief system right on the button. For example, the homes in our community normally have a single light/fan on the vaulted ceiling in the great room. However, we decided to go with recessed lighting instead of the center light/fan, because it would be in the way of our projector because we use the room as a theater room. The builders installed recessed lighting and added additional switches to control them and orphaned the original light switch. By switching out the recessed lighting switch and the orphaned switch with INSTEON SwitchLinc Dimmers, I was able to create a virtual 3-way circuit to allow that previously useless switch to control my recessed lights.
Describe the setup in your home.
The entire setup of using INSTEON technology is about convenience and resolving issues in my home. Here is my setup:
BEDROOMS - In all our bedrooms we had switches controlling outlets that restrict our lamp locations. With INSTEON, I replaced those switches and put our lamps on LampLinc Dimmers and then linked them to be controlled by the KeypadLinc in the room. Not only does that allow us to move our lamps wherever we want, but it also gives us dimming capabilities -- perfect for the master bedroom and the baby's room at night.
BATHROOMS - Using HouseLinc Desktop (home automation software), I set up timers on the SwitchLinc Relays that control the bathroom lights, vents and closet lights. For the lights in the closet and the half baths, I have the lights and vents go off after 20 minutes. For full baths, I have them go off after 30 minutes.
KITCHEN/DINING ROOM - We have a very long kitchen. Coming in from the garage, the kitchen table is in front of us and then past that is the main kitchen with recessed lights. The kitchen light switch coming in from the garage controlled the table lights. Even though the table lights are the closest, we only use those if we are actually at the table. Normally we'd come in the house, turn on the kitchen table lights, walk into the main kitchen area, then turn off the table lights and turn on the main kitchen lights. Replacing the kitchen light switch coming in from the garage with a SwitchLinc Dimmer, I linked it to my main kitchen lights instead, making our lives slightly easier.
OUTDOORS - I installed InlineLinc Dimmers for all the outside lights, including the backyard flood lights, front door lights, and the light above the garage doors. With all outdoor lights powered by INSTEON, I can easily turn on all the outdoor lights with a touch of a button on the KeypadLincs in the garage, entryway, and master bedroom.
What was your last INSTEON project?
The latest INSTEON product I got is the new RemoteLinc Wireless Remote Control. When we return home, we love the ability to turn on the driveway lights or front door lights from the car before we come down the driveway. We also use RemoteLincs in the theater room and master bedroom to control the room lights, and also the front door/driveway lights.
What is your favorite INSTEON solution?
We have a long driveway, and it's always a pain for people to drive down, especially at night. I decided to install a KeypadLinc in the master bedroom and home theater room. Each KeypadLinc has a cross-linked FRONT DOOR and DRIVEWAY light that allows us to control those from pretty much any area of the house. When it's time for bed, we can easily turn off the outside lights if we left them on from the comfort of our bedroom. Our theater room is a small hike from the front door, so if we are ever up there and want to order food or find out we have visitors coming, we would have to walk down the front door to turn on the driveway/front door lights.
What are some products that you would love to see join the INSTEON family?
My INSTEON setup is more or less complete -- at least for lighting. What I am looking for is an INSTEON-compatible IR interface and thermostat. Hope SmartLabs will come out with those soon.