HA, ISY and Insteon Oh my

Hi all. I’m a newbie here so will try not to flood the forum with too many questions all at once.

For the past dozen years or so, I have been an ISY user. I had ~50 Insteon devices and loved how the ISY allowed me to set up rather complicated scenes. During that time period I went through three serial PLMs. Serial PLMs failing is a pretty common thing, and my experience was no different.

We sold our home recently and are building a new one. In the new home, over time, I will add Insteon devices though probably not near as many as I had in the old home. I will also have a few Z-wave devices (three Schlage door locks to start), a couple Nest thermostats, a Ring camera, a Harmony Hub, a few Google devices, eight Hunter Douglas automated blinds, and either a Sonos Port or Bluesound Node. (I think I covered everything)

I decided that with so many different protocols, it was time to move to something like Homeseer or Home Assistant. I enjoy tinkering and am fairly tech savvy (though my learning curve at 61 ain’t what it once was), so I have decided to jump into HA.

I just ordered an HA Blue and was planning to use a USB PLM to interface between the Blue and my Insteon devices. Then it occurred to me that one of the things I really liked about the ISY was it’s ability to create fairly complex scenes easily. I’ve read what I could here and have not understood all of it. My understanding so far is that:

  1. Use a USB PLM and manually link Insteon devices to each other and to the PLM. Then the HA Blue should see the devices (maybe after a little work) and I can start my hands on learning. The disadvantage would be that setting up anything more than the most basic Insteon scenes this way can get complicated rather quickly.

  2. Buy a new ISY and a new serial PLM (ugh), set up my Insteon network in a similar way to how I did it at the old house and then add the ISY to my HA Blue. My instinct is to add the Z-wave capability to the HA Blue rather than the ISY. Good instinct? The big disadvantages here are the increased cost of the ISY and the fact that serial PLMs are not in stock anywhere (and there is some talk that they may be discontinued). Oh, and did I mention the serial PLMs have a history or routine failure?

So I’ll end my first post asking for feedback and suggestions on my situation. I was originally trying to leave ISY for a more comprehensive HA solution, but unless there is some more elegant way to create and manage Insteon scenes than doing it manually, I may need to use HA and ISY.

I look forward to your responses. I’m sure I’ll be back with plenty of questions as I (hopefully) begin to build my HA network.

I don’t have all the insight you are looking for, but I can tell you, using HA and ISY together works extremely well. Of course, that doesn’t help with the issue of the serial PLM being unobtainable. I’m hoping mine hangs on until the Polisy can take over the ISY duties and then use the USB PLM I have laying around.

Good to know. My understanding is that Polisy will be almost like a Home Assistant Lite, at least initially when considering the number of integrations available. Is your plan eventually to use home assistant and then policy as an insteon only integration?

Based on what I have read so far, I plan to go ahead and get the home assistant blue which I’ve already ordered, a new icy, and then wait for the serial modem to become available. But since the house isn’t even quite built yet and I’m not in the big hurry, I may choose to wait until insteon is available on the policy and would certainly appreciate your guidance on what you intend to do when and if that becomes the case.

While very true that HA has WAY more integrations available than ISY/Polisy does (or ever will), I find that the ones I need are almost all there. Sonos, ecobee, Rainmachine, Harmony, Ring, and a few others that I use. Because I have used ISY for many years, all of my automations already run there. I have no automations on HA. The idea of using ISY only for Insteon integration to HA is a VERY viable route, but I have not gone there yet, and have no immediate plans to do so.

Happy to answer any questions that I can.