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    Zwave vs Insteon

    Folks,

    As my HA grows, I would like to consider a new protocol. However, I am very confused as to which way to go... Insteon or Zwave. I recently met an individual who boasts about Insteon and it's ability to report status with it's high level of reliability - though he didn't run it through HS. I was thinking on moving to zwave but get discouraged when I keep reading about numerous issues reported here. Though, perhaps this is much less now - I don't want to have to rescan my network numerous times to ensure relilability... I'm all about set and forget. Can someone support a direction given these factors:

    reliability - best controller to use
    cost
    slection of switches/devices
    issues with metal receptical boxes

    Thanks

    Robert
    HS3PRO 3.0.0.500 as a Fire Daemon service, Windows 2016 Server Std Intel Core i5 PC HTPC Slim SFF 4GB, 120GB SSD drive, WLG800, RFXCom, TI103,NetCam, UltraNetcam3, BLBackup, CurrentCost 3P Rain8Net, MCsSprinker, HSTouch, Ademco Security plugin/AD2USB, JowiHue, various Oregon Scientific temp/humidity sensors, Z-Net, Zsmoke, Aeron Labs micro switches, Amazon Echo Dots, WS+, WD+ ... on and on.

    #2
    Originally posted by langenet View Post
    Folks,

    I'm all about set and forget.

    Robert
    Sounds more like UPB to me!
    Marty
    ------
    XPpro SP3 /w HS Standard 2.5.0.80, HSTouch Server - 1.0.0.70, HSTouch Client 1.0.0.73 HSTouch Android - 1.0.0.2, HSTouch iPhone - 1.0.0.2
    Playing with HS3 a bit but it's just play at this point.

    Comment


      #3
      I'm having some issues which I am working around with now relating to my migration from Insteon to UPB in metal boxes. This weekend my planned endeavor was to install two sets of 3 ways (virtual 3 ways); because of one box with two switches; it slowed me down such that I only completed one of the two sets. The 1000watt switch with the load with the largest footprint was the easiest. The most difficult was a 4X4 box which already had two powerline Insteon Switches side by side with three conduits going to it (two top and one side) each with multiple wires. First thing noticed was one bad paddle on one of the two Insteon switches which is automated; rarely manually used. The depth of the UPB is more of an old world dimmer depth making it a bit tricky to install. With the single boxes its a non issue; cuz all of the boxes are still 4X4. The next piece was the side by side encroachment of the two switches with the double mudplate. (which is an issue no matter what type of powerline switch is utilized). The corners of the double duplex mudplate are rounded pushing the two switches together. This makes it difficult for the switch cover to fit just right. The fix for this was using a flat headed screw driver to separate the two switches a bit and a small piece of folded up cardboard to separate the switches a bit. I know doing this probably put a crease in the plastic of the switches. The Insteon switches had these creases when I removed them. On CT a forum user suggested the use of a plastic mudplate. Looks like this would work and I'm going to give it a try on the next go around.

      Noticed though just in about 5 years I'm getting a bit more crotchety doing these endeavors because they don't take 5 minutes. The two main issues were related to the (1) depth of the UPB switch and (2) a thicker plastic cover plate versus a thinner metal cover plate (on the Insteon switches). Except for a few all of the metal boxes in the home are 4X4 standard depth boxes with single or double mudplates on them. All of the switches have at least 3 wires running to them; even the ones with travelers. This and having conduit entrances on the side and the top make for a somewhat congested box. Another work around is a deeper mudplate with a repositioning of the 4X4 box. I've been installing PCS, HAI and SA UPB switches. They are all pretty much have very similiar footprints.

      The configuration with upstart was the easy piece taking less than 5 minutes for the three switches. Signal levels were good.

      NOTE: Always follow the "rules" of working with HV; and if you are not comfortable with working with electric; don't. Metal boxes are grounded such that its easier for a wire to get shorted in the box if it is pushed against a very sharp metal edge or not terminated properly. Wear gloves when using a fish line for more wires. One day about 25 years ago when I was doing my old house garage electric; I didn't wear gloves while fishing new wires. I had hit a difficult bend and when the fish tape passed quickly so did my handing into the metal box cutting both hands with the sharp edges of the metal box.
      Last edited by Pete; April 3, 2011, 10:11 AM.
      - Pete

