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Lighting - Future proof considerations
#1
Hi all:

Starting to look into lighting controllers with an eye on the future. Would something like this ISY-994iZS be the ticket for Insteon control and eventual Zigbee applications down the road. I assume this is compatible with the ISY driver we have.

http://www.smarthome.com/12239/ISY994iZS...ler/p.aspx

Thanks in advance.

Bugman
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#2
The driver most likely will not work with zigbee or zwave devices at this time.
Wuench
My Home Theater/Automation Website

[THREAD=5957]BlueGlass CQC Config[/THREAD]
[THREAD=10624]Wuench's CQC Drivers[/THREAD]
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#3
Future? I'm no expert, but from what I've seen and in my opinion ... the future isn't here yet for lighting. It seems light switches are more or less the same concept as 100 years ago with minor improvements. Steve Jobs hasn't revolutionized them yet... and he won't because he died early because he believed too much in alternative medicine. But I digress...

What I would call the future isn't available for purchase.

What exists now... well, a lot of solid solutions, but I don't see any of them as future proof.

I would concentrate on the automation of lights and ignore the user controls if you want to be in the future.

Last I saw, there weren't light switches on Picard's bridge. Smile
--Kill all the serial ports--
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#4
bbrendon Wrote:Future? I'm no expert, but from what I've seen and in my opinion ... the future isn't here yet for lighting. It seems light switches are more or less the same concept as 100 years ago with minor improvements. Steve Jobs hasn't revolutionized them yet... and he won't because he died early because he believed too much in alternative medicine. But I digress...

What I would call the future isn't available for purchase.

Have you seen the Philips Hue? It is pricey, but it is an individually IP controlled LED lamp. I don't see any reason why it would need to have a physical switch (excluding code requirements).

I am planning to downsize my living space & build a new smaller home. I am going to explore both the Hue and several homerun controllers that do away with the physical switch actually controlling the circuit.
Mark Stega
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#5
wuench Wrote:The driver most likely will not work with zigbee or zwave devices at this time.

Do I detect a note of "perhaps in the future?"

I have to look up the documentation on this box to get a feel for the level of sophistication needed to implement the other protocols to feel more at ease going down this path.
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#6
It's just right now there is code in there that is definitely Insteon specific. (Driver Version 2.0 and below)

For example there is a method that determines if a "node" is a switch, dimmer, thermostat, etc by Insteon addresses in the driver. For the most part they have tried to abstract everything with plans to support future protocols but determining device type is one where they dropped the ball. I have tried to get them to add that info so clients don't need to determine it, but they have refused to do it that way.

I am not sure if the zigbee support will work with lights or not, I think it was mostly included to support Brultech. Zigbee has turned out to be a bit proprietary, where different brands don't work with each other. I'd have to look at the WDSL protocol doc.

But it is certainly possible to support other protocols in the driver in the future. I would definitely like to try the zwave module when it comes out and see if I can get it to work with locks.
Wuench
My Home Theater/Automation Website

[THREAD=5957]BlueGlass CQC Config[/THREAD]
[THREAD=10624]Wuench's CQC Drivers[/THREAD]
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#7
I ran my house without switches for five years (small lie, I had three in the house for ease of use and convenience).

My lighting is a distributed system that runs on a network. If you do decide to use switches, they too are on a network same as the load controllers as are motion detectors, IR receivers temperature sensors HVAC controls, ceiling fan controllers, blind controllers and more.

Lights were tuned on one of three ways.
From a touchscreen (CQC or other)
Motion detectors
Opening and closing doors.

You will never remove the need or want for switches and they can do things that you cant do other ways. well you can but its a case of ease of use or convenience. You are walking out the door and you want a set of three different outdoor lights on (scene) and you don't have your touchscreen device with you and its not a normal scene that you would use that a motion detector would know to trigger then the switch is the option.

A future proof lighting system is one that is not uses standard switches on the wall but one that uses a communication system and has a gateway for the outside world to interface with.

This is a lighting system that I have been using for 10 years now.

Systems like Hue are good retrofit solutions and are not mature enough yet for mainstream. I have heard a few [installers] say that these are not good enough yet and people will be disappointed but each to their own - I will make that decision when I see some for myself in an actual domestic installation.

So in selecting a lighting system for the future, you need one that is established and not going to go out of business and one that is networked (this does not mean Ethernet either)
Mykel Koblenz
Illawarra Smart Home
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#8
Mark Stega Wrote:Have you seen the Philips Hue? It is pricey, but it is an individually IP controlled LED lamp. I don't see any reason why it would need to have a physical switch (excluding code requirements).

I am planning to downsize my living space & build a new smaller home. I am going to explore both the Hue and several homerun controllers that do away with the physical switch actually controlling the circuit.

Mark: Yes, and very "sexy" indeed. This platform has led me on a discovery/investigative path to understand more about the current technologies available, and to plot a path forward. I'm not in a new build situation so must adapt to what I have available, but I'm not wed to existing wiring and can explore other paths. The HUE stuff is amazing, and therefore I'm trying to find a "future proof" (if there is such a thing), that can provide short term (I have a few X10's around) solutions for a new home theatre build that could include Insteon, with the hope of newer technology such as Zigbee (aka Hue and the like).

I am a newbie in the lighting arena, but learning as fast as possible. The mesh network approach is VERY appealing, and hopefully more will come to the market in the next year. This will make decision making a bit easier I hope.

Bugman
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