Stringify Adds the Power of Insteon Scenes

Feb 27, 2017 by

Stringify plus insteon scenes banner

Stringify is one of the best tools we’ve come across for smart home enthusiasts, allowing you to integrate unlike products and ecosystems for powerful automation capabilities. Think of it like IFTTT on steroids. But unlike IFTTT, Stringify allows you to set conditions on your triggers and initiate multiple actions. If-this-while-this-and-this-then-that-and-that-and-that. It’s basically IFTTT with more T’s.

Stringify flow

After speaking with Stringify’s CTO and their CEO in past episodes of Home: On, we’ve been experimenting with Stringify, and it’s a promising service with great potential. Among its offerings is its ability to solve one of the biggest problems we’ve had in this space—bridging Insteon products with other ecosystems and third-party products. This can extend Insteon’s reach in your home, but it also helps you overcome some of Insteon’s own limitations. Muzzley and a few other products attempt to integrate Insteon, and Nest’s now-defunct Revolv hub did the same. But so far, we haven’t seen anyone tackle this as well as Stringify.

IMG_9533And it just got better: the team at Stringify recently added the ability to trigger Insteon scenes within your Stringify flows. If you’re an Insteon power user, you may immediately recognize the significance of this. Many third-party products that integrate with Insteon let you control devices only—not scenes. So if you rely on scenes to control your home or keep devices and controllers in sync with each other, you’re out of luck.

Let’s say you have outside flood lights that you control with an Insteon dimmer near your front door and a button on an Insteon keypad by the back door. A Stringify flow that turns on the floods when your Arlo camera detects motion outside at night would trigger the dimmer for the floods but not the keypad button. Now it can. By activating the Insteon flood lights scene that you likely already created to link your Insteon keypad and dimmer (and if you haven’t you should), everything stays in sync.

To use an Insteon scene in a Stringify flow, add the Insteon hub “thing” for the home you want to control to the flow, then configure it by selecting the scene you want to trigger. Note that like in so many smarthome apps we’ve encountered lately, the scenes are not presented in alphabetical order, so you may need to scroll a bit to find what you’re looking for. If you’re updating a flow that already references specific Insteon devices, you can just drag the Insteon device thing in your flow to the Replace target, then select and configure your Insteon hub thing.

This is a powerful enhancement for Insteon users, and it’s simple to use or integrate into your existing flows. We’re thrilled to see this addition to Stringify’s Insteon support, and we expect it will only get better as Stringify continues to evolve and grow. Our wish list: support for Lutron Caséta (purportedly already on the roadmap) and Stack Lighting and both web and tablet interfaces to take the task of designing complex flows beyond the small screen on your phone.

Have you used Stringify to bolster your Insteon or other smarthome system? What are some of your favorite flows you’ve created for your needs? Share your thoughts in the comments, below.

Catch our interview with Stringify’s CTO and co-founder in Home: On #081 – More T’s, with Dave Evans.

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  • Smart Home Primer – Have been using this since Stringify partnered with IFTTT (A partnership we proudly take credit for) and it has been very reliable so far. We’re currently testing more complex flows based on it. In this flow, when an Insteon contact sensor closes, a five minute timer starts. If both SmartThings presence tags (iPhones) are not present, the flow continues and locks an August Smart Lock via Wink to August Connect. Finally, the flow finishes by activating an IFTTT Applet that arms an iSmartAlarm. The IFTTT Applet notifies us that the alarm has been set to Arm. This flow is helpful in the event everyone leaves, but no one locks the door. Even if the door is locked, the flow still serves to automatically arm the alarm system and sends a reassurance that the system has been Armed via the IFTTT push notification.