While this is purely a preference, there are a few things to note.
First, MY preference is “One App to Rule them All”. I originally had (and still have) scenes that exist on my Hub. But just felt more comfortable after installing Home Assistant to replicate those scenes with groups of lights/switches. I have a dashboard with all the individual lights/switches and a “Quicklink” panel that can turn and off groups.
Now, I could have used the scene from the Hub and use “Insteon: scene_on” and “Insteon: scene_off” to turn on and off those scenes with a click of a button. This has one positive, executing the insteon scene on/off is exactly like the hub. It sends the message to turn on the scene and all the lights/switches in the scene immediately respond. However, if you use a HA group and it has 8 lights/switches in it and you use “homeassistant.turn_on” it will turn on each in order. One at a time. For small numbers of lights, that is just fine. So it takes 4 total seconds to execute instead of a fraction. Although I have scenes like “Panic” with turns on about 18 lights/switches. For that one scene, I use insteon scene and not a group. Afterall, it is (hopefully) never used and it should be quick if it is.
I completely trashed all the multi-button controllers that did fan low/med/high/off as they were a pain. This is 100% HA now and work beautifully, especially using custom button-card templates with rotating icons and such.
The quicklink panel look like this (my wife’s regular dashboard). Designed for her phone using vertical/horizontal stacks and custom buttons. And is very generic using templates.
The code for templating and a button is then straightforward:
- height: 100px
if (entity.state == "on") return "homeassistant.turn_off"; else return "homeassistant.turn_on"
Then a button is just this:
The whole house looks like this using mostly auto-entities):
I like the control of using HA to do it all. And it does have pluses … like a HA group can contain groups. I do not think an insteon scene can use other scenes, you have to put everything in one scene.
So you can do this where “dogs” group contains “pergola” group and so forth.
Note: I built my groups prior to giving them friendly names but I could have used them in the code above.
So, it is really preference but I have not used the Insteon app in a long time except to add a new switch or light.