Insteon Review

Insteon Review

Insteon Hub & Home Automation Company Analyzed

Hopefully you are a do-it-yourself'er, if not you may want to head over to ADT right away who will install the system for you.  Insteon offers a variety of home automation and security products that can be shipped to you and you install.  If you are on a budget, but you want a home automation kit that is user-friendly, you may want to add the Insteon hub & starter kit to your list.  They have a free smartphone app so you can have your home with you in your pocket, keeping a close eye at all times.

Before going more in-depth here is a look into the pros and cons of Insteon:

Pros
  • Control your lights and thermostat from your smartphone or tablet
  • Turn lights on automatically at sunrise sunset
  • DIY security systme.  Not sure if that's for you?  See our DIY security guide
  • Control your home automation from anywhere in the world
  • Starter kit contains everything needed for setup
  • Expand to add more lights or appliances

 

Cons
  • They have a long way to go as far as effectively integrating its device collection to the Insteon smartphone app and the web portal that manages it.
  • Users claim that the equipment is a tad clunky and needs to be modernized (for a good low cost modern system check out our #1 pick Frontpoint)
  • If you purchase the starter kit, you will most definitely need to purchase additional equipment.
  • Compared to other home automation systems, getting the motion sensor up and running requires more work than it should.

 

For those who aren’t interested in a monthly fee and a lot of home automation products, Insteon home automation system ideal for you. Nonetheless, the way that your sensors are configured is a little outdated.  While there is plenty to be pleased with when purchasing this home automation system, there is plenty about the products that need improving.

History of company

The who, what and why of Insteon

Who are they?  They have been in business for over 10 years!  Founded in 2005 by parent company Smartlabs, Inc.  They are also the ones who introduced the Amazon Echo which is a music device that plays throughout your home.

What are they offering?  The first and foremost thing you should know about Insteon is they are a home security and automation equipment provider.  Other companies like this are Honeywell, 2Gig, Alarm.com and General Electric. They are not a monitoring service company.  They provide you with the equipment, you are required to set it up, make it functional on your phone and set up a 3rd party monitoring service if desired.  For example, you can add an Insteon Motion Sensor and you will get an alert when someone is moving around inside your home. No matter how many extra devices you add to your system, Insteon will not charge you a fee.

 

Banner that says Customer Reviews

What customers are saying...

There are mixed ratings as there are for any self installation kit products.  Customers who aren't tech savvy or don't know how to set things up but try anyways are more likely to leave negative reviews.  Those who enjoy technology, solving problems and saving a penny by controlling the setup are more apt to leave positive reviews.

Here is a screenshot of the mixed reviews of their starter kit.

customer ratings screenshot

Customer Support banner

Ring, ring... Is anyone there?

Because they are not getting a monthly bill from you for monitoring your alarm system, their customer service isn't going to be there as quickly for you as other companies would.

What do they offer?  This Youtube video below guides that will teach you how to setup their product, work it from your Smartphone and any other basics you may need.  Because their product is sold throughout stores on and offline, you should not contact the store you bought the products from but the company themselves.  They do not make it easy to find their contact page but emailing [email protected] should get you a reply.

Security equipment banner

Security & home automation equipment review

Insteon home automation package

Insteon has every gadget in your home you could need or want to replace.  It is all very clean, White and modern looking.  Good for the average Joe?  Not necessarily... But if you don't mind reading a setup guide then this could be the option for you.  After learning about all the equipment they offer, you may feel like you need to re-wire or build your entire home for their products!

Here is a list of the different security devices they offer:

The Insteon Hub.  This is what controls it all. The Hub is Insteon’s latest smart home controller, and it is similar to other hubs, such as Lowe’s Iris and Staple’s Connect. You operate your system via the Insteon Hub app, which is compatible an android phone,  Windows phone, or an iPhone. There are two apps, so be careful to download the app that works with the hub.

Plug-in devices.  These are for lamps to small appliances.

Wall switches.  These make your lights dim slow to fast.

Wall outlets.  Not your standard wall outlet, you can control it's on and off capabilities from your phone.  Practical?  Not really, unless you really have that much free time in your home to be worrying about if your outlet is on or off.

Wall keypads.  Control different devices by connecting it to your wall keypad.

LED bulbs.  Greenie?  Saving the environment can't hurt can it?  Everyone should replace their light-bulbs with these.

Thermostats.  Great alternative to the Nest.  Can be a little tricky to install by yourself but you will save money in the long run by running a smart thermostat.

Remotes.  Like the wall keypad but on-the-go with you.

Wifi cameras.  Leaving the kids at home with a baby-sitter?  Use these to keep an eye on your home and they also dual as a great baby monitor.

Sensors

.  Your standard door, window sensors and as they claim, "your home's 5 senses."

Door Locks.  Several companies are now offering these in their home security packages.  Hard to install, definitely recommend using a professional company like Vivint to take apart your current door lock and drill the holes required for this.

Energy monitoring display.  For the techie who loves to see statistics and numbers on how much energy they are saving.

Screenshot of 30 Insteon Products

Screen shot of all equipment available.

Our conclusion

There you have it, everything you need to know whether or not they are the security equipment provider you want to use in your home.  Customers enjoy the easy set up. Additionally, the tech support is top quality. Users said that when they had issues during the setup, tech support walked them through it step-by-step.

There are more than 200 connected-home products in its inventory, and you can find any item you want to buy in its online store.  Their equipment is great but overall recommended for the do it yourself'er who doesn't mind a project.  You will have a hard time getting customer support from them and you are on your own in setting up a monitoring service separate.  Your out of pocket costs are going to be around $400+ for a good system and in the $1000 range if you want to add cameras, thermostat and all the gadgets.

Their equipment is great but overall recommended for the do it yourself'er who doesn't mind a project.  You will have a hard time getting customer support from them and you are on your own in setting up a monitoring service separate.  Your out of pocket costs are going to be around $400+ for a good system and in the $1000 range if you want to add cameras, thermostat and all the gadgets.

The starter kit comes with two LampLinc dimmers that only let you automate two lamps. In addition, when you add a new device to your existing system it is much more difficult then is should be.  Please leave any feedback or experience you may have had with Insteon below.

Compare the top 5 home security system here

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3 Comments
  1. David Trent
    10/13/2016 at 09:23
    Reply

    I have been with Insteon for a while now, and have never been put down with its automation. It works and i would definitely recommend.

  2. Skylar Rare
    05/11/2016 at 08:25
    Reply

    Thanks for the great coverage on Insteon. I'm not a fan of this self monitoring that several companies are offering but I suppose if you are then this would be a good security system to try. It's hard to think they are going to provide great customer service if they are not collecting a monthly fee from you.

    • Oliver
      05/22/2016 at 09:50
      Reply

      I’m a DIY-er so Insteon is right up my alley. You’re right about your doubts about getting great customer service. They probably feel that they don’t have to go the extra mile because most of the work is done by the customers themselves, but if they really want to get ahead in the game, they should step up their customer service. Other than that, the product is really worth checking out.

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