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View Full Version : UPB vs Insteon vs X10 vs Z-wave


Pro-Scapes
02-25-2008, 04:04 PM
Who is using what and why ? We use x10 on homes under 3k ft and UPB on larger homes. Insteon technology is supposed to be better than x10 and is considerably less than UPB pricing.

X10 and UPB are the only ones we have experience with. Z-wave is a different protocol I am unfamiliar with.

NightScenes
02-25-2008, 05:17 PM
I use UPB, Control Scape. I will not even touch X10 and have not heard of Insteon.

Pro-Scapes
02-25-2008, 07:16 PM
Why are you scared of X10 ? With a phase coupler and modest sized homes they work very well. Ours is very reliable at home and I have a handful of them out there working a couple of years trouble free.

I have never used inteon but seen it at smarthome pro

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-25-2008, 09:23 PM
Billy I think it comes down to the type of properties you use X10 on. In a typical suburban setting I have heard it works pretty well. On large estates this is not the case. Here it is not uncommon for clients to have several structures; Primary home, guest home or bunkie, garage/carriage house, and boat house... many have several cabins or bunkies for guests.

The x10 system just doesnt seem to have the guts to transmit over long distances and between multiple sub panels.

Remember that UPB is basically x10 on steroids. They are both line carrier signal technology, only the UPB systems are significantly more robust and make use of more commercial grade components.

Regards.

myyaz33
02-25-2008, 09:49 PM
you might check out the cocoontech.com forums. they have a ton of comparisons on these technologies.

ok, i am not a lighting pro however i have been doing home automation for a few years now and have used all but Insteon. The reason I didn't want to try insteon is that only 1 manufacturer makes it. Even though Smarthome is a large company, what if they go out of business? Maybe not a big deal for some...

If you want more specifics after you check out cocoontech, just let me know.

Eden Lights
02-25-2008, 11:56 PM
X10 is too unreliable and a large risk, we installed one system as a trial in 1999 and ended up getting it OK after working on it for a couple of long days, we upgraded him to upb a couple of years ago for free because I never felt good about the original system.

Insteon has had the worst quality numbers as any system that I have seen, it may work but it looks cheap, feels cheap, because it is cheap. They gave use several units a couple of years ago and I was not impressed.

Zwave, I can only speak for the Leviton units. We have had a full test home for a few months now and the product is very high quality and it is very fast and I really like the way it feels, looks, and operates. The problem is it takes me twice as long to program and it doesn't have near the feature set in programming. The biggest issues are it's very limited range, you must have several devices to bridge or mesh across the home and no good timers for our industry.

UPB is really the only control for the Landscape lighting industry and we are really getting more comfortable with it with the new GenII devices. Sat. I did 3 dimmers, appliance module, 6 button keypad and a Loaded 300 watt lighting install on a model home. I started at 10am and finished up about 8pm by myself, which is a really good day for me.

Eden Lights
02-26-2008, 12:05 AM
Cocoontech is a excellent resource and is where most of the large landscape franchisers and manufacturer's hang out or lurk.

Pro-Scapes
02-26-2008, 12:48 AM
Billy I think it comes down to the type of properties you use X10 on. In a typical suburban setting I have heard it works pretty well. On large estates this is not the case. Here it is not uncommon for clients to have several structures; Primary home, guest home or bunkie, garage/carriage house, and boat house... many have several cabins or bunkies for guests.

The x10 system just doesnt seem to have the guts to transmit over long distances and between multiple sub panels.

Remember that UPB is basically x10 on steroids. They are both line carrier signal technology, only the UPB systems are significantly more robust and make use of more commercial grade components.

Regards.

I know this and thats why I only use UPB on 3k sq ft and larger and we ALWAYS phase couple large homes. Never know when they will add or move a time clock and your looking at a service call.

We are sticking with UPB for most installs but its not always an easy sell with the price tag and installation times on it. For suburban type homes the x10 has been relativly trouble free for us provided there is a coupler installed. After I phase coupled our house with x10 I can shoot a signal out to the barn area to control flood lights with no issue. The new x10 is alot better than the old from what I understand and the new timers are also alot more modern looking as well. I just installed one earlier this month on 2800sq ft... 1 trans...2 controlled switches. Of course it is not as robust as UPB but it fits the bill and budget of this project of simple switching.

Eden Lights
02-26-2008, 09:56 PM
I heard some numbers today from one of the big landscape lighting companies, how does 70-80 upb installs a day grab you? UPB has definitly found it's niche in the Landscape Lighting Business. I enjoyed a couple of years of offering something different with UPB, but just about everybody here is onboard now.

sprinkler guy
02-27-2008, 12:23 AM
Insteon has had the worst quality numbers as any system that I have seen, it may work but it looks cheap, feels cheap, because it is cheap. They gave use several units a couple of years ago and I was not impressed.

I just proposed my first full Insteon system: four dimmers, one 3-way, one 4-way, and three transformers on modules, plus a remote control. I thought the product, the dimmers in particular were pretty nice quality. Maybe they've upgraded the quality since you saw it Eddie. With that said, I haven't put my hands on the UPB product yet. I have the luxury of living 10 minutes from the Smarthome Factory store, and I got a good hands-on training in the store. PCS is about 45 minutes from me, so I'm supposed to go to their one-day training class next month.
X-10 is barely used in this area by lighting installers. Most still use photocell/timers, so proposing anything better or different than X-10 still makes one very unique in these parts.

Eden Lights
02-27-2008, 12:40 AM
I just proposed my first full Insteon system: four dimmers, one 3-way, one 4-way, and three transformers on modules, plus a remote control. I thought the product, the dimmers in particular were pretty nice quality. Maybe they've upgraded the quality since you saw it Eddie. With that said, I haven't put my hands on the UPB product yet. I have the luxury of living 10 minutes from the Smarthome Factory store, and I got a good hands-on training in the store. PCS is about 45 minutes from me, so I'm supposed to go to their one-day training class next month.
X-10 is barely used in this area by lighting installers. Most still use photocell/timers, so proposing anything better or different than X-10 still makes one very unique in these parts.


Please keep us posted. The keypad was what I couldn't warm up to. I really liked the wireless coupling of the phases, are you installing one? I heard they replaced all of the first genreation stuff and I am sure they have improved.

sprinkler guy
02-27-2008, 12:52 AM
Please keep us posted. The keypad was what I couldn't warm up to. I really liked the wireless coupling of the phases, are you installing one? I heard they replaced all of the first genreation stuff and I am sure they have improved.

I skipped on the keypad in favor of the remote. I'm replacing an X-10 remote on the lighting transformers, and the homeowner wanted to still have his remote toy. And yes, I am putting in the phase coupler, what they call their Access Point. I guess I should say I'm proposing it. The customer hasn't said yes yet, although I think he will. He didn't bat an eye when I proposed putting in some Hunza Pathlites last month. He spent almost $40K on a neighbors house re-engineering some big chimneys, so he could have a beach view from his third floor dining room.

Do you do a lot of in-home control stuff?

Eden Lights
02-27-2008, 01:32 AM
He spent almost $40K on a neighbors house re-engineering some big chimneys, so he could have a beach view from his third floor dining room.

As my wife always says,"That's what I am talking about"

About 95% of our clients last year purchased at least a UPB timer, Input device (Keypad) and a appliance module.