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

Dan Cregg "The Father of INSTEON"
Dan Cregg, Chief Technology Officer

Dan began his tenure at SmartLabs as Director of Engineering and Product Development in 1999, when SmartLabs acquired SmartLinc, a company Dan co-founded in 1997. Dan also founded HomeRun Automation, which was purchased by SmartLinc in 1997. Dan has held engineering positions at McDonnell-Douglas, SVG Thermco, and Universal Electronics.

What was your first experience with home automation?

I?ve always been a big electronics and gadgets guy and a big fan of the now defunct DAK catalog -- an electronic gadget catalog. In the mid-'80s, I ordered some lighting control stuff (X10) from the DAK catalog: a $100 X10 lighting kit that included an X10/IR remote and two X10 lamp modules. I immediately caught the home automation bug and just started buying more and more products for the house.

How did the idea for INSTEON come about?

In 1994, I started a company that built X10/IR interfaces and controllers. Even as an industry insider and knowing how to use filters, boosters and phase couplers, I grew very frustrated with the limitations and inadequacies of the X10 technology. My lights would pop on in the middle of the night, and stuff just wouldn't always turn on.

In the summer of 1998, I started tinkering with something I dubbed "Turbo X10" -- just trying to improve the X10 technology. From the beginning, I knew that radio frequency had to be part of the equation. Turbo X10 became internally known as PowerNet, which eventually became INSTEON, and the rest -- as they say -- is history.

Describe the setup in your home.

It all starts with lighting control. From lights turning on and off at sunset and sunrise to a single button turning off all the lights in the home, it's all about automatic control throughout the home. With all the bedrooms in my house located upstairs, my family loves the convenience of the KeypadLinc at the top of the stairs that can control the lights in their rooms. Besides lighting control, I have automatic sprinkler control, automatic motorized blinds, pool control, and DVR security cameras on the outside of the house. My next project, I want to add INSTEON control to my fireplace.

What was your last project?

With the summer upon us, I prepared my house in anticipation of the hot weather. Because INSTEON is so flexible, I set up all the outdoor lighting -- including pool and spa -- to be controlled from multiple locations leading into the backyard.

What is the future of INSTEON?

INSTEON is only 3 years old, and what the technology can do today is just the tip of the iceberg. Slowly, we are introducing more products -- like the RemoteLinc -- that take advantage of the RF side of the technology, and once everything in the house is connected with INSTEON, it will open up all sorts of possibilities. From energy management and entertainment to lighting and security, we are inching closer to a true "Home of the Future." With all the hi-tech futuristic gadgets and gizmos they put into cars these days to make life easier, safer and more fun, the goal of INSTEON is to make your home SMARTER than today's vehicles.

Last Updated: June 28, 2007

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