HAI and/or HomeSeer


New Member
I was looking at taking out my Vista 20 and putting in an HAI as I want to tie something into my lights, thermostat, cameras, etc. but in comparing the HAI and the HomeSeer it appears to be redundant to have both. Will one do something the other will not? Any reasonable point to having both?
I have both an HAI OmniLT and Homeseer. If you are looking to do anything more than basic control and expand on the ability to do email and other actions based on sensor attached to your HAI, I would recommend both.

Homeseer interfaces pretty well with HAI and there is a lot you can do with the combination. IMHO.
If what the HAI does standalone is what you are trying to accomplish in the end, then that is a great solution. If you are interested in controlling more hardware devices, other software applications, with a better customizable user interface and more control / capability, then look into the primary software solutions to augement the HAI panel and have bidirectional control with the HAI (like Homeseer/ MainLobby / CQC).

The HAI panel is great as a hardware interface to the "real world" for the software to interpret and respond.
Hi, David.

I'm building a new home and will be including HA. I'm installing a 24-load Centralite LiteJet panel and will add other loads later using UPB or some other non-hardwired solution. Also installing an Elk M1 Gold. I'm looking for a software HA program and am seriously considering Homeseer. I keep seeing references to ML in conjunction with HS. However, your posts seem to indicate that ML is all one needs, and that HS isn't necessary for ML. Is there a comparison of features for HA software? Does the comparison include ML and HS?

Thanks to you and all here that contribute,


some of my personal opinions:
Homeseer can run standalone. Excellent event processing support and scripting capability for an advanced DIY'r or Dealer. Out of the box web interface that is very functional, especially when connecting remotely to the home. Not very good looking user interface, and not easy to change from the out of the box variety without knowing how to code HTML / ASP etc. Excellent range of hardware support but many interfaces are developed by end users with no promise (or the cost) of long term support (essential for at least a dealer). Very flexible solution.

MainLobby can be used as a graphical front end to Homeseer via the very popular MLHSPlugin. When this is done, the hardware that MainLobby Server supports can then be exposed to Homeseer processing as well. No solution on the market has the capabilities of this combination. But, much more capability then what is really needed for the great majority of users. This is the ultimate power user system as it is a "best of breed approach".

MainLobby is a complete standalone home automation and media control system as well. Very good breadth of coverage of the most popular hardware. Not quite as extensive as Homeseer's, but not too far off in a meaningful way. Considered by many the best user interface in the business. Has event logic, but not quite as capable as Homeseer's but plenty good enough for the great majority of users / dealers. Handles Lighting (just added Centralite - UPB has been supported for a while) / Irrigation / Security (like the ELK) / Media management / AV support / Weather / Horoscope / Calendar / cameras / browser / RSS / CallerID / etc without any other automation software. Integrates with J. River MediaCenter for music, Theatertek and ZoomPlayer for Video rendering.

What Homeseer and MainLobby both share is a relatively open (I didn't say open source) philosophy towards integration with hardware and other software that allows dealers / end users the ability to come up with their spin of what works for them.

I have not found a "responsible" comparison of HA software. It is a very difficult thing to do responsibly as it takes a lot of time to learn one application's benefits and issues and then to learn several. I would say it would take literally a year to write this article well. It wouldn't be all that difficult to write a "first impressions" article however (couple of months required). I hear hints that a magazine might just be doing that now. The software providers are also aggressively revamping and adding to their products all the time. At a much faster rate than the legacy embedded controller types. By the time a review might be collated, the subjects have morphed into something different - usually better.
I have both and its a great combination. Certainly, you don't want a system like Homeseer controlling your security system, and I won't trust it to control my HVAC either. No matter how great Microsoft claims Windows is, its not a 100% reliable device.
That said, PCs don't have a great hardware interface, and that is where the HAI comes in. I connect it to 48 zones which would be hard and expensive on a PC. But Homeseer can do some fancy things the HAI can't, so its a good combination.

Put security and a few very important functions on the HAI, put fancy, but not 100% mandatory functions on Homeseer. With the right battery, HAI should go 10+ hours during a power outage, so keep that in mind when you allocate functions. If your PC runs 10 minutes with a UPS during an outage, your doing good.
Thanks, David, that clears up some of the fog. I read a number of comments about HS with ML and figured ML was just a front end. As I read more I kept seeing you referring to ML as a HA platform. Now I understand. Thanks.

Hi, Ano.

I agree I don't want to trust home security to a PC, whether Linux, Windows, Mac, or whatever. Too many things to go wrong. That's why I'll likely use the Elk M1 Gold for security along with a HA software program as a supplement.

Not too concerned about power interruption. I'm building on the water in SW Florida, and with the frequency of tropical weather, and the fact that homes down by the water are often the last to get power restored, we're installing a 30KW whole-house standby generator. Also all PCs will be on UPSes.

Thanks for the info.


I agree with a lot of the postings in this thread, the main being not leaving your home security to a PC !! I've put together a combination

1) Security - ELK M1G with ethernet interface
2) HVAC - RCS thermostat connected to ELK M1G
3) Automation - Homeseer
4) User interface - Main Lobby with a touchscreen

The ELK is relatively new in Australia however I started researching it when I saw it pop up in a Homeseer forum thread. The ELK is a very nice panel, have no idea if its price competitive however it was the functionality I wanted. Its embedded and wont fall over and thats why I interfaced the HVAC to it and not the Windows PC.

The RCS TR40 thermostat is a damm nice unit and I've **finally** connected it up today, once I worked out the old thermostat wiring. Its got an RS-485 interface that talks to the ELK.

Homeseer, well thats a world in its own right. It has an amazing amount of ability to just about interface to anything you can think off. I agree with the postings that the interface provided tends to be of "Engineering" quality, the scheduling engine is superb.

Lastly, Main Lobby. I can only say, if it wasnt for this piece of software, the WAF would not exist. You need a nice clean easy to navigate interface and combine ML with a touchscreen, you've got a REAL winner :)

Happy Alarming/Automating :)