Insteon is one of the most popular and arguably the most powerful SmartHome product line. If you’re just getting started with Insteon, here’s how to set up the hub and your first device.

What is Insteon?

RELATED: What are SmartHome «ZigBee» and «Z-Wave» products?

Insteon, in its simplicity, is a SmartHome product line. Insteon manufactures smart sockets, smart light bulbs and switches, smart thermostat, motion sensors, security cameras and other products designed to be a kind of «one-stop shop» for all your smart home needs. You just need an Insteon Hub or Hub Pro to control it all.

Unlike many other SmartHome centers that use Wi-Fi, ZigBee or Z-Wave to communicate with various products, Insteon uses its own proprietary protocol. It has limited support for some non-Insteon products such as the Nest Thermostat and Amazon Echo, but does not offer any integration with IFTTT.

Instead, Insteon’s real power comes when combined with the X10 system. In fact, this is indeed the biggest draw. Insteon can be very simple with basic features, or very complex and very powerful (not to mention expensive). If you’re looking for something else in the middle (moderately powerful and user-friendly), though, Insteon might not be right for you.

How to set up your hub

So, you have Insteon Hub and one or two products that you want to manage with it. Setting them up is quite simple: first, take a hub and connect it to the wall and router via Ethernet. Make sure it’s easily accessible as you’ll need to access it again in a moment.

Download and install the Insteon for Hub app, available for iOS and Android. Select «Create a new Insteon account» on the first page. Accept the license terms and create your account.

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Connect the hub (if not already done) and click «Next» in the app.

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Next, you will be asked to enter a username and password. You will find this on a sticker at the bottom of your center. As an alternative. You can click the «Scan QR Code» button and scan the QR code at the bottom of your hub.

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Once your hub has been identified, Insteon will prompt you to start adding devices.

How to add a new device

Grab the device you want to add — we’ll use an outdoor smart plug for our example — and take a snapshot of the QR code and device code on its sticker. This is especially handy if you put it in a hard to reach place.

Then connect the device and continue the process. If this is your first device, Insteon will take you straight to the Add Device screen. If not, you need to navigate from the app’s home screen by selecting Rooms > All Devices and then clicking the «+» sign in the top right corner.


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On the Add Device screen, Insteon will give you a list of possible devices. Click on the one that matches the device you are adding. In our case, we are adding a plug-in, so let’s touch on that.

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(If your device is not listed, scroll down and select «Other INSTEON Device»).

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Then press and hold the «Install» button on your device until it beeps or flashes. Alternatively, click the «Add by ID» button at the bottom of the screen and enter the device’s ID number. Insteon will find and set up your device.

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Once you’ve found your device, you can give it a name, choose an icon, assign it to a room, and customize a number of other settings.

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When you’re done, click Done.

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The device will appear on the Insteon home screen and you can turn it on and off from there.

CONNECTED: How to control your Insteon smart home with Amazon Echo

Some Insteon devices also support Amazon Echo, while others are more than half supported. But if you put these devices in scenes, you can control them with your voice in this way. If you have an Echo, be sure to read our Insteon setup guide for more information.

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