Smarthome Insteon Forum: Best Home Automation Technology, Insteon vs. Z-Wave vs. UPB

clittle30680
Starting Member

USA
3 Posts

Posted – 06/23/2014 :  11:43:34 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote


Smarthome Insteon Forum, Best Automation Technology, Insteon vs. Z-Wave vs. UPB, smarthome.com, I have a general question for best home automation technology. Lighting control, Insteon, Z-Wave, UPB, have been for years using X10 products and have moved to a new home and want to evaluate some alternate systems. I note that X10 has been in and out of the market and have had some issues with some of the operations.

I have looked at wave-z, upb however dont use adt. Insteon seems to be
an active product. I just dont want to start with a new concept and
have to change in a year or so.

I am looking for remote lighting control, CCTV systems with access over cell phones, motion systems, remote control of gates and garage doors over cell phones, etc.

Suggestions, thoughts.



clittle

EVIL Teken
Advanced Member

Canada
1320 Posts

Posted – 06/23/2014 :  11:49:25 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote


A lot of the new Home Automation (HA) Controllers support multiple protocols. The ISY supports Insteon / Z-Wave, Insteon / Zigbee, Vera supports all three of the major protocols: Insteon, Z-Wave, Zigbee. Universal Powerline Bus (UPB) from Simply Automated.

The Revolv supports all of the above in limited fashion as do the other two listed. These are the three hardware controllers most folks are using now. Insteon has their own HUB which currently only supports their Insteon protocol.

If you go with a software solution the sky is the limit in terms of what devices can be supported and used.

http://www.smarthome.com/sh-insteon-starter-kits.html

Teken . . .


Edited by – EVIL Teken on 06/23/2014 11:50:46 AM
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oberkc
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USA
2629 Posts

Posted – 06/23/2014 :  12:10:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote


I think I would through UPB Universal Powerline Bus into the mix of DIY-friendly lighting contol systems, along with insteon and z-wave and, potentially, zigbee. I see a few other popping up at place like lowes (think iris), but understand they may be a variant of z-wave. I think there are others (such as control4), but my limited perception are that they are less DIY friendly.

I believe you will find integration between security and lighting/garage/gates to be relatively easy. Integration of these with camera is less so. Having said this, I can access my cameras, lighting, door locks, and garage doors from my phone. I can also trigger events governing the behavior of all but cameras based on external motion sensors. Fortunately, my cameras all include motion sensors, and I can use those to trigger camera events (record, notify). What I (personally) have not attempted is to integrate my external motion or door sensors in such a way as to trigger a camera event, or to use camera motion sensors to trigger lighting events. I understand others do this, but not without a bit of coding in the form of REST or HTTP commands.

As far as using ADT, one would have to confirm a given security panel to be ADT compliant, as well as insteon/zigbee/z-wave/ub compatible. My suggestion would be to pick a lighting protocol based on device availability, cost, reliability, etc and then pick a controller best suited for that protocol and able to interface with an ADT-compliant security panel. Personally, I would not focus on native ability to integrate with cameras.

If money is no objective, hire it out.

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stusviews
Moderator

USA
11809 Posts

Posted – 06/23/2014 :  12:52:01 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote


INSTEON can handle all of what you mentioned except a CCTV system. But, you may or may not want CCTV. Are you familiar with the difference between CCTV and IP cameras?

BTW, I use both. CCTV, being closed circuit, is more private, most especially when wired although there are a few secure wireless CCTV cameras. A DVR or other hardware/software is required for off-site viewing.

With the correct credentials (i.e., user name, password) IP cameras are accessible from any device that has web access.


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clittle30680
Starting Member

USA
3 Posts

Posted – 06/23/2014 :  1:17:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote


I am not using ADT I was just noting that z-wave seemed to be aligned with ADT and was not sure if my new Ademco system would blend with Insteon.

The Insteon looks reasonable as a replacement for the X10 system I have used in the past and as far as the security Camera thing is
if we go with a security camera system (like those in retail stores and Smarthome has a couple) the DVR and internet access seem to be part of the package. Hard wiring is not a problem. But once you hook up to the internet via a DRV Control system or IP Cameras that security seem to become another issue to deal with. Thing like turning cameras on and off on the interior of the property seem to be a issue
that need to be addressed when the property is occupied vs. away with alarm systems at max security. A DRV or some type of storage is
mandatory as is quality of the the camera resolution. I saw a couple of professional installations and noted the equipment that was used is similar to those available in retail location (ie. 10/12 camera systems with DVR etc.) I noted that Swann is a system that Smarthome has which is one that have seen available around.

I appreciate everyones input here I am trying avoid companies and products that will be out of date next week which is very common in the electronics world. All help is appreciated.



clittle
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oberkc
Advanced Member

USA
2629 Posts

Posted – 06/23/2014 :  6:38:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote


A quick search on smarthome suggests to me that there may be ways to integrate an Ademco security system with a micasa vera lighting controller or homeseer software, but that is the extent of my knowledge on that topic. I cannot say that I have heard of any Ademco plug-in for the ISY-994 controller.
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stusviews
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USA
11809 Posts

Posted – 06/23/2014 :  6:55:10 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote


If you currently don’t have a security system, then consider Elk. Elk is a popular choice among INSTEON posters.

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ITATodd
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USA
2 Posts

Posted – 07/29/2014 :  11:06:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote


Have you tried taken a look at Lowe’s IRIS system. Its a security system along with Home Automation. Many features and growing fast with it’s list of new devices it supports.
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natekinkead
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USA
2 Posts

Posted – 08/21/2014 :  10:41:51 AM  Show Profile  Visit natekinkead's Homepage  Reply with Quote


I have a friend that tried Lowe’s IRIS and had to return the unit twice before finally giving up on it. It would not work properly. I would stay away from IRIS.

I am personally a HUGE fan of Z-Wave! It lets you do so much!

I’ve written a review of the Vera and some cool Z-Wave devices here…
http://kinkeadtech.com/2014/08/z-wave-home-automation-vera/

I also figured out a couple really cool tricks you can do with Z-Wave and wrote guides to help other people do them too…
http://kinkeadtech.com/2014/08/control-ir-devices-with-z-wave/
http://kinkeadtech.com/2014/08/xbox-one-automation-turns-lights-on/
http://kinkeadtech.com/2014/08/xbmc-z-wave-integration-guide-video-demo/

I hope this helps!


Nate Kinkead
http://kinkeadtech.com
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electricchris
Starting Member

2 Posts

Posted – 09/28/2014 :  1:36:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote


Since you specifically mention a number of systems you want to pull together, I recommend a controller with web server functions that allow you to combine the lighting/ motion systems/ garage door operations, which can be controlled through both a central, hard-wired location and remotely, using a cell phone.

There are systems like this through ICP DAS which allow you the flexibility of upgrading your peripheral equipment, as technology improves, while still maintaining all your command functions in one place.

Here’s a video that shows a little about how it works. Some particularly relevant information to your case is around the 9:48 mark.

http://www.[ restricted ]/buildingautomationtraining.html

 

Source: http://forum.smarthome.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=15382

Simply Automated, leading supplier of home automation and lighting control

About UPB Technology

UPB technology provides an inexpensive and reliable solution for residential and commercial powerline communications applications. While other powerline communication technologies exist, none compare to UPB in cost per node, functionality and reliability.

Highly Reliable — The UPB method of communication is 100 ~ 1000 times more reliable than current X-10 technology and 10 ~100 times more reliable than CEBUS or LONWORKS powerline technologies.  UPB is 99.9% reliable versus 70%-80% reliability of X-10.*

UPB transmits farther (over a mile), is less susceptible to powerline noise and capacitive attenuation (signal reduction) than other technologies for three reasons:

Pulse Position Modulation is a highly reliable time based method of sending bits; it narrows the possibility of power line noise affecting communication, unlike X-10 and other carrier modulation technologies.

UPB pulses on the power line are approximately 40 volts; more than five times greater than the 5 to 7 volt signals of X-10.

UPB transmits at low (4 to 40 kHz) frequencies, carrying much more power than higher frequency technologies like X-10 that transmits at 120 kHz.

When put on one phase of a home’s two phase power line, the signals are so strong they go out to the street side transformer and are induced on the opposite phase, returning back to the home.  Since UPB transmits at a low frequency, it does not affect other powerline devices or appliance/loads.

No New Wires – UPB dimmer switches are installed exactly like regular dimmer switches.  They connect to a home’s standard wiring. Since no new or special wiring is required, they work great in retrofit applications too.

Affordable — UPB dimmer switches can be as affordable as high end non-communicating dimmers.  When comparing costs of home upgrades (theater TV, remodeled bath or kitchen) adding lighting automation and control to a room or whole home provides a surprising improvement in quality of life at a comparably low cost.

Simplicity – Adding lighting control can be as simple as plugging in dimming modules or replacing dimming switches Pre-Configured Series. Unlike radio frequency (RF) wireless switches, where reliability is proportional to the number of ‘mess-networked’ switches installed, UPB provides reliability and performance anywhere in the home without the need of repeaters.       

Peer to Peer – No host computer or central controller is necessary for single, point-to-point control or group (lighting scene) control.  UPB is a no-host, peer to peer network.  Interruption of power, or single point controller/repeater failure, will not affect a stand-alone UPB network.

Two Way Communications – Hardware, software and protocol design allows for two-way communication in all products.  Status can be confirmed with polling or automatically transmitted upon local/manual load changes.  

House Separation – Neighbors with UPB will not control each other’s lights.  The UPB addressing scheme allows for 250 systems (houses) on each transformer and 250 devices on each system. It incorporates over 64,000 total addresses compared to 256 for conventional X-10.

Interaction – UPB communication can be used in the presence of all X-10, CEBus, HomePlug or LonWorks compatible equipment with no interference between either. The UPB technology uses a completely different frequency range than any of the wide-band, narrow-band, or spread spectrum technologies. The physical method of UPB communication is entirely different than the modulation-demodulation techniques of all X-10, CEBus, or LonWorks.

Higher Speed – 20 to 40 times the speed of X- 10 in terms of data transmitted. This is equivalent to over ten full commands per second. The average latency of command to action is less than 0.1 second.

 

UPB System Description X-10 to UPB Migration

 

* Reliability is defined as the percentage of transmitter/receiver pairs that correctly operate upon initial installation. The UPB test units are randomly installed in the environment typical of the target market. This market is defined as the single-family residential market in the US, homes with a median size of 2500 Sq, Ft. This environment is defined to be the existing base of homes, without any modifications, which means there should be no “fixing” the electrical system of the residence by adding couplers, repeaters or filtering.

 


Comments

Smarthome Insteon Forum: Best Home Automation Technology, Insteon vs. Z-Wave vs. UPB — 2 Comments

  1. I’m a student at UNLV, doing market investigation for a paper, this site is great, providing good info. Thank you.

  2. Lot of information and disinformation doing google searches, this site does nice job capturing market, been using smarthome for many years, some good experiences, many more bad.

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