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  • Improvement to wall switches

    One of the big reasons I have so many Insteon switches is because they are some of the best out there in regards to usability and what you can do to configure them. However, I think they are getting a bit old and could use a refresh. Control4 really is the master at switches and I think some small plastic changes from Insteon could really help them compete. Some of this could apply to dimmers but I'm really looking for improved keypads.

    1.) Raise the keypad buttons so you can feel them in the dark. They are so flat and impossible to feel which button you are touching. This would be an easy fix for Insteon and it would offer better usability. Here is an example of Control4 buttons. https://i0.wp.com/blog.castercomm.co...1/control4.jpg. Raising them would be an easy and cheap option to making them better.

    2.) Separate backlight led control from button. Offer different led colors for each button.

    3.) Ambient light sensor. Ability to control the switch backlight based on ambient light. Control 4 offers this in their newer switches.

    4.) Double and Triple tap options

  • #2
    I'd love to see raised buttons as well. Also a better way to convert to 4 button setups.

    Insteon already supports double tap. You would need software such as the ISY 994 that supports it. Personally, a triple tap is to much though there are ways to accomplish that as well depending on software.

    While an ambient light sensor would be nice, I think it would unnecessarily increase the cost of the device for a feature, most probably would not use. Yes Control4 does that but there keypads also costs 4x as much.

    Depending on software, there are ways of controlling the insteon backlighting individually. Better control of it would be welcome. Color changing (even if it's just 1 or 2 colors) would be a really good feature to have.

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    • #3
      1. Where did you get the idea that raised buttons would be cheap. They are not. Check out anything in braille.

      2. Different colors are available now. I use them a lot.

      3. An ISY allows changing the backlight brightness according to a schedule you decide. Mine dim at bedtime (bedroom) and/or when watching a movie.

      4. Double-tap option is available now.

      Three out of four is not bad
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      • #4
        Originally posted by stusviews View Post
        1. Where did you get the idea that raised buttons would be cheap. They are not. Check out anything in braille.

        2. Different colors are available now. I use them a lot.

        3. An ISY allows changing the backlight brightness according to a schedule you decide. Mine dim at bedtime (bedroom) and/or when watching a movie.

        4. Double-tap option is available now.

        Three out of four is not bad
        1.) by cheap I mean that everyone could upgrade their switches without buying new switches. Just adding a new faceplate would make the keypads way better. When I say raised, I'm looking for a way to tell the difference between buttons, even adding ridges to the edges would be helpful.

        2.) Changing LED color from software, not hardware. Status control LED

        3.) Yes it does and so does Homeseer but not based on ambient light.

        4.) Yes, but only as a fast on command, not supported in other linking modes. If you wanted to manually link a fast on instead of on you can't do it. Part of the pro of Insteon is that the switches have a controller and responder database and you don't always need to rely on a controller.

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        • #5
          1. A manufacturer needs to sell enough product to make it worthwhile. Feel free to reach out to Insteon Labs with your suggestions. However, I did notice that etched paddles have been discontinued. All my interior paddles are etched. I'm not sure what I'll decide to do if I add more. Fortunately for me, all exiting switches have been upgraded and I'm not likely to add more. BTW, I spent nearly two decades as a construction electrician and did add a quantity of switches where there were none soon after we purchased and even later on.

          2. That certainly would be costly. The KPL has either six or eight buttons and can be changed from one to the other, so not only need for LED hardware be in place, but the ROM would need to accommodate the changes. That'll probably entail more memory. I indicated probably because I don't know haw much slack is available now, with all the features that have been added. BTW, I find the diffusers very accommodating, although I agree that more color options are desired.

          3. More hardware taking up more room is required to measure ambient light. I do that now using a light sensor plus ISY programming. There have been may requests for an occupancy Insteon switch and that hasn't come to fruition.

          4. The feature is available from third parties. All of what you are requesting is feasible, but the cost would be prohibitive.

          It is not easy, it is not inexpensive. There's always a concern about what everyone wants, what a few users want and the vast field in-between. There are most likely features that your word processor has available that you would never use and which I wouldn't do without. That's part of why word processors have increased in price significantly since their origin while other software hasn't. That is, trying to satisfy all with one product. Even at that there are add-ons that can be purchased.

          Like many things, if what is included isn't adequate for you, then you need to add to it on your own. For example, I added a sound bar to one TV and surround speakers to another. I even added a supercharger to my upscale car. Speaking of cars, you probably added extra features. But you paid extra.

          Unfortunately, your first request isn't even available. But there are workarounds for the other three.

          And enjoy the extra special next few weeks
          Stu's Views is Education and Fun. What do YOU want to VIEW today?
          MathLandia High school mathematics learning fun.
          Both Stu's Views and MathLandia are free websites that do not sell anything.
          Saving energy is not always free. Be a world saver.

          Please don't PM with questions that can be asked in a forum.

          Comment


          • #6
            Most of insteon's features (as is zwave) are software driven due to complexity of setting a device manually without software. With managers gaining prevalency, it is advantageous to them to move most features to software as this cuts down on mistakes that can lead to high return rates and technical support.

            Changing faceplate design is more difficult than it sounds. If anything it would require a completely new switch as tooling costs etc. Would require capital that they would want to make back. With the amount of keypads in the wild (especially with custom work) they likely wouldn't sell enough to warrant the costs. They would then need to carry 2 lines of accessories that wouldn't sell in great numbers. I think a whole new switch design would be better as the costs of tooling and manufacturing can be recouped.

            ​​​​​​I do agree with color changing options with the led. I'm not a fan of those filters but would like the options they present.

            Adding a sensor to the switch for ambient light would require a redesign which could lead to upsetting thousands of existing customers with houses full of switches. This and the added cost for something that very few would take advantage of simply isn't worth it. Like Stus said, there are ways with programming to achieve the same thing. If a person wants to dial it in even more, one could add a motion sensor and use it's setting to program the same thing.

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            • #7
              Someone else here asked for raised lettering / braille. I don't recall the user but he offered a link where the small dots could be applied to what ever button. I liked the idea a lot but the seller wanted crazy prices just for the little dots!

              Like you I wanted to have a tactile feel when the KPL was programmed to be in dark mode.
              Want to make a real difference? Please cast your vote to make the PLM Pro a reality: http://forum.insteon.com/forum/main-...t/8221-plm-pro

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