Sure, all automated switches also work as a regular switch.
Steve, Would the PIM be able to turn the lights on/off as per an established schedule (like a dummy controller with timer), if the PC goes dead? I know some X-10 PIM could do it but I dont know about Insteon's.
timkur, depending on your security needs you might find it critical that the outdoor lights turn on in case that your outdoor sensor detects something. You might want to warn both the burglar and the people inside the house that the alarm detected the intruder using a voice message (he will better opt to leave). In the same way, you might want to trigger other actions whenever the alarm detects a burglary situation.
I define my HA system in levels. The lowest level (level 1) includes security and lightning. The second level is convenience and the third level is entertainment. For me, I dont want a PC controlling level 1. Its not secure enough. If the PC fails all the elements of the security system will be isolated (sensors and siren will work, but I will not receive a phone call or email, and the house will not turn on the lights).
For convenience in a PC I just risk WAF - not to be taken lightly, but I can risk it to a PC if the value proposition is good. For entertainment I dont have any option. PC is the way to go.
There is the value of the M1. You have an integrated alarm and automation controller that will integrate level 1 without problems.