What is Insteon?

This page covers basic features of Insteon technology. It covers Insteon PHY layer, Insteon signal, Insteon network and Insteon home automation concept used in IoT(Internet of Things).

INSTEON technology is a trademark of INSTEON Inc. US. It enables simple low-cost devices to be networked together using the powerline, radio frequency or both. All INSTEON devices are known as peers. This is because any device can transmit, receive, or repeat the messages from other device. In doing this, devices neither require any master device controller nor any routing software. More are the devices in the INSTEON network, more stronger is the INSTEON signal. Following table mentions features of the INSTEON technology used widely for Home automation and in IoT(Internet of Things).

About Network Dual Band (RF and Powerline) ,
Peer to Peer communication,
Mesh topology
No routing table, Unsupervised
Data Rate 13,165 bps(Instantaneous powerline),
2,880 bps(Sustained powerline),
38,400 bps(Instantaneous RF)
Frequency(RF Physical Layer) 915 MHz (US), 869.85 MHz(Europe), 921 MHz (Australia)
Modulation(RF PHY) FSK
Sensitivity(RF PHY) -103 dBm
Range(RF PHY) 150 feet unobstructed LOS
Frequency(Powerline PHY) 131.65 KHz
Modulation (Powerline PHY) BPSK
Min. Transmit Level (PL PHY) 3.16 Vpp , 5 Ohms
Min. receive level(PL PHY) 10 mV
Phase Bridging INSTEON RF and Hardware
Message Type 10 bytes(standard), 24 bytes(Extended)
Devices supported 24 bit pre-assigned module ID address and hence supports 16777216 devices in a network
Commands 65536 supported
Security Physical device possession,Address masking,Encrypted message payloads


INSTEON signal

The figure-1 depicts INSTEON signal. Following are the characteristics of it.

• It uses 24 bit packet.
• Sent at zero crossing
• at the rate of 13 kbps
• Uses rolling codes for encryption
• Standard message(consisting 5 packets) size is 120 bits in Powerline protocol
• Extended message(consisting 11 packets) size is 264 bits in Powerline protocol
• Standard message size is 112 bits and extended message size is 224 bits in RF protocol. • RF part uses FSK, Powerline part uses BPSK

Insteon home automation basics

INSTEON Home automation Network
Fig-2:INSTEON Home Automation

Devices in the network communicate using INSTEON protocol over the air via RF and over powerline using powerline protocol. Figure-2 depicts typical installation of INSTEON home automation system. Electrical power is distributed to homes in North America by splitting of main power line of 220Volt AC. Hence there will be pair of two-wire 110VAC powerlines referred as phase-1 and phase-2. The phase-1 takes care of half of the area in home and another phase-2 takes care of second half area.

INSTEON RF devices communicate with the other using RF protocol. INSTEON powerline devices communicate with the other PL devices using INSTEON powerline protocol. INSTEON dual band devices takes advantages of both protocols and will be able to communicate with both the type of devices. This concept of INSTEON home automation is widely employed due to availability of powerline and radio frequency technologies in the Home.

➨Refer Insteon Protocol for RF, Powerline modes and Advantages and disadvantages of Insteon Technology.

Difference between INSTEON and Z-wave, Zigbee, X10 and HomePlug

Difference between INSTEON and Zigbee
Difference between INSTEON and X10
Difference between INSTEON and HomePlug
Difference between INSTEON and Z-wave

IoT Wireless Technologies

WLAN    ➤THREAD    ➤EnOcean    ➤LoRa    ➤SIGFOX    ➤WHDI    ➤Zigbee   ➤6LoWPAN   ➤Zigbee RF4CE   ➤Z-Wave   ➤NFC   ➤RFID   ➤Lonworks   ➤CEBus   ➤UPB  

What is?

what is wlan?
what is router ?
what is wimax?
what is lte?

What is Difference between

Following are useful difference between terminologies on various wireless standards/technologies.
difference between FDM and OFDM
Difference between SC-FDMA and OFDM
Difference between SISO and MIMO
Difference between TDD and FDD
Difference between 802.11 standards viz.11-a,11-b,11-g and 11-n
Bluetooth vs zigbee

RF and Wireless Terminologies