      Auto mator
      Homeseer 3 Pro - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e 64 bit Intel Haswell CPU 16Gb- Mono 6.12.X - HSTouch on Intel tabletop tablets
      Homeseer Zee2 (Lite) - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e - CherryTrail x5-Z8350 BeeLink 4Gb BT3 Pro - Mono 6.12.X
      HS4 Pro - V4.1.17.0 - Ubuntu 20.01/VB W7e 64 bit Intel Kaby Lake CPU - 32Gb - Mono
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      HS4 Lite -

      X10, UPB, Zigbee, ZWave and Wifi MQTT automation-Tasmota-Espurna. OmniPro 2, Russound zoned audio, Smartthings hub, Hubitat Hub, and Home Assistant

      Comment


        #4
        My lighting is almost all Insteon. I started moving to Insteon when it first came out. It has been a slow evolution. I finally replaced the very last couple two-way x10 switches a couple years ago. I have to say that my Insteon network is very reliable. You mentioned set it and forget it. That is what it is to me, it always works. The one complaint that I had early on is that some of the paddles on the first batch of switch that I bought went bad. I was paranoid that this was going to be the way that it was going to go for all of it. However, it has not been this way. SH replaced my original switches for free and the one in later years have been much better as far as longevity.

        I am not exclusively Insteon. I really liked the kwickset z-wave locks so I bought some of those. Since I bought the z-wave interface, I also purchased a few z-wave screw-in modules since I can't get those for Insteon. These particular modules don't seem to be two-way which kind of bugs me. I am not a z-wave expert, but I think there are a number of the lower price units that are not two-way. I also still used many x10 wireless switches because with them being crazy cheap and long range with a better transceiver, I haven't been motivated to switch.

        I have all metal boxes -- Not a problem. One thing that I do really like, as Pete mentioned, is that the Insteon switches are not very deep. I can remember having to really worked to get some of my old x10 switches into some of my smaller switch boxes. As far as cost, I think the Insteon is pretty cheap. Prices seem to close to what I paid for some of my higher end x10 switches many years ago. I also try to wait for the 20% off deals to buy a batch.

        For my particular situation, I think that I would do the Insteon route again. I do think that the z-wave has a better breadth of products.
        - Tom

        HSPro/Insteon
        Web Site
        YouTube Channel

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Pete View Post
          The next piece was the side by side encroachment of the two switches with the double mudplate. (which is an issue no matter what type of powerline switch is utilized). The corners of the double duplex mudplate are rounded pushing the two switches together. This makes it difficult for the switch cover to fit just right. The fix for this was using a flat headed screw driver to separate the two switches a bit and a small piece of folded up cardboard to separate the switches a bit. I know doing this probably put a crease in the plastic of the switches. The Insteon switches had these creases when I removed them. On CT a forum user suggested the use of a plastic mudplate. Looks like this would work and I'm going to give it a try on the next go around.
          Pete, I had the same issue on many of my 2-gang boxes -- The old rounded corner mud plates. I just screwed off the old metal plate and put on a new metal one with squared corners. I thought I was going to have to replace the whole box until I discovered this was just a replaceable plate. I seemed to have only had this issue on my 2-gang boxes. The ones bigger than that were already square. I was able to pick them up at the local store. I would have to shave a bit off the edges of the opening to get the old ones out, but it was a pretty quick process. I was too nervous about trying to force the switches into the box like you mentioned. I tried on one and thought it was going to mess them up.
          - Tom

          HSPro/Insteon
          Web Site
          YouTube Channel

          Comment


            #6
            Tom,

            Thank you for your suggestions.

            Around 6 years or so ago I went to Insteon doing new HA in the new house after many years of X10 in the old house. I too had very little problems. The paddle problem yesterday was #3 only in about 4-5 years. Most of the control of the lighting though remained in the X10 of the Insteon world utilizing my HAI OPII.

            Relating to Z-Wave; I have it in the home but only using external lamp / appliance modules. For Christmas this year I swapped over from the older Black and Decker outdoor modules to new Z-Wave outdoor modules. I never tried a Z-Wave switch module Worked fine for me.
            - Pete

            Auto mator
            Homeseer 3 Pro - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e 64 bit Intel Haswell CPU 16Gb- Mono 6.12.X - HSTouch on Intel tabletop tablets
            Homeseer Zee2 (Lite) - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e - CherryTrail x5-Z8350 BeeLink 4Gb BT3 Pro - Mono 6.12.X
            HS4 Pro - V4.1.17.0 - Ubuntu 20.01/VB W7e 64 bit Intel Kaby Lake CPU - 32Gb - Mono
            6.12.0.122
            HS4 Lite -

            X10, UPB, Zigbee, ZWave and Wifi MQTT automation-Tasmota-Espurna. OmniPro 2, Russound zoned audio, Smartthings hub, Hubitat Hub, and Home Assistant

            Comment


              #7
              Another vote for insteon for reliability. The quality of the switches, etc. has gotten much better over the years. I have tried some zwave stuff (because I bought a schlage lock). I have not been impressed and I have had issues with the Aeon Labs z-stick and have reflashed it several times which helps but seems not to fix.

