Deal alert: INSTEON year-end sale

Posted in Deals,Home Automation by Ruslan Ulanov on the December 28th, 2010

Smarthome, Inc. Did you miss Smarthome’s Beat-the-clock sale? Well, don’t despair.

Today (12/28) only Smarthome is offering 10% off all* INSTEON products.

Head on to Smarthome.com and don’t forget to use coupon code ESLD10 at checkout. Remember, this deal will last one day only!



* Discounts apply to Smarthome brand INSTEON products only, 3rd party products excluded.

Deal alert: INSTEON Sale

Posted in Deals by Ruslan Ulanov on the July 1st, 2010

The Home Automation Superstore, Smarthome.com is running an Exclusive 4th of July Sale.

SmartLinc controller

Many INSTEON products are discounted 10% and more.

Here’s just a few examples… You can get a SmartLinc, an iPhone-ready INSTEON Central Controller for only $116. Or save $5 on a fully redesigned Dual-Band Lamp Dimmer, on sale for $44.99. And a pair of Access Points to expand the range of your RF-only devices is on sale for $62.99 – a savings of $7.

It’s a great opportunity to expand your INSTEON home automation system.

Hurry, though, the Sale ends on 6th of July!

New product: USB2 Insteon USB Controller

Posted in Deals,Hardware by Ruslan Ulanov on the May 3rd, 2010
INSTEON USB Controller

INSTEON USB Controller

Smarthome’s product portfolio is so extensive that it’s easy to overlook a nice new product when it comes around. Therefore I would like to share with you this simple but nevertheless interesting new product I’ve recently discovered. It’s called USB2 Insteon USB Controller by Minotaur Engineering (who are these guys anyway?)

You wonder what this new device could do for you? Let’s see what the user’s manual has to say…

The INSTEON USB Controller provides a way to automatically send Insteon “On” and “Off” signals to other enabled devices whenever a computer is turned on or hard re-booted. It contains the required electrical interfaces to a standard Insteon I/O Linc device (purchased separately) and draws its required power from the computer’s USB connection.

Once installed and linked, the USB connector can be left plugged in to the PC. The controlled devices will be turned on only when the computer is turned on, and shut off when the computer is turned off. In the event you wish opposite sensing, press the I/O Linc Set button until it beeps before inserting the USB connector in to the powered computer. This will trigger the “ON” command whenever the computer is turned OFF.

These days USB ports are ubiquitous, so I think the use of this product might be extended far beyond computers, to any other USB-enabled devices, like TVs, DVRs, network storage devices, even the photo frames.

Here’s a couple of sample usage scenarios…

1) You really wouldn’t want to miss recording that new episode of your favorite series, would you? Now, with INSTEON USB Controller you can trigger an email or SMS alert whenever your HTPC or DVR shuts off after the brownout or by the virtue of the curious fingers of your three-year-old kid.

2) This USB interface could be used as a security device like those you see on the shelves of Best Buy stores. Whenever computer gets powered off or USB cable gets unplugged you could trigger an audible alert or make some lamp flash. This could be used for servers (or any PC that should be always ON).

Any other ideas? Share in the comments below.

Normally priced at $56.00 this item is currently on pre-sale for $43.47.

To make it easier to find in Smarthome’s store, look for Item# 71939.

P.S. An X10 version of INSTEON USB Controller is also available (Item# 71930).

Deal alert: Christmas in July

Posted in Deals,Software by Ruslan Ulanov on the April 8th, 2010

JLTSoft is running an Off Season Sale on their LightShowMaster software, which you can buy directly from JLTSoft right now for only $59.99 (regular $99.98)! Don’t wait till July though, ’cause this deal won’t last long.

LightShowMaster is a software product that allows you to use your PowerLinc Modem Serial interface to control your Insteon-compatible devices to create exciting animated lighting displays synchronized to music. Take control of your holiday lights, flood lights, rope lights, etc. and impress your neighbors with your very own animated light show!

LightShowMaster (click to enlarge)

LightShowMaster (click to enlarge)

Featuring a visual sequence editor, LightShowMaster makes creating new lighting sequences fast and easy! Command your lights to turn on/off or fade up/down using one of the 20 different fade speeds. Now that Light Show Master 2.0 supports the PowerLincModem (PLM), you can send up to 20 commands per second in your sequences! Create multiple sequences and have LSM run them together in any order to create a complete lighting show. Light Show Master 2.0 now gives you the flexibility to create the show schedule that fits your needs. Now you can schedule the date and time for any show event, and you can have multiple shows in a single day. You can also schedule your show to run minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, or even years at a time! And there is no limit to how many show events you can schedule! A new feature in Light Show Master 2.0 allows you specify an Insteon trigger device that will trigger your show to automatically start playing. Now you can trigger your shows to start up automatically when triggered by the Insteon motion detector! Many audio formats are supported, including MP3, WMV, WAV, MIDI, and any other format supported by Windows Media Player.

Image credit: JLTSoft

Deal alert: Home Control Pro price drop

Posted in Deals,Home Automation,Software by Ruslan Ulanov on the February 20th, 2010

vantage-remoteNVS, the maker of Home Control Pro iPhone application (formerly known as Vantage Remote Pro), slashed price for its offering from $449.99 to just $189.99 to celebrate release of version 2.0.

Home Control Pro is an iPhone and iPod Touch App designed to control your Vantage Infusion System. It automatically gathers data from Infusion Master to populate system-wide control of buttons, lights and thermostats.

What’s New in Version 2.0

Please make note of all system ip address before installing this update. You will need to reload all Vantage Systems after installing this update.

Automatically configures load types as a slider or a toggle button.

Button states now display as the LED color, supporting multi button states and colors.

Support for button Press, Hold Time, and Release.

Organizes buttons in order, under the Keypad they are associated with.

New Custom Pages, supports direct control and feedback of a Tasks VID.

Task VID’s controlled in Custom Pages can be set for a button press, press-release or press-hold-release.

Support for Vantage Systems with Multiple Masters/Controllers.

Removed 30 second auto refresh feature, added a manual refresh button. App still refreshes when an area is accessed and after a button press.

Added edit section to change ip address of a system.

Improved editing page of unwanted areas, loads, thermostats, and buttons.