Best way to control Insteon

I need to replace my ISY994 and am wondering what the most supported/best method to control Insteon from HA is?

I could simply replace the ISY (least favorite option) or move to the hub.

I run HA in a container on my NAS box which I like so I dont know if any of the direct connect methods would work there.

Support for the hub is changing/improving in the next release 0.77. However, the ISY functionality is more advanced than any other insteon approach in HA. There are three options in HA:

  1. ISY - People seem to be very happy with this since it is mature and you can do a lot with the ISY that is not available directly in HA.
  2. insteon component (version 0.77) - Supports the USB and serial PLMs and the Hub. The hub, however, is not really well designed for solutions that don’t come directly from SmartHome. This is not an HA issue, it is a hub design issue.
  3. MQTT for Insteon - Good solution as well (I think it supports the hub but I am not sure). Requires an MQTT broker.

I will acknowledge my bias here since I am the primary developer of option 2 but I use the insteon component with a PLM in production and a Hub in development. In my opinion, the choices each have pros and cons as follows:

  1. ISY - Pros: Well developed a solution with a lot of bells and whistles. Cons: Can be more complex than many people need.
  2. insteon component - Pros: Pretty good functionality for most needs and works well with HA. Cons: Still under development and at least 6 - 12 months away from being fully functional. (i.e. cannot set ramp rate or other device-specific features yet, but it is on the roadmap.)
  3. MQTT - Pros: If you are invested in MQTT for other solutions this is a good option. About as functional as option 2. Cons: If you are not using MQTT for other solutions there is an extra component.

If you go with options 2 or 3, I would go with a PLM rather than the Hub if you want to use HA. I don’t see the Hub providing any benefit over the PLM in an HA scenario and the PLM is much easier. The only downside of the PLM is you need a USB connection near an outlet that can send powerline transmissions (i.e. you may get interference with your surge protector for your server).

thanks for the details! Looks like I have 2 options:
go with Option 1 (and spend the $)
set up a physical device to use option 2 (I’ll look but pretty sure I can’t pass the USB thru to a container on my NAS box)

I was afraid this might be the answer. If I’d had better luck with my setup in the ISY spending the $ wouldn’t be so painful - I had huge issues with minutes long delays for when the ISY would do something and when HA would react.

This is very strange… I use an ISY and its fantastically quick.

  • Do you have issues when you use their java or webui directly? If so, open a case with them. It may be a case of a bug or an insteon network issue.
  • Have you tried upgrading firmware? The 5.x train on their forum is marked beta, but very stable and is what I’ve been using for probably 6-12 months.

I live in the UK and the options for smart lighting control are very limited compared to the US. Basically there is LightwaveRF or you have to look at various in-line micro modules with momentary wall switches.

Hence my interest in Insteon who do UK/EU compatible micro modules and my interest in linking this to Home Assistant.

However I have a concern over linking Insteon to HA. The first suggested method is ISY and I presume this refers to the ISY994 controller, and the second is to use a PLM USB modem. Unfortunately I get the impression both of these are only available in forms suitable for US models of Insteon device which use a different frequency to EU models.

Can anyone clarify this? Or point me in the direction of EU/UK versions?

Or, does this mean literally my only choice would be to use MQTT? I am not adverse to using MQTT as I intend to set this up anyway.

Obviously being in the UK I am using a 2245-422 model Insteon hub.

I’m in the U.S. but I did take look at Insteon’s product web page, and I don’t see anything other than the 2245 Hub for use outside the U.S. The PLM models appear to be U.S. only. As far as I know the ISY requires the PLM. The Insteon-MQTT option also only uses the PLM. At one time I modified the Insteon-MQTT code to work with the 2245 Hub, but there were too many technical issues with the 2245 (and eventually it died) so I changed to the PLM.