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Insteon vs z-wave

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  • mnsandler
    replied
    you will need my plugin to use either the PLM or HUB with HS3 or HS4

    Leave a comment:


  • musilex
    replied
    Originally posted by mnsandler View Post


    I believe everyone's mileage varies here. I have very clean, reliable power. I've never lost a PLM in the 10+ years I've been using Insteon. My original 2412S still works (however i have upgraded to a newer 2413S to get dual-band). Dirty power will take its toll on everything. the Insteon hub is a good alternative, and seems to be very reliable.
    Interesting thanks Mark - will the Insteon hub interface with HS4? Or do I need to use the PLM?

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  • mnsandler
    replied
    I want reliability and limited delay when changing multiple lights at once - do the insteon switches have any noticeable delay when changing multiple lights at the same time?
    insteon groups/scenes allow you to control multiple devices with a single command. very fast response.

    On the negative side I've read that the Insteon modem/PLM has been failing pretty regularly? Anyone having this issue?
    I believe everyone's mileage varies here. I have very clean, reliable power. I've never lost a PLM in the 10+ years I've been using Insteon. My original 2412S still works (however i have upgraded to a newer 2413S to get dual-band). Dirty power will take its toll on everything. the Insteon hub is a good alternative, and seems to be very reliable.

    Leave a comment:


  • joegr
    replied
    Originally posted by musilex View Post
    ...
    • I want reliability and limited delay when changing multiple lights at once - do the insteon switches have any noticeable delay when changing multiple lights at the same time?
    ...
    As long as it is a group operation, there is no delay with Insteon.
    Note that HS is now saying that you should add delays in Z-wave events that control more than three devices.

    Originally posted by musilex View Post
    ...
    • Since insteon is both radio and powerline this seems more robust than Z-wave? And also better with reporting status back to the controller?
    ...
    In theory, yes. In practice, you have to go out and find the noisy electrical things in your house and put filters on them to have reliable Insteon. The RF channel doesn't seem to do very much with them. That said, I have Insteon and Z-wave, and I get way more problems and errors from the Z-wave stuff.

    Originally posted by musilex View Post
    ...
    • On the negative side I've read that the Insteon modem/PM has been failing pretty regularly? Anyone having this issue?
    ...
    Over the last twenty years or so, I have had four or five PLM failures. The current one has probably lasted longer than the others. They are improving them. I haven't had any Z-stick failures, but I have replaced one to get some updates and slightly improve Z-wave operation.

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  • upstatemike
    replied
    Originally posted by musilex View Post
    Hi, new to HS. I think I'm going to be running HS4 on either a controller or possibly a server. I'm trying to pick a lighting system to standardize on. I will probably be running maybe 20-30 devices over time - a combination of dimmers, on/off lights, outlets. I was thinking either insteon or z-wave. I'm willing to pay up a little bit for reliability/quality. A few questions
    • I want reliability and limited delay when changing multiple lights at once - do the insteon switches have any noticeable delay when changing multiple lights at the same time?
    • Since insteon is both radio and powerline this seems more robust than Z-wave? And also better with reporting status back to the controller?
    • On the negative side I've read that the Insteon modem/PM has been failing pretty regularly? Anyone having this issue?
    • Are there any other lighting systems you'd consider that I haven't mentioned?
    Any help on those / other suggestions are much appreciated.
    I am using Insteon with HS3 and the ISY Plugin. I will be using this plugin with HS4 when I implement that but can only talk about Insteon and not this plugin at present.

    My Insteon is very reliable these days. Response is usually instantaneous but if a command does fail for some reason there can be a small delay while the error correction kicks in and resends the command. Once set up most communication is device to device without depending on a hub or controller for basic operation. Because of the powerline connectivity you can add devices anywhre without needing a series of repeater devices or extra hubs between two remote devices. This makes buildout of a new system very easy and no need to worry about order you install devices or reaching critical number of devices to make things reliable though more devices do act as repeaters to help strengthen the signal. Also there is no need to physically touch new devices to link them into your system (although there is an option to do it that way). As long as you have the address of the device you can install and manage it from software with no set buttons or other physical touch.

    I don't think there is any difference in status reporting as long as you are using current products for each technology. At 20-30 devices you should see equal reliablity and speed from both protocols. The main advantage of the Insteon dual technology is that it avoids the need to "build out a mesh". You could have only 2 Insteon devices at the most extreme ends of your house and they will communicate if they are on the same leg of the main power feed and possibly even if they are on opposite legs.

    Insteon PLMs had an issue with poor quality coupling capacitors that would fail within 2 years, Supposedly this has been addressed in the current version. My PLM has been running for more than a decade with no issues.

    Lutron Caseta is another technology to look at. WiFi and LoRa, have their place but not my choice for light switches. Zigbee (including Hue) are probably the best route for color bulbs and light strips.

    Some other miscellaneous thoughts:

    I don't care for mesh networks but the option to use multiple Z-Nets to have all of my Z-Wave devices connect directly to the controller mitigates all of my concerns around that.

    The Insteon 8 button keypads are incredibly useful devices and I would have a real problem moving away from Insteon without an equivalent replacement. You can also get laser engraved buttons which look really nice. They are also dimmers so you can replace a wall switch or use them without a load just to control stuff. Z-Wave can do multi-tap but you have to remember the sequence (no labels) and it adds a required delay while the switdh decides if you are doing single tap or if another tap is coming.

    Not much in the way of new products have come out for Insteon in a long time while Homeseer and Inovelli have cool new products with LEDs that can be programmed to convey useful information, better integration with color bulbs, etc. There are just a lot more kinds of devices that use Z-Wave and multiple companies making them as opposed to Insteon being pretty much single source and stagnant.

    The no-touch inclusion and direct device to device communication are big plusses for Insteon. I think Z-Wave is rapidly closing this gap by allowing remote installation (not sure if it is no-touch though) and device associations with the newer generation products.

    Leave a comment:


  • musilex
    replied
    Hi, new to HS. I think I'm going to be running HS4 on either a controller or possibly a server. I'm trying to pick a lighting system to standardize on. I will probably be running maybe 20-30 devices over time - a combination of dimmers, on/off lights, outlets. I was thinking either insteon or z-wave. I'm willing to pay up a little bit for reliability/quality. A few questions
    • I want reliability and limited delay when changing multiple lights at once - do the insteon switches have any noticeable delay when changing multiple lights at the same time?
    • Since insteon is both radio and powerline this seems more robust than Z-wave? And also better with reporting status back to the controller?
    • On the negative side I've read that the Insteon modem/PM has been failing pretty regularly? Anyone having this issue?
    • Are there any other lighting systems you'd consider that I haven't mentioned?
    Any help on those / other suggestions are much appreciated.

    Leave a comment:


  • simplextech
    replied
    Originally posted by Larry68 View Post
    So, what does Insteon do that z-wave cannot?

    I am migrating to z-wave, but before I completely remove Insteon, what can it do that z-wave cannot?
    Something i learned last night from the ISY....

    A common/cool thing with Insteon is linking devices together in "Scenes". So for this I'm going to use the ISY terminology that I'm still learning.

    In ISY world:
    • linking = add new device
    • scene = building a scene of devices (links them together)
    Z-Wave has the notion of "Scenes" as well. However not all devices support this (only 1 of my dozen motion sensors are in the list) so this functionality is not useable for me.

    Anyways I was able to create a scene linking the Motion Sensor II with the Dimmer Switch to turn on the lights. I was then able to write a ISY program aka HS3 event to then "Modify" that scene to do what I want. So from 12AM to 4:59AM the scene will set the dimmer to 50% and from 5AM to 11:59PM the dimmer will be set to 100% level. The ability to modify the scene on the fly through the program/event makes this a very powerful combination. The ability to use a program/event and modify the scene provides me the speed of the direct device communications and the flexibility of programming it through a program/event based on internal/external conditions.

    Leave a comment:


  • sparkman
    replied
    Originally posted by Larry68 View Post
    That WAS trying online chat!
    Yikes, I don’t think I’ve ever waited more than 15 minutes or so. But it’s been a while and they have been down sizing, so I guess that’s been the effect.

    Leave a comment:


  • Larry68
    replied
    That WAS trying online chat!

    Leave a comment:


  • sparkman
    replied
    Originally posted by Larry68 View Post
    Unfortunately for me, there are too many little issues that need solving. The hub requires port forwarding which is impossible with my modem unless I bridge it. But in order to bridge it, I have to call Shaw and ask for a 2nd isp. Getting through to Shaw is nearly impossible with wait times in the hours.
    One thing I found with Shaw is that you get through much faster by using their online chat, rather than calling.

    Leave a comment:


  • simplextech
    replied
    Originally posted by logbuilder View Post
    simplex,

    Regarding switching to insteon, on the insteon door/windows sensors, you need to know that I have not found anyone who has been able to get the battery level working. For a battery powered device, it is really nice to know the bat level. I have several insteon sensors and have never gotten bat status. On my z-wave ones, I do get levels reliably. Also know that there is a new version of z-wave that we are starting to see in devices. It is z-wave plus and incorporates the repeating function.
    logbuilder I'm fully aware of z-wave Plus and it's been out now for quite a long time. My house is currently 99% Z-Wave Plus with way too many devices to swap out all of them. Adding Insteon into the mix along with my other Zigbee for testing will be interesting. I like the Zigbee for the speed but I'm finding the speed of Insteon motion sensors to be on par with zigbee.

    I don't get reliable battery status from most of my z-wave devices as it is, not getting it from Insteon is not a huge shocker. However I'm intrigued if this is from the protocol or from the Insteon "hub" which itself was known to have horrible issues. I'm NOT using the Insteon Hub at all. I will get a Contact Sensor for my testing and see if the ISY reads the battery info reliably or not though. Now I'm just curious which makes my bank account hurt

    I have PLM's and an ISY994i ZW+/IR PRO that I'm using for the Insteon testing as well as using the Insteon plugin and using the ISYInsteon plugin testing them out as well.

    Leave a comment:


  • logbuilder
    replied
    simplex,

    Regarding switching to insteon, on the insteon door/windows sensors, you need to know that I have not found anyone who has been able to get the battery level working. For a battery powered device, it is really nice to know the bat level. I have several insteon sensors and have never gotten bat status. On my z-wave ones, I do get levels reliably. Also know that there is a new version of z-wave that we are starting to see in devices. It is z-wave plus and incorporates the repeating function.

    Leave a comment:


  • Larry68
    replied
    Unfortunately for me, there are too many little issues that need solving. The hub requires port forwarding which is impossible with my modem unless I bridge it. But in order to bridge it, I have to call Shaw and ask for a 2nd isp. Getting through to Shaw is nearly impossible with wait times in the hours. I also had wired in a switched plug to lock out the garage door. The plug quit after a year. I won't use wired plugs again but, instead, use plug in switched plugs. One last issue, and this is not Insteon related, but I had to add a network switch to accommodate all my network devices. If I connect my Insteon hub or zee, I cannot find it when it is behind a switch. No one seems to have an answer for me on this. For now I'll put my zee directly to my router/modem.

    Also, I'm getting a terrible flickering in my LED's with Insteon traffic. When I read up on flickering, there appear to be as many reasons for flickering as there are cases of flickering.

    I'll see how the z-wave works. I don't need instant effects for my uses, so maybe I'll be okay with it. I'm still undecided whether I'll keep the existing Insteon or not.

    Leave a comment:


  • Burrington
    replied
    I second that. Insteon has two routes to get a message to and from a device: RF, and Powerline. Insteon communication is therefore inherently more reliable than Z-wave which relies only on RF. So if you are switching to Z-wave for reliability, you'll probably be disappointed. If you are having trouble with Insteon communication reliability, it will be related to other household electronics loading the Insteon powerline signals. That can almost always be solved by adding a few FilterLincs to isolate them. There are several other posts on this board that explain what to look for and how to solve them. Try these ones:

    http://board.homeseer.com/showpost.p...38&postcount=5

    http://board.homeseer.com/showthread...ne#post1226477

    Bottom line: you can fix your Insteon system way cheaper than replacing everything with Z-wave.

    Leave a comment:


  • simplextech
    replied
    I have just began my introduction to Insteon and inclusion into my system. My system today is 99% Z-Wave and I'm looking to augment/replace some Z-Wave motion sensors and dimmers with Insteon for the increased reaction speed.

    Sadly Z-Wave sensors are all slow (to me) compared to Zigbee and Insteon (from my testing) sometimes a whole 1 second or more if the mesh has a traffic jam.

    Leave a comment:

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