For the Insteon reliability naysayers


Active Member
Digger said:
I want to see if the quality improved or not.
The first step to fixing the problem is to admit there is a problem. If the best SL can do is argue the minutiae of whether or not it is a dual mesh protocol as opposed to the bigger issues like switch failures, then someone has their head in the sand.


Active Member
With 60 devices you are probably overcoming the noise issue as well. I have about 7 more devices I have not installed that I recently purchased. I want to see if the quality improved or not. If it did then maybe things will work out.

I should have been more specific - my Insteon install has had solid reliability from the beginning (with only 5 or 6 devices).

I know I'm not necessarily the norm, but I'm definitely evidence that not EVERYBODY with traditionally noisey devices will have signal reliability issues.
I've got 8 Icon Dimmers, 5 Switchlinc, 2 KPLincs, 2 lamp modules & 2 signalincs. They've been in at least 6 months or longer. No DOA's and no reliability issues. Only problem I had was when a dimmable CF was in the process of failing, generating excessive noise.


Active Member
I have about 30 Insteon devices in my house which operate with 100% reliability. Several of them control CFL's. I had some trouble linking a lamplinc that was plugged into the power outlet strip from which I run the projection tv, dvd, satellite box etc. Turned off the gear and was able to link it. It operates at 100% reliability with the gear turned on without a filter. I have three remaining x-10 devices, two in the garage for the door and fluorescent lites. They operate reliably. One for the plant lites operates correctly about 60% of the time.


Active Member
I have had zero Insteon failures in over a year and no DOA switches either. I have 18 CFL bulbs and Flourescents in the Kitchen. I did have some problems with signals on one end of my house that I solved by adding a second set of Signal Lincs. I would like a in wall Signal Link option though so I don't have to have them visible.

I am happy with Insteon.


Senior Member
The only hardware failures I have had were icon relay modules connected to a neon sign. They failed immediately, but the new versions work fine.

Reliability wise, I had no problem with direct commands, but I had to move my signallincs around and install 3 filters on all of my surge protectors and ups on the circuit where my PLC resides to get 100% group communication. I also have occasional (once/month) PLC and/or SDM lockups. But not as bad as it used to.

I am using an outdated version of the CQC Insteon Plugin and I am polling every 5 minutes.
I started my home setup with Insteon (without a PLC) 18 months ago and had about 5 switches installed and was operating at 100% reliability and this included some amount of noise on the line. I added a PLC for my Elk and began using x10 with my Insteon devices and this was working with pretty good reliablity but only on one phase since I didn't have a phase coupler. Once Elk started supporting Insteon I dropped the use of the x10 interface on my Insteon devices. Once the kinks were worked out of the Elk/Insteon interface I would say that I was in the upper 90% range on reliability via the Elk and PLC and remained a solid 100% when just controlling devices through other Insteon devices. Once Powerhome came out with Insteon support and I was able to use Insteon groups with the Elk my reliability went up but still not 100%. I used Powerhome's Insteon communication reports to identify and clean up some noise on the line for several of my devices and this got me up to 100% reliability through the Elk and PLC.

I am now up to 30 devices and I use both the Elk M1G and Homeseer to control devices. I am generally at 100% reliablilty through my 2 PLCs as long as I maintain a pretty noise free environment by using a few filters here and there.

With or without noise on the line the Insteon performance without the PLC invovled (linked switches, controlling groups with controllinc and keypads, etc) has been rock solid. I never was able to figure out exactly why there are more issues with using the PLC. My thoughts are if the PLC was designed correctly it would provide the same reliablity as the rest of the Insteon network.

I have had one dimmer switch failure due to overheating (really my fault for installing in a very well insulated box on a wall exposed to the hot sun). One switch paddle issue and one relay that self destructed with a loud pop one day. Otherwise all the hardware has worked very well. I have swapped out a few devices for updated firware versions (keypad, controllinc, plcs).

Overall I am very happy with Insteon as long as the hardware quality issues stay away (I keep my fingers crossed). I am a disapointed with the lack of new Insteon products and have had to implement work arounds where I needed something that just hasn't shown up (RF remote, etc).


Active Member
Thought I'd throw another update on my progress out there. Finally got powerhome fired up with the PLC and got all the devices auto-discovered. Had a few issues with this as I'm having a noise issue in the worst place posible ... my server room. It's causing me soem other issues as well ... more on that in another post later.

Anyway, I ended up moving the laptop with the PLC into the family room, which is basically at the center of the hosue and was able to auto-discover everything from there, even the ones out in the shop originally discussed in this thread.

One thing I must say is that PowerHome Rocks! This is my first deep dive into the latest version ( When I set up all my devices and links in my old house it was back on one of the early versions of Insteon support and the interface was pretty kludgy. But it's great now. I've used it to set up links for a bunch of KPL's, etc. with no issues whatsoever.

The next step ist to use the PowerHome M1XSP feature to load the devices into the XSP. Nice to see this is part of the UI now. Last time I did this it was the separate app.

I'll update this thread again once I have the devices loaded into the Elk.


In support of Insteon, while I have had a couple of devices fail while under warranty over the years, recently, I took a lightning surge.  It took out my ELK, ISY, and insteon modem connected to the ISY.  Not one of the 25 insteon devices were affected by the surge.  The surge was major because in addition to the ELK/ISY/Insteon Modem, it took out 3 garage door openers and their safety beam sensors, my whole house backup generator, a computer server, a NAS storage unit, my HP printer, my Davis weather station, the sensor in my fuel oil tank, and a couple GFI breakers.  But, not one of the Insteon devices beside the modem which was connected to the ISY, was harmed. The AC powered devices that were blown out, were on surge protection but still were affected.


Active Member
WTF? That's a crazy surge.
Makes me thinks that an explosion in the fuel tank was a possibility if there's a sensor there but what do I know.
Anyway, maybe this thread should be revived here.
Does this mean you'll keep the Insteon devices? ;-)