I bought a new car with a Homelink system in it that controls the
Garage door opener. That is great! I would also like to be able to turn
on the ceiling lights in the living room. How is this done? I own the
house, and am pretty good with electrical. I am hoping to replace a
wall switch with a type that will recieve a signal from the car and
activate. Is there something like this available? Could you please
reccomend a name and a link?
Thanks for any advice
The homelink in your car is a transmitter. It works with the equipment
already in your garage door operator. If you want it to control lights and
other things in your house, you need to purchase receiver modules designed
to receive the signal and switch whatever circuit you want to control. Radio
shack and Sears sell these devices
Thanks...I figured as much...but I need to know what it is called so I
know what to ask for. Is the reciever and the lightswitch one item, or
is it two separate things? Please provide a link if you know of one so
I can look at it or give me an idea what to google.
Thanks and have a nice Christmas
Sorry, I've never seen their equipment. My guess is that it's similar to
X-10 or Levitan home controls, which would be a receiver and switch built
into one unit that would replace the existing wall switch. They may have
wall outlets that can be turned on and off by a signal as well
If it is X10 (and I seem to remember hearing that someplace), you need
an RF receiver, set to the same "house code" as the device in your car.
This will put commands over the power line in your house.
Then you can get x10 wall switches, or plug in modules to control
A good place to look for info is x10.com - but beware of popup ads!
Actually, Homelink is a little cooler than that. IT will learn an RF remote,
such as an X-10 or insteon RF remote.
Komobu, have a look at the insteon starter kits at www.smarthome.com -- I
have bought from them and been happy with the service and quality, but the
best thing about them is the volume of clear information available on their
Very observant...I am in Korea. But only for two more weeks. Then I am
moving back to Virginia. I am hoping to buy just a wall switch. But
after looking at the Insteon set ups, I am really considering going
further. It would be great to initially purchase just a wall switch and
have the car be able to control it. The straight line distance from the
car to the switch would be less than 20 feet.
Take Care and have a nice Christmas
There are more and more posts to c.h.a. from around the world so, when it's
not clear, I check where the message was posted (which doesn't work with
You cannot use your Homelink with Insteon. As I noted, there are no Insteon
RF remotes as yet and I'm not sure Homelink can handle whether Homelink can
handle the 902-924MHz FSK used by Insteon.
If you want just an RF operated switch, the only one I'm aware of for the US
that will definitely work with Homelink is from GE Smarthome...
Scroll to the bottom of the page. You can buy these at Circuit City, Lowes,
etc. They use ASK modulation at 319.9MHz which Homelink can definitely
Don't believe the 150' operational range. Indoors, through walls, etc.
25-30' will likely be tops for reliable operation. Anyway, it's the range of
the Homelink transmitter in the car that will determine whether it will
work, not the range of the GE remote. 20' from the car might be a bit "iffy"
depending on what's in the path but you're not risking much as the GE
Smarthome line is very inexpensive. It's also pretty much dead-end as far
as "going further".
You can get an Insteon switch, configure it for X-10, and add an X-10 RF
transceiver in the garage to receive the RF and then send X-10 over the
powerlines to the switch. You would also need an X-10 remote in order to
train your Homelink transmitter. This could be a step towards "going
Thanks for taking the time to reply. I just started checking into this
home automation thing and am getting pretty interested. I like the idea
of a switch by the garage that lets me turn off all lights. Do they
have anything that will allow me to turn off the stove(Or prompt me
that it is on)? On more than one occasion my wife has asked me to turn
around to insure it was off! The insteon system looks pretty easy to
install. It would be convenient to be able to control lights from the
master bedroom and the main entryway. Could you describe in more detail
what I would need to configure the insteon switch for X-10? As for the
X-10 RF transeiver, is it difficult to set up and have it talk to the
Insteon system? How much do they cost and could you reccomend a
Thanks Again and Merry Christmas
Near as I can tell, the Insteon is just another X-10 system. X-10 is a
protocol used by many similar systems that control different functions over
the house wiring. The first one I ever got came from DAK years ago, then I
got a controller from Radio Shack, a couple of manual controllers from BSR.
Setup is simple. Each module, either a build in switch or receptacle or one
that just plugs in, has a settable code. Your house may all be "A" or "B"
or whatever you want, then you select the number of that module. Just turn
the dial on it to the code you want, then any controller can work it.
I have one control with the timer to turn certain lights on and off. Others
I just use manually. Hear a noise in the back yard? I just reach over, hit
a button, and all the controlled lights come on. Nothing around? Hit one
button and they all go off.
If you want to get fancy, you can have an A and a B circuit and A and B
controllers.. Or any other combination you want. Or you can control it all
from your computer if you install the software and interface.
I don't know of a way to shut-off the stove short of plugging it into a 220V
appliance module (if anyone makes one with a high enough rating) and I think
that might cause more headaches than it cures. There are ways to detect that
it's on but they are not "beginner level" and involve some DIY methods. You
need to learn to crawl first. ;)
The X-10 transceiver setup consists of plugging it in after turning a code
wheel to set a "housecode" to match the remote. There are 3-4 X-10 capable
transceivers and numerous remotes but this will fit your need for both.
Configuring the Insteon wall switch for X-10 involves pushing a button or
holding the toggle in one position for a brief period to put it program
mode. Then you just send it an X-10 command which you can do with the
remote/transceiver combo. There are several Insteon switch styles so I'll
let you choose.
There may be problems in getting the transceiver to talk to the switch if
they are on different phases of your wiring or if you have any devices that
create noise that can interfere with both X-10 and Insteon or that sink X-10
and Insteon signals but this is getting a bit deep for a beginner. Read some
of the articles on my web page if you want to dig deeper.
Insteon-specific questions are probably best directed to the Insteon forum.
Actually, current detection is a relatively simple matter. There are ready made
products on the market that can be connected to a
simple LED or a home automation system. Follwoing is an example though there
are less expensive versions available elsewhere.
Most modern stoves have timers and microprocessor controllers which are best
left on all the time. I'd hesitate to use an on/off
switch for the stove's power but if you must, consider locating the breaker
panel in the garage. The electric range is almost
invariably on a dedicated 220VAC breaker.
There are inexpensive current sensors which can be set up to detect when the
stove is on and light an LED or whatever. If you
installed an HA system like ELK M1G or HAI Omni you could connect such to one of
the zones and have the system warn you any time you
try to arm the security in the "Away" mode if the stove is on. You could even
get a voice prompt over a small speaker in the
garage -- "Warning! Oven is on!" -- if you open the garage door with the range
See warning in prior post regarding Insteon. There have been numerous threads
in this and other forums discussing problems with
Insteon. You may want to look around a bit more before settling on it as you
Same to you. What part of Virginia are you going to?
Be careful. The manufacturer has a long
history of shipping defective equipment,
using customers as unwitting "beta testers",
etc. Sopme sage poster once commented
that they never sell low quality equipment
unless it has their name on it.
Homelink can learn codes from RF remotes and there are instructions on the
Homelink website for teaching it from an X-10 remote.
You will also need an X-10 transceiver (e.g. RR501 or Leviton HCPRF) which
will receive the RF and send X-10 PLC over the powerline to an X-10 capable
The above model numbers assume you are in N. America.
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