              Comment


                #8
                Personally I always believed that the path of being able to migrate from X10 to Insteon and continue to utilize both protocols was a great path to upgrade. Adding both power line and RF was the cake for the icing. Over 50% of the house is still in this world.

                Its nice that the Elk M1 panel provided the abiltity to utilize Insteon. The HAI OPII panel never did offer any options for said use. UPB is working well; no dead spots at this time and nice to see graphical representations of signals thruout the home.
                - Pete

                Auto mator
                Homeseer 3 Pro - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e 64 bit Intel Haswell CPU 16Gb- Mono 6.12.X - HSTouch on Intel tabletop tablets
                Homeseer Zee2 (Lite) - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e - CherryTrail x5-Z8350 BeeLink 4Gb BT3 Pro - Mono 6.12.X
                HS4 Pro - V4.1.17.0 - Ubuntu 20.01/VB W7e 64 bit Intel Kaby Lake CPU - 32Gb - Mono
                6.12.0.122
                HS4 Lite -

                X10, UPB, Zigbee, ZWave and Wifi MQTT automation-Tasmota-Espurna. OmniPro 2, Russound zoned audio, Smartthings hub, Hubitat Hub, and Home Assistant

                Comment


                  #9
                  Well i have 40+ z-wave nodes and have had a few minor issues but overall very reliable.

                  I have mostly the intermatic stuff but recently picked up some of the GE stuff Radioshack had on sale.

                  Unfortnualy the intermatic homesettings line has been discontiunued but i like the switches a lot.

                  The few issues i have had were:
                  After a storm one switch in the kitchen stopped working i cycled the power and it came back up without issue, this has only happened once

                  One switch in our bathroom every 200-300 presses might not switch off and needs to be pressed again to go off. This happens so rarely that its hardly an issue.

                  Transmission has never been an issue for us but we have a 2500sqft home with plastic boxes and every room has something zwave in it and its been running since 2009.

                  I really like the GE Jasco switches over my Intermatic ones, they feel better and have adjustable ramp rates.

                  I will also add i have never used insteon and have only tested x10 powerline for someone else.

                  Raptor
                  HS3 Pro on Windows 8 64bit
                  53 Z-wave nodes(46 devices, 7 remotes), 15 DS10a's, 10 ms16a's, 9 Oregon Sensors, W800, RFXCOMtrx433, Way2Call, 3 HSTouch Clients, 2xRussound CAS44, Global Cache GC100-12,10 Rollertrol blinds(+ zwave) ,3 Squeezebox Radios and 1 Squeezebox Boom,DMX Arduino via ethernet,Rain8Net,3x Echo Dot's


                  Check out my electronics blog here:
                  https://www.facebook.com/RaptorsIrrationalInventions

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thanks Raptor for your input. I had intended on moving to Z-wave as well. However, I have a 3400 sq/ft house with metal boxes and I just don't want to spend time with HA maintenance. Right now I have all X-10 including TXB16 tstat. My reliability is 100%. Once I put the stuff in, I NEVER need to touch it again. One of the advantages of Insteon (and Z-wave I'm sure) is the instant response. As we all know X-10 is a bit slow and it's reliability apparently goes down as the number of devices grow. One benefit of Insteon over Z-wave is that every device reports a status - if I'm correct. What I don't know is the cost more than or about the same as Z-wave given compariable switches and plug recepticals? Also are the switches silent for appliance like applications.
                    I've read there are 4 plugins available for Insteon - this one really confuses me as I'm wondering why? And lastly, what do I use to interface HS to Insteon - PLC or PLM? What's the advantage of one over the other...

                    Robert
                    HS3PRO 3.0.0.500 as a Fire Daemon service, Windows 2016 Server Std Intel Core i5 PC HTPC Slim SFF 4GB, 120GB SSD drive, WLG800, RFXCom, TI103,NetCam, UltraNetcam3, BLBackup, CurrentCost 3P Rain8Net, MCsSprinker, HSTouch, Ademco Security plugin/AD2USB, JowiHue, various Oregon Scientific temp/humidity sensors, Z-Net, Zsmoke, Aeron Labs micro switches, Amazon Echo Dots, WS+, WD+ ... on and on.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I currently (a few years now) utilize an Insteon serial PLM for my HS interface.

                      Historically though have used a PLM. Many folks are also using an ISY "Pim".

                      I'm seeing some changes recently with Insteon. Historically devices only talked RF or Powerline not both...and I think that might be changing...not totally sure.
                      - Pete

                      Auto mator
                      Homeseer 3 Pro - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e 64 bit Intel Haswell CPU 16Gb- Mono 6.12.X - HSTouch on Intel tabletop tablets
                      Homeseer Zee2 (Lite) - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e - CherryTrail x5-Z8350 BeeLink 4Gb BT3 Pro - Mono 6.12.X
                      HS4 Pro - V4.1.17.0 - Ubuntu 20.01/VB W7e 64 bit Intel Kaby Lake CPU - 32Gb - Mono
                      6.12.0.122
                      HS4 Lite -

                      X10, UPB, Zigbee, ZWave and Wifi MQTT automation-Tasmota-Espurna. OmniPro 2, Russound zoned audio, Smartthings hub, Hubitat Hub, and Home Assistant

                      Comment


                        #12
                        FYI, as you add Insteon to the network, X10 reliabilty takes a plunge. Something else to consider when you migrate. If you do it over time, you may have some X10 devices that you can no longer get a signal to.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Why is that?
                          HS3PRO 3.0.0.500 as a Fire Daemon service, Windows 2016 Server Std Intel Core i5 PC HTPC Slim SFF 4GB, 120GB SSD drive, WLG800, RFXCom, TI103,NetCam, UltraNetcam3, BLBackup, CurrentCost 3P Rain8Net, MCsSprinker, HSTouch, Ademco Security plugin/AD2USB, JowiHue, various Oregon Scientific temp/humidity sensors, Z-Net, Zsmoke, Aeron Labs micro switches, Amazon Echo Dots, WS+, WD+ ... on and on.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            My lighting events primarily are still all in the X10 world of my Insteon switches. I have no issues with any X10 lighting events on about 50% (total powerline) of the Insteon switches. 2nd floor is almost all UPB now with about 3 Z-wave lighting modules here or there.

                            100% coverage to all of the combo Insteon/X10 switches, UPB switches and Z-Wave devices. (the Z-Wave pim is sitting the basement between metal conduit buried next to the fuse panel and it works fine with the appliance and lighting modules to the second floor of the house).

                            The primary Pim is an X10 Pim on the HAI OPII panel with an XTB. Secondarily I utilize the Insteon serial PLM Pim on the HS box talking only Insteon and not X10 today.
                            Last edited by Pete; April 4, 2011, 11:03 AM.
                            - Pete

                            Auto mator
                            Homeseer 3 Pro - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e 64 bit Intel Haswell CPU 16Gb- Mono 6.12.X - HSTouch on Intel tabletop tablets
                            Homeseer Zee2 (Lite) - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e - CherryTrail x5-Z8350 BeeLink 4Gb BT3 Pro - Mono 6.12.X
                            HS4 Pro - V4.1.17.0 - Ubuntu 20.01/VB W7e 64 bit Intel Kaby Lake CPU - 32Gb - Mono
                            6.12.0.122
                            HS4 Lite -

                            X10, UPB, Zigbee, ZWave and Wifi MQTT automation-Tasmota-Espurna. OmniPro 2, Russound zoned audio, Smartthings hub, Hubitat Hub, and Home Assistant

                            Comment


                              #15
                              The older (I can't comment on the newer) Inst. switches were X10 signal suckers.

                              In my first house, I tried to migrate from X10 to Inst. After adding 8 switches, I had to start adding signal boosters and ended up giving up on Inst.

                              I went back to X10. After a while, I gave UPB a try thanks to a nudge from Martin at Automated Outlet. Never looked back. I've not needed ANY filters, couplers, etc. I did add the coupler, but it was more because I already owned it (came as part of a kit I bought).

                              --Dan
                              Tasker, to a person who does Homeautomation...is like walking up to a Crack Treatment facility with a truck full of 3lb bags of crack. Then for each person that walks in and out smack them in the face with an open bag.

                              Comment

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