INSTEON Introduction

What is Home Automation?

Home automation is the application of industrial building automation for residential use. Think of the automation systems at your local mall: lighting, music, temperature, security cameras, door locks, and security gates. All these devices can all be operated from a central mall security station. Those same concepts apply to home automation. You use home automation to create a “smart home” that can be controlled from switches in your home, or remotely from a smartphone or TV remote.

With the help of my videos, basic home automation that would cost thousands of dollars from a professional can be done for hundreds of dollars if you do it yourself.

Insteon Introduction: What is Insteon?

INSTEON is a home automation technology that enables light switches, lights, thermostats, leak sensors, remote controls, motion sensors, and other electrically powered devices to interoperate through power lines, radio frequency (RF) communications, or both. It's also a major improvement of the old X10 standard of powerline communications.

That's how I got started with INSTEON. When I bought my first house 25+ years ago, I used X10 lamp modules and an X10 timer to control my holiday lights. I used to put electric candles in each window across the front of the house. Before I discovered X10, I used to walk around from room-to-room and turn each candle on. Then reverse the process before going to bed. My neighbors could tell if I was home or not.

With lamp modules, I made all those lights go on at the same time without having to walk through the whole house. And the timer meant they would go on whether I was home or not.

Over the last 10 years, we've plugged in an increasing amount of modern electronic devices that absorb X10 signals. Smart televisions, laptops, cell phone chargers, appliances, etc., all absorb X10 signals. So my collection of X10 devices was becoming unreliable and I'd come home and find some of my Christmas lights would be off when they should have been on.

I got so frustrated that I stopped putting candles in my windows a few years ago.

That's where INSTEON comes in. It's compatible with my older X10 devices (so I can cutover slowly), and adds a lot more reliability and flexibility than before.

INSTEON can do a lot more than just lighting control! I'm hoping to continuously add to my collection of devices (and videos) because I think this technology is really awesome!

I created my INSTANT INSTEON series of videos to show you everything you need to know about these various devices and give you the confidence to do it yourself.

See all the INSTEON products I use in my home.

Insteon Products

You'll find the biggest selection of Insteon products at Smarthome. But you can often find them on Amazon as well, sometimes for better prices, but not always the complete line of devices.