Insteon Setup and Controller Software

Last updated: November 08 2018 20:26:43

What is an Insteon Network?

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Insteon Groups and Scenes

What makes a GROUP? A Power Linc Modem (PLM) can store links to Insteon devices in groups 1 through 255. A RemoteLinc uses groups 1 through 6 to control Insteon devices.

What makes a GROUP a SCENE?

Each Inseton device joins a group by storing a link to the controller of the group. The link information contains the group number, device ID for the controller, and in the case of dimmable devices, ramp rate and on level. A typical SCENE may include devices that turn on, others turn off, some may dim to a predetermined on level at a predetermined ramp rate etc. ETC? ON / OFF / ON LEVEL / RAMP RATE are pretty much all possible choices. SCENES gain more smarts when belonging to computer groups where software adds features available to any scene by way of computer control. Timing and Logic functions are typical computer software generated scene enhancements. Example: Low voltage landscape lights as step lights are on by default at 50%. When motion sensor activates, software control turns lights to 100%. On motion sensor off, lights back to 50%. This is accomplished by placing InlineLinc dimmer in dimmable transformer. We currently use Technomatic transformers for dimming with InlineLinc.

Computer software used for Insteon device setup makes scene creation easier. Device setup being how an Insteon device reacts to group commands.

Direct Commands

Computer software can also send direct commands to individual device ID. No group number involved.

Insteon Groups (Scenes with IonW-PLM Software)

Insteon groups provide a means for having 1 or more Insteon devices follow a single command. An Insteon command is sent to a group, as opposed to individual Insteon device ID. Individual Insteon decice that contains a link to the controller, responds. This will be an ON, OFF command. Dimmable responders use ON LEVEL and RAMP RATE stored in link information for controller ID that sent group command. Any number Insteon devices can belong to any CONTROLER GROUP, and or COMPUTER GROUP. This is where an Insteon device network can become quite a struggle to keep track of. Software provides an assortment of views into the network of Insteon devices.


Controller groups can be RemoteLinc / KeypadLinc buttons (1 - 6/8), Motion Sensor groups (group 1 motion, group 2 dark detected, 3 battery low), TriggerLinc Group 1 etc.

Computer groups are links to Power Linc Modem (PLM). Groups 1 to 255 are supported. Computer groups, typicaly made of similar devices such as all motion sensors, or devices located in proximity, as a room area, entry way, security and landscape lights. Each device stores 1 group link for a particulat group, a living room with 5 different scenes, requires each scene be a different group number. Group numbers 1 - 255 with computer groups, number of buttons for KeypadLincs and the like. Computer group 255 is the all listening devices group. All devices responding to ON / OFF / DIM commands will do so for group 255. This is built in to the technology and does not need be setup by means of linking to group 255.

Groups can be assigned labels providing a text description.

Group commands are sent to a group number. All devices containing a link to the controller group or computer group will respond. A dimmable Insteon responder device stores on level and ramp rate for the group.

IonW software has menus for setting on levels and ramp rates for device groups.

A typical group command is ″Group 5 ON″. Group 5 can be from a controller (RemoteLinc button 5) or a computer group. Computer groups can have be labled with text description.

Groups are created when 1 or more Insteon devices are linked to either a controller or computer group. IonW software allows dragging an Insteon device ID onto a controller button for controller groups. With computer groups, Insteon devices are grouped in a list.

A RemoteLinc will send a group command for ON or OFF. The group command consists of a number (1 to 255) and ON or OFF.

An Insteon device on network watches Insteon commands, and responds to commands which contain a link matching group number and sender ID. This is why any number of Insteon devices will respond to a controller, even if the controller does not contain a link back for the responder device ID. Most controllers require at least 1 link per button for the button to actually send it′s command.

IonW-PLM Software and Groups

Computer groups are made up from Insteon devices linked to the Power Linc Modem group number.

Group commands are On/Off and Dim/Bright. On levels and ramp rates are stored by the responder device. This is true for both computer groups and controller groups, such as for the RemoteLinc.

When using SET buttons for linking to groups, the Insteon responder device will remember it′s on state and save it with the link information.

Software setup for on level and ramp rate is provided in the Device Setup view.

Computer groups work well with the Timer Events and Logic Events.
Example: All my outside lighting is set to come on to 50% on level 30 minutes after sunset.
The InLineLinc dimmers used for this belong to the same computer group. The InLineLinc dimmers are configured to turn on to 50% on level. When motion is detected in areas where there is lighting, a Logic Event will dim the lights up to 100%, and back to 50% after motion delay (and or when the motion sensor sends a motion off command). Discovery Group 251. Area 251 is where all newly discovered devices are initially placed. All Insteon Devices Group 255. Group 255 is used by all Insteon devices as a common group for ALL ON and ALL OFF commands.

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