Insteon Smart Home System
Insteon is a well-known smart home system that operates on its own proprietary communications system. As we discuss in our detailed review, Insteon uses a 915 MHz wireless protocol combined with a power line communications protocol.
This dual-mesh protocol can be much more reliable, but it also limits the devices that can connect to it. Keep in mind that you will be locked into Insteon devices for the most part. Thankfully, Insteon makes a very wide range of options so you can build a robust home automation system.
Here are our suggestions for building out your Insteon smart home.
The Insteon Thermostat is inexpensive compared to other competitors. It looks like a standard programmable thermostat, which may be disappointing if you want a more modern aesthetic. However, it is fully functional and works with most heating systems. Be advised that it only works on low-voltage systems and requires a common wire or a Venstar Add-A-Wire.
The Nest Learning Thermostat works with Insteon so you have the option to use a more modern round thermostat. The Nest may work without a neutral wire, but it is also quite a bit more expensive than the Insteon Thermostat. Read our full review of the Nest Thermostats for more information.
Insteon Smart Thermostat
Nest Learning Thermostat
Requires Common Wire
May Not Require Common Wire
|Buy Insteon Thermostat||Buy Nest Learning|
Insteon offers a very wide array of light switches and dimmers that work on their hybrid network. They make multi-button keypad light controls, plain on/off switches, paddle dimmers, and classic-look toggle switches and dimmers. The full line of switches is available at Smarthome.com.
Insteon Remote Control Outlets are hard wired into your electrical box so there isn't a bulky module to plug in. Both receptacles of the outlet are controllable and the entire unit is tamper resistant to prevent electrical shocks. The outlets come in three colors and work with standard paddle-style wall plate covers. Be sure you have a fairly deep electrical box since these are 1.32" deep.
You can also use a plug-in device if you don't want to change your existing outlets. The Insteon On/Off module works for lamps and other small appliances like fans.
Insteon Remote Control Outlet
Insteon Plug-In On/Off Module
|Buy Remote Control Outlet||Buy Plug-In On/Off Module|
Unfortunately, smart doorbells are not directly compatible with Insteon so you cannot monitor the camera or speak to a visitor from within the Insteon app. You also cannot set up integrations (like turning on the lights when a visitor approaches.)
However, that doesn't mean you can't use a smart doorbell. You simply have to control and monitor the doorbell from the native app.
If you want review your security camera videos from inside the Insteon app, then you must use the Insteon Wireless HD 720p Security Camera. The camera includes pan, tilt, and zoom functionality. It also has a built in microphone and speaker to allow two-way communications.
However, if you don't have a need to watch the videos from within the Insteon app, then you can select any of the smart home security cameras on the market. This only means you will have to use that camera's native app to control the camera and watch video.
Voice Assistant / Speaker
The Insteon home automation system is compatible with both the Google Assistant and Amazon Echo voice assistants. This makes it very easy to add voice control to your Insteon smart home. You can use any of the Google Home devices, but you can only use the Amazon Echo Dot 3rd Generation or the Amazon Echo Show.
If you are looking for a smart speaker with decent sound quality, then you may want to consider the Sonos Play:1, which can be controlled from within the Insteon App. You can also control the Sonos Play:3, Play:5, and Connect speakers. Before making a purchase, be sure to read this Insteon Support article about Sonos compatibility.
The Insteon Water Leak Sensors provide instant alerts direct to your Insteon App in the event of a leak. The sensors are simple to install; just place them where you are concerned about water leaks and you are ready to go. There are no wires and the batteries last for 10 years.
Door / Window Sensor
The most versatile door and window sensor for the Insteon system is the Insteon Open/Close Sensor. The device works on windows, swing doors, sliding doors, liquor cabinets, and more. It operates on a single AA battery, but the battery life is a little short at around 6 months. You'll definitely want to use rechargeables.
A second option, which works on swing doors, is the Insteon Hidden Door Sensor. This is a plunger devices that you have to drill into the hinge side of your door or frame. It take a bit more work, but like its name suggests, it is completely hidden when installed. It operates on a single AAA battery, which also lasts for around 6 months.
Insteon Open/Close Sensor
Insteon Hidden Door Sensor
|Buy Open/Close Sensor||Buy Hidden Door Sensor|
Door Lock / Deadbolt
There are no door locksets or deadbolts that integrate into the Insteon App. Unfortunately, that means you cannot set up integrations or control your locks from within the Insteon App.
However, that doesn't mean you cannot use smart locks in your Insteon smart home. You just have to use the native app from your lock manufacturer.