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X10, Insteon and Z-Wave Price Comparison E-mail
Written by Peter   

Which Home Automation to Choose?In my recent X10 Home Automation review, one of our readers (Ray) asked for a more detailed comparison of prices for typical scenarios using X10, Insteon and Z-Wave.  It's a good question, and one that others have likely thought about as well when debating the merits of spending the extra on a second-generation system such as Insteon or Z-Wave versus the cheaper X10.  

I've created a couple of plausible scenarios below, however it would be great if this was more of a collaborative effort so if you have been doing some research yourself and have information to share (or have any questions) please post in the comments section below.  

 

Scenario 1:
We would like to automate a handful of overhead lights, ceiling fans and table lamps.  A wireless remote control will be used as the primary control mechanism, with the potential for computer control later.

Item Quantity Insteon X10 Z-Wave

Wireless Base Module

 

2


Insteon Base Module
$39.99


Insteon Base Module
$26.79

Module Not Required
Not Required

Remote Control

 

1


Insteon Remotelinc
$49.99


X10 Remote Control (HR12A)
$18.31


Z-Wave Remote (RZCPG-BSG/VRCPG-BSG)
$135.52


Dimmer switches

 

6


Insteon Switchlinc Dimmer (2476D)
$45.99


X10 Dimming Switch (WS12A)
$22.50


Z-Wave Dimming Switch (VRI06-1LX)
$93.99


Non-dimming switches

 

2


Insteon Non-Dimming Switch (2476S)
$45.99


X10 Non-dimming relay switch (WS13a)
$34.25


Z-Wave Non-dimming relay switch (VRS15-1LX)
$80.97


Plug-in modules

 

1


Insteon Lamplinc Plug-in Module (2456D3)
$34.99


X10 Plug-in module (PLM03)
$12.50


Z-Wave Plug-in Module (VRP03-1LW)
$62.12


 Total 12 Items
 $532.88$287.89
 $923.52
   
Get Insteon
 
Get X10
 
Get Z-Wave

 


 

Scenario 2:
We would like the majority of lights and fans to be centrally controllable, with motion sensing for certain rooms and control over the gas fireplace.  Computer control is desired, with remote web access for when the owner is away from home.

 

Item Quantity Insteon X10 Z-Wave

Wireless Base Module

 

2


Insteon Base Module
$39.99


Insteon Base Module
$26.79

Module Not Required
Not Required


Remote Control

 

1


Insteon Remotelinc
$49.99


X10 Remote Control (HR12A)
$18.31


Z-Wave Remote (RZCPG-BSG/VRCPG-BSG)
$135.52


Dimmer switches

 

12


Insteon Switchlinc Dimmer (2476D)
$45.99


X10 Dimming Switch (WS12A)
$22.50


Z-Wave Dimming Switch (VRI06-1LX)
$93.99


Non-dimming switches

 

4


Insteon Non-Dimming Switch (2476S)
$45.99


X10 Non-dimming relay switch (WS13a)
$34.25


Z-Wave Non-dimming relay switch (VRS15-1LX)
$80.97


Motion Sensors

1


Insteon Motion Sensor (2420M)
$34.99


X10 Motion Sensor (MS14A)
$15.71


Z-Wave Motion Sensor (CA9000)
$54.99


Outdoor Floodlights

 

1


Insteon Motion Sensor Outdoor Floodlight
$58.48


X10 Outdoor Motion Sensor Floodlight
$49.61


Z-Wave Outdoor Floodlight Item 1 Z-Wave Outdoor Floodlight Item 2
$38.95  + $29.95

Universal Low-Voltage Module

 

1


Insteon Universal Low-Voltage Module (IO Linc 2450)
$45.99


X10 Universal Low-Voltage Module (2010)
$19.29


Z-Wave Universal Low-Voltage Module (ZRW113W)
$65.95


Computer Interface

 

1


Insteon PowerLinc Computer Interface (2412S)
$69.99


X10 Computer Interface (TI103)
$48.95


Z-Wave Computer Interface (ZCS101)
$39.95


Automation Software

 

1


Homeseer Version 2
$208.95


Homeseer Version 2
$208.95

Homeseer Version 2
$208.95


 Total 24 Items  $1,284.21$821.40
 $2,026.02
   
Get Insteon
 
Get X10

Get Z-Wave

 

 

From the above scenarios we can see that while Z-Wave and Insteon cost more than X10, the difference in cost is reduced as a more intricate system is formed - Insteon costs approximately 85% more than X10 in scenario 1, but drops to 56% more in scenario 2. Another interesting point from this analysis was the variance of price points between Insteon and Z-Wave items, with some differences as much as 77% on individual modules.  

 

Summary: 

The above comparison was created to give those looking at the various home automation technologies an idea of the cost of an equivalent setup on each platform.  Due to Z-Wave's wireless communication, a base station isn't required to send the signal to the powerline as it is with Insteon and X10, hence the N/A in that column.  I was also unable to locate a native Z-Wave floodlight, however one can be functionally created with the two items listed.  For software, Homeseer is well rated and supports all three protocols so it seemed like the best fit to keep the comparison consistent.  All of the items are linked to the full details for that item for further investigation if desired.  If this is useful or would benefit from improvements, please let me know!

 

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Please input the anti-spam code that you can read in the image.
Tom   |January-28 13:00:30
The "Z-Wave" dimmer you linked to is a Vizia dimmer, not a Vizia RF one.
It's not Z-Wave.
Peter   |January-28 14:38:42
Fixed! Thanks for catching that, not sure how I overlooked the lack of
"RF". Prices and totals have been updated accordingly.
Carl  - Irrigation   |November-18 06:59:23
I am brand new to this game. This is the most informative content that I have
found. Nobody seems to talk about architecture much so I've been
struggling.

I really want to start my system with irrigation control first.
I have 4 acres to water and need at least two separately located irrigation
controllers. I'd like to do both from a PC in the house BUT they should also
function if the home automation fails or computer is off. Any recommendations
there?
John   |February-21 03:17:00
Most informative material on DIY home automation out there.
John  - prices of X10   |August-28 01:26:38
Why have the prices on X10 gone up so much? Is it because home automation and
control from iphones etc, has made them up the prices on purpose?

3.23 Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved."