Deal alert: INSTEON Sale

July 1, 2010 Ruslan Ulanov 0

The Home Automation Superstore, is running an Exclusive 4th of July Sale. Many INSTEON products are discounted 10% and more. Here’s just a few examples… You can get a SmartLinc, an iPhone-ready INSTEON Central Controller for only $116. Or save $5 on a fully redesigned Dual-Band Lamp Dimmer, on sale for $44.99. And a pair of Access Points to expand the range of your RF-only devices is on sale for $62.99 – a savings of $7. It’s a great opportunity to expand your INSTEON home automation system. Hurry, though, the Sale ends on 6th of July!

How to automate your… balcony

June 28, 2010 Ruslan Ulanov 0

Now, this is an original concept! Actually, this is no longer a concept, this product is already in production (in The Netherlands only, for now). I’m talking here about a ‘balcony-on-demand’ from Dutch company called Bloomframe. This product transforms your window frame into a full-sized balcony, capable of holding a whole bunch of grown-up dudes (see photos below).

People Power brings Skynet one step closer

May 14, 2010 Ruslan Ulanov 0

People Power, a green-tech start-up based in the heart of the Silicon Valley, recently introduced a kit it calls SuRF, for Sensor Ultra-Radio Frequency. SuRF helps connect household appliances and gadgets to a wireless network in your house. “What that means is that you could monitor your microwave, Playstation and coffee machine in real time, check their levels of energy consumption, and make apps to control how they behave. Ultimately, that could lead to substantial savings of energy and money” writes Wired. Or it could lead to a self-aware network of gadgets that will try to take you (the owner) out […]

How to use iPhone as a wireless microphone for a PC

May 4, 2010 Ruslan Ulanov 0

Here’s a fresh new idea for home automation enthusiasts. Apparently, you can use your iPhone or the last generation iPod Touch (the one with a mic) as an external wireless microphone used to relay voice commands to your home automation controller (provided it’s a Windows-based PC). No, there’s no app for that (yet), so you will have to fumble with a few pieces of software on your PC, but the result could be well worth the time spent. This great idea comes courtesy of Greg Badros (ex-Google, and now Facebook’s Director of Engineering) who explains the process in details on […]

New product: USB2 Insteon USB Controller

May 3, 2010 Ruslan Ulanov 1

Smarthome’s product portfolio is so extensive that it’s easy to overlook a nice new product when it comes around. Therefore I would like to share with you this simple but nevertheless interesting new product I’ve recently discovered. It’s called USB2 Insteon USB Controller by Minotaur Engineering (who are these guys anyway?) You wonder what this new device could do for you? Let’s see what the user’s manual has to say… The INSTEON USB Controller provides a way to automatically send Insteon “On” and “Off” signals to other enabled devices whenever a computer is turned on or hard re-booted. It contains […]

Deal alert: Home Control Pro price drop

February 20, 2010 Ruslan Ulanov 0

NVS, the maker of Home Control Pro iPhone application (formerly known as Vantage Remote Pro), slashed price for its offering from $449.99 to just $189.99 to celebrate release of version 2.0. Home Control Pro is an iPhone and iPod Touch App designed to control your Vantage Infusion System. It automatically gathers data from Infusion Master to populate system-wide control of buttons, lights and thermostats. What’s New in Version 2.0 Please make note of all system ip address before installing this update. You will need to reload all Vantage Systems after installing this update. Automatically configures load types as a slider or […]

DIY Project: Custom made touch panel

February 19, 2010 Ruslan Ulanov 0

It’s no secret that professionally installed home automation touch panels are very expensive. Could we make a panel that will be useful, easily customizable and relatively cheap? You bet we can! Check for example this New Zealander’s home project that, with a little more polished GUI, could rival the better professional models. With the total cost of roughly $1200 US dollars (though it could be easily downgraded to $500-600) this project will allow you to control your home automation set-up, listen to locally stored music and Internet radio, play photo slide-shows, surf the web, watch online video and even automate creation […]

Innovative light switches from Basalte

December 22, 2009 Ruslan Ulanov 0

Being a home automation enthusiast I’ve seen a lot of different light switches, keypads and even LCD touch screens. And to tell you the truth majority of them are either pretty boring or too complex. And then there are light switches from Belguim-based Basalte, that has a very sleek website, but also some pretty innovative switches, that were rightfully awarded with numerous prestigious design awards such as Red Dot and iF product design.

Deal alert: ISY99i is on Sale

October 21, 2009 Ruslan Ulanov 1

If you (like myself) were impatiently waiting to get your hands on one of the ISY99i home automation controllers now might be a good time to get one as they are on sale at both and What is ISY99i? “The ISY-99i series is the most affordable and flexible standalone home automation solution for any INSTEON/X10 installation.  Whether you are a DIYer, an electrician, or a home automation integrator you will enjoy the ease with which the once tedious task of programming INSTEON devices is accomplished.” ISY99i eliminates the need to run a dedicated PC (or MAC) computer to contol events and […]

The Ultimate List of Home Automation Software for iPhone, Part 3

October 19, 2009 Ruslan Ulanov 1

Last Updated: December 21, 2009 UPDATE: This list has moved to a new place, please go there for the most up-to-date information. This is Part 3 of The Ultimate List of Home Automation Software for iPhone. For your convenience the short link to this post is (as in iPhone Home Automation Software, Part 3). The Ultimate List … Part 1 The Ultimate List … Part 2 The Ultimate List … Part 3

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