Home Assistant gives new life to Insteon Smart Home products following Smartlabs bankruptcy

Smartlabs used to sell Insteon Smart Home products, but the company is now in bankruptcy proceedings, its cloud has been turned off, and users have reported their products not working since April 14. Going to Insteon website confirms the problem:

…the company engaged in a sales process in November, 2021. The goal was to find a parent for the company and continue to invest in new products and the technology. The process resulted in several interested parties and a sale was expected to be realized in the March timeframe. Unfortunately, that sale did not materialize. Consequently, the company was assigned to a financial services firm in March to optimize the assets of the company.

IoT and Smart Home products going offline are nothing new, either because the company is going bankrupt or the product is not profitable anymore. It happens to me with Weloop Hey 3S smartwatch which I still use to check the time and count steps, but features like synchronization with my phone are not working anymore, so no more notifications, and the ambient temperature reporting is stuck to 84°C. It’s hot in Thailand, but not that much!

This led me to write a post entitled “Why you should request open-source software for your IoT devices?” since I had no backup solution for the watch, and the next time I forget to charge it on time, it will become useless. But Insteon users are luckier with their Smart Home devices compatible with Home Assistant open-source home automation solution.

Paulus Schoutsen, Home Assistant Founder, has written a blog post explaining that “while Insteon products talk locally, the app and voice assistant integrations do not. Without this, users are not able to control and configure their hub and automations don’t run”, and Home Assistant can help.

Led by Tom Harris, the Insteon integration in Home Assistant works with the USB (2413U) and serial (2412S) powerline nodes, as well as 2448A7 portable USB adapter, and the 2242 and 2245 Hubs shown above. It even works after factory reset of the Insteaon devices, and you’ll also need a Home Assistant gateway, either something like Home Assistant Amber,  or you could install Home Assistant on a Raspberry Pi or other Linux capable computer or board. You’ll find the instructions to integrate your Insteon devices in Home Assistant on the Insteon integration page.

Thanks to Hedda for the tip.

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3 Replies to “Home Assistant gives new life to Insteon Smart Home products following Smartlabs bankruptcy”

    1. Why do you say clickbait? Home Assistant is free and open-source software + that specific Insteon integration is made/developed by a volunteering member of the Home Assistant community in his spare time as a hobby.
      I think it serves as a warning that you should not make or buy any IoT devices that depend on a closed source cloud service. At the very least allow for full local control as an option.
      Insteon Smart Labs users were in this case just lucky in this case that someone already reverse-engineered Insteon’s proprietary protocols to allow for local control. That have not been the case when many other cloud services shut down.

  1. @Sivrt said: “Not a very helpful article, just mindless click bait. Thanks.”

    Huh? Yeah I know, don’t feed the Trolls.

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