Insteon timing


Senior Member
When checking on some wattage limits, I noticed the following for Insteon:

INSTEON is so fast that a human cannot detect a delay. It takes less than 5 1/100ths of a second for a signal to get to its destination in most cases.

I have linked devices that I can noticeably tell there is a delay. Is this unusual? Did I perhaps do something wrong? My case was relay to relay for two outside devices. I can hear the delay (and they are close enough I can hear the relay clicks if the door is open). This is switchlinc relay to icon relay (foyer to garage).
I only have a few devices and while it takes less than a second when using the ControlLinc there is a definate delay in my home. However it is short enough that it doesn't bother me any.

When I use a local dimmer switch the delay is virtually unnoticable.

My appliancelinc takes the longest to respond.

It may be your links. The actual Insteon transmission from device to device may be that fast but after the device receives the transmission, it's got to search through it's link database. This searching starts at the top and just goes record by record until it's searched the entire list. If the link that you're interested in is towards the bottom of the list and it's a long list, you may be noticing the delay.

You may also notice a delay if the group broadcast command is missed and the switch is actually responding to the group cleanup command instead.

Hmm, well I don't think it is table searching time as each switch has only one link: to each other. That is good to know on the searching though, I'll keep that in mind.
It may also be in the automation program being used. Most of my home is triggered via HomeSeer, and while Insteon is fast, the delay is probably 0.3 - 0.5 seconds. The direct slave to master signaling does seem a bit faster, but I am able to detect a delay, and I think I'm still human.

It's good theoretical spin to hype the speed of Insteon, and I admit that I like it a LOT better than X10, but to say there is no detectable delay is at odds with my experience.
The delay I was referencing was with direct linking (no software). It seems it is 'working as intended' which is what I thought. It was some of the speed references that made me question it.

Although I think it is related to it being relays (the relays actually add a delay, as it is quite noticeable). It helps that you hear the click of the relay so the delay is quite apparent.

I haven't tried the same concept with dimmers inside, which probably has a better result.
The delays are a little annoying. The speed that the specs quoted is the time it takes for a transmission after it is on the power line, not the time from switch press to lamp on.

Right now the PLC and the SDM each add a slight delay to the whole process.

I am guessing that the hardware 'slave' device adds a slight delay also.

Going directly from an Insteon master to a slave should be 'almost instant', the device takes a little time to process messages.


Ken Miller
Mike said:
INSTEON is so fast that a human cannot detect a delay. It takes less than 5 1/100ths of a second for a signal to get to its destination in most cases.
Yes, but they don't specify which human. :blink:

5 1/100ths of a second is an obscure way of saying 1/20 of a second. I don't know of any human, besides the one referenced above, that can't detect 1/20th of a second.

Maybe it's only marketing people that can't detect the delay . . .