Insteon Starter Kit

The Good The Insteon Starter Kit is cheaper than the Insteon Hub on its own, and will set the foundation for a system that can include a variety of sensors and devices. Unlike some other options, Insteon doesn't charge a monthly fee for the use of its system.

The Bad The clunky Insteon app is a bit limited and more frustrating to use than it ought to be, making it one of the weaker home automation systems that we've tested.

The Bottom Line You'll almost certainly need to expand upon this kit in order for your system to be particularly useful, and for the majority of buyers, we're not convinced that Insteon is worth the investment. Start elsewhere.

Editors' Rating
  • Features 7.0
  • Usability 7.0
  • Design 7.0
  • Performance 7.0
7.0 Overall

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Insteon Starter Kit
Insteon Starter Kit
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Belkin WeMo Light Switch
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iHome iSP5 SmartPlug
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Price $100 Amazon.com $50 Amazon.com $184 Amazon.com $25 Amazon.com $120 MSRP
Features
7
8
9
8
6
Usability
7
7
8
8
6
Design
7
9
7
8
7
Performance
7
9
8
9
8

Review

This automation old dog needs some new tricks

At the time of this review's publication, the reviewer was unaware of the conditional automation possible by linking a motion detector to a "scene" of linked devices. The Insteon Hub's app is capable of automating lights to turn on or off when motion is detected, as our readers have pointed out, and the review has been adjusted accordingly. This feature is only available through the purchase of the motion detector hardware, which is not included in the Insteon Starter Kit base package.

If you're looking for a start in home automation that's free from fuss -- and, more importantly, free from monthly fees -- then you might want to consider the Insteon Starter Kit, available for $119 exclusively at Best Buy. Insteon claims that with its line of automation products and its free smartphone app, "your home is with you wherever you go."

You should temper your expectations here, as the Starter Kit, with its two LampLinc dimmers and the router-esque Insteon Hub, will only allow you to automate a pair of lamps. Automating just two lamps is a tad underwhelming. The important thing is that with the Insteon Hub, you'll have a sturdy home automation foundation to build upon. Add the Insteon Thermostat to your system, for instance, and you'll be able to control the temperature of your home remotely. Add an Insteon Motion Sensor or perhaps an Open/Close Sensor for your front door, and you'll be able to receive alerts whenever someone's moving through your home. With the Insteon Leak Sensor, you'll be able to detect minor drips before they become major catastrophes. While all of these devices are all sold separately from the Starter Kit, Insteon won't ever charge you a monthly fee to automate them, no matter how many of them you add to your network.

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