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Insteon (company)

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Title: Insteon (company)  
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Insteon (company)

Founded Irvine, California (2012)
Headquarters 16542 Millikan Ave,
Ste 800,
Irvine, California
Key people
Joe Dada, Founder and CEO
Products Proprietary dual-band home automation and lighting control systems using radio frequency (RF) and powerline technology
Parent Smartlabs, Inc.

Insteon is an Irvine, CA-based developer of home automation (aka domotics) hardware and software. The technology, also called Insteon,[1] allows light switches, lights, thermostats, motion sensors, and other electrical devices to interoperate through power lines, radio frequency (RF) communications, or both.[2] The company produces over 200 products featuring the technology.[3] The company partners with Microsoft to deliver automation functionality to Windows computers and phones.[4]

Insteon is a subsidiary of Smartlabs, Inc., also based in Irvine, CA.


  • History 1
  • Technology 2
  • Products 3
  • Interoperability 4
  • Product distribution 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Insteon was founded in 2012 in Irvine, CA by CEO Joe Dada.[3] Dada had previously founded Smarthome in 1992, a home automation product catalog company, and operator of the e-commerce site. In the late 1990s, Dada acquired two product engineering firms which undertook extensive product development efforts to create networking technology based on both power-line and RF communications. In 2004, the company filed for patent protection for the resultant technology,[5] called Insteon, and it was released in 2005. In 2012, the company released the first network-controlled light bulb using Insteon-enabled technology, and at that point Dada spun Insteon off from Smarthome.[3][6]


Insteon technology uses a dual-mesh networking topology[7] in which all devices are peers and each device independently transmits, receives, and repeats messages.[8][9]


Insteon produces over 200 devices (modules) using its technology,[10] including LED bulbs, wall switches, wall keypads, sensors, thermostats, Wi-Fi cameras, door locks, in-line plug in modules and embedded devices, along with central controllers for system management. Most modules are either wire-in, plug-in, or battery powered.

Central controllers

Insteon devices can function without a central controller or they may be managed by a central controller to implement functions such as control scheduling, event handling, and problem reporting via email or text messaging. A computer can be used as a central controller by connecting it to a power line modem, which serves as a communication bridge between the computer and the Insteon device network.

Insteon markets its own brand of central controller, called the Insteon Hub.

LED bulbs

In 2012, the company introduced the first network-controlled light bulb.[11]

Wall switches

Insteon wall switches replace conventional wall switches to allow remote control of the switch's electric load. With mesh functionality, the wall switches allow every wall switch to control every other wall switch without the addition of extra wires.

Wall keypads

Wall keypads have multiple, programmable pushbuttons that are used to set preprogrammed control levels, which the company calls "scenes". The scene buttons can be used to control individual devices like an LED Bulb or other wall switches, or groups of devices.

Wall outlets

An Insteon dimmer outlet has one of the two outlets of a duplex receptacle configured for Insteon control so that it can be activated remotely. The other outlet is labeled as "always on" and behaves like a normal outlet.

In-line modules

In-line modules are mounted inside or behind a fixture or electrical junction box, and are used to provide Insteon-enabled lighting circuits that don't have a directly accessible wall switch. Miniature in-line modules include switch-sensing technology that can be used with an existing wall switch connected to the micro module.

Plug-in modules

Plug-in modules provide Insteon functionality by allowing the plugging in of a lamp or appliance into the bottom of a unit that then plugging the module into a power outlet.


Insteon wireless sensors include motion sensors, contact-closure sensors, water leak sensors, and smoke detectors. Wired magnetic contact sensors can be added to wireless open/close sensors.


Insteon thermostats work with most heating and cooling systems found in homes and many businesses. When installed and linked to a central controller, the thermostat can be remotely controlled from a smartphone or tablet.

WiFi Cameras

Insteon HD WiFi Cameras are equipped with 614,400 pixels, video capturing speeds of 1280 x 720, 16:9 widescreen video options and an HD video sensor. Indoor cameras feature full pan and tilt and come with a ring of darkness-illuminating infrared LEDs.

I/O Linc low voltage plug in module

The Insteon plug-in module, I/O Linc, can monitor and control low voltage devices such as alarm sensors, electric door strikes, and contact closures.

Embedded Devices

Insteon embedded modules can be used to control lights without a directly accessible switch, such as Malibu or recessed lights. In-line modules are designed to be mounted inside an electrical junction box or behind a fixture to control the lights from any location in the home. Insteon’s embedded devices include fan controllers, dimmers and load controllers.

Door Locks

MorningLinc RF Doorknob/Deadbolt Controllers allows remote entry or exit by locking or unlocking doors at the press of a button.


Insteon chip sets manufactured by Smartlabs can transmit, receive, and respond to (but not repeat) X10 power line messages, thus enabling X10 networks to interoperate with Insteon.[12][13]

In 2014, Insteon released a home automation system compatible with the touch-enabled Metro interface, with devices appearing as "live tiles",[14] and later added voice control via Microsoft Cortana.[15][16] In 2015, voice control was added via compatibility with Amazon Echo.[17]

Insteon announced an initiative in 2015 to integrate the Google-owned Nest learning thermostat with Insteon.[18]

An Insteon network may be connected through a gateway to Apple's HomeKit system[19] and used with the AllJoyn protocol.[20]

Product distribution

Insteon products are sold through Walmart, Home Depot, Best Buy, Target and other brick and mortar retailers, as well as online through and the Microsoft Store.


  1. ^ "INSTEON - Trademark Details". Retrieved October 12, 2015. 
  2. ^ "How to Control Your Home with your Cell Phone". Popular Mechanics. October 1, 2009. Retrieved August 19, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c "Wired Innovation Insights". 2014-06-12. Retrieved 2015-10-22. 
  4. ^ "Microsoft’s Home Automation Deal Is More Proof It’s a Whole New Company". 2014-05-06. Retrieved 2015-05-13. 
  5. ^ "Network of intelligent devices communicating via powerline and radio frequency US 8081649 B2". US Patent Office. 2004-12-15. Retrieved 2015-10-22. 
  6. ^ "Insteon Partners With Nest". Orange County Business Journal. January 6, 2015. Retrieved October 12, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Refresh!: Insteon Technology". Electronic Design. Penton Media, Inc. April 5, 2006. Retrieved August 19, 2010. 
  8. ^ "What is Insteon?". Retrieved 2007-06-25. 
  9. ^ "'"Can we talk? Internet of Things vendors face a communications 'mess. Computer World. IDG. April 18, 2014. Retrieved October 12, 2015. 
  10. ^ "New Insteon Hub Makes 200+ Products HomeKit Compatible". 2015-01-09. Retrieved 2015-10-22. 
  11. ^ Molly Oswaks, "Here it Is: The World's First Remote-Controlled (LED) Light Bulb", Gizmodo, June 20, 2012
  12. ^ "X10 Programming for Insteon Devices". Smarthome. Smarthome Inc. Retrieved 15 October 2015. 
  13. ^ "Home Control 101: Insteon vs. X10". EH Network. EH Publishing. Retrieved 15 October 2015. 
  14. ^ Hachman, Mark (15 May 2014). "Microsoft teams with Insteon to sell connected-home kits". IDG Consumer & SMB. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  15. ^ Ochs, Susie (16 July 2014). "Insteon's Cortana integration will let Windows Phone users talk to their house". IDG Consumer & SMB. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  16. ^ Darryl Taft, "Insteon Taps Microsoft Cortana for Windows Phone 8.1 Home Automation App", eWeek, July 16, 2014
  17. ^ Crist, Ry. Alexa, hit the lights': Amazon Echo adds Insteon support"'". CNet. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved 15 October 2015. 
  18. ^ Brown, Michael (5 January 2015). "‘Works with Nest’ program gains traction with 15 new smart device integrations". IDG Consumer & SMB. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  19. ^ Ricker, Thomas; Kastrenakes, Jacob. "First HomeKit devices confirm Apple TV's limited role in home automation". The Verge. Retrieved 2 February 2015. 
  20. ^ "AllJoyn: Building Universal Windows Apps that Discover, Connect, and Interact with Other Devices and Cloud Services Using AllJoyn". Channel 9. Microsoft. Retrieved 1 July 2015. 

External links

  • Official website
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