Which Insteon interface to use?

Insteon questions

I am going to be using Insteon dimmers for my lights and I am not sure which interface to use to get iRule to control the lights and scenes. It looks like there are 4 options. I don't need timers or email alerts, just need some simple scenes for my theater / game room.

ISY 99i with Plm ( by far the most expensive and overkill for the 3 lights I want to control)
Smartlinc controller (not sure if this can store different scenes with different ramp rates, level, etc.)
Insteon hub (not sure if there is iRule support for this yet)
Plm with Houselinc (Houselinc to get everything setup, but does the computer need to be up and running to remember everything?)

Do I even need all the scenes and ramp rates set up and stored within the insteon network, or does iRule just need a connection with the insteon network and all the scenes and ramp rates can be stored within iRule?

Thanks
Bacon
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  • Alex (Official Rep) January 07, 2013 22:09
    Bacon,

    Ramp rates and such are actually stored inside the Insteon devices themselves.

    Looking at Smarthome website, Houselinc looks like it requires to have the computer running and Houselinc open.

    Smartlinc controller should work with scenes, however I do not remember if you can adjust the scene settings (ramp rate and on level) like you can with ISY.

    Do you want 2-way feedback from the controller?

    Alex
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  • Thanks for the reply, I never thought about 2-way feedback. What would that be used for?

    The information on the Smarthome website is definitely lacking. To me, Houselinc looks like it can be used to link and set up the system, but only needs to be running if you want timed events. I'm trying to get answers from the Insteon folk on that one as well.

    With new (to me) technology, I always feel like I am right on the edge of being able to understand it, but just not quite there, haha.
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  • If you want simple control, then you might want to go with the smartlinc 2412n. It is affordable, easy to use, and will interface with iRule macros just fine -still really basic though.
    The new HUB is pretty slick as far as setup goes. It has some good features but lacks a few things you might want such as ramp rates and LED brightness. (same shortcomings as the Smartlinc)

    The ISY-994i is a great tool but it has a big learning curve and can get tricky if you are just starting out. But it will do everything you want it to.
    I haven't used Houselinc. But like Alex said, I believe you have to have a computer running in the background.

    I personally started with the Smartlinc and after a few years moved into the ISY-994i. The Smartlinc did everything I needed it to and it worked great with iRule but I really wanted to have greater control of ramp rates and notifications.

    WARNING: once you start automating lights it never stops! You will find yourself buying a ton of Insteon gear and finding new ways to use it. And new ways of explaining how to use it to the wife.

    Good luck!
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  • If you use the ISY you will be able to use our new ISY module and take control with nice graphical switches, dimmers, t-stats, and scenes.
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