OK, here's an update to my light controller situation. I did talk to a person from Smarthome the other day about the Insteon controller. She was pretty knowledgeable with their products and after going back and forth with some ideas, she recommended a Powerlinc Controller (Model 1132CU)
. I was a little skeptical, but understood what she was thinking. I went ahead and ordered it and it arrived yesterday.
The PowerLinc Controller is a "stand-alone home automation interface for controlling lights, appliances, heating/air conditioning systems and alarm systems" that you set up using your computer via a USB connection. It comes with software for setup, although its limited functionality because its a free version. I installed the software and plugged the unit in and away I went.
It works as advertised. I spent all this cash on an Omni Pro home automation system when the house was built and I'm amazed that you can spend 70.00 and get a lot of the same functionality.
I was able to setup scenes based on triggers for "premovie", "movietime" and "pause" pretty quickly. Basically, I have six X10 dimmers I want to control in the theater room and concession area. My controller (SMST6) that I have on the wall is fine for for controller the dimmers from the door, but for me to use it with a remote, I have to point at it (does not receive X10 signals, only transmits). Enter the PowerLinc. I set up a dummy X10 housecode (B8) for movietime and pause. When I sent the B8 address "ON", it triggers all the dimmers to the settings I want. (Rope light at 20%, riser light 20%, all other switches off). When I hit pause on the Harmony 880, it sends the signal "OFF" to the address, which triggers the "pause scene" and raises certain lights. Of course you need an IR543 to convert the IR signals from the H880 to X10 to do the scenes, but I had that already.
So far so good. I need some more time with it, but it seems to work as I want it to. You can apparently do much more with it as well. It's a decent alternative. I'll post more when I can about the setup. After programming it, I just stuck it in an outlet in my equipment closet and off we went.