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Been out of the game for awhile. What's new?


New Member
Hi folks,

Found this forum, read a bunch of posts, you all seem like an intelligent lot so I'm here to beg for some advice.

I've been out of the HA game for awhile. Spent thousands on X-10 gear in the nineties, dumped it after only a few years. The whole thing was just too gimmicky, didn't scale, reliability was terrible, etc. After I dumped it I got into AMX - rock solid reliable and just beautiful to work with. However, I moved into a new (to me) home, I've been here 2.5 years now and I'm facing up to the fact that I'm never going to find the time to get into the crawl spaces and perform the rather huge job of retrofitting the place to use my Radia lighting controllers (which, by the way, are a decade and a half old now and showing their age).

I need a retrofit solution and I want to do it piecemeal - a few switches here & there over the next couple of years to slowly build my system out. I'm strongly considering Insteon but my terrible experience with X-10 is keeping me from taking the plunge. I'm seeing far too many similarities here - plug-in filters, phase couplers, reports of CFLs and TVs and computers soaking up the signal... It all looks super sketchy and I'm having serious reservations.

On the flip side, from what I've been reading the QA problems have supposedly been resolved and the new dual band modules are supposed to make the system solid. I really love the aesthetics of the products, the wide selection and of course the price can't be beat. That said, I can't help but feel there may be better options available, especially for an IT geek such as myself. My primary interest is lighting control but iOS integration & wireless door-lock controls are high on my list of desires.

Educate me, please. If you were in my shoes, what would you buy into?

Thank you for your time.


Senior Member
The best powerline protocol is UPB and while expensive is works really well. Insteon is getting better but is still a bit of work to get a reliable installation. For your locks check out the new Z-Wave line of locks. These work well if you have a good Z-Wave mesh. Welcome back.


Senior Member
You really have the 2 choices - powerline or wireless. If you want the locks and you want a single technology then its either ZWave or Zigbee. If going powerline your choice is Insteon or UPB. The success of a powerline system will depend on how clean your lines are. If you have alot of noise on your line then powerline will continue to be a challenge. With UPB I would go for a Gen 2 or 3 solution (PCS or HAI) but you still may need filters, split phase repeater, etc depending on your situation. Unless you have alot of noise UPB should work. But if you go powerline you will also need a Zwave or Zigbee network for the locks, so you can also consider a full Zwave network or a Zigbee solution like Centralite Jetstream. My powerlines are horrible and while I have UPB working mostly well I still get some issues. While I don't like the feel of my Jetstream switches as much they have been rock solid.


Senior Member
Lutron RadioRA2 can be DIY, if you're motivated, and attend the requisite training. It's the best wireless solution, IMO.

Made in the USA, private company, very well engineered, and 24/7 TS from Coopersburg, PA.