George - you seem to know a lot about z-wave and zigbee. What about Insteon? I have a few of the products so far and so far so good. Would like to see some more RF products though at some point. I tried the Intermatic Z-wave starter kit about a year ago and it was not for me. Insteon starter kit with a couple of Insteon switches is what I have going right now. Should I wait for zigbee product? Anyone else have any feedback? Thanks.
What I have in my home is INSTEON. Roughly about 10 nodes plus the USB powerline controller. I plan to swap a V2 switchlinc with a new keypadlinc and move the switchlinc into another room, as well as adding an inline module or an Icon switch to a light in a closet where the previous owner installed the light switch eight feet from the floor. I will probably add more nodes when the weather changes since the major access to the electrical system is in the attic which is uncooled...
The only "problem" I have with INSTEON is that at random times the housecleaner or the kids unplug the USB controller which means I need to find it and reset it when I notice the porch lights aren't coming on at sundown. Other than that the INSTEON kit has been rock solid. This includes two appliance modules that are controlling some really cheap florescents in the garage.
I also tried the Intermatic products as well as some of the ACT and ended up removing it. The main reason was a low WAF and when she hammered the controller apart to do a BOM analysis on the module, well that pretty much finished things. As her mother said, "Most people would have picked the lamp module to destroy." The other reason is that my home is very wireless unfriendly, including WiFI and cellular, and wireless only control just isn't an option.
I have a secondary reason for wanting multiple protocols in the house which is to test out some of the vendor claims floating around. At some point soon I will add back in the Z-Wave as well as some UPB.
Regarding ZigBee and lighting control in particular you may be waiting a long time for a variety of reasons. Installing Control4 seems to be your only option at this point. Lighting control looks like an add on to their main media products unless things have changed in the past few months. The thing you have to ask yourself is if a light switch was the first and only ZigBee application profile published why has it taken so long for products to hit the market? Even though the ZigBee Alliance will tell you that home lighting is one of the best applications for ZigBee.
I know that SmartHome is developing some wireless products and there was a roadmap published here a few months ago that had wireless remotes shipping sometime this year. An interesting thing about a wireless remote for INSTEON is that I asked SH about this roughly a year ago and their answer was that they had it on their roadmap and that they would release products in roughly the order that their research showed demand for them, and that a wireless controller was low down on the list. The product release list (without dates) they showed me at that time is almost exactly the list that SH has followed for the past year.
Hope this helps.
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