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Should I purchase the Z-Wave version of the 994 or not


osurh18

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I am about to upgrade my ISY-99i to a 994i.  I am not sure if the zwave version is worth it to me or not so I thought I would throw it out here to you guys to help.  Currently I am using only insteon dimmers, switches, iolincs and keypads to control lighting, garage door, etc.  I am not sure what all I would want to use in z-wave.  The main thing I'd be interested in is the Schlage door locks.  

 

Are there added benefits that I am missing?

Do the 2 technologies "play nice" with each other?

Do I need any sort of z-wave repeater or bridge to use the Schlage locks with a 994i (zwave)

 

Any input, suggestions, help is appreciated.  Thanks.

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First one can later upgrade to the zwave version, so you can defer the decision if you prefer.

 

Still, I think this to be an easy decision...yes, get the zwave version. Zwave devices are more commonly available than inteon, and one can find them at good prices from time to time. It does no take too long before you recover the extra cost of the zwave module for the ISY.

 

While I like insteon, and there are real benefits in many insteon devices, I have found the ability to mix in a few zwave devices to be quite useful.

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It would give you opportunity. 

 

Advantages

  • Variety and diversity. Insteon has some great devices, but limited. Zwave has a greater variety of devices including sensors, alarms, thermostats
  • The ISY is a controller that can talk to both insteon and zwave, so your ability to integrate them to act together opens up possibilities.

Things to think about

  • Zwave is yet another RF device in your house and another set of RF challenges to solve
  • Zwave devices are made by many manufacturers. You'll get a variety of quality and capability choices.
  • You'll note on the board that UDI is still working to include the latest zwave capabilities in to the ISY.

Opportunities, but patience and learning is involved to adopt them. I did not get zwave when I bought my ISY, but I've been in HA a while and have my house automated for switches about as much is its going to get, not enough left to introduce a new technology. But if I was just starting, I would have purchased the ZW version. 

 

Paul

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I am about to upgrade my ISY-99i to a 994i.  I am not sure if the zwave version is worth it to me or not so I thought I would throw it out here to you guys to help.  Currently I am using only insteon dimmers, switches, iolincs and keypads to control lighting, garage door, etc.  I am not sure what all I would want to use in z-wave.  The main thing I'd be interested in is the Schlage door locks.  

 

Are there added benefits that I am missing?

Do the 2 technologies "play nice" with each other?

Do I need any sort of z-wave repeater or bridge to use the Schlage locks with a 994i (zwave)

 

Any input, suggestions, help is appreciated.  Thanks.

 

Yes. The two technologies "play nice". Different frequencies; no interference.

 

Insteon has dual-band. Powerline and Radio. It sends signal on both. Radio is self-explanatory. Powerline sends signals over the electrical lines in your building. It is very robust and because of this, is usually regarded as more reliable. This is why you need that extra PLM gizmo that plugs into the wall. It is sending and receiving signals over your power line. The dual-band reliability, and the non-proprietary nature, makes insteon the preferred choice for lighting, scene setting devices (keypads), sensors and anything else you need an instant response.  Lighting with insteon tends to universally preferred over lighting with Z-wave.

 

The disadvantage with powerline is that it puts noise on the line. In rare circumstances, sensitive electronic devices can pick this noise up and behave strangely. Music equipment such as amplifiers, if not properly grounded, may be especially effected by this.

 

Z-wave is radio only. It uses a different frequency than Insteon, so the radio signals won't conflict. The disadvantage is sometimes devices may stop communicating due to interference from other devices. It has no back-up protocol to fall back on. The official range varies by device, but I've found you can depend on 25ft in real world examples. You can build a "mesh" which essentially is one Z-wave device passing a message to another, extending your range.

 

The main advantage to Z-wave is that you have more devices available to you, and usually have more function. You mention the locks, which is a perfect example of this. Thermostats are also another good example. The battery devices generally tend to last longer, as Z-wave seems to use less power than insteon battery devices. The disadvantage is "instant updating" is a proprietary function of a single company, so not all manufacturer support it. Buyer-be-ware. This makes Z-wave less than ideal for lighting.

 

There is no reason not to get Z-wave capability. It expands your options with no notable disadvantage (other than minor cost).

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