I recently converted the home automation modules in my home
to INSTEON from Smarthome. SmartHome has built most of these modules
to work with both the new Insteon protocol, and the older X10
protocol. By doing this, it allows you run run your home automation
network as a hybrid of the two systems, with X10 controlersd capable
of operating Inston modules, and with Insteon controller also capable
of controlling X10 modules.
The Insteon Protocol is more Reliable
The main reason I am making the change is that the Insteon protocol is
signifiantly more reliable than X10, providing for acknowledgements
and and automatic retries. Additionally, each Inston modules operates
as a repeater extending the range of signals from other Inston
devices. Unlike X10 installations which become less reliable as you
add modules, an Insteon network becomes more reliable.
Software available to Control Insteon Networks
Many software programs available to control home automation have
extensions that are available to support Insteon. Some of these
extensions are beta versions, but over time this support is expected
One limitation that I found is that I have been unable to find
software that will download macros into the Insteon computer
controller. If your PC is running and connected to your controller,
macros can exceute in your PC. Additionally, the desription of of the
Insteon PowerLinc Controller (2414U)
says that "macro's can be downloaded
without the need to keep your computer up and running", but the
software to download the macros does not seem to be available yet.
Software to download timers into the controller is available
from the SmartHome website.
Additional Home Automation Information