My Experience with Universal Devices ISY-99i Insteon Home Automation Controller

I've been running a Universal Devices ISY-99i home automation controller for about 6 years now. I started out with a pretty modest setup following a house renovation in 2008 - with about a dozen Insteon switches, dimmers, and keypads. And I've been adding to the system ever since. We moved to a new house in 2012 - with a very complicated electrical setup as I've described in some of my other posts - 400 Amp service, generator disconnect switch, two lighting / relay control panels, a contactor panel for large loads, and an industrial PLC based lighting control system. Since I tore out the PLC automation system and upgraded to the ISY / Insteon control system - my home network has grown to about 55 switches and keypads, with another dozen on order as I work to complete the current system.

I moved that ISY-99i from the old house to the new house (along with all my Insteon devices), so the ISY and a good number of switches and keypads have seen 6 years of service, without any major issues. I've had to send the ISY-99i back to Universal Devices once back in 2009 for a firmware upgrade following a hardware issue - but this was done quickly and efficiently by Universal Devices at no cost - other than shipping. Very good service. Of my Insteon devices, I've had one device delivered DOA, which was immediately replaced by Smarthome, and just recently, one of my original dimmers has died after 6 years of service. Overall, I would call that an acceptable failure rate considering that the 6 year old components were not on the market for very long when I acquired them, I believe the first Insteon devices began shipping in 2005.

Last year I added the Mobilinc iPhone app interface to the ISY-99i, and I have been very impressed with how quick and easy that was to connect up to my ISY in order to control any device remotely with the iPhone. Very handy. Now I'm hoping that the ISY / Mobilinc combination will support Apple's new home automation interface protocol for iDevices - called "HomeKit". Time will tell.

Alas, I understand that now Universal Devices has stopped supporting the ISY-99i with regular firmware updates - which means that any new Insteon devices will not be supported in that version of the ISY. Looks like it is time to upgrade to the ISY-994i. My new ISY-994ir Pro is on order, I hope the upgrade process will be relatively painless, and I'll write about how that goes.

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