Followup to anyone else looking at this thread:
I chose Insteon for Lighting over Zwave for a few reasons:
- Most ZWave devices do not have native ‘scenes’ in them
- Most ZWave devices do not immediately report manual changes (i.e. human presses on button)
- The ZWave devices that do both are very pricey and get mixed reviews
- Insteon seems to have a much larger range of devices that support all of that for less (or a lot less) money
I’m keeping Zwave for some specialty devices (locks, power, sensors), but moving all my lighting over to Insteon.
Once you go the Insteon route, it really helps to have a controller that treats them like first class citizens (configuration, linking, reporting, etc). Altseon on Vera is really a very, very good solution if you only need a few Insteon devices, but if you decide to commit to a larger install or use some of the more specialty Insteon devices, the ISY quickly makes sense. Especially if you want to use Insteon native scenes/links, the ISY provides the tools to make that work very, very well.
I’ve had the ISY and the Vera ISY plugin running for a few days and it is all working very, very well.
For Insteon & Vera, you only need the basic ISY994i. You do NOT need the networking module or anything else (not that they are bad, but if you just want to control Insteon devices with it, the basic controller has everything you need (well, except the 2413S PLM!)). Network module, in particular, is sort of misleading when you first research the ISY994i. The base ISY994i comes with networking allowing it to be controlled. The additional network module is NOT needed for that - it’s used for more advanced scripting and fetching of things from the ISY unit.
Insure the ISY gets a static, unchanging IP address (via your DHCP server or just manually assigning one). Very important!!
First time setup of the ISY plugin for Vera is pretty easy if you’ve ever manually installed plugin files before. You may want to read up on uploading files if you’ve never done it (not hard, but worth looking into). The .zip file to download is in the 1st post of [url=http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,17309.0.html]http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,17309.0.html[/url]. Unzip it and upload all the files in it (and yes, they are spread over several directories, but that doesn’t matter – they all go into the same place on your Vera). There were 11 files at the time of this post in the distribution (in case you want to make sure you got them all).
Follow the steps in Post #8 of that thread to create the ISY plugin device. Once added, give it a few minutes – vera is obviously churning on it in the background a bit. Then install the IP address and user name info for your ISY into it. You do not have to manually add Insteon/ISY devices to the Vera - once you do an reload, your Insteon devices will start showing up automatically.
Device interaction between the ISY and Vera is very, very quick. Almost (but not quite) instantaneous. When a device is manually turned on, it shows as such in Vera almost immediately. And changing a device (on/off, dim, etc) on Vera impacts the device about as fast as Insteon can do it.
The ISY is a much simpler (but still powerful) controller than the Vera. That said, the logic parts, if you want to use it, are more direct and clearer (in my view) than Vera (much closer to the metal), but there is little you could do on one and not the other. I’m treating it basically like a smart Insteon manager device and not using much of it’s other logic (and that is still well worth the price).
I’m using the ISY primarily to create and configure my lighting devices, define my scenes and execute them. You can directly invoke scenes on the ISY from Vera as well as control devices from both.
I’m keeping all/most of my scheduling logic and such on the Vera. I think there is great value in clearly defined division of labor. Spreading control logic between both units is doable, but could get confusing later on.
I’ve chosen to ‘wrap’ all my Insteon scenes on the ISY with a matching ISY program. Then when I want to activate them from the vera, I run the program. That way, if I you ever need to augment the scene, you have a place on the ISY to add minor tests and changes without having to chase down all your scene references on the Vera. This provides a level of isolation between the units that costs little and opens up making changes to be simpler in the future.