Learning Center

Getting Started with Home Automation

What is INSTEON?

INSTEON is the best-selling, most-reliable home control and automation technology. Using both the existing wires (power line) in the home and radio-frequency communication, INSTEON adds remote control and automation to lighting, appliance and home control applications of all types. From lighting control to integrated security systems, the gold-standard in home automation allows you to manage your home the way you want. Easy to install and setup, INSTEON offers the flexibility and dependability to make your life more convenient, safe and fun.

Reliable

INSTEON is the most reliable and best-selling wireless home-control networking technology. With every INSTEON-enabled device being a repeater, the signal gets stronger with every added device. In addition, each INSTEON message contains error detection, so lights turning on accidentally will virtually never happen.

Simple

No other technology allows you to install new products without a complicated network enrollment and management procedures, so you won’t need to be (or hire) an IT expert. To link one INSTEON product to another you simply press and hold their set buttons – one at a time. INSTEON is the least complex of the network infrastructures. And, in networking, complexity leads to cost and risk.

Fully Compatible

INSTEON products are fully compatible with one-another. Other technologies/products may be labeled as such, but incompatibilities exist nonetheless.

INSTEON products are fully backward, and forward compatible. When other technologies create new commands, all older products become obsolete.

Fast

Other home automation networks have a noticeable delay when turning on a light or activating an appliance. Other networking technologies have even longer delays and “popcorn” effects when launching multi-device scenes. INSTEON messages get through in less than 0.05 seconds - faster than the human eye can detect, so there are no visible delays. Activate an INSTEON-enabled switch and the lights turn on instantaneously.

Affordable

While other home automation systems extend into the thousands of dollars to install and implement, a complete INSTEON-enabled system costs a fraction of its competitors. INSTEON can be integrated into any number of products easily and at a very low cost, so it will impact your life a whole lot more that it will impact your wallet.

Award Winning

Perhaps the most award-winning home networking technology, INSTEON technology and products lead the world when it comes to innovation. For a list of awards, click here.

Consumer Praise

Consumers, in addition to the industry gurus, love INSTEON. For a selection of testimonials, click here.

Helpful Links

Click here to shop all INSTEON products

Click here for the INSTEON Details whitepaper

Click here for the INSTEON Compared whitepaper

Why is INSTEON Better?

Dual-band

INSTEON is the only home networking technology that makes use of two separate physical layers (RF plus Powerline). INSTEON signals automatically jump from one layer to the other, and back. Each layer works around road-blocks in the other. It is estimated that the error rate for a dual band technology might be 100 times smaller than that of a single-band technology.

Simulcast

Like other mesh networks, INSTEON signals are repeated by devices in the network. However, INSTEON messages are repeated (if and as required) simultaneously by every node in the network. Each repeat of the INSTEON signal is referred to as a hop. Each message is designed to stop hopping when it reaches the responder.

Other networks repeat along a pre-determined network “route”. Creating this route and maintaining this route (called “healing”) is complicated and expensive in terms of silicon and memory. Furthermore, the simulcast network scales naturally, while the routed network runs into challenges at a geometrically growing rate.

StatelinkTM

INSTEON responders need not understand specific commands to join a scene (virtually everything in home automation is/can be considered a scene), it only need remember the state it was in when the scene was created. Just like your car radio only need remember the station it was on when you held one of your favorites’ buttons. Other technologies use specific commands. Every time a new command is created, products already in customers’ homes become obsolete with respect to that function. Furthermore, Statelink allows a single command to be broadcast to an entire home/building network and simultaneously (and elegantly) cause the scene to enact. Image that versus other technologies where the dozens of lighting circuits (or bulbs) come on one at a time (called the popcorn effect).

The Other Stuff

Like all other modern networking technologies, INSTEON has automatic error detection and correction. Every message is confirmed as it is received, and if any errors are detected, the message is automatically resent.

INSTEON has only one class of devices, versus two, three or more with Zwave, Zigbee and the other technologies.

Every INSTEON DEVICE acts as a repeater -- receiving and sending every message to all other devices on the network. So instead of stressing the network by adding more INSTEON devices, you actually strengthen it.

With no central controller or networking setup required, setting up your INSTEON network is a simple plug and tap to link one INSTEON product to another. Best of all, every INSTEON device has its own unique ID, so neighbors and would-be hackers can't control your home.