EHIHA Contest Solution Example

Smarthome's "Home Control Contest" Written Submission Example


1x PowerLinc v2 - Insteon Controller, 1x LampLinc v2, 6x SwitchLinc v2, 10x Icon On/Off Switch Indigo Software using Indigo Widget for Remote Control Custom Web Page for Remote Control, Ademco Vista 15-P Security Alarm w/ X10 Integration X10, Universal Module with Magnetic Contacts for Garage Door Status, ChannelPlus 3025 2-Channel Modulator (to modulate TiVo and baby camera to all televisions in home), Tivo to Automate Recording of Favorite Television Shows, Custom Tivo Interface to Allow for Control of Devices/Scenes using Tivo Remote, Baby Monitor (Video Camera / Audio)


It all started this past December with a PowerLinc V2 and a SwitchLinc V2. The goal was simple. A year prior, I had installed a simple timer paddle switch that would turn on the front porch lights at the same time every evening and then turn them off after a certain number of hours. It seemed to work well for 6 months, and then the behavior was unpredictable. I would notice the lights on during the day, and off at night, or on too early and off too late. I knew there had to be something better, and so that is when Google led me to the Smarthome website.

Knowing very little about X10 and even less about INSTEON, I made a call to Smarthome technical support and the gentlemen was able to recommend a couple of possible starter kits to help me get started. I purchased PowerLinc v2 and a SwitchLinc v2 and downloaded the trial version of the Indigo software for the Mac. The result was nothing short of amazing. I was able to replace that unreliable timer with a switch that turns itself on/off based upon sunrise and sunset times and even keeps itself off during the day and on during the night when accidentally bumped. From this simple implementation, my setup has slowly grown, and now I am on my way to what I like to think is the Smartest Home in America.

Here is a run-down of my setup:

  • PowerLinc v2 Controller with Indigo Software
  • Indigo Widget / Custom Web Page for Remote Control over Internet
  • All major lighting and fans are INSTEON controlled.
  • Garage door status (open/closed) is monitored using an X10 Universal Module and a pair of magnetic contacts.
  • Ademco Vista 15-p Alarm has X10 capabilities built in, so I was able to program it so that the status of any of my 13 door/window sensors and motion detector can be used to make decisions or perform actions. Example: When arming the device during the day it assumes we are leaving the home, so it will shut everything down. When arming the home later in the night, it assumes we are heading to bed, so it initiates my Night Mode scene: shutting most things off and turning on a few fans.
  • I have a 2-channel modulator to broadcast any device to all television in the home. This modulator has built-in Infrared capabilities so my remotes for these devices also work at any television. I modulate TiVo on Channel 121 and also modulate an observation camera in my newborns room on Channel 125. Since I can access my TiVo from any room with a television, I used a custom interface to control individual lights and scenes using my TiVo remote.

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