|August Contest Winner: |
Mike Schendel and Family
Mike Schendel has been interested in and using INSTEON technology for a couple of years. The biggest problem he claims is that the factory store is only 4 miles from home, and his wife Julie says, "Oh, how he loves that problem."
|How did you get into home automation?|
Well my story would probably sound pretty good if I could say it started with some philosophical vision of the future, and even though I have always been intrigued with home automation, it really was all due to the trouble I had resetting some manual timers on my landscape lights. The timers were located behind thick foliage, so getting to them was tough, especially just to turn them on or off for a party. So an INSTEON Starter Kit, some INSTEON ApplianceLincs, and an INSTEON PowerLinc Controller with the free timer software were the fix, and only the beginning.
| Describe the setup in your home |
| |Convenience Using a PowerLinc Controller and the free timer software, I set up a convenient lighting scene that controls the low-voltage landscape lighting (connected to ApplianceLincs) and a table lamp in the living room (connected to a LampLinc Dimmer) -- turning them on at dusk and off at bedtime. Also, by linking a X10 Wireless Remote Control to a LampLinc Dimmer that controls the bedroom lights, my daughter, Katelyn, never has to cross her room in the dark to turn on/off the light. Of course, this was before the release of the INSTEON RemoteLincs, and she is now eying my RemoteLinc.
Safety Using three KeypadLinc Dimmers and a SwitchLinc Dimmer, I can turn on all the outdoor lights with a touch of a single button for entertaining guest or as security lights if I hear a strange noise in the night. I also programmed the ICON Dimmer switch in the garage to turn on the lights in the kitchen, so the house will not be dark when my wife comes home at night. For even more security, the KeypadLinc Dimmer buttons near the top of the stairs can switch on all outdoor and downstairs lights.
Home Theater In the home theater room, I linked a ControLinc Tabletop Controller to the SwitchLinc Dimmers that control the recessed lighting and a ceiling fan in the room, so I can control everything in the room from the comfort of our sofa. I also set buttons on the ControLinc to activate convenient lighting scenes (“Movie Time” and “Intermission”) with slow ramp rates to set the perfect mood for the ultimate movie-watching experience.
Energy Conservation A single button on a KeypadLinc Dimmer in the master bedroom can turn off all the lights in the house when we're ready for bed to help us save energy and money.
| What was your last INSTEON project? |
The latest INSTEON purchase and project involved the new RemoteLinc Wireless Remote Control and HouseLinc Desktop (home automation software). The software really eased the programming of the KeypadLinc Dimmer buttons, since a few of the buttons control over 20 other switches, and some even control those difficult-to-reach ApplianceLincs for the landscape lighting that started all my fun.
| What is your favorite INSTEON solution?|
| | The favorite solution for the family would have to be my daughter’s “special” button on the KeypadLinc Dimmer at the top of the stairs. At night, my daughter likes to switch on every overhead light when she goes downstairs to the kitchen. That includes the stairway, two hallways, family room, kitchen, and the living room. With a simple touch of the “special” button, she can control all those overhead lights. And it must be special, because she uses it all the time.
| What products would you love to see join the INSTEON family? |
| | While I have been interested in the development of INSTEON-compatible products like a thermostat, IR controller, fire alarms, and exhaust fans, my main wishes would be for a nightstand alarm clock with an INSTEON “snooze” timer switch and a KeypadLinc Relay.
Enter the Smarthome Home Control Giveaway now to win $500 of INSTEON-compatible products. The next winner could be you!
Last Updated: October 1, 2007