New Setup, New User - Need Help, Recommendations

Hello Roomie,

I’ve been following you guys for quite sometime. I have finally moved into my new house and i’m ready to dive into this head first.

I wanted to ask some questions so I can get pointed in the right direction.

Currently, I am using the Monster AVL 300 as a remote. It supports Z-Wave and many other features. I do not use the Z-Wave at this time.

I’ve read that Roomie supports LUTRON and INSTEON for lighting, etc.

My requirements:

I would like to have full home automation with events, such as “Watch movie” and this event will trigger all my devices and dim lights, etc.

Controlling the devices should not be an issue. I will need to buy the WIFI IR blaster.

I don’t know what I will need to buy to get the lighting to work. Getting the switches from one of those companies is an oblivious first. So here are my questions:

What other hardware will Roomie need to make the lights work?

What about feedback to know what devices are on? Or what dim rating they are currently at?

Will Roomie or the device I use to connect Roomie to the lights allow me to control them when I am away from the home?

Does Roomie provide alerts? such as smoke alarm, motion? Or will I need to use another app for that?

What other devices can I control? Water? (Sprinklers) Anything else?

I am looking forward to this install. Please let me know anything that could help. Any hardware I might need to buy. Any possible how-to’s or a walk-through.

Like I said, I am more concerned with the lighting and controlling of non-IR related devices. I have much experience with IR blasters and setting up my current AVL300

Thanks in advance!


For zwave one easy solution that can be integrated with roomie is the Vera lite. Probably the cheapest and easiest to use. very advanced users might be held back, but its fan great place to start. 179 on amazon. Lighting, thermostat, door locks are all supported. There’s more, but it can get complicated.

If you want to integrate security, sprinklers, etc (this is advanced) you’re talking about a custom solution, and costs will run in the thousands (See control4, homeseer, crestron, etc). Many (cheap/value) people have 2 systems, one for security (ADT) and one for automation, although I see some cable companies are starting to offer more integrated packages. May or may not be ready for prime time…


We do plan to add Vera feedback and it’s not a bad choice. However, right now your best bet might be the Insteon ISY 994i. That will provide feedback and a flexible DIY lighting environment which sounds like the kind of thing you’re looking for.

Control away from home requires a VPN. It’s not that hard to setup. Just search the forums here for VPN.

Sprinklers and alarms and such are best controlled by an always-on automation controller like an ISY or many other systems like that.

Thank you.

I have an Insteon 2412N Controller and I’m going to upgrade to a ISY994i. Is there any reason I should consider the more expensive ISY994i /IR Pro version? Do I need or could I employ any use of IR control in the Pro version since I use Roomie?

Any comment or advice would be most appreciated.


Thanks for the replies.

I am pretty tech savvy. I am a software engineer and I love to tinker with things. the VPN will be no issue.

Now, if Iunderstand correctly, I can get the Insteon ISY 994i product from Amazon for about 279.99 bucks. From what I read, this will control my Insteon devices via IR. I’m guessing the IR commands come from the WiFi IR blaster device. So when I do something on my iOS remote app device, it will talk over WiFi, ask the IR blaster to send the Insteon a command, and my light gets turned on. Do I understand this correctly?


My other question: Is there an API available How could someone hook into the IR blaster or send the correct WiFi codes?

For example: I could build a webpage that would communicate to the device, this webpage could be available on the public internet after configuring my router, etc, and I could see live feedback from lights that are on or off from anywhere with internet access. Is something like this possible? I’m thinking something like a webcam view page. I’d like to have a “power page” where I can view webcams, and other sensor feed back, like lights, doors, things like that. And even possibly be able to control those lights from a webpage.

Thanks for your help!

Hold on there Bugnuker! :slight_smile: Most everything you want to do can be done with the Roomie, Insteon and Global Cache’s Itach wired or wireless IR Controllers.

The best place for the Insteon ISY 994i is Smarthome with the 2413s. It’s $299 for both. This will create an Insteon network both through your powerlines and RF. There is no need to get the IR control feature on the ISY.

The ISY and the 2413S will control all of your Insteon lights and it can be done from with Roomie. For all your AV equipment that does not have direct IP control, the Roomie can do it with the IR repeater from Global Chache.

After setting up the Insteon and Global Cache in Roomie, you can create light sliders, switches, scenes and a whole lot more. You can start your DVD and press “movie lights” to set lights them to predetermined brightness levels or use sliders.

I’ve gone the above route and it works like a charm. Insteon will also do thermostats and much more, but Roomie likes to stick to all things related to home theater and doesn’t consider temperature, webcams or lock as such. Since roomie can do custom devices and take command codes, you could probably do the AC and other Insteon devices, but it will require more work.

For video feeds and locks, you’re better off using other apps for that as they are not so much “control” as monitoring. I think as you look more into webcam apps and so forth you’ll be amazed at how much is done for you already. Building your pages seems like the long hard path in my opinion.

Finally, I upgraded much of my less expensive components to IP controllable. Blu Ray, TV, Roku, etc, can all be controlled directly over your network and there is no need for more IR ports or blasters.

Hope this helps!



Hello. This thread is almost a year old, and I thought I’d ask a similar question. What light switches to people recommend these days?

I am interested in setting up my light switches to on the home automation system. I know Z-Wave is popular, but does it support 2-way communication? Is 2-way communication even necessary, I mean, I’d like to send an ON or OFF command to the light switches but I guess confirmation of receipt of the command does not matter, or does it?

Do people prefer Insteon? It seems less widely used than other products.

There are also new wifi light switches coming out, like which I like, because wifi means the Roomie should be able to talk directly to it without any VeraLite or Insteon adapters.

So I am curious what light switches people recommend (in terms of features and value) today, in Feb, 2014. Thanks!

I imagine home automation will continue to see innovation and price drops at breakneck speed in the next couple years. Roomie supports Insteon well. If you want to use other controllers, there’s a myriad or stuff from high end to zwave. I chose Insteon to easily use it from my chair when using my AV equipment and not having to launch another app.

Inteon works well and is reliable. I also have zwave and it’s good, but I find it a little less responsive with lag.


My two cents. Good luck.



Thanks. Insteon looks like a good solution for lighting. I see there are several choices of controller boxes, including ISY994i and VeraLite. I am also considering Lutron RadioRa2 which I like because of reliability, and if I decide to replace the switches with something in the future like, Lutron switches should be easy to sell on Ebay/Craigslist.

Question. What Roomie-compatible controllers do people recommend for making programs into the lights/switches/buttons? I would love a system that when unlocking the door or pressing a switch button near the door, a pathway of lights turn on from the door to the living room and kitchen. Also I would like the Roomie app to be able to turn off all lights at bed time.

Second question. What Roomie-compatible controllers are the best with door locks? Z-Wave sounds like it could work, but I would be willing to pay more for something very smart and very reliable.

Last question. Is there a Roomie-compatible controller for talking to a Somfy URTSI-II RS232-to-RF box?

I have a roomie-compatible Atlona Matrix to distribute the A/V throughout the home, so if I can find a way to control all my lights, door locks, and window shades through Roomie, I would be one very happy person.

Your thoughts and opinions are appreciated!