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Universal Devices raffling off (3) ISY-26 automation controllers for Insteon!

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#16 Kyle S

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 10:30 AM

Programmable thermostat - In the winter it starts warming the house in the morning from chilly to "tropical" for the wife. Lowers the temp back down after we leave for work and ramps back up when we get home.

Looking forward to...
Adding home automation to turn off all the lights when the security system is armed.
Maybe turning off lights after sunrise.
Turning on lights based on motion or opening a door.

#17 Smarty


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Posted 18 February 2009 - 10:35 AM

This might be new.....

My house is fully sealed (spray foam insulation, sealed attic and living space). Because of this, in addition to the regular heat pump based HVAC system, I also have a fresh air airhandler and dehumdification unit.

During the evening when the night air cools off, I turn on the fresh air intake and turn on the bathroom/other ceiling vents via Insteon to purge the house air. This purge happen only when the outside temperature and humidity is within a range that doesn't cause my HVAC to load up.

Additionally, I use Insteon control for occupency and security lighting. The keypads also serve as one of my interfaces to control the rest of my HA set-up which includes speaking the days weather forecast, or putting the house in "nap mode", where all house sounds are muted.

I could go on and on....

#18 jaysonc


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Posted 18 February 2009 - 10:47 AM

I currently use several approaches in this respect.

1. Weather adjusted environmental settings. My automation controller periodically compares the internal temperature, external temperature and thermostat settings. In situations where use of the heating/cooling system is redundant based on external conditions, the thermostat will be temporarily overridden and I will be informed via SMS to open the windows. For example. If the internal temp is 80, thermostat is set to 77 but the outside temperature is less than 76 then use of the environmental system would be wastful.

2. Automatic thermostat control. If any windows are opened, all thermostats are turned off while they remain open. My automation controller (an Elk M1G) supports multiple house "modes". I leverage the following: Away, Stay, Night, Work, Guests and Vacation. Each of these will proactively affect the environmental system, lights and fans within the house to optimize energy usage. For example the thermostat changes setting according to a "Typical" day schedule. Entering any of these modes will either adjust the "Typical" schedule settings or override them.

3. Automatic light, ceiling can control. Through the changing of the Elk M1G "modes" All lights, and ceiling fans are started/ stopped in relation to the location of the people within the house. For example, all lights and fans are turned off when entering the away or vacation modes. When entering night mode, all lights are turned off along with all fans that are not in bedrooms.

4. Motion sensors to optimize light usage. All frequently used lights in the house are monitored after dark to minimize energy usage through duration and intensity. Currently, three rooms within the house no longer need a controlling switch. They are completely automated.

5. Multi-thermostat/multi-unit synchronization. My house is an open plan, two story home has two units controlled by two separate thermostats. Based on testing, I have determined the optimal temperature adjustment so each unit is used evenly. Changing either thermostat will result in the other thermostat being adjusted automatically to the correct offset.

6. Thermal separation. Again, my house is an open plan, two story home. It is normal for heat to rise rapidly to the upper level and cold air to fall to the lower level. The automation system monitors the temperature separation between the two levels and will attempt to use the central unit blowers to normalize the internal temperature before the using the AC or heating units.

7. Remote thermostat control. I also leverage an iPhone interface via my Elk M1G for easier and more convenient adjustments to the environmental settings within the house.

Upcoming improvements:

1. Airflow management. I am in the process of adding thermostat sensors to all rooms within the house. This additional data, will allow for ceiling fans to be started and stopped on demand in order to leverage the impact airflow affects comfort levels. This will allow active cooling of the house via an AC unit to be reduced.

2. Fresh air input for AC/Heating unit. This capability will allow the weather adjusted environmental settings mentioned above to actively draw cooler/warmer fresh air into the home when outside temperature meets heating/cool goals. This will allow active cooling of the house via AC/Heating unit to be reduced.


#19 gatchel



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Posted 18 February 2009 - 03:13 PM

I use the following:

Cree LR6 LED Lighting in recently remodeled areas with many more to come

CFL's where I can stand the horrible color and "flourescent" look

Motion Controlled Switches in garage and wash room

ELk M1 to control low voltage lighting outside based on time of day needs

BIOS controls to turn homebuilt media server on and off when not needed

I plan on hacking up some Cree LR24 LED lights to use as a torcherie halogen replacement. I am currently researching this.

I use Insteon to control key lights that can be left on by "accident" from several areas in the house.

I have all computers set to sleep when not in use

I in the replacement of our old boiler a few years ago, I installed thermostats in every Zone that existed previously.

All thermostats are currently set to drop 3 degrees when areas are unoccupied

This summer I will be zoning off every room by adding more thermostats and pipe to get the best use of the system.
I will also be installing radiant barrier insulation in the attic to help the A/C unit work more efficiently.

The most simple conservation method of all... I turn off lights when not in use.

Edited by gatchel, 18 February 2009 - 03:16 PM.

#20 GeekOn2Wheels



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Posted 18 February 2009 - 03:37 PM

  • My outside lighting automatically comes on at sunset and turns off at 11 pm on the weekdays and 2 am on the weekends; they then turn back on 30 min before sunrise to give the appearance that they have been on all night but saves electricity by not actually being on all night.
  • All lighting is turned off in the house as well as HVAC set points are adjusted when I arm my alarm (ELK M1) to save energy.
  • My work schedule fluctuates so I have a macro that I activate from my Smartphone on my way home to start heating the house so that I don’t heat an unoccupied house
  • Insteon motion sensors on the lights and timers on the fans in the bathrooms and laundry room
  • Relay shuts off exterior waterfall when house is not occupied (Insteon)
  • Aquarium lighting controlled by time of day (Insteon)
  • Holliday lighting controlled by timers (Insteon)
  • Irrigation linked to weather station to check exterior temperature and rain fall to adjust accordingly, also set to only water at night. (Insteon / Homeseer /

I am currently working on blind control and automating them via time of day to block direct sun during the summer as well as tie in attic fans.

#21 mtgoat



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Posted 18 February 2009 - 05:25 PM

  • Remote monitoring (wall panel) of individual light status
  • Lighting controlled by combination of all-off and selectable scenes
  • Motion-controlled timers for bathroom and attic lights
  • Bath fans on timers
  • Heating zone control via multiple wall panels & timers
  • Power to audio controlled by IR blasters
  • Outdoor lighting controlled by PIR, timers and clock
  • PCs set to power-save modes
  • Blinds raise/lower via hand remote
  • Irrigation limited by rain sensor & schedule
  • Drip irrigation where practical

Edited by mtgoat, 18 February 2009 - 05:39 PM.

#22 xlurkr


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Posted 18 February 2009 - 07:02 PM

So far, I have two lights (one bathroom and one closet) on motion sensors with short timeouts. I also have a button on an Insteon KeypadLinc to turn off all upstairs lights when we are all downstairs for a meal or to watch TV. Soon I hope to add some more motion sensors and a "last one out" button on the KeypadLinc to turn off all lights and set the thermostat back.


#23 Quixote_1


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Posted 18 February 2009 - 07:14 PM

Lights controlled by insteon and motion sensors, bathroom fan on an Insteon timer so that it's not accidentally left on all day, and
in the process of implementing my iLock entry system to detect when there are no occupants so that the system can shut down everything but what's absolutely needed.

Future projects include climate control based on occupancy and monitoring electrical consumption, possibly including a timer that cuts off the hot water in the shower after 15 minutes. :D

#24 deranged


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Posted 18 February 2009 - 08:14 PM


Most lights are controlled to turn on automatically, some at preset dim levels depending on Motion, location, time and the amount of light outside.
Most lights are configured to turn off after a period of inactivity.
HVAC Temp and zones are controlled by day and night settings, also by Away/Home modes and by who's car is in the driveway.
HVAC Temps are also slightly adjusted depending on outdoor conditions.
Warning annoucements if a window is opened or a door is open for a time depending on HVAC mode.
TV and Home theatre equipment turned off per room after a time period and Away/Home mode.
Computer's, printers and etc, shutdown if they are left on controlled by Time / Home / Away Modes.
Tools, chargers and other items in garage turned off, after period of time.
Motion sensor's, Cameras, Touch Screens and a few other items are running off solar panels and a set of batteries. The batteries are monitored and loads are switche to and from battery power depending on solar/battery power available.


Edited by deranged, 18 February 2009 - 08:15 PM.

#25 GerardK



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Posted 18 February 2009 - 08:25 PM

Mostly light control with motion in closets and bathrooms. Timers and dimmers on most lights that are used for evning light in the house. Outside lighting combination of timers and Motion.

Doors alarm if left open to long

#26 ver0776


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Posted 18 February 2009 - 08:36 PM

I use occupancy detection like most people, but my system also tracks which occupants are home and I control things besides lighting based on this information.

Roommate leaves:
*Her bedroom lights turn off
* Her monitor turns off
(bigger point is they will not turn back on if I went in there. They are her lights and will not work unless she is home.)

When I leave:
* Monitors, TV and lights in my room turn off.
* Computer room shuts off lights and monitors.
* Downstairs workstations all have monitor power cut.
(non of these will turn back on for company or roommates, they are tied to me, this offers powersaving, but also a level of security)

If we both leave, all lights, TVs and Monitors are turned off.

If we both are sleeping, downstairs items like the Security DVR monitor, TV and monitors turn off.
Also in sleep mode, some lights will not turn on automatically and some will use lower dim settings and most TTS announcements are supressed.

General occupancy works to turn on closet lights when doors are opened and instantly turns then off when the doors are closed.

I also use custom occupancy timers based on Door status, so like the bathrooms have a 1 minute occupancy timer, unless the door is closed, then occupancy timer is upped to 15 minutes. This allows me to have tight timers to turn the lights off fast, but also insure that that do not turn off on you when the rooms are in use, but no motion is detected.

To supliment motion detectors, almost anything wired up can extend occupancy timers. Like in the Kitchen, the fridge door, over door and washer door all update the occupancy timer to represent occupancy even if the motion detectors do not see you.

The tracking of who is home also ensures that pets are not turning lights on, etc.

Lastly, If I had one of these interfaces, I could use it to develop support from my custom HA software, which I give away for free. Currently I am using an Insteon PLC for all Insteon access. =)


#27 mustangcoupe



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Posted 18 February 2009 - 10:26 PM

I would say same as everyone before me... occupancy controlled lights, and for the odd....soon to also add weather related automation for irrigation, and heating of garden soil/area.

#28 prostetnic



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Posted 19 February 2009 - 06:21 AM

Turn of/unplug (external RF switch) non server computers, TV, and other AV paraphernalia when no one is at home. Your average appliance draws a ton of W when its shut down/stanby instead of unplugged.
Control lights based on occupancy and time of day.

#29 Bill B

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 08:04 AM

Mostly what other folks have said - motion detectors on hallways and public rooms for lighting control; scenes that turn off ambiance and outdoor lights automatically. Venstar thermostats with much more fine-tuning than my old thermostats.

In addition, as I work at home, I also have my basement gas fireplace and electric heater turn on for a couple hours in the morning before I come down to take the chill off.

#30 The Pod

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 08:57 AM

Motion sensors in all rooms. Lights go off if no motion detected for a given period of time.

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