Multiple questions about Insteon scenes

After successfully setting up Home Assistant and having used it for close to a month now, I’m ready to start polishing some of the rough edges! One of the issues I’m seeing is that Insteon devices in Home Assistant’s scenes, automations, and scripts turn on sequentially rather than simultaneously. This is covered in another topic, and it sounds like the workaround is to have Home Assistant activate scenes that are programmed into the PLM. So I have a couple of questions on this…

  1. Is that all still accurate and did I understand correctly? Or is there another workaround for getting Insteon devices to activate simultaneously?
  2. Are the scenes stored within the Insteon PLM synchronized with the scenes in Home Assistant’s configuration? Or should I be considering them as separate things, “Insteon Scenes” and “Home Assistant Scenes”?
  3. If they’re not synchronized, is there a way to program scenes within the Insteon PLM using Home Assistant?
  4. Is there a way within Home Assistant to view a list of the scenes programmed into the PLM? From what I’ve seen, they’re group numbers, but I have no clue what they would be. I suppose I could go into the dev tools and just plug in numbers sequentially until something happens.
  5. If Insteon scenes and Home Assistant scenes are separate things, and there’s not a way to view or program the PLM scenes from within Home Assistant, what’s the best way to do that? The only method I know of is hooking up the old computer and software I’d previously used for home automation (a Mac Mini running Indigo Server.)

For posterity, I’ve found some answers.

  1. Yes, this is still accurate and seems to go beyond just Insteon. See Are HA scenes capable of turning all devices on at the same time?
  2. Although I never got a definitive answer on this, I’m pretty certain Insteon Scenes and Home Assistant scenes are separate things.
  3. Not that I’ve been able to find.
  4. The closest I’ve found here is viewing /config/insteon_devices.json in the file editor. Here, you can at least see what group numbers are used by devices to help determine what numbers you could try pinging with Home Assistant.
  5. According to the documentation, there are some command line based tools such as Insteon Terminal and insteon tools which is part of pyinsteon. They also mentioned the discontinued HouseLinc software for Windows for the less technically savvy (me.) I think these or Indigo are my best bet.

Thanks for documenting this. I can see where this is a common misunderstanding with Insteon users.

Yes, Insteon Scenes are different than HA Scenes. Today, you cannot program an Insteon Scene from HA unfortunately. That is coming in a future release.

You can see the scenes programmed into the Insteon Modem (Hub or PLM) by using the service insteon.print_im_all_link_database. The group number is the scene.


Thanks for pointing this out! However, when I try the link-related services I don’t get any output, in either the web view or the logs.

I eventually discovered that the group numbers are sequential. I worked my way up and found my scenes at 5 and 6.

@teharris1 Is there any way or plan for a future release to have a scene being activated detected as an event?

I would like my TV to turn on and off with a scene. I currently have it doing this when one of the buttons on a keypad that controls the lights is turned off or on as part of the scene, this issues is when someone just presses that button to turn on/off that individual light, the TV turns on/off; I only want that happening when the scene is activated.

Any future enhancements coming for scenes or creative way I could work around this?

Also, thanks for your great contribution to HA!

I have had this type of question posed before. The problem with scenes in insteon is that they don’t actually have state. So that makes it almost impossible to determine whether the scene is active or not. This sounds like you would be better off creating an Automation IN HA that tests for the state of each device in your scene to determine if the scene is actually on or off.

Instead of creating a new topic figured I’d ask here. I just migrated to Home Assistant (likely a lot of other folks after Insteon folded). Everything is good, but I have around 10 scenes still ‘alive’ in the hub. I’d just like to DELETE the scenes in the hub and recreate them in HA. Is there a way to delete the scenes?



A follow on: it would be good to be able to delete the schedules stored in the hub too.

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The blog post I linked below mentions some additional functionality is being programmed into the insteon integration to support all the new users. It says it will be available within 1-2 weeks and include a configuration panel. Not sure if this will allow deletion of scenes and/or schedules, but hopefully it will. I’m not aware of a way to do that with the existing integration. There is a python script that allows one to edit the database in the Insteon Hub and could possible manage the scenes, but that’s definitely over my head. Python script - GitHub - pyinsteon/pyinsteon: Python library to support Insteon home automation projects

Here’s the blog post which I would keep an eye on for the latest official updates from Home Assistant:

Update - the panel is now available in the May 2022.5 release. See this post for deletion of scenes/schedules

You can find the scene number in the new Insteon Director app by opening the screen to edit a scene but makes no changes and click save button. Confirm when it asks if you want to revalidate links. As the last phase of updating the link databases it shows the group number of the scene as a hex value. Use a hex to decimal converter to get the integer value used by home assistant.