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Installation

I'll be going into quite a bit of detail for the Insteon+ application, which is required to work with the Insteon Hub Pro. Right now, Insteon+ is iPhone only; the iPad app is currently in development. If you are using an iPad and go to the App store and search for the Insteon+ app, you won't find it. Again, the Insteon app (sans "+") won't work with the Hub Pro.

Since I have a Samsung S5 and not an iPhone, I initially thought I wasn't going to be able to review the product. However, on the Insteon.com's home page, there's a link that takes you to the Insteon+ app's iTunes web page, which I used to download the app onto my iPad. The app ran on my iPad, and I noticed some screen layout issues, as expected. But I was able to use the app to complete this review. Note Insteon+ requires iOS 8.3 or later.

Like virtually all Home Automation programs, the first step of the setup process is to create an account. All of the installation and configuration, including the account creation, it performed using the Insteon+ app.

Until you add some devices, zones and rooms, the Insteon+ app is barren. The landing page will look like the image on the left. By default, there is only one Home, but Insteon+ is flexible enough for you to create multiple homes should you be lucky enough to own more than one. If you click on the Home icon, the page on the right appears. Of course, at this point the all devices is barren, too. Click on the + in the upper right corner (highlighted) to start building your Insteon system.

Insteon+ Home screen (left) and all devices (right)

Insteon+ Home screen (left) and all devices (right)

After you create your account, you need to discover the Hub Pro. Click on Add Device (highlighted), and the app will start searching and should discover your hub. Once found, you will be prompted for an eight digit number in the format XXX-XX-XXX. You can find this unique number on a label on the bottom of your Hub. After the Hub is added, you will be given the opportunity to name the Hub (default is Hub Pro) and to select an appropriate icon for the hub. The image below shows the Extend Your Home page (left), as well as the prompt for the unique hub identifier prompt (right).

Insteon+ Add device (left), Enter Hub ID (right)

Insteon+ Add device (left), Enter Hub ID (right)

Hierarchy

The Insteon+ architecture is hierarchical. At the top of the hierarchy, you have Home. The next level down is Zones. Depending on your environment, Zones can be a good way to segment your devices. In my testing, I created two Zones: First Floor and Second Floor.

The next level is Rooms, which can be assigned to Zones. For my Insteon network, I created the rooms Office and Living Room. As you create Rooms, you can assign them to one of your Zones. I assigned Office to the Second Floor Zone, and Living Room to the First Floor Zone.

At the lowest level of the hierarchy you'll find Devices. You assign Devices to Rooms. From a setup standpoint, it doesn't really matter too much which you use to set up your network. You can add all of your Devices and leave them unassigned until you create Rooms and Zones. Alternatively, you can start at the top and create Zones and Rooms first and as you add Devices to your network, you can just assign them directly to Rooms.

At this stage of my setup, I now had two Zones and two Rooms. Each Zone had one Room assigned to it. Next, I added some Devices. Adding an Insteon device is slightly different than adding a HomeKit device. On the Add Device page, you click on Add Insteon. You are then prompted for a six digit hexadecimal number for the device you want to add. That unique number is printed on each Insteon device.

Gallery 1 below shows the process for adding an Insteon Device.

As you add a Device to your network, one of the fields you can change is Siri Control. This is that name used with Siri to directly address the device. For the Insteon LED bulb, the Insteon+ app suggested "LED Bulb". But I renamed the bulb "Office Light". I thought that the name was more descriptive, not to mention easier to say. Remember, whatever names you assign to Zones, Rooms or Devices need to be something that Siri can easily recognize. The image below, also included in the gallery, shows renaming the Siri Control (name) to "Office light".

Give your devices a Siri Control that's easy to remember and pronounce

Give your devices a Siri Control that's easy to remember and pronounce

Creating a Zone is quite easy. From the Extend Your Home Screen, accessed by the "+" icon, just tap Add a Zone. Fill out the name of the Zone, select an appropriate icon and select the room(s) to be included in that zone. Similarly, adding a new Room is simple. Just tap Add a Room, give the room a name, select an icon, select the zone and select the device(s) to be included. The composite screenshot below shows the entire process for Adding a room to your network.

Insteon+ Add Room

Insteon+ Add Room

Scenes & Schedules

So far, we've talked about Zones, Rooms and Devices and that they are arranged in a hierarchy. We have just a couple more topics left to discuss before we get to the "fun" stuff.

Unlike some other Home Automation systems I've looked at, Insteon+ doesn't let you directly schedule a device. Instead, you schedule a Scene, which is an action for a Device or group of devices. In the gallery below, I created a scene named "5 O'clock Somewhere". I added the dimmable LED bulb as well as the Lamp Dimmer module to the scene.

Each Device in the Scene can be individually configured (custom), or you can configure similar Devices as one. I set each Device to turn on at ~ 25% brightness. Since Scenes include selected hardware, those selections transcend Room and Zone assignments. Scene Devices can be anywhere in the hierarchy. This provides a lot of flexibility. Each Scene can be executed directly from the Dashboard, shown in the navigation section below.

Now that we've created a scene, we can create a Schedule using that scene. A Schedule can include more than one Scene. I found the scheduling options lacking compared to other Smart Home apps I've reviewed. Missing, for example, is the ability to schedule scenes for sunrise or sunset.

Repeat options are similarly limited. For the Daily repeat option, there are no options. It will run every day of the week. You can't, for example, select only Monday Wednesday and Friday. Nor are there weekday-only or weekend-only options. For weekly repeats, you can't choose more than one day per week. If you wanted a Schedule for Monday and Friday each week, you'd have to create two Schedules. The Monthly Repeat Frequency also has a limitation of a single day per month. Each Schedule is fully editable, and there's a toggle to enable or disable each Schedule. You can also add / remove Scenes to / from a Schedule.

Insteon+ Schedule Scene

Insteon+ Schedule Scene
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