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Missing my Homeseer. Building new house and shop... what switches should I choose?

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    Missing my Homeseer. Building new house and shop... what switches should I choose?

    Long time Homeseer user and home automation enthusiast. Started with X-10 back on 2000 and had a Smartlinc system and moved to a Homevision system before moving to Homeseer in 2005 I believe. I sold my house back in November and have been planing on building a house when (if) material prices come down some but my 5000sq. ft. workshop is being delivered to the property tomorrow so I've been hunting for switches. It's on 50 acres, and butts up against national forest on two sides so I'm in the boonies. Had to run power almost 3/4 of a mile. Internet sucks... having to use a 4G router but have Starlink on order (but it will be a while). The shop and the house are 400 ft apart but will be connected through fiber.

    My last house had all Insteon and they worked great after I replaced them with newer versions. I has some of their original switches and Insteon swapped them out for me on their dime, so I will never forget that. Yes, I had to do the labor but it was well worth it. My last house was 4000sq.ft and I had over 140 Insteon devices and very little issues. Over the 15 years I was there, I only had to replace 10 switches due to failure, which I think is a very acceptable rate. I had all lights, bathroom fans, outside lights, you name it on Insteon. I had some running 240V relays for my Well and big ice machine and had the system set to turn off the well, open the sprinklers, and turn on the ice machine in the garage when it got cold to keep the pipes from freezing and to keep the garage (where the ice machine was) warm when it dropped below freezing outside. I used a lot of the double tap options (fast off) to trigger scenes like "fast off turns off all the lights in the room... overhead, closet, bathroom etc.

    Now that I get the chance to start again, I'm wondering if Insteon is still a good choice or if I should look at the Lutron Caseta? I just ordered a few to play with but I don't have Homeseer set up so it's more of a "look and feel" test. As mentioned, the shop is 5000sq. ft and will have LED lighting inside. 800sq. ft will be enclosed and will have a full bath which will be about 6 x 8, have a shower, toilet and sink. There will be a lean-to on one side. I think all total, there will be 10 switches (4 for shop lights due to wattage, 2 for small outside lights by the walk doors, 1 for the enclosed can lights (or two if you consider a remote), 2 for the bath (lights and fan) and 1 for the lean-to lights.

    Plugins I used: HAI Omni, Insteon, BLOccupied, MyQ, Life360, Rainmachine... I had HS2, went to 3 and have a 4 license that I have not used yet.

    I like the Caseta remotes where I can use them to control the light switches. This will cut down on having to run wires for 3-way setups. I don't think I'll need the 4-8 button switches since automation to me is automating things, not pressing a button. I had them in the house but didn't use them much after I got things automated where we hardly ever touched a switch (Alexa helped a bit with this).

    My con list of Insteon:
    • The microswitches would go out over time and/or the switches would not "click".
    • Communication would sometimes cause light flickering in other areas of the house.
    • Power brown outs would cause all devices to sometimes turn on (come home and everything is on).
    • The PLC would get hot, die and need to be replaced every 3-5 years.
    • Not a big deal, but they quit selling Light Almond switches so I had to order the kits and change them out. (new house and shop will be white so not big deal).

    I have a lot of pros of Insteon but won't mention them. The only things I think I may miss are:
    • multi-button switches
    • double tap (fast on/fast off) since I used this for some scenes.
    • Outlets (although building new, I can make them controlled by switches)

    I'd love to hear your thoughts.

    #2
    Originally posted by Chris Couture View Post
    ...Now that I get the chance to start again, I'm wondering if Insteon is still a good choice or if I should look at the Lutron Caseta?
    I'd love to hear your thoughts...
    If you can go UPB the PCSlighting.com Pulseworx switches are by far the best of any protocol or switch on the market. They are made in the USA to boot. There is a UPB plugin for HS. I have been using PCS switches for well over 20+ years. Only ever had one go bad during that time and it actually may have been a result of a power surge during a storm. Remember, you get what you pay for...

    Comment


      #3
      When I wired my basement I did so with traditional 3-way switching in mind. I then used z-wave switches, which do not need the wiring. BUT! This means I can go to simple switches and have the 3-way capability. That was some years ago, but I would probably still do the same.
      Karl S
      HS4Pro on Windows 10
      242 Devices
      56 Z-Wave Nodes
      37 Events
      HSTouch Clients: 3 Android, 1 iOS
      Google Home: 3 Mini units 1 display

      Comment


        #4
        You say you use the Omni plugin, makes the decision really simple, UPB.

        Comment


          #5
          I would also highly recommend UPB and the PCS switches. If you spend some time studying how links/scenes work with UPB, your mind will be made up. Most flexible lighting solution available and it works well with HS
          tenholde

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            #6
            Thanks for the replies.

            I did have plans on wiring in the traditional 3-way method in case I ever want to go back to manual switches or sell the house and take the switches.

            I have the Omni plugin because I had a Omni Pro in the last house. Was debating on using something else but may bite the bullet and go with another Omni.

            I didn't look at the UPB stuff but it looks like a great option. I'll put it on my list for sure!

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by tenholde View Post
              I would also highly recommend UPB and the PCS switches. If you spend some time studying how links/scenes work with UPB, your mind will be made up. Most flexible lighting solution available and it works well with HS
              +1
              Plus, if you follow tenholde advice and make the most of the capabilities that are inherent in UPB, its capabilities will be largely independent of HS. That allows HS to act as a control point and a way to add automation, but it also means that if you move or decide to quit HS, the lighting capability will not be diminished, only the automation. FWIW, if you don't have an Omni lying around, it isn't necessary - either for UPB or HS integration.
              Mike____________________________________________________________ __________________
              HS3 Pro Edition 3.0.0.548, NUC i3

              HW: Stargate | NX8e | CAV6.6 | Squeezebox | PCS | WGL 800RF | RFXCOM | Vantage Pro | Green-Eye | Edgeport/8 | Way2Call | Ecobee3 | EtherRain | Ubiquiti